It’s not a common occurrence to go from managing your personal budget as a college student to working with an entire county’s tourism budget just weeks after graduating. But Kayla Nelson made the transition look easy.
Almost immediately after receiving her diploma, Nelson started working as the executive director of the Adams County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Her responsibilities include executing goals to bring more tourism to Adams County, managing the budget for tourism, preparing marketing materials and managing the staff of the Visitors Bureau.
Creating a winning attitude
When considering the fact that she took on such a major position right out of college, it should come as no surprise that Nelson, a Colorado Springs native, spent her time at Hastings College as a leader as well on the Hastings College Women’s Soccer team. She was named captain of the team her senior year.
“Being willing to understand how to work with a team was important. Soccer showed me to understand that everybody has their strengths and weaknesses,” Nelson said. “I learned the best managers are able to understand strengths and weaknesses and help the team members with them. Being a captain on the soccer team was very beneficial in the way I carry myself as a person and my work ethic.”
Although she seems to be doing a stellar job, Nelson admits that it was a massive change from being a full-time student to leading such an important role.
“The hardest part of my job so far has been hitting the ground running,” Nelson said. “I have to critically think and understand a budget that I am suddenly in charge of. It’s all a process, and I’ve been working through it and I’ve caught on very quickly.”
When asked how her time at Hastings College helped prepare her for her current position Nelson had nothing but great things to say.
“I would credit Hastings College entirely for me getting this job and helping prepare me for the work world,” Nelson said. “Dr. Meyer’s classes were basically emerging me into what a real-world scenario would be. In my job I do a lot of presentations and interviews with television and radio.”
“The fact that I was able to learn how to present in such a professional manner and the encouragement I received to be so creative at Hastings College and apply real-world ideas to the classroom was unbelievable. I definitely accredit Hastings College for everything,” Nelson said.