To these students…It’s all in the details!

A Sneak Preview Event on May 10 for the new Fondy Food Pantry was planned by Moraine Park Technical College students.

A Sneak Preview Event on May 10 for the new Fondy Food Pantry was planned by Moraine Park Technical College students.

Have you ever had a great time planning a party and thought how fun a career in event planning could be? Coupled with the fact that the special events industry is growing at an alarming rate, it seems like a viable career option.

The US Department of Labor notes, “Employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities should be best for candidates with hospitality experience” and comments on the benefit of formal education in meeting and event management, hospitality, or tourism management (US BLS, 2018).

You may find yourself wondering how to get started. Look no further, Moraine Park Technical College’s Administrative Professional associate degree provides formal education and training in event planning!

Moraine Park’s Business Meeting and Event Planning class focuses on coordinating business meetings and planning successful business events. Students develop skills in meeting logistics including scheduling, preparing, organizing, managing and participating in business meetings. Students engage in all aspects of the event management process including goal setting and objectives, establishing event themes, planning event logistics, financial management, promotion and event evaluation.

Students at food pantry

Moraine Park Instructor Amy Harmsen works with students as they prepare for the event.

During the Business Meeting and Event Planning course, students are able to enhance their resume and put their skills to use through completion of a service learning project. Service learning is a type of experiential opportunity that combines community service with classroom instruction. While this kind of experiential learning includes volunteer activity (the service), its focus is on application of classroom learning (the learning) to the activity. Students help their community as part of a course.

students serve cheese

Business Meeting and Event Planning student Nancy Schaefer engages with event attendees.

Amy Harmsen, Office Technology and Computer Applications Instructor within Moraine Park’s Business programs      instructed the course and led the students through their learning experience. “This year students from the Fond du Lac campus chose to focus their efforts on helping a local organization — the Fondy Food Pantry. The Fondy Food Pantry is in the process of moving to a new 10,000 square foot location. Students were given the opportunity to plan A Sneak Preview event. The purpose of the event was to showcase the new Pantry and to publicly acknowledge the involvement of SVDP and the City”.

Moraine Park students

Fondy Food Pantry President Sandy Breth recognizes MPTC Business Meeting and Event Planning Students. Pictured from left to right: Alana Clark, Barb Glish, Nancy Schaefer, Jessica Steele, and Mackenzie Gens.

Students had firsthand experience with the event planning process through a variety of activities. Harmsen provides details of the great efforts students underwent to make the event possible. “With the assistance of key volunteers from the Pantry, students were able to design an invitation that was mailed to over 500 people, they designed a brochure specific to the Pantry needs, created takeaways for those touring the building, contacted local businesses for donations of flowers, food, and drink, as well many other behind-the-scenes details leading up to the event. The class didn’t have a budget going into the event, so they held a bake sale to raise money to help offset the cost. The money they had left over was donated back to the Pantry; in addition, the students had a Food Drive on the Fond du Lac campus to help the Pantry grow”.

Food Pantry sign

Signage planned for the event provides a glimpse of how the community can help.

Food Pantry sign

The new Fond Food Pantry, 573 W Rolling Meadows Drive is located at the St. Vincent de Paul location and scheduled to open to the public this summer.

If you are interested in learning more about the Administrative Professional associate degree, please contact an academic advisor to get started today!

For more information on Moraine Park, visit

Written by Bobbi Fields