Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 20 2014

Student Member Spotlight: Meet Brooke DePauw

Jill Formeister, Chair, GMC Communications Committee
GMC Student Member Brooke DePauw’s experience with nonprofit and fundraising events before starting college drew her into the meetings and events industry. “The joy these events brought people and seeing how one moment can bring so many people together is what made me fall in love with the industry. I quickly grew a passion for meetings and events that has only grown since.”

Brooke attends Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, majoring in Hospitality & Tourism Management with an emphasis on Meeting & Event Management. She will graduate in June, 2015.

“I have been surprised at how broad the industry is,” she said. “When I first started in my studies, I thought the industry was limited, but I quickly learned there are so many avenues and paths you can go down.”

So far she has completed two internships. “My first internship was at a small event venue called Cityscape Events that holds events for approximately 450 people. My second internship was at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, where I worked with the Guest Experiences team doing daily activities and events with guests. In both internship opportunities I was able to explore other parts of the industry through shadowing. I recently had the opportunity to plan and execute a destination wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. I am thankful for all my opportunities in the industry and how much they have taught me.”

In five years, Brooke sees herself working for a company planning conferences, meetings, business travel, and events. She would also like to be involved in event marketing and managing social media for a business. “I would like to contribute fresh ideas to the industry,” she said. “One of the sessions I attended at the 2014 Convening Leaders was about changing the face of meetings and events from sitting in chairs to active listening, thinking and sharing ideas. I would like to use those ideas and apply them to the meetings and events I plan in the future to give the attendees a new experience.”

Brooke has found that her PCMA membership has been more beneficial than she expected. As examples, she cited her recent involvement in the GMC Student Social Media Campaign and with a committee discussing the Student U program at Convening Leaders.

She remarked that GMC can assist her “by continuing to post job opportunities as I come closer to seeking a full-time position. I would love to get involved in a company that has other PCMA members so I can continue to network with other members.”

In May 2014 she studied International Food and Culture along with Geotourism in Northern Italy. She took advantage of the opportunity for independent travel and spent a week between Florence and Rome.

In her free time, Brooke enjoys camping, hiking, swimming, biking, and running. She recently completed her first triathlon. “When I am not feeling as active, I love to bake and watch comedy movies,” she said.