Lindsey Thompson's Blog

Archive for September 2010

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Imagine being the head of a company: having to make decisions that affect not only all of your employees, but your customers as well.  As head of the company, you are in charge of many employees, the daily ins and out of the company, and are the one that takes the blame is anything goes wrong.  Quite a stressful job. Now imagine being a full-time student and having a part-time job on top of that stress.

This is what University of Iowa student, Carly Susral does on a daily basis.  Carly is the Director of Operations of SCOPE Productions, the University’s student-run production company.  In addition, she also works at the University’s Marketing and Design and is a full-time student.  With all of these jobs, Carly keeps busy.

Carly was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa.  She lived with her parents, four brothers, and chocolate lab, Coco.  She attended Valley High School before attending the University of Iowa.

While at college, Carly majored in Journalism with an art emphasis.  Second semester of her freshman year she joined SCOPE as a general committee member.  Her sophomore year she was hired as the Internet Coordinator for the production company and became the head marketing director her junior year.  As a senior, she was chosen to take the position of Director of Operations for SCOPE.

SCOPE is the University of Iowa’s concert production company.  It is completely student run and employs approximately fifty students per year.  The organization consists of fourteen paid directors and thirty to forty volunteer general committee members.  The group is responsible for completing every aspect of a concert from booking the talent, marketing the event, setting up and tearing down the show, doing hospitality for the artists, and setting with the bands at the end.

As the Director of Operations, Carly is responsible for approving all of the marketing, organizing each of the directors and delegating specific duties to each person, and overseeing all of the volunteer members.   She is responsible for finalizing contracts with the visiting artists and booking the venue for the concert.  She also plans, organizes and runs the weekly meetings for both directors and general committee members.

Overall she estimates that she puts in about thirty hours a week into SCOPE on a normal week and 50 hours a week if there is a concert.  On top of that major time commitment, she is enrolled in sixteen semester hours of classes at the University of Iowa and works about ten hours a week at Marketing and Design at the IMU.

Although her schedule is jam packed with all these things, Carly still makes time to do the things she loves.  In her free time, she likes to spend time with her friends and family.  Carly enjoys going to DC’s and Mickey’s with her friends and goes to dinner with her little brother every Sunday to catch up on the week.   She also enjoys watching Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, although due to her busy schedule, usually has to watch them online after the new episodes have already aired.  She loves going to Blackhawks games and also likes to go shopping on her days off, especially for clothes that are purple or have ruffles.

Although all of her activities cut into her free time, Carly refuses to give any of them up.  “I’m almost done with school, which will be really nice in the spring.   I thought about quitting Marketing and Design when I became the Director or Operations for SCOPE but it has always been a ready good job and has helped me learn a lot about web design.  Getting the head position on SCOPE will hopefully help me land one of my dream jobs.”  Her secret to making it all work is by prioritizing.  She makes daily lists to see what needs to be done that day and plans accordingly.

After Carly is finished with school she hopes to get a job doing web design for a music venue in Chicago or Milwaukee.

Due to the Labor Day holiday, a SCOPE concert, and a sick day, I was not at the CBJ at all last week.  As I walked up to my desk this morning, I noticed several stacks of papers and sticky notes galore with new projects for me to get started on.  I moved all of those over to turn on my computer and checked my email.  37 new messages!  Gosh, I guess you just can’t take a day (or week) off in a real job.  It’s going to be a busy week!

Last Wednesday, SCOPE produced a concert featuring Nas and Damian Marley.  Through out the day, the band and crew were very fun to work with.  Most of them were sporting dreadlocks and said “mon” a lot due to their Jamaican heritage.  The concert was great and even featured a flag waver.  After the concert, the band and crew went up to the hospitality room in the Iowa House Hotel to celebrate Damian’s birthday with cake.  The front desk received several calls over the next hour with noise complaints from other guests, so they called the police to get the noise under control.  Once they were notified that the police were on their way, the band and crew radioed for Suburbans to get them back to their hotel and cleared out of the room.  Just as we left the IMU, we spotted at police car pulling up to the lobby doors.  Close timing!

At the CBJ, we host an event called 40 under 40 which honors young professionals.  Last week I contacted the man my boss wanted for the keynote speaker.  He didn’t get back to me so I wrote him an email saying that we wanted him to speak and all the details of the event and asked if he would be interested.  Later that day he wrote back with a quick “Lindsey, I’m 57, I’m out.”  What?!  I guess he thought we were inviting him to be one of the 40 under 40.  Lesson learned:  Always put exactly what you want in the subject of the email.

On Thursday, SCOPE Productions co-hosted Hawkapalaooza, a concert and pep rally to kick off the football season.  Due to the rain a few days previous, Hubbard park was a giant mud hole and we were unable to set up the stage.  Because of this, it was moved inside.  The room it was moved into had a capacity of 1700 and we were expecting around 10,000.  What a nightmare!  To control the capacity, we had to hired out more security and make sure the room didn’t get overcrowded.  Less0ns learned: you have to be flexible when planning events and you can’t control the weather.