Meredith Hoops is majoring in sport and event management (SPEM) and hospitality management with a minor in coaching and marketing. This summer, she spent time in Colorado Springs, Colorado for an internship that focused on event management with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. We asked her to tell us more about what she’s learning and what her career goals are.
What I’m learning: I laugh every time everyone asks me what my job entails. Essentially, anything and everything you could imagine. Inventory, contact with rentals, ticket reports, refunds, merchandise, spectator questions, competitors mailings, bulletins through e-mail, set-up, opening ceremonies, run of show, etc. The list never ends. I am learning anything and everything that goes into an event that has been around for almost 100 years and how to plan for the unexpected.
What I’d like to do after graduation: I intend on coming back to Colorado post graduation in hopes of landing an event management job. Colorado is filled with countless sports organizations so it’s the perfect spot for someone looking for what I am.
About the 2015 PPIHC: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb just completed their 99th anniversary on June 28, 2015, which makes them the second longest motor race in the world. While thousands of people attend the race, approximately 25,000 attend our Fan Fest downtown Friday night. This year the Sheik of Qatar attended and drove up behind the pace car, while we also had international competitors and Indy competitors. The
course runs 12.42 miles with 156 turns and rising over 5,000 feet in elevation up Peaks Pikes aka America’s Mountain. With a few fatalities in the past and countless wrecks, the race is incredibly dangerous, but is still on the bucket list of most drivers. In our second day of qualifying on the mountain this year we had a competitor fatality where a bike competitor, Carl Sorensen, went off a cliff. This was an especially difficult day in the office for everyone. The drivers know the dangers of this race, but yet their heart and desire push them to compete in it. In Carl’s case, he was lucky enough to pass doing something he loved. We will all remember him and his passion for racing.
The past two months have been a roller coaster of dealing with the unexpected. We’ve had intense turnover in interns/employees. Our office was struck by lightning a week and a half before the race and a tree fell through our conference room. On race day we had rain, hail, and snow at the summit forcing us to move the finish line down the mountain halfway through our run order. Regardless of the rough patches, I’d never imagine working with a better team. This was the experience of a lifetime and I’d recommend an internship here to any undergrad looking to get into the event management world.