Earning the CEM designation is a game changer! IAEE interviewed recent CEM graduate, Jeffrey LeGrand-Douglass, CEM, Account Manager of Advertising and Exhibit Sales at the National Science Teachers Association. Read his journey on earning the CEM designation and how the designation has helped his confidence in suggesting ideas to improve his organization’s events.
Hometown: Columbia, SC
University of Education: University of South Carolina
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
Being able to interact with others who may do what I do but in other fields, has given me valuable insight and information that I can then apply to my field and the shows that I work on.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
It is important to maintain the CEM designation because it shows current and possible future employers that you are serious about what you do and that you have taken the extra steps to be the best at your job.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
It wasn’t until I started planning my own wedding that I realized how much I enjoyed planning events. I had been talking about taking the courses for years but that was the thing that made me finally take the leap.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
No matter what you do or what part you play in planning an event for your organization, there is always room to grow and improve. These courses, especially the in-person classes, really offer you so much information that will make you better than you were before you started.
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started in this industry by accident. I was actually the sales associate for the publication department and after a company reorganization, those skills made a me a good fit for the current sales job I perform.
How have you made a difference with your show or with working with a client by applying the knowledge you gained by obtaining your CEM designation?
I’m still in the new to this part of my skill set, but the level of confidence I have now when talking with a client because of what I learned, has helped me tremendously. It has made me feel stronger about suggesting things that can be used to improve our shows. I have a better understanding of what the client is referring to in face-to-face meetings, which has put a lot of my nerves as ease.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
Right after obtaining my CEM, I went on my first site visit for our National Conference next year.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
The discussions with the other people in each of my classes allowed me to learn from their experience and offered a fresh perspective that can be applied to my own shows.