Career English Success Story: Katrin from Austria learns all about event planning!

What do Austria, mustaches, and marketing have in common? Everything (if you’re CISL Career English student Katrin!).

Katrin recently completed her Career English course with CISL. After taking classes at Converse to improve her English, Katrin worked with Gaslamp Event Management (GEM) in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. Katrin shared her positive experience with the CISL Blog.

For Katrin, the company was a perfect fit and the next logical step after university. She says, “I graduated this year in a commercial school in Austria and my main focus was management and business. So the company GEM was perfect for me because I was able to make a lot of experience and see how it works in the reality.”

With GEM, Katrin was able to work major events in SD. “The first event where I got an insight in the everyday life of an event manager was the San Diego Zombie Crawl on October 31 in Gaslamp. The second big event was the East Village MOvember Bash on November 21 which was planned by Club VIP.”

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Work was fun, crazy, entertaining, and a great opportunity to see the inner workings of an event management company! “When I started the people worked on the preparations for the famous event ‘San Diego Zombie Crawl’ and ‘Monster Bash’. So for me it was the best chance to discover how the circle of an event is running.”

Katrin’s tasks were varied, giving her a lot of insight into the company and allowing her to develop skills in many areas of event planning. Katrin says, “There are so many things you have to think about! In this case I had the following tasks:

  • to inform myself about the background of the event and how it works
  • take care of the people who come into the office to pick up the tickets
  • to prepare a guest list/ list with vouchers
  • try to find out how the app for checking the people in works
  • establish collages of all the venues
  • promote the event on the pages of the venues
  • advertisement on different pages
  • update the ticketing website
  • watch the number of sold tickets
  • control the vouchers
  • take care of the VIP guest, making the packages for them
  • control the received payments”


As you can see, many of Katrin’s responsibilities involved speaking English a lot! She remembers, “October 31 I was responsible for the Check-In at Club AD. I had to scan the different kinds of tickets and to explain the guests details about event.” What a perfect way to meet native English speakers and interact with them!


In addition to improving her language skills, Katrin’s experience helped her to realize that this is the industry for her. “I had a lot of fun and the experience confirmed my purpose to work in this sector, definitely. I like to work in a team and to have contact with people.” We are happy to hear that this opportunity solidified her desire to work in marketing and event management!


Katrin’s next big event was for the MOvember Bash in the trendy Downtown neighborhood of East Village. Katrin explains, “The MOvember Bash is an event to change the face of men’s health. It is to benefit prostate cancer research and to erect a landmark sign in East Village. In this case I worked on the event from the beginning on, and so my main task were:

  • to search for pictures for the website
  • to look for the best pictures of the venues which participate
  • to think about the layout of the flyer (color, design, picture)
  • to collect ideas from different pages and events from last years – brainstorming
  • fix all the dates and times with the venues (the opening and closing times)
  • to learn how the program works for providing a website
  • to create the website and link all the venues and sponsores
  • to update and correct all the mistakes on the website
  • to look throw all the other pages which promote us and search for mistakes (times, dates, venues)
  • to fish for different possibilities for selling tickets
  • information sheet how the ticket sauce app works
  • to scrabble for newspaper, magazines and radio stations which can promote us
  • to go to East Village and distribute the flyers, cards and all the MOvember staff
  • at the day of the event I check in the people
  • to post the best of pictures on Instagram and Facebook”

Wow! Katrin says it “was such a great event and it is also for a good cause.” We totally agree!


When the last event was over, Katrin spent the last three weeks of her job doing work in the office. Her tasks included aiding with the owner’s modelling company, Downtown Dolls, creating collages for venues, creating new folders of the models, updating Excel sheets for past and future, shopping online for the office, updating social media, and writing the marketing reports for all events of the previous year. Sounds like very little time was spent doing the typical “intern” activity: getting coffee for the boss! 🙂

Katrin agrees that the experience was incredibly beneficial to her career and English skills. She says, “I learned how to start planning an event and which tasks are the most important. Not only [were] the work and the experience I earned fantastic, also the working climate was wonderful because we were a lot of young people from all over the world with different backgrounds, languages and religions. So summing up I can say it was a great working experience, a wonderful time and an amazing chance to improve my English!”

We are so happy and proud of you, Katrin! Best of luck in Austria!

To learn more about CISL’s Career English Course, click here.