This past year, I planned the largest student event held at my college campus with the help of 11 other Fresno State students. We had a great turnout for the 41st anniversary of Vintage Days and hosted over 75,000 people during the 3-day weekend (25,000 more than previous years!) It wouldn’t have been possible without our awesome student committee and community that supported our festival.
I was a coordinator in charge of obtaining sponsors that ranged from small businesses to large corporations. Over the course of a year, my co-coordinator Nidia Verdugo and I were successful in securing more than 10 sponsors and donations. It wasn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
Planning the entirety of Vintage Days taught me a few things over the course of the year that will stick with me for a lifetime. One of my mentors once gave me a lime green sliver of paper that had a Calvin Coolidge quote written on it. The quote stated, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than an unsuccessful man with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
I focused this quote around my mentality for Vintage Days to remain resilient to the “no’s” I received. It became blatantly true that for every 10 no’s, I received one yes. This meant lots of phone calls, follow-up emails, and visiting businesses in person while juggling school and work. I would do it all over again, with some minor improvements, that would have made our efforts even more successful.
Vintage Days taught me something else: it’s all about putting yourself out there without the fear of rejection. Many times, my co-coordinator and I approached businesses with our best sales pitch and were told it wouldn’t work out. It stung a little bit, but it made us even hungrier to land that future sponsor. We would not let our failures define our successes.
My committee members were great resources for helping each other out when our stress levels were sky high. We built confidence in each other by pushing ourselves past our comfort zone when we participated at campus events. For example, during Vintage Days, I participated in “Egg Russian Roulette” where I ended up with raw eggs splattered on my head. I smelled like an omelette for the rest of the day, but it was totally worth it!
Vintage Days will go down as one of my proud accomplishments during my college career. I could not have asked for a better committee to work with, generous sponsors, and even better friends that I made in the process.
What accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
Thanks for reading!