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  • Andrea Valverde

An Inside Look At SYS From The Mastermind Herself, Andrea

From hand-picking decorations to the selection of performers, the preparation for the Style Your Success Charity Fashion Show was a lengthy and time-consuming journey, one that was not easy. It was a challenge I wanted to succeed in ever since I joined Women in Business. Everyone that knows me is well aware of the fact that I like to have fun and indulge in fashion. What better way to express my personality than through the SYS Fashion Show? Not only was I able to personally affiliate myself with WIB through spearheading the event, but it was also for a meaningful cause since all proceeds were given to the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. I’m here to tell you why SYS is so important to me and give the next Executive Secretary an inside look on how to handle everything adequately.

LEADERSHIP: The SYS Fashion Show is WIB’s largest annual social event. Over the years, it has gained a reputation for being enjoyable and giving back to the community. Expectations were set high and that made my job a lot tougher. However, with the help of an amazing committee of 13 women and diligent board members, we were able to put a great event together! Delegating tasks to my committee was an unfamiliar responsibility, one that I had to get accustomed to in order to effectively achieve our goals. I had to overcome my anxieties about giving others responsibilities in order to get some burden off my shoulders. Sharing the workload with the rest of the team will bring triumph and efficiency. I’m grateful that I was able to realize this early on in the semester and that my committee graciously tackled all their assignments. While I developed as a leader, members within my committee were naturally becoming leaders themselves and that is what I’m most proud of.

GOOD CAUSE: Unfortunately, cancer is a tragedy I’ve had to face when my grandfather passed away because of it. The malady upon him was sudden and unexpected. We watched him physically change day by day and it truly affected my family and I deeply. Witnessing the atrocity impacted my views of cancer, and I felt personally inclined to help those who are suffering from cancer and raise awareness. I’m lucky to be a part of an organization that has enabled me to do this. We successfully raised $2000 for Relay For Life and I’m proud of that outcome thanks to everyone’s efforts.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Pure and utter chaos is what the audience didn’t see! My sole focus on the event’s smooth flow and excellence caused me to forget the survival rule of threes… Yes, I did not eat the entire day, nor drink water, nor breathe (and by breathe I mean take pauses to simply enjoy the show). That pause would have essentially made me realize how hungry and thirsty I was but, hey, I’m still alive. I advise the next Executive Secretary to set an alarm to remind herself to eat, drink, and breathe (forgot to take this advice myself). Although there was some madness going on behind the scenes, once the models got on stage they completely killed it! Meanwhile, I was trying to ensure that everything was going accordingly, you might have even seen me running around the room either attempting to fix the spotlight, getting the clothing sponsors backstage before they spoke, or even trying to snapchat the event. Overall, the event was stupendous and many people from the audience said it was extremely entertaining and I couldn’t be more content with the result.

MORE TIPS FOR THE NEXT E.S: PLAN AHEAD! I cannot stress this enough, it’s very crucial if you want to avoid any bumps along the way. However, things will come up suddenly and unexpected. No matter how prepared you feel that you are, you have to be capable of adapting to unforeseen difficulties (life tip as well). Develop relationships with all contributors - DJ, clothing/corporate sponsors, host, performers, and even club co-sponsors. After all, they are key components to the success of the show. Market the event like crazy, this is not a one person job so you will have to get your whole committee, board members, and other committees to help you out with this one. I am thankful to have a dedicated team that devoted their time to spreading the word because it resulted in such a great turn out. Last but not least, manage your time wisely. This can go hand in hand with ‘planning ahead’ but it’s a bit different. What I mean is that although SYS should be one of your priorities, don’t forget about your classes and most importantly yourself! Treat yourself and get pampered before the show or go on a shopping spree after the show (if you’re not already broke from buying stuff for SYS… maybe just wait until you get reimbursed). Bottom line, you want to make sure you keep your stress level under control and actually learn from the experience!

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