Meet Rachel Sieracke; she's a quirky gal that's not afraid to show people who she is and starts every day with a game of Sudoku. We're inspired by her ambition and hard work that got her to D.C. doing the work that she loves. Read more about her hopes, dreams, and the best advice she has for others! Rachel is truly an inspiration!
WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
I am a corporate event planner in Washington DC. I graduated from BGSU in May, moved out here in May and started my career in June! Very quick turnaround. Real world hit me very fast after graduation. I am beyond grateful that I had a job lined up right after college, but leaving that quickly was tough.
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE LIKE? ANY UNIQUE MORNING RITUALS?
Unique morning ritual: I play a game of Sudoku every morning before I leave for work, while I drink my coffee. Daily routine: Wake up, get ready for work, feed my fish, coffee, Sudoku, social media, news, commute to work. I then work all day until 5:30 (unless it's an event day and then I am onsite until the event ends), I go home and eat dinner, read, watch TV, play more Sudoku, Facetime friends, or just go to bed. I live a very boring life actually. Weekends I am much more active and go explore downtown, hang out with friends, and do some local day trips around the area.
SO YOU ARE AN EVENT COORDINATOR IN WASHINGTON DC, TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT! IS THIS SOMETHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO?
It is great! I absolutely love it. Never a dull moment in this city! I get to create beautiful events in an exciting city, what more can I ask for? I’ll be honest it is a very stressful career, not always as glamorous as it may seem, but it is very rewarding.
I went into college knowing I wanted to be in the hospitality industry, but not until I started with my class work at BGSU did I figure out that Event Planning was the route I wanted to take. After a few internships and event planning experiences, I knew this was my path. I definitely did not think I would end up in DC., but in the summer of 2015 I did an internship in DC which led to my job, and how I got here!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT DC? ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN GEMS THAT A TOURIST WOULDN'T KNOW ABOUT?
There is just so much to do! There are so many different neighborhoods to explore, the museums are free, and there is so much history. I have lived here for 10 months and I still haven’t hit all the must sees of DC.
Hidden Gems: I love the Barracks Row which is in South East DC. It has my favorite Donut shop (District donuts), and local restaurants. It is just a fun area to explore to get out of the chaos of downtown.
Tourists tend to forget that Virginia is just over the river. The Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s Estate) boat tour is one of my favorites, along with old town Alexandria. If you want the cobblestone history feel, Alexandria is where to go.
HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED ON A DAILY BASIS? IS THERE A PLAYLIST OR A PERSON OR PLACE THAT KEEPS YOU GOING?
My job makes it pretty easy to stay motivated. I have an end goal. I get to see an amazing event unfold at the end of all my work. On a daily basis however, I make a checklist every morning before I start my day. I pick one song and play it on repeat for the entire day. (It turns to white noise, and you have the background noise without wanting to sing) I can’t say I have one person who keeps me motivated; I have plenty of friends who are there to support me when I am in a procrastination rut. A place that keeps me motivated…. My bed. Lol I am still so fresh to the industry, so almost everything I do is my first time doing it and I think that helps me stay motivated because I am constantly learning about my career, which is very exciting.
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS AND WHY?
Quirky- I feel like quirky people don’t actually know why they are quirky… they just kind of are. I am awkward, sarcastic, and goofy. I make really weird noises, I sit funny, and I find interest in the oddest things. I think those are the reasons why I am quirky, besides the fact everyone tells me I’m quirky. I like to think it makes me relatable. I read a quote once, I cannot remember the exact wording but it went something like this….. If you find someone to be boring, you aren’t asking the right questions. Everyone is interesting; remember you are the one boring them. I think everyone is a little quirky once you find what makes them interesting. I just wear my quirkiness on my sleeve with all my other emotions.
Independent- I am not afraid to do things by myself. Some people will never go out to eat, or explore without a companion. I have lived on my own with very few friends around, and I have not been a hermit. I am extremely comfortable with who I am and I think it is important to be your own best friend at times.
Hardworking- Since I was a kid, I just had hard work instilled in me. My parents are a very hardworking people and I think growing up in a house like that just make hard work an expectation. Sure I can get lazy sometimes, but hard work has been the source of all my success.
Adventurous- I think of everything as an adventure. I am the friend who is always down to be a passenger in a long car ride, or go on a midnight run to Jimmy Johns. Those are all just mini adventures to take advantage of. On a larger scale, DC has so much to explore. Every landmark and memorial is something to learn and gain from. I also have a travel bug. (My bank account has temporarily kept the travel bug from showing its self lately) however I do love to travel and experience new places and just learn. Every adventure is a learning experience and I think that is what I like most. Whether you are learning about the place, the person you’re with, or about yourself, every adventure you'll learn something.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN SO QUIRKY AND INDEPENDENT?
Yeah, I have always been quirky. My oddness and awkwardness is definitely not a new trait, and it doesn’t look like I am growing out of it anytime soon.
I grew up as the only female in a house full of brothers. So I think that helped develop my independence. I got ganged up on a lot. I learned how to hold my own pretty quickly as a child. I think it helped with the whole being my own best friend thing I mentioned. I played with dolls by myself, and did a lot of things on my own. I think that has made doing things on my own growing up a lot easier.
WERE THERE ANY MAJOR OBSTACLES IN YOUR LIFE THAT HAVE SHAPED YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE, OR MADE YOU MORE HARDWORKING? WHAT DID THEY TEACH YOU?
I have experienced plenty of obstacles throughout my life. Some major, some minor, but they all taught me a lesson. I’ve learned no matter how hard you work some people will just not notice or appreciate it, so you really have to work hard for you. I’ve learned life is not always fair, and you have to roll with the punches. I have learned you have to be proud of yourself even for smallest of victories. I have also learned if you work hard doors open, opportunities show themselves for people who put in an effort. A dear friend of mind was once asked how she " ‘scored’ that gig” referring to her ivy league post grad education and her response was so well spoken in my opinion: “I worked very hard, took advantage of every opportunity, and I had a goal…. So I like to think I earned this gig, not scored it.” I think that was so perfectly worded to explain how hard work and extra effort can change your path. I think everyone experiences obstacles but it is how you recover from them that makes you different than the rest, and I choose to always recover with positivity and a fire in my belly to work harder.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND GOALS? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
My hopes and dreams change on a regular basis. I know I want to move up in the Event Planning Industry but my end goal changes daily. Five years from now, I see myself still living in Virginia working with the same company with 5 years more experience taking on larger events. Hopefully with some certifications under my belt.
WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO ANOTHER YOUNG WOMAN ABOUT WORKING HARD AND FOLLOWING HER DREAMS OUT OF COLLEGE?
Find a mentor. Hands down. Find someone who is rooting for you in your industry. My mentors changed my life and I would not be here without them. Also it is never too early to start. Get as many internships you can. Become a Jack of all trades. NETWORK! Know as many people as you can. Relationships are so important, especially at a young age. Be yourself, work hard, and don’t settle.