Emma LaCava ’24, a junior from Chelmsford, Mass., is a management major in Isenberg who is pursuing a dual degree in event management, through BDIC. She spoke with Chloe Truong, a social media intern at Isenberg.
How did you choose your majors?
I was accepted into Isenberg undecided, but quickly declared as a business management major because I knew I enjoyed being in an administrative position of an organization and being at the head of project teams. I added the event management major in the fall of my sophomore year because I wanted to add focus to what I consider the broad degree of management. I came to UMass knowing I wanted to work in the events industry, so building an events management major seemed like a natural fit for me.
Tell us a little about your future goals.
I plan to graduate next spring with a dual degree in business management and events management. Then, I want to immediately enter the workforce working for either an event planning company or as an onsite event coordinator for a venue, like a hotel or performing arts venue. After gaining hands-on experience in the industry, I plan to open up my own wedding planning company focused on personalized events supported by local vendors. I want to purchase a large facility with enough room not only for offices, but for studio spaces and kitchens for local photographers, caterers, bakers, and even dress shop keepers from the local area. This will allow my clients to have one stop shopping for all their weddings needs and support local vendors at the same time.
How does the curriculum for your Isenberg major support your wider interests and plans?
Most of the core Isenberg classes for the Bachelors in Business Administration are engineered to prepare students for the corporate world, which isn’t necessarily exactly what I want to do. However, within my management major I’m pursuing a concentration in entrepreneurship and innovation, and I have enjoyed those classes immensely. The classes within those requirements have been much more project-oriented and allow room for collaboration with other students, which has led to me feeling more connected with my fellow classmates. Those are the classes that I feel have served my career interests the best.
What has been your favorite Isenberg class so far?
Customer Experience with Professor Melissa Baker. I technically took this class as part of my event management major, but I'm shocked that this isn’t a required class for all business students. Customer relations is at the core of everything we’re going to do in business, especially in a field like events. In addition, the class was engaging and informative, which is a tricky line to walk.
Do you want to pursue any other interest and what is your plan for it?
I’m currently running a hand-painted goods business called LaCava Creations (@lacava_creations on Instagram) and would love to pursue that for as long as it’s feasible. I love hand-making unique products and sharing the story behind them with my clients. Right now I sell online at Etsy.com and on Instagram and in person at several fairs and farmers markets, including the UMass Permaculture Farmers Market! I’m not actively looking to expand the business, but I can’t wait to see how it organically grows.
Have you had any challenges in finding a suitable curriculum?
I’m very happy with the combination of majors and concentration that I’ve landed on, but the reason I pursued the BDIC track as my second major is because I wasn’t aware that you can double major in two Isenberg centered majors if one of them is a BBA and one is a BS. If I had known that, I might have simply added HTM as my second major. But I am happy with the variety of classes having a BDIC degree has allowed me to take, so it all worked out in the end.