Katie Smith, director of special events, started her career in the food and restaurant industry, spending her first summer out of college working as a translator and chef’s assistant at a cooking school—à Paris. From there, Smith moved from restaurants, to hotels, to universities.
On campus, Smith is the mastermind behind the logistics of events like the university’s annual gala, the Clayton Family Circle of Honor Induction Dinner, and commencement, to name a few. She also oversees conferences and events for external groups that come to campus, including summer camps, social events, and weddings. Outside of the office, Smith enjoys adventures with her daughter and hopes to take her to Paris next summer.
Can you talk a little more about your time in France?
I had spent a summer in France in high school and then a year in France in college, but the culinary terms are way different than the normal everyday vocabulary that you have. I walked around with this little mini dictionary of culinary terms. It was definitely learn on the spot.
What are some of your current projects?
Right now, the biggest event is the Clayton Family Circle of Honor Induction Dinner at Lucas Oil Stadium. Any time we go to a new off-campus venue, it’s like a new challenge. There’s also the inaugural commencement for the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is exciting. I like new challenges. I like that it’s not same old same old everyday. I have a good balance of being at my desk and on location at venues. It’s not always a desk job.
What is your favorite part of working at Marian University?
Honestly, I would say the people. I like everyone I work with and the people I’ve gotten to know in general. From an events perspective, I’ve worked in a more corporate setting, I’ve done the whole wedding thing, and this is kind of a happy medium. I work with the presidential ambassadors, so I’m starting to know different students, and that’s been fun for me.