Earning the CEM designation is a professional game changer! IAEE interviewed recent graduate Jessi Cybulski, CEM of Questex. Read about her CEM journey and how she’s making a difference to provide strategic thinking for her team, clients and organization.
Hometown: Detroit, MI
University of Education: Western Michigan University
How has the CEM designation helped in your career?
When I started in exhibitions, I was solely operations. Now, I work as a Show Manager. CEM has helped me develop in a more well-rounded way. I have a greater understanding of what it takes to get the job done in a successful way. This has freed up space in me for more innovation and creativity.
Why is it important to maintain the CEM designation?
The business of exhibitions will always have the basics of bringing buyers and sellers together – but the way in which we do it has to be relevant to the current culture. This has been changing at a fast pace. It’s important to stay current in how best to serve the markets and our clients. The collaboration from my fellow CEMs has taught me so much.
What made you want to obtain your CEM designation?
I love to know things. I love to be able to speak to things from a place of knowledge. My friends nicknamed me “Headquarters.” I feel to live up to such a title, I need to continuously seek knowledge and learn to be the best support I can be in the roles I am given, be it at home or work.
What advice would you give to an aspiring individual who wants to apply for the CEM program?
Simple question – do you know as much about what your colleagues do as what you do yourself? If not, CEM is a great program. It helps you to be more understanding, collaborative and strategic across departments. The breadth of topics and education is amazing. It touches on all aspects of what is done in this industry.
How did you start your career in this industry?
I started in scripted production and art direction for film, tv and commercials. In my free time, I started designing private events and found myself loving it. I took a leap out of tv union to events and exhibitions, and I worked through a variety of tech and B2C to find the ideal B2B exhibition that suited my creative skills along with my knack for producing live events – LDI and XLIVE.
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?
The CEM program has helped me create a better flow of organization and communication. I strive to be a leader and conduit for our teammates and clients. CEM armed me with the tools of being able to see from the very many different angles – which in turn helps me form resolutions in a more complete and positive way.
What was it that you did or implemented right after obtaining your CEM?
Boss everyone around 😉 Just kidding. Honestly, strategic thinking is what I implemented right away. It didn’t matter the topic, be it housing, budgets, sales, negotiations, everything I worked on, I did it from a more strategic place of thought – that 100 steps ahead, domino-effect type thinking.
What did you like most about the CEM Learning Program?
I liked the community. I liked knowing that I had people around me, striving to learn as much as me, and applying themselves no matter how busy we all were. We kept learning.
Fun fact about you – What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
I love SOUP. I will eat soup for every meal every day. I love feeding others soup. Making soup from scratch is one of my favorite things to do!