Happiness Connoisseur

Event planning is a notoriously high-pressure industry. From weddings and proms to fundraisers and seminars, getting all of the details right is a delicate balance. For Jill Perry ’21, MBA ’22, nothing is more exciting than being the mastermind behind a well-executed event.

“I’m passionate about making other people happy,” says Jill, who is double majoring in healthcare and business management. “Nothing makes me more inspired or motivated than seeing people’s faces light up when they enjoy an event I put on.”

Taking a class on career development was one of the most beneficial courses Jill took at Elms. “It helped me make my resume, create a LinkedIn profile, and learn how to network with business professionals.”

Jill’s passion for event planning blossomed at Elms. As the president of the Student Activities Board, she gained firsthand experience working with others to host events for the student body. She also built her leadership skills as a captain of the dance team. Getting involved in student organizations was invaluable, she said, since they gave her a different perspective on managing teams.

Fast-Track to an MBA

The biggest advantage of the accelerated BA/MBA program at Elms is that undergraduate students can earn two degrees in five years. Jill began taking graduate classes during her senior year to gain a deeper understanding of how to start a business. Focusing on entrepreneurship was helpful, she said, because it sets the stage for her career in event planning.

“I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to continue my education at Elms,” she said. “ I knew I would be more successful with my future career if I got my master’s here as well.”

 “Being a small school, it’s easier to make connections with professors, and they offer great opportunities to network with outside professionals.”

Networking with local business leaders gave Jill the opportunity to complete an internship with Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, an organization that teaches youth how to navigate, and succeed within, a globalized economy.

“I helped JA execute their first socially distant golf tournament,” said Jill, who helped define the marketing strategy for the event. “It was a big hit, and very successful.”

Jill’s advice to high school students interested in business is to take advantage of networking opportunities like the ones found at Elms. For her, the business program gave her the tools she needed to feel confident about starting her own venture. 

“I think Elms has definitely prepared me to start my own business,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”