Alum finds niche in industry with “all the cool jobs”
When Rachel Hill went to the Justin Timberlake concert in 2007, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in events or do something in the music industry but wasn’t sure how to get there. She says that the steps she took in college helped her get to where she is now in her first job since graduating from Arizona State University: Premium Seat Sales Coordinator for Live Nation, a leading live entertainment company.
Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in tourism development and management through the School of Community Resources and Development, part of the College of Public Programs at ASU in May 2012. She also earned a special event minor, business minor and a certificate in convention sales and meeting planning.
Creating her path
Rachel’s path didn’t start in the events industry. When she came to ASU, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She was encouraged to pursue a degree in management because of her natural leadership ability.
“I did well but was bored out of my mind,” she says.
“I was interested in wedding planning, so I looked into the degree,” she says. “I met with an awesome advisor—and I had just started a job as a wedding DJ and emcee.”
Rachel also took a job with the Program Activities Board on ASU’s Tempe campus. She started in the concert series department which ultimately became the live entertainment department. Through that experience, she helped plan ASU’s Fall Welcome concert and Homecoming shows.
“It came naturally to me. It was long, stressful days, but I really enjoyed it,” she says, noting that it was a better fit for her than wedding planning.
The experience led her to pursue internship opportunities in live entertainment and she stumbled upon Live Nation.
“Through my internship, I got to see different aspects of event planning—talent buying, operations, sales,” she says.
An opportunity opens up
As the internship was ending, Rachel’s supervisor announced that she was leaving and recommended Rachel for the job.
Today, Rachel works with two venues, Ak-Chin Pavilion and Comerica Theatre. She assists the directors of sales with ticket sales, direct sales, day-of-show operations and customer interaction.
“The best thing is the people. Every show day is different. You never know who you are going to work with and it’s great to meet new people. Our clients are a lot of fun—they are all there to have a good time,” she says.
Some days she may spend only at the office, working on the computer and managing client contact. Other days, she is out at client meetings, meeting with potential vendors and delivering gifts to clients. Show day is completely different—a mix that Rachel enjoys.
Finding a niche
“One of the things I really liked about ASU and my degree program is the personal attention,” Rachel says. “My business classes had 400 or more people. Most of my classes (in the tourism program) were about 100 people. Advisors always remembered me.”
She also notes that the internship program “is awesome.” Now as a mentor to interns, she hopes to impact some of the lessons she learned.
“If I didn’t have the experience I did with ASU then I wouldn’t have gotten to know this field as well as I did before starting my job. So that is one of the things I try to pass on,” she says.
“You can find your niche in this field. I started out thinking I wanted to do wedding planning, but found this,” she says. “I mean it’s all the cool jobs, really.”