Diary of a Young Leader: Rachel Horgan talks SITE SoCal

Welcome to “Diary of  a Young Leader,” a new series featuring some of our destination management company’s emerging young professionals. The Event Team values the unique insight and perspective of our millennial employees. We learn so much from their innovative ideas, ambition, and willingness to adapt to ever-changing business models. Our first blog of this collection showcases Sales Manager Rachel Horgan, who recently became Leadership Chair for SITE SoCal’s Young Leaders program


SITE Launches Mentorship Program – by Rachel Horgan

This July, SITE SoCal launched its first ever members-only Mentorship Program, and it was received with open arms. “Our goal for our inaugural launch was a minimum of 10 participants.  We were thrilled when the interest was so high in this new program, that we matched 20 members for a total of 10 pairs,” said Kathryn Wells, VP of Leadership for SITE. Kathryn worked side by side with myself, Nikki Wilbur (Leadership Committee), and Jamie Lee Clave (Chair for SITE Young Leaders) to match each person based on a questionnaire that included topics like current roles and future aspirations. Members were so enthused, we even have a remote pair working out of Chicago!

Positive feedback is already flowing in. “Our email exchange initially was great fun and we learned so much about one another over email.  However, when we met face to face it was even more special! We learned all about one another from our upbringing to our paths in the industry,” said Jamie Lee Clave about her first mentor meeting.

It’s easy for us young leaders to think we have it all figured out, but it just takes one friend working at an African orphanage, or another to work in an office with free snacks to make us question everything. I personally signed up for a mentor because therapists are not cheap! Mentors were motivated to apply because who doesn’t like feeling wise?! (but really they needed someone to explain snapchat and “bae”). Whatever the reason, these people have made the right choice for their career. Sun Microsystems did a study over 5 years and found that, “both mentors and mentees were approximately 20% more likely to get a raise than people who did not participate in the mentoring program”. (Forbes)

In all seriousness, I truly value leadership and believe we can learn an immense amount from each other. SITE encourages personal and professional growth and this mentorship program is a prime example of that. I was proud to be a part of the process and hope to see this tradition continue for years to come. Us cupids will check in on our matches to make sure they have scheduled the first meet up and after 6 months we will throw a party! Staying in any relationship half a year is worth celebrating to me.

With a tagline like “elevate the experience,” SITE knows how to put on a great networking program. I leave every event making a new genuine friend (and that’s not the open bar talking). On top of that, the keynote speakers are able to reach into that overachiever heart of yours and inspire it to keep going. If you are under the age of 35 or have less than 5 years of experience, please ask me about Young Leaders. Our chapter has been catching attention nationally and we’re only just getting started.

The Event Team - SITE SoCal

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Kudos to Rachel and SITE SoCal for going the extra mile to “elevate the experience” of our industry colleagues with this awesome mentorship program. If you’re interested in learning more, reach out to Rachel and she will give you the skinny! Stay tuned for more diary entries from The Event Team’s young leaders!