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Monique Rodriguez '14

 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a proud alumna of CSULB, Class of 2014, and Recreation Major. During my collegiate years I was and still am a part of Gamma Kappa Chapter Alpha Phi and the President Ambassador Program, now a part of both Alumni Associations. Being a part of organizations outside of your day to day, has always been a must in my book. It adds an extra advantage point to your own personal growth and success. Taking my educational networking journeys into my professional career, aside from CSULB Alumni Association, I am additionally involved in WISE (Women in Sports and Events) serving on the Event Programming Committee, Board of Directors for Circle of Change Leadership Conference, and Director of Membership for MPI (Meeting Professionals International) SoCal Chapter. I currently reside in Glendora, CA with my handsome pet rescue chocolate lab, King. 

What are you doing professionally?

For the past two years, upon receiving a promotion, I am the Director of Sales for the Rose Bowl Stadium, Events Department. My Department currently oversees booking a little over 200 events per year, under the capacity of 20,000 guests in attendance; varying from filmings, photo shoots, film crew parkings, corporate events, nonprofit fundraisers, galas on the field, locker rooms, parking lots, press boxes, suites, media centers, and additional pavilion areas.

What steps did you take to pursue your current position?

In 2009 when I was looking to try and wrap up my degree, my Internship Coordinator for the Recreation Department, Joanie Conley, connected me to a CSULB Alumni who was an Event Manager at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Shortly thereafter, I interviewed and landed the internship. I started in Event Operations moving from Events Intern to Coordinator to Manager. I left twice to pursue a career in sales with American Golf and Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC. In 2012, I received a call to come back as an Event Sales Consultant, starting up our Event Sales Team and the rest is history.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is being a part of something greater than myself. I am helping preserve a brand, a national treasure, that has been around for almost 100 years, come 2022. The Rose Bowl Stadium is home to some of the greatest moments in sports and entertainment - 5 Super Bowls, 2 Olympic Games with a 3rd on the way, two World Cup Finals and so much more. I am able to be a part of this history, and leave my mark, making it better for future generations to enjoy.

Did you envision doing this kind of work while enrolled?

I never envisioned doing this kind of work when I enrolled. I never thought this job was even attainable or where to start. All I knew was that I loved events; the planning, the production, the execution, the client’s happiness, and all of the beautiful memories in between. In college, my goal was to land a paid internship in corporate hospitality, because that was my comfort zone. I did not know too much about sports at the time but instantly fell in love once I began the internship. I found myself subscribing to Sports Illustrated Magazine, reading online articles and going home to catch up on the latest sports gossip on ESPN, so I could keep up with office chatter.

What was the biggest transition after receiving your diploma and graduating? 

My biggest transition, after receiving my diploma, would be learning humility. Money is not everything, happiness and wellbeing is. And in embracing humility, learning to become a lifelong learner. You must keep up with the times: read, attend seminars, conferences, establish mentors, network, educate yourself on new technology. Never get comfortable, just because you have a degree, challenge yourself every day with something new to remain relevant.

What was the most usefull skill or experience that you gathered from college?

The most useful skill or experience I gathered from college was communication. Communicating with your professors before, during and after class, build relationships, ask questions, follow up, do the work, don’t skip corners. If it wasn’t for the relationships I built with my Dean, my sorority Academic Counselor, President Ambassador Mentors, and Internship Coordinator I am not sure I would have graduated, let alone landed that amazing internship which changed my life. It took a village to get me through college. Communicating with them was key.

Why did you join the Alumni Association? 

I joined the Alumni Association to remain connected, but most importantly to give back to an institution that gave so much back to me. In part of being connected it opens a whole new database of friendships and potential business opportunities. We are all here to help each other, we came from the same textbook struggles and can understand and appreciate each other’s journey.

Any advice for the class of 2018?

Advice for the class of 2018, stay hungry. Never lose your competitive edge to succeed. Once one chapter ends a whole new one begins. Keep going. Never forget to take time out for yourself to recharge. Happiness and health remain above everything. You are being given all of the tools to succeed at CSULB, now use them.