The University of Maine at Machias Alumni Spotlight shines this week on Anna Adams of Rockland, a 2011 graduate of the Recreation Management Program. Anna is originally from Mariaville, Maine, and is currently the Community Outreach and Events Coordinator for Pope Memorial Humane Society
Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:
My current work involves planning, coordinating, and marketing all of the events for the humane society. This ranges from small tabling events in the community, to large scale fundraisers. At times I also head up committees that help to facilitate our larger scale events. I deal with everything from booking locations, ensuring proper insurance coverage, designing ads, booking vendors, and meeting with bands, to coordinating bake sales. I also handle most of our social media presence, lots of PR & marketing, and act as the general “face” of the shelter. This can involve accepting large scale donations/checks, meeting with business owners, tv interviews, recording radio drops, and being a shelter representative at community events. I also produce and co-host our tv show “Reigning Cat & Dogs” on our local access channel.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM?
My experience in the Recreation Management program really taught me how valuable a diverse skill set is. To be an effective manager or coordinator, you need to be able to talk and write to clearly to a variety of people. You need to be comfortable with public speaking, and know how to backup your points. You need to be able to understand budgets, labor laws, and how businesses are managed. It is important to know how to relate to people and what type of activities/programs excite folks. My experience at UMM prepared me to help relate to inspire others, which is what my career journey has been based on.
Do you have any advice for current students at UMM?
Pay attention to the classes that don’t excite you. I can’t tell you how many times I thought during my college experience “When am I ever going to need to know this?!” and how many times I have realized “Yup, I am really glad I know this.” I was so sure of how my career was going to look moving forward from college, but I truly had no idea. Things happen, careers change, how we all do our work is changing constantly. If you have to take a class anyway, you may as well try to get the most from it that you can. You never know what may come in handy down the road.
How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
I think one of the most important things I took away from the Recreation program was the ability to coordinate events/programs. There were so many opportunities to join in and be a part of the process there, which gave me the experience to know what I was getting into with my current position. It is important to have those types of organizational experiences, and really understand all the moving parts it takes to make an event or program work.
How has UMM made a positive impact on your life?
I truly enjoyed my time at UMM. I felt supported by the staff there even in the years following graduation. Whenever I was without a job I could contact UMM and see if anyone was looking. Later on when I had jobs to help fill I was able to get in touch and try to recruit some UMM students for the position. It was a comfortable, friendly, community, which also challenged me to learn and grow. It helped me gain the skill set to obtain a fun and fulfilling job. I would be in a very different place today if I hadn’t gone there.