Student Spotlight – Cindy Valerio
We had a chance to catch up with Certified Wedding & Event Planner, Cindy Valerio after her internships with Lisa Vanderpump’s Charity Gala in West Hollywood and Kevin Lee where she helped with a 2 million dollar wedding in Los Angeles.
– Yeah, Hi! Oh my goodness, I like your place!
– Oh, thanks, thanks, this is our work studio. Thank you so much.
– I like it.
– How’ve you been?
– I’m good. I just finished the course on Thanksgiving Day.
– [Cho] Oh wow, wow!
– Yeah, so yeah. I just finished my course.
– [Cho] When did you start?
– I started last year, actually. It took me I think almost one year or 11 months ’cause I just had my baby and I was working and I don’t have time. So I just
– [Cho] You had a hard time, then?
– April. Yeah, it’s so hard, it’s so hard with a small baby and then working, and then on night school. And so I decided to quit my job and then just focus on the school so I can focus also on my baby.
– Yeah. What’s your baby’s name?
– [Cindy] Autumn
– Oh, that’s pretty! When was she born?
– She’s born November 27. So, she just turned two.
– Oh wow, wow! Okay, very nice! Well, congratulations! When are you gonna have that next one, then? She just turned two! So tell me a little bit, I like to start off with just finding a little bit more about your background and maybe kind of just give us a little story about your journey how you sort of, what led you up to where you are today in regards to taking in a program, what you were doing before then, how things were before then and then once you took the program and moving forward. And then let’s talk about, after that we can even go into some of the internships that you’ve done.
– Okay. It feels like it’s unreal for me! It feels like I’m just watching you in a webinar right now but I’m really talking to you! It feels so unreal! Like I’m talking to you, this is my honor!
– Well, it’s an honor for me, too, to meet you. And I’m really excited to learn more about you and… I’m very excited for all the things I’ve heard, I’ve heard some really great things. I know you did a couple of really interesting internships and so, we’re all excited to hear more about your journey and what led you to where you are now.
– Thank you, thank you so much! Okay, well, my full name is Cindy Valerio and I’m from the Philippines. I grew up in the Philippines. And then after I graduated college, I did some modeling events, I did some commercials. I was on that career in the Philippines. And then after five years, I moved to Guam. And then, when I went to Guam, I still continued my career modeling in commercials, in events and on fashion shows. So that’s back in Guam like six years ago.
– [Cho] Wow!
– And then, in Guam I met my husband. He’s in the Navy. He’s serving the military. So, I’m still trying to practice my English ‘coz my first language is Tagalog in the Philippines.
– [Cho] Oh, I know!
– So this is my second language.
– Well, you’re doing a great job! I would never know!
– Thank you! And then, we were in Guam. And then after two years in Guam, we went to Spain, Spain and then here. So we’re actually living here for two years in Ridgecrest in Mojave Desert. We’re inside the Navy base, naval base where where they do all the weapons for the US.
– [Cho] Wow!
– So it’s kind of a remote place, an isolated place right now. So when I was in the program, it’s so hard for me to gather my resources ‘coz the mall, the shopping, everything is one and a half hour away from us. So there’s basically nothing in here. So yeah, so that’s why I’m having a hard time when I was on the program. But now, I’m so happy that I’ve finished the course.
– And then I have my baby here, well I’m happy. She’s already two years old! .
– Absolutely great! A lot of times online programs are really good for that. When you’re sort of in a place where there’s not a lot to do and not a lot going on, you can really focus and sort up all your efforts. What’s really nice is, you and I chatting now but a lot of the webinars are live. If you took advantage of that, it’s kind of nice when you can’t get out and meet people, you can at least meet people live online and not go anywhere especially with a baby, right?
– You wanna stay home and still interact with students and your instructor.
– So tell me a little bit about your experience at the internships. Which internships had you participated in and what did that give you a chance to accomplish or what type of experience did you gain from that?
– I did the Kevin Lee Wedding and, I forgot the name! I think I still have the baby ki-
– So you did a wedding with Kevin Lee?
– [Cindy] Yeah.
– You basically did a wedding that was a two million dollar wedding, so was it the really big one?
– Yes, it’s super fab, it’s super fab! It feels, it feels surreal. I feel like I’m in heaven or paradise with a lots of flowers and then from from the facade of the hotel going to the hallways, you can smell the flowers from the wedding. ‘Coz it’s a lot. It’s everywhere! Oh yeah! And so-
– [Cho] You could just smell flowers, right?
– [Cindy] Yeah!
– [Cho] So you know there’s a wedding going on!
– I am so amazed by Keven Lee ‘coz he’s so down to earth, too. Whenever he needs something, for example, he asked the janitor to help him or something, he gives the janitor a tip. Everyone that’s helping him, like tip, who works for the hotel, and he’s so really nice.
– [Cho] That’s great! But tell me, what did you get the chance to do when you were working that event?
– I was helping with, I’m helping Sergio, his assistant. Sergio and Priscilla and, at first, ‘coz I went there in the afternoon, on the day of coordination of the wedding. So a lot of interns were in the morning and then in the evening, so I was in the evening shift. So when I got there, they’re already starting putting all the, for the reception and the ceremony, the tables and all the flowers. And I was there to help Sergio to put all the the chairs outside the lawn, the wick lawn, and then take it off ‘coz when I got there, it was raining. So everything is covered in plastic and linen and we just helped them take it off and then Style asked Sergio and it’s just chaos! It’s not chaos but the people are in a hurry. It’s a fast-paced environment, like, okay, after you’re done here, can you go here and get all the linens over here and then put it to the reception. And then, are you done in the ceremonial, can you go to the reception? It’s just, it’s just, I don’t really remember but we’re just everywhere!
– Sounds like coordinated chaos, right?
– Yeah! But it turned out so perfectly fabulous! I was in tears when I saw the fireworks on the ceremony after the wedding. Every, it was so intimate and it was amazing!
– That’s fantastic! Well, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it. And from that, we had a photographer there, so did you get a lot of pictures and images for your portfolio?
– I took some on my phone ‘coz I didn’t know the photographers ‘coz it’s my first time ever.
– [Cho] Yeah.
– I helped my cousins, my friends do their weddings and events but having an environment I don’t know any people and I’m in a new country, it’s just, I just feel, it just feel unreal So, yeah.
– [Cho] I think I’ve see some photos of you from what we took, so I’ll have to share them with you. We’ll certainly go ahead and put them out on your Spotlight and your blog, but I’ll make sure that you get them for your portfolio because I think that’s important, that when you are, whether you are looking for a position with another event planning company, or your looking to book your own clients, it’s important that you can show the work that you’ve done, the experience that you gained, and the projects that you’ve been on for with, so having those images and Kevin Lee, obviously working with him is something really great to add to your portfolio.
– Yeah, I took couple of pictures and then I posted it on my Instagram for my internship with Kevin Lee. I also sent it. We have a WhatsApp group where everybody can share their pictures and photos.
– [Cho] Oh, right!
– But I wanted to have a professional pictures!
– Yeah, well, I’ll send them over, they’re in our Dropbox, I’ll send over what we have.
– [Cindy] Thank you!
– So you also, didn’t you do the charity event, as well? Did you do-
– [Cindy] Yeah, the Won-
– [Cho] Okay.
– The Wonderkop, yes. That’s where I met Pandora, too. Lisa Vanderpump’s daughter?
– [Cho] Yeah!
– She’s so nice. Yeah, she’s so nice. And they’re hands-on everything. So we helped to put all the give-away bags.
– [Cho] The bags, okay.
– [Cindy] Yeah. The gift bags, and then we, I think eight of us were in the register, registry. Sorry!.
– [Cho] Registration.
– [Cindy] Yeah! Registration! Yes, I’m narra- yeah, to-
– [Cho] Coming into mind, almost everybody that came to the event, ‘coz if you were at the registration table, you saw all the celebrities come through and helped check them in, right?
– [Cindy] Yeah. Yeah and that’s so awesome. Again, it was an amazing experience for me. At first, when I took the program, I thought it was just gonna be just like online school and after the program I’ll do it on my own. I never expected and I didn’t even know that you guys have internships like this. To be out in the field and then hands-on and everything! And then, me, myself, can experience it. It was such an amazing, for me it was such an amazing experience for me because I never, I never expected it! Well, working with those high-profile events, being around high-profile individuals and networking and getting to know them, how does that make you feel now, like if you were to do your own events? Do you feel a little more confident in what you’re doing, being the ?
– Yeah! Definitely, like definitely! It makes, it boosts my confidence to go out and talk to people more, and then it makes me, I can prove to them, I can show them, like hey, I have this internship and then I met all these high-profile people, I worked with them, you’re in good hands with me. And also for me, for myself, because we were here in isolated area. We don’t really, I don’t even go out that much because there’s not a lot of people in here so it just makes me, not like I’m social or not like sociable, but then, when I had those experience, I wanna do it again! I wanna go out more, I wanna do a lot of interships and I’m so excited to work with other people like that. Just having this video with you is just unreal for me! Yeah, I’m so honored!
– [Cho] Well, we’re so happy to have you and I’m really thrilled that you had that experience. Now, did you do the fashion show, as well?
– [Cindy] No, I didn’t.
– [Cho] Oh, you didn’t do that one yet. ‘Coz I heard you say you did fashion shows in Guam, so maybe
– [Cindy] Yeah
– you’d keep an eye out for those ‘coz I know we have New York Fashion Week coming up, we have-
– [Cindy] I applied for, yeah, I applied for the New York Fashion Week. That’s what I’m trying, right now, I’m putting all the events I wanna do ‘coz I’m planning to go back to Guam and then maybe in the Philippines, and then maybe talk to some event planner, or people that I want to do some fashion show. Like make my own event, create my own unique event for fashion show ‘coz, or like events, like event modeling or cater to corporate events in the Philippines and, I’m so proud right now for myself for achieving this and then for talking to you. I’m just so proud! I just want to announce in the whole wide world, you guys, I’m ready! The knowledge that I got from Lovegevity is amazing. You guys, if you have if you have passion for events planning, just go Lovegevity. Yeah, I’m so-
– You know, the screen, you’re making me cry!
– It really is, really empowering for you not only to have taken the program and gain the knowledge, but then to apply that knowledge to the real world of events, to make those connections and to have that experience that you can take with you and honestly, there’s nothing that can stop you, right? Nothing’s gonna stop you!
– No! Nothing can stop me now, everyone-
– [Cho] Nothing can stop you now!
– Some of my family and my friends, that’s so hard that, why did you take that path? And some of my friends, I’ve tried it before but I’ve failed. And I was, that’s you, that’s not me! In just my mind. I have this program. I have this back up on me. I could just go online. I have my book. I have my, I have Lisa, I have you guys. I have a lot, network to ask for if I need to, if I need help on something. I can do this-
– [Cho] Yes!
– I can, my whole body can-
– [Cho] They can feel your wrath!
– A lot of, we’re working with a student now whose producing an event in Italy and bringing Kevin out for master class, so maybe you’ll do that in Guam or in the Philippines.
– Well, yeah! I’m so excited!
– We’ll let you make or produce your own event and you bring him out and then you can do a master class out there. And maybe for your friends that said that they tried it and it didn’t work, for them, maybe you could help them get there.
– Oh wow, yes, I’m so excited! Oh my goodness! You just gave me another motivation to go, to go pursue it! Oh my goodness, I’m so excited!
– That’s what I like about events. Events be on every industry, every industry has events, whether it’s to produce an event for awareness or a charity or product launch, or to raise money for a cause, or to raise an event, you know, and sell tickets to that event. I mean, as an event planner, you don’t really have to wait for an opportunity, you can create one.
– [Cindy] Yes, exactly.
– And what?
– I’m just so excited for my future.
– So what are your plans? What are your next steps then? Are you going to join masterclass? It sounds like you’re really are on a roll here.
– Yeah. Right now, I’m on a, I’m kind of stuck right now. So after I finish my school, ‘coz we’re moving in Washington in Bremerton, an hour away from Seattle, because my husband is in the Navy. So I’m thinking after, after I finish my program I would sung to him I wanna go see a lawyer, legal office and then, do my contract and then maybe get business insurance, because I wanna start right away.
– [Cho] Wanna start, yeah.
– Even though I don’t have, ‘coz some of the interns, my co-interns, they have 10 years, 15 years-
– [Cho] 20?
– Experience. It’s intimidating for me! ‘Coz, they’ve been doing that for a long time and I’m just, I feel like I’m just there and just doing my very best to help everyone, to help out and then gain all the knowledge that can help me when I start my own business. So, right now, I have an appointment on Monday to see a lawyer and to go through the contract and maybe get a business license. I’m still kind of stuck in that moment because we’re moving in different state. So someone told me that the business license is different from here in California and the Washington State
– [Cho] Right.
– I really want to start right away but I’m kind of so-so, I don’t know what to do right now because we’re moving.
– [Cho] In a way, so you both, yeah, and that’s okay! You know you can continue to do the research for the market that you’re going before you get there. But I think you’re in a great spot because even if you continue to do the internships, it doesn’t matter that some of the other interns that were on the job with you had 10 plus years experience because they’re coming back to gain more experience, to gain networking opportunities, add that event to their portfolio, and guess what, they started just like you did in the beginning. So in the beginning, they did not have 10 years experience either and time moves on anyway, right? I think you’re in a great spot, be patient, just do one thing at a time.
– [Cindy] Yeah, yes.
– And it will happen, as it is! But we are very proud of you.
– [Cindy] Thanks.
– And if you do produce those future events, reach out, we’re here to help.
– Thank you so much! This is, I feel like I’m dreaming right now talking to you for real!
– Well, I’m so happy you made the time for us, today and I’m glad we had the chance to sit down and chat and learn more about you. And I look forward to seeing your Spotlight. I know Lisa had submitted you for a Spotlight, right?
– Yeah, she did. At first, I don’t really believe it, , maybe Lisa’s just kidding but she just keeps on mentioning me, emailing me, hey, for your Spotlights. I don’t know, maybe this is not real! Yeah, it’s real, ‘coz she keeps on emailing me as like, okay, I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it! ‘Coz there’s questions for the Student’s Spotlight that I haven’t gotten into it yet because there’s things in the house like we’re starting to pack and moving papers, and so, yeah. We’re gonna be in Washington just for a year, a year and a half, and we’re moving back here in California again, so I don’t know! I don’t know what gonna happen to me! But I’m excited! And thank you so much for, for the program. It’s been an amazing journey for me having all those knowledge that I got. Oh, and the tips, the webinars, everything is so helpful and everything, it gives me more motivation and inspiration. And then, go out there to do internship. It’s just, I can say that this, the Lovegevity is amazing! Having internship and all of that stuff. I didn’t even know there’s a school like this!
– Well, Cindy, at the end of the day, we can certainly open the door to opportunities, but you’re the one that walks through it. And so, congratulations to you for really putting in the effort to make it happen and not holding yourself back, because we all have those self-doubts that we have to struggle with, that we can do it. And so, we’re proud of you for doing it, because you’re the one that did it, nobody did it for you, right? So, congratulations again!
– Thank you! I don’t know! I’m sorry!
– [Cho] Are you okay?
– I’m okay! I’m just so proud of myself right now! Yeah, thank you!
– Well, let’s stay in touch for sure. Especially when you move, we’ll definitely wanna continue to follow you in your journey and as we have new opportunities, we certainly want you to take advantage of them when you can.
– Yeah. Thank you so much.
– Don’t cry, Cindy! If I were there, I would hug you! Can I hug my screen?
– I feel like I just wanna be also like the Military Wives, there’s like a program that can help them to-
– The Military Wives? Yeah! And this career is transferrable. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving around because the skills go with you and the network. Networking with the industry, you can start networking with the city that you’re going to. You can certainly reach out and start letting people know you’re coming. And of course, you can always fly to any city to plan any event, right? You’re gonna, hopefully, we’ll see you in New York at New York Fashion Week. Again, obviously, the charity events down in L.A., those will happen again, we’d love to see you again. I’m sure Pandora will love to see you again. So, you’re making some really great-
– Yeah. Thank you, thank you so much! So, thank you!
– Well, thanks, Cindy! It was really nice meeting with you and chatting with you today. And I really mean it, let’s stay in touch, okay?
– Yes, I will! Thank you so for the amazing, amazing journey with you!
– And it’s not over, right? We still are on this path together! Alright, good to see you, have a good holiday!
– Bye! You, too!
– [Cho] Okay. Ba-bye!
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