Internship Spotlight: Nicolette Sciortino, Lisa Lafferty Events (LLE)
July 22, 2022
Nicolette Sciortino '24 (BSBA MIS) is an event consultant with Lisa Lafferty Events (LLE) in Los Angeles, CA.
(Photo credit: @michaelanthonyphotography)
What was the process for getting this internship/job? It was the summer of 2021, right after my freshman year, when I turned on my TV to watch Selling Sunset, the new hit reality TV show series on Netflix. Christine Quinn, one of the main characters on the show got engaged and wanted a unique, unforgettable, and luxury wedding. Christine entrusted her special day with all of her creative visions to be planned by Lisa Lafferty of Lisa Lafferty Events (LLE). After I saw Lisa take Christine’s inspiration and make it a reality, I was captivated by her impressive skills. I have always known that upscale event planning has been an interest of mine, so I ran to my phone and messaged her via Instagram asking how she got her start in the world of business. After back and forth conversations, Lisa mentioned that she possibly might need a future intern. A year went by and I contacted her again in March of this year. She requested for me to send her my resume and cover letter. She then asked me to do a virtual interview with her and I was offered the internship! It was so rewarding to be asked to join her team of professionals since there was only one spot open for the internship.
What type of projects do you work on? The majority of projects I work on include preparing for the events prepared by LLE. All of LLE’s clients have high expectations for their event, so it is imperative to make sure everything is perfect. The days leading up to these events are filled with phone calls and emails checking with every vendor and professional involved in the event to make sure everything is executed on time and according to design. A key concept that I have learned is that every detail matters, so being meticulous, organized, and prepared is extremely important.
What is your favorite part of the experience? My favorite part of the experience so far has been getting to know Lisa as a person. She is more than just a boss to me. She has become my mentor and teacher. The business lessons I have learned from her will prepare me for the future in ways I could never have learned in school. Her entrepreneurial spirit has led her to become the owner of two highly prosperous companies which I highly admire. LLE and Beverly Hills Catering would have not been made possible without her hard work, and I hope to one day be able to own my own business just like her.
What do you find most challenging? The most challenging part of the internship has been owning up to mistakes I have made along the way. There have been a few instances where I am in the heat of an event and forget to complete a task on the checklist, or I get stuck in LA traffic and show up late to a meeting. This internship has been a huge learning curve for me. Rolling with the punches and having thick skin is important for this industry, especially when everyone on the team, including the intern, are representatives of the company. Owning and admitting to your mistakes shows integrity, and in the long run it is better to admit to your slip-ups and learn from them. That is what an internship is all about!
What are you learning? With my internship, I am learning how to successfully operate a business as a CEO. Having interned and shadowed Lisa one-on-one opened my eyes to the elongated hours of energetic work it takes to run one of the top event planning companies in the world.
Her clients come in with a vision and a budget, and it is her job and responsibility to create the magic, but oftentimes that can come with a lot of twists and turns. You have to be mentally agile for a career such as Lisa’s because the end result relies on one person. Upscale event planning is like putting on a play, but without any of the rehearsals. Communication, organization, and leadership are all key qualifications for running a company like LLE.
What advice do you have for other students looking for similar experiences? Reaching out can never hurt. The worst an employer can say is no! Before I was offered my internship with Lisa, I was denied multiple internships that I applied for via Handshake. However, I did not let this rejection stop me. Another piece of advice is to take any job you can get that relates to your passion or what you want to pursue. Prior to LLE, I was working an entire year and a half with KAYLUX Event Planning and Concierge Service in Scottsdale, AZ. I worked in-person during the summer of 2021 and remote all throughout sophomore year. My employer, Alexis Kailas, first introduced me to the industry. This was my first internship and my entry into the world of business, and I met her at Starbucks! Even though it was smaller than LLE, it taught me the same principles of business that I have learned in my current internship. Those principles will stay the same with any job you take on.
How has Eller prepared you for this experience? Eller prepared me for this experience by igniting a fire inside of me to network and create resourceful connections. During the class of BNAD 200, we were required to create LinkedIn profiles, resumés, and cover letters. I remember the excitement inside of me when I started to send my professional documents to real employers. My teacher of the class, and now my current career coach for MIS, Christian Lagarda, mentioned how reaching out and networking could never hurt. I took this advice seriously, and after that first lesson about LinkedIn I walked straight from Eller to the Main Library and began reaching out to employers. That of course led me to my current internship, but also to two externships I took part in this summer. One was with former Eller alumni Olivia Romano for Ernst & Young, and another with Paul Zajac for Honeywell. Eller taught me the confidence and professionalism to put yourself out there as a business student.
Anything else you would like to share? Get involved with other activities outside of Eller! One of the qualities that most employers say stuck out to them about my resumé was how I am involved in the Ski & Snowboard Club and Ambassadors as a tour guide. I currently serve as Elevation’s Events Chair and love every minute of it! Not only is it fun, but it makes you stand out and builds your character. Be yourself and find other passions outside of school. It also makes for great conversation during interviews :)