Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite course at Hofstra was Art History, which was taught by Dr. Cohen. With his guidance and wisdom, I have managed to utilize my knowledge of historical artwork in the most unique situations in business as well as personal conversations. In addition, it was one of the courses that experienced history, creativity and culture on a daily basis.
The fondest memory I have of Hofstra was being part of the Hofstra University Kickline (now called the Dance Team) and ranking nationally at the Universal Dance Association (UDA) Championships in Walt Disney World. We were considered an underdog and successfully placed in the top five, bringing an overwhelming sense of Hofstra Pride back to the campus.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there? What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
After graduation, I had a very short stint at JP Morgan Chase. While employed there, I learned about the event planning profession as well as the basic tools I would need to flourish in this fledgling industry. Realizing that I did not have the experience to apply for an event planning position, I gained the drive to obtain a post- graduate certification at NYU in the field of meeting and special events management, and eventually secured a position as a meeting planner with a fast-track promotion to vice president and head of the meetings and conferences department for numerous Fortune 500 companies. During my tenure in the corporate world, I founded The Red Carpet Events in 2001 as a part-time venture that grew into full time employment in 2005. Maintaining survival in a “frivolous” industry during a recession became far more difficult than the pressure of producing the event itself. But, in retrospect, the complicated environment ignited the drive in me to succeed strategically through any type of adversity while continuing to acquire top quality clients and producing memorable meetings, conferences and events.
- What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Living in the moment is key, especially since tomorrow is never promised. Education isn’t necessarily about textbook studies; rather, it’s more about life experiences combined with the learned knowledge that truly molds you for the future.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- How has your degree helped you?
Obtaining a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis on dance, history and art history has allowed a variety of knowledge in culture and the classical arts as well as the ability to expand my interests far beyond just one main focus. This particular learning environment allowed me to have variety in my own professional opportunities with the understanding that I don’t ever have to settle on one concentration.
- What has been your favorite event to work on?
The most breathtaking event was for A&E Television Networks, which took place on Ellis Island. Their subsidiary, The History Channel, was premiering the documentary The Story Of America, and my company produced the seated dinner for 125 guests in the Great Hall. The location was where a majority of the guests’ ancestors patiently waited to receive their immigration papers over a century prior. The arched ceilings were donned with blue stars, and pin spots perfectly illuminated each table’s centerpiece while the Statue of Liberty stood proud in the southern view competing with the New York City skyline to the north. The gasps and tears of pride as each guest entered the room will always be the most memorable part of the evening, making this my most favorite event.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing to in the future?
So much can change in a single year; I can’t even imagine the experiences that will happen in the next decade. What I do hope for is the ability to evolve my career even further by taking the expert role in a variety of different television, book and media opportunities and further sharing the passion, dedication and love I have for this profession.
Christy Bareijsza (B.A. ’97), founder and CEO of The Red Carpet Events, is one of the most sought-after event planners in the New York metropolitan area. She has been responsible for detailed party planning and venue consultation since 1999. Ms. Bareijsza is known in the industry for her constant creativity, fresh ideas and commitment to surpass client expectations. She has created a multitude of memorable events for a long list of corporate and celebrity clients, including IMG World, Brooks Brothers, Bombardier Flex Jet, American Express’ Departures Magazine, Brown-Forman, and many radio and television personalities.
As a former Vice President of Corporate Events for one of North America’s top financial firms, Ms. Bareijsza gained vast experience in negotiations, event and sports management, hospitality, and audio/visual and venue consultation. In addition to her degree from Hofstra University, she enhanced her academic background with a Certification in Meeting Management designation (CMM), CIC Certified Meeting Professional designation (CMP), and a degree in meeting and event management from New York University.