News & Stories
Breelan Baxter
February 2, 2022

Exploring Majors and Work Opportunities at Berry Leads to Dream Career

Graduating with a degree in marketing and management, Breelan Baxter ’21 landed a job as a conference coordinator based in the Atlanta office of Emerald, a national company that helps clients grow business opportunities through annual events, lead-gen services and targeted media.

But when Breelan started her first semester at Berry, she had no clue that she’d pursue a career in event planning. In fact, she was not even sure about a major. She considered chemistry and then education before deciding it was okay to sign on “undeclared.”

“Having the opportunity and flexibility to take different classes and dive into things that even slightly interest you is so important, especially during your first taste of freedom outside of high school,” she explains. “Had I not taken a random class in the business school, I would have no idea that I could thrive in that environment.”

By the end of her sophomore year, Breelan committed to a double major, which allowed her to explore different areas of marketing while developing critical management and leadership skills. Taking advantage of LifeWorks, Berry’s student work program, she held positions in areas as diverse as admissions, residence life and student activities — and found a common denominator that sparked her interest in event planning.

Breelan followed in the footsteps of her older brother, Brady Baxter ’18, joining the committee that planned Marthapalooza, the on-campus carnival that occurs on Mountain Day, a celebration marking the birthday of college founder Martha Berry every October. The event draws thousands of alumni and their families who join in festivities with current students. 

Starting out as a volunteer, Breelan learned the ins and outs of large-scale event planning and eventually earned the position of event chair, overseeing and managing every detail of Marthapalooza. This experience confirmed Breelan’s desire to pursue event planning and equipped her with both logistical and creative skills.

Thanks to this comprehensive experience, Breelan had choices after graduation. Though accepted into an MBA program, she opted to job search and received four offers over several months.

“My experience with Marthapalooza landed me my current job,” says Breelan. “So, yes, it’s the people you know but also the experiences you pursue at Berry that will lead to opportunities later.” While expanding her skillset at Emerald, she anticipates launching a wedding planning and design business of her own . . . which proves not rushing into a major (or career decision) works just fine when you’re first settling into college.

Photo credit: Katie Sweeney

Story by senior Mary Banks Shelander

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