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Women in Industry: Liz Hart

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Since 1921, Virginia Tech has seen thousands of trailblazing women make their mark on the world, transforming industries and shattering glass ceilings. Liz Hart ’07 is making her mark in the events industry where she is a producer and serves as Deputy White House Social Secretary.

This one is my first credential ever. Liz Hart's foray into event work started at her Alma mater. I knew that I wanted to work in the event universe, but I didn't actually know what that would look like in terms of an education, in terms of a career. But I knew that I was really compelled to make events and experiences for people, Advisors in what's now known as Virginia Tech's School of Communication, helped the 2007 graduate curate the perfect blend of courses. That's where we started piecing together what it would be like if I blended, for example, politics with communications. What that looks like in the world of a campaign or in the world of public service. Or if it was events through the lens of a corporation or marketing, what that means to drive a bottom line. As it turns out, Liz was not only well rounded, but prepared for a career producing events like the Olympics, Super Bowl Halftime Show, Times Square New Year's Eve celebration, and now major events for the White House. In my interviews, my future boss said, do you also know how to do press releases because that is very much part of what this job is as well. I said, actually, yes, I do. I went to Virginia Tech. Low and behold, the exact same template, the exact same structure that the White House was using for press releases that I would then be drafting and issuing is exactly the template and the format that Virginia Tech taught me how to do. It wasn't just practical skills, but the experiential learning, the hands-on work Liz and her classmates were able to do. To be able to have had so much hands-on experience making that event from the ground up to the final Ring Dance night itself was something that I still think about as being one of the most formative events that I've ever had in my career but also just the most useful experiences that I've had because I was able to see a lot of things for the first time, firsthand because of that. Then there are the things she's learned along the way, including how to navigate necessary changes in-person events in the midst of a global pandemic. Media is more important, live streaming is now a new medium that we use. The White House is being able to reach people in mediums that we might not have in years and in administrations past, especially after the pandemic, when live streaming has become something that is so normalized and so accessible to people. Being able to use some of the things that I've learned in the past with events and bring them into the White House is part of the reason why I love being here right now so much. So, for example, when we couldn't have as many people into the people's house in the holidays, we looked to leaning more into media, into live streaming, into ways that we could bring the people's house to America. As someone who thrives working in the world of live events where things can be unpredictable, Liz encourages other women to anticipate change, but know that things don't have to be perfect. When we know that there is a solution and we hold constantly the posture of being solutions focused, that saves all of the time from doubting and reallocates that time toward problem-solving.