Staff Spotlight: Carol NaderPublished Aug 03, 2011
This story is the first in a series of six Values in Action profiles that highlight core Texas A&M values.
Story by Elisabeth Kent
Video by Jamie Arrexi and Nicole Smith
What do Texas A&M University at Qatar’s commencement ceremony, annual Thanksgiving dinner and academic conferences have in common? These events, and many others, are all planned by Carol Nader, the University’s events manager. Through her commitment to excellence, Carol is engineering a world of difference by creating world-class events for Texas A&M at Qatar.
What does an events manager actually do? Most of Carol’s work is behind the scenes at the University where she develops and plans a wide range of events including conferences, academic convocation and official visits, just to name a few. “The key to creating successful events is strong coordination,” Carol says. “There is a lot of detail and planning that needs to take place ahead of time. We have to work with many people to bring all the elements of the event together. Anticipating needs is also crucial because we have to make sure that if something goes wrong, we are prepared to react on the spot.”
Carol began working for Texas A&M at Qatar in 2003, when the campus first opened. She held positions in finance and administration, human resources, facilities and public relations before becoming the events manager for the Office of Marketing, Communications and Events.
“I’ve always been kind of the party planner at home, and I brought that into the workplace,” Carol says. “In all my positions before events manager, I ended up being responsible for things like planning dinners and organizing receptions. This is how I found that I had an interest in becoming a professional event planner.”
Carol then pursued and completed a degree in event management from George Washington University before becoming the University’s events manager.
Carol has been recognized in the Texas A&M at Qatar community with the Five-Year Service Award, Dean’s Meritorious Service Award and the STAR Award, which stands for Service, Team spirit, Attitude and Responsibility. Carol clearly enjoys her job and excels at it, but what motivates her to work so hard on a day-to-day basis? She loves the fact that every day at work is different because every event is different. In a broader sense, Carol adds, “I’m self-motivated, but at the same time, it feels good to be part of an organization that is bigger than yourself and to be recognized and respected for the work you do.”
Although Carol loves extreme sports, traveling and dancing, her passion for being an Aggie exceeds her excitement for even these hobbies. She says she has been known as the “adopted Aggie” ever since she began working for Texas A&M at Qatar. “Being an Aggie is a way of life for me. I try to live as an Aggie not only in the workplace, but also at home and in the community,” she says.
When asked about the work environment and office community in Texas A&M at Qatar, Carol says, “Coming to work every morning is like coming to my second home. I look forward to work because I have a special team, not only with my direct colleagues but also with other departments. It’s interesting because it’s not only professional relationships. We also have personal friendships in the office.”
Carol emphasized the importance of the Texas A&M core values. “I was so happy to be exposed to the Aggie values, which are values that I, myself, hold,” she said. While Carol exhibits each of the University’s core values in her work, her consistent excellence in planning events shows that the value of excellence, in particular, means much more to her than just a priority in words.
From ensuring that the Thanksgiving stuffing recipe is perfect to double-checking hotel room reservations for conferences, Carol lives out the value of excellence in every detail of her job. Yet she insists that engineering a world of difference is not only a daytime job.
“I’m engineering successful events, which reflect positively on the University’s brand,” Carol says. “But to engineer a world of difference, I have to be a good ambassador for Texas A&M at Qatar everywhere—not just at work, but also outside in the community.”