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Winter Connects January 2022 Newsletter

Connects is a quarterly newsletter for MPISSN members


Fall Scholarship Recipient- Nikki Smith

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By: Nikki Smith | Jan 25, 2022

Congratulations Nikki Smith for receiving the $100 MPISSN Scholarship! We asked Nikki what this meant to her she gave us the following heartfelt response:

When I received a phone call informing me that I had been selected for an MPI scholarship of $100, you would have thought I won the state lottery!

I owe a lot of my career growth to MPI and the guidance it gave me as a student, young planner, and now as a seasoned industry professional. I grew up in Philadelphia and moved to Sacramento about 3 years ago. I had many contacts and connections in Philly but I had to rebuild my professional network, which has not come easy in the times of a global pandemic.

My boyfriend and I are both lifers in the event industry and have been hit hard these past two years, as many of you have. This past August we received the devastating news that my boyfriend was facing a stage 4 liver cancer diagnosis. Taking one day at a time was never so relevant as it became in the days following that phone call. We have no idea what lies ahead for us, but neither one of us had any intention of leaving our careers, no matter how impossible it seemed to juggle an illness like this and a normal life. The opportunity to apply for this scholarship could not have come at a better time. With so much uncertainty, I knew I had to continue my membership with MPI because frankly, for me it meant there is still a purpose to wake up each day. Check my emails, read about how creative the events industry has become, aspire to be an industry leader, LEARN!

$100 doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but to me this scholarship is a testament of what this community does for one another. The money is nice, but boy do I feel special. That’s what hospitality is all about!!

Over the summer (before the diagnosis), I quit my job as the Director of Education and Events for a local association without a plan. NO PLAN! I had tried for months to find value in the work I was doing, but I just couldn’t get there. I reached out to one of my best friends (also an events nerd) and told her, I have no idea what I am doing but I am going to work my a** off to figure it out. She told me she was heading to MPI WEC in Vegas in just a few days and I should probably come. So I did. I booked a last minute flight, hotel, and paid FULL PRICE for the opportunity to network and learn from my peers. It paid off. I networked and met with a career coach, gave my resume a facelift, and networked even more. Because of that event and the encouragement I received from fellow event goers, I landed a position with Cvent and I finally feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

MPI has a special place in our lives. They set the stage and it’s up to us to make the most of the opportunities they create. I am forever grateful for this organization and how it continues to show up when you need it most. 

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MPISSN 2022 Programming Input Needed!

With all that has changed, we know your time out of the office is limited and valuable. Let us know what kind of programming you would like to see through MPISSN in 2022? Select as few or as many that interest you and add your ideas in the open box below!

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Sacramento/Sierra Nevada
Feb 15, 2023 6:00 PM | Sacramento, CA
Sacramento/Sierra Nevada
Mar 30, 2023 4:00 AM
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Apr 27, 2023 12:00 AM
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Jun 8, 2023 5:30 PM
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