Alumni Spotlight

Photo: Lyisha Johnson

Interview with Lyisha Johnson, Event Manager

How did you hear about the College of Extended Learning?
Through the Northern California Chapter of MPI (Meeting Professionals International). They were discussing education programs and formats and the SF State Extended Learning's Event & Meeting Planning certificate was mentioned. I attended the open house and signed up.

What courses did you take at SF State Extended Learning? Why?
I did the event and meeting planning sequence and received a certificate. I needed the coursework to get my CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) credential.

What were some of the highlights of the course or courses?
I really liked that the classes were offered on the weekend, so I didn't have to take time out of the work week to get the certificate. I also liked that it was a good way to brush up on trends. I especially liked the diversity of the students. You had people brand new to the field, career changers, as well as industry professionals.

What teaching moments in the classroom were especially helpful?
The group activities. It gave us an opportunity to interact and hear from other people's experiences.

My favorite classes were Food & Beverage and Venue Selection. For the Venue class they gave us some good tips to use when looking for a location. For Food & Beverage they showed us some great tricks for handling large groups. Helpful cost saving methods were also discussed.

What are your career goals?
Currently I am the event manager for Sony & Interactive Entertainment for the PlayStation brand and handle all the logistics for their events. As a next step I would like to become the Events Director and be more involved with strategic planning. My larger goal would be to become an Event & Marketing Director so I can increase my role in marketing and develop campaign strategies.

How did SF State Extended Learning help you reach your goals?
I liked being in a setting with liked minded individuals. I got of a lot of insight from all the participants. You can find meeting and event planning professionals in all areas of business. And the students came from all walks of life.

Could you say a few words about your current job?
As a manager I handle site source, food and beverage, registration, and housing. I do on site staff management and I have a team of two who report to me. I handle both domestic and international events. I travel to all events and am traveling 60% of the time.

What else can you share about SF State Extended Learning?
The Event & Meeting Planning certificate is a great program and have recommended it to my colleagues. One of them is now a teacher for the program. Whether you want to learn the field or brush up and get a good refresher, this program is great.