QC Event School Ambassador Feature: Carli Lewis
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hey, I’m Carli! I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado. I’m a live-in nanny and a self-proclaimed macaroni and cheese enthusiast. By day, I take care of my two awesome godsons. But by night, I’m a QC Event School Student and Student Ambassador!
I love keeping busy with things that spark a fire in me, both physically and mentally! Some of these things include:
- Paddle boarding;
- Working out;
- Playing softball;
- Project management;
- And teaching myself new things!
Don’t let my busy lifestyle fool you, though. I also love to just relax with my dog, Rajah, and give myself time to rejuvenate and reset!
How did you get into the world of professional event and wedding planning?
Growing up, my mom was always throwing the coolest themed gatherings. Super Bowl parties, Murder Mysteries, and cute birthdays for me and my friends were the norm. I used to love helping her organize and decorate these events. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it was my true calling. I had no idea that I’d turn it into my career someday!
After working in the customer service industry for 15 years, I realized that I get such gratification from satisfied customers. I love to see people smiling and enjoying themselves. If I can make someone’s special event come to life and leave lasting memories, then I’ve fulfilled my promise!
Why did you decide to pursue your professional certification online, rather than in a brick-and-mortar school?
What better time to take the next big step than during a global pandemic?
I already knew that “one day” I wanted to go into professional event planning. I’d done research on different online and in-person courses. Online learning just seemed to match my crazy lifestyle better!
Now I just needed some courage to apply. It turns out that when the world shut down and told me to stay at home, it not only gave me the time I was looking for to focus, but the bravery to move forward. After all, what did I have to lose?
Ultimately, why did you choose to enroll with QC Event School?
Like some people, I was a little apprehensive about online schools. You can never be too cautious! But with tons of research, I narrowed it down. I found that QC Event School came highly recommended – and for good reasons too. The energy and details in their website alone proved that QC was something I had to look further into.
This school offers so many options and provides so many resources. Their courses have ZERO deadlines, so you can train on your own time. I also liked that there was always someone to answer all of my questions, whenever I had any. I decided that this was the school for me and took the chance! Looking back, I can confirm that this was the BEST. DECISION. EVER!
You’ve recently joined QC’s team of Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, what is the #1 reason you would recommend QC Event School to both aspiring AND experienced planners?
Event planning is an ever-growing business! There are always new trends, and every event brings something new and different to the table.
QC Event School has so many different course options – from programs to help you start your career, to advanced and specialty training you might never have considered. There are countless ways that QC continuously helps you expand on your education! Additionally, there are no deadlines or due dates, as I mentioned earlier. Thus, the already-busy planner can learn at their own pace.
You’re almost finished with QC’s Event & Wedding Planning course. How has your experience been in this program? What are the most important lessons you’ve learned thus far?
I have absolutely loved this course! One of my favorite things about it is that the assignments are based out of wherever you’re personally located. You get to create scenarios for events that you would actually do in real-life! I already feel like I have a head-start in my area, since I’ve been doing so much research on different venues, vendors, and companies that I’d like to potentially work with down the road.
Another lesson that has been super helpful was Risk Management. It taught me how to assess potential risks in order to reduce the chances of incidents happening during events. Plus, I learned how to respond to the various risks and/or delays that are inevitable in this industry.
QC Event School provides a variety of course materials for each program. How useful have these learning materials been for you so far?
My materials showed up within a week of me enrolling in my courses. I was given everything that I could possibly need to get started! The step-by-step guidelines have helped me finish each unit in order, as well as direct me to where I need to go next.
The textbooks come as individual booklets. Each one is about 40-50 pages long and well-organized. Breaking down the textbooks like this has helped me separate all the different sections. I can narrow down my learning process and focus, without getting overwhelmed. If students had to flip through one giant book, this wouldn’t be the case. QC’s learning materials are incredibly informative, easy to follow, and provide great insight into all parts of planning!
Give us an example of tutor feedback you’ve received that has helped you grow stronger as a planner!
I had the pleasure of receiving individual feedback from 3 different tutors: Mwai Yeboah, Shannon Fowler, and Anita DiPaolo. What’s unique about QC’s tutors is that they’re all legitimate industry professionals. As such, when they have their own events to prepare for, the tutors work together to help grade and critique each other’s students.
Some of the best advice I’ve received is that it’s all about the details. Presenting your tutors/clients with as many details as possible will help in visualizing the event. Another lesson I’ve learned is to visualize that I am the client. I now ask myself, What would I want from MY planner or if it was MY event? This perspective has been so beneficial.
Which real-life case scenario assignment has been your favorite and why?
This one is SO hard because I’ve adored all of these assignments! However, one that really stood out was the assignment wherein I had to plan a 50th birthday party with a 20th century decade (20s, 50s, 70s, 90s, etc.) vintage theme. I chose the Roaring 20s and decided to have a secret speakeasy to resemble the prohibition era. I also included gambling tables, flappers, gangsters, and so many unique decorations and food.
This assignment was a blast to do! I got to use my imagination and put together a party that I personally would’ve been happy to attend. It was so fun! I hope in my future career that I can make this party come to life for someone!
You’re also enrolled in QC Event School’s Virtual Events, Event Décor, and Corporate Event Planning courses. How do you anticipate these additional qualifications adding to your success as a professional planner?
I’m super excited to take the Event Decor Course! Having the ability to not only plan the event, but put the final visual pieces together, will really benefit me. Plus, I love design!
In terms of the Virtual Events Training Course, here’s the way I see it… Times right now are unpredictable. Online parties are the new craze! To be able to offer rad virtual parties now (as well as in the future) will only add to my diverse planning options.
Lastly, I’m also interested in corporate planning because there are so many options for cool events. When you put on an awesome event, people tend remember that and use word of mouth to discuss it. Besides my love for putting on a multitude of events, specializing in corporate events could also really help with networking!
Which type of event are you most excited to plan in your career?
I surprised myself with this one because I didn’t expect to fall in love with wedding planning the way that I have! I knew that it was an interest of mine. But I figured that I would be doing a lot of corporate planning, since business is all I’ve ever really known.
Wedding planning has shown me a completely different side of dedication and fulfillment! It’s such a special day for everyone involved and I love being a part of that. I’m so eager to start making my clients’ happiest days come to life. Yay for love!!!
You’re located in Wellington, Colorado – a city with just under 10,000 people. However, you’re only an hour away from Denver, which has well over 2.8 million residents. How do you feel your location will work to your advantage and how do you plan to stand out from the competition?
I am a born-and-raised Colorado girl. I’ve been here my whole life. So, I guess you could say that I know my way around the areas! I’ve met and worked with a huge variety of awesome, supportive people throughout the years. I’m counting on that network to help me build in my journey.
Wellington is on the outskirts of “Northern Colorado”, which is where I plan to specialize most of my events. Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, and Windsor are just four of the other cities within that region. The nice thing is, they’re all growing like crazy. I’ve added the population (as of 2020) from all of those cities up to 574 million people alone! With that being said, I think I have a beautiful opportunity to take on Northern Colorado, too.
As you mentioned, you chose to enroll with QC Event School during COVID-19 pandemic. Why do you feel that QC’s online learning environment is making it possible for you to pursue your dream career – even during a time of lockdowns and social distancing?
QC Event School has such a unique, online learning program. Being able to learn at your own pace has really helped me through the uncertain times. Plus, whenever you ever have questions or need assistance, QC’s incredible Student Support Team is available by phone, email, or live chat!
Additionally, QC Event School offers hands-on assignments that are based in your region. I was pushed to plan an event from beginning to end, whether ever needing to leave the safety of my home. I learned about networking, building timelines, and prioritizing budgets. These assignments have allowed me to feel like I’ve already experienced firsthand what it will be like once I get to explore real-world events!
A magical genie gives you 3 wishes, but they can only be used towards your professional planning career. What do you wish for?
First, I would wish for a HUGE magic warehouse filled with unlimited event decor. No matter the event, occasion, or theme, it would have exactly what I was looking for!
Secondly, I would wish to have my own giant, magical garden. Maybe there’d even be little, magical fairy gardeners to help with the upkeep. That way, I could create infinite floral decorations, right from my beautiful yard!
Lastly, my third and final wish would be to have my very own breathtaking venue, right in the heart of the Rockies!! It would have the best mountain views, both indoor and outdoor options, and acres of opportunity unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!!
Now that’s the DREAM! 💕