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Julianne Suleski

Julianne Suleski

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

This question always gets me - describe yourself, introduce yourself, pick your favorite things about yourself...well, I don't know about the last one, but I am a millennial, young professional, passionate and expressive, uniquely attuned to people's body language and committed to making the world happier. By day I am a wedding planner and networker extraordinaire. I believe humor levels the playing field, and that reading bridges the gap between employees and leaders. And lastly - I wholeheartedly believe that every experience leads you somewhere and the opportunity is there for you to embrace it or reject it.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

My favorite Ellevate memory happened recently after I joined the leadership committee! A gal reached out to me on LinkedIn asking to set up a call about potentially joining Ellevate. On the phone she expressed to me that she was looking to challenge herself and made a New Year's resolution to get involved in a group that would allow her to meet like minded, driven women. She self identified as shy and "terrible at meeting people" and was looking for a group that was authentic and conducive to fostering solid relationships within the professional and social networks. I simply chatted with her, gave her an ally in a room and was ecstatic to see her walk through the door of our next meeting. It was far more rewarding than I expected, and that is why we exist. It clicked more that night than when I decided to sign up and made everything I do worth it.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

My most memorable career accomplishment has been exceeding quotas for the past 4 quarters by at least 100%. I have doubled revenue for the club and booked the record number of weddings in a single year. I am in charge of generating 40% of our companies revenue and doubling that for the past 4 quarters has been an accomplishment that makes me smile. Knowing I love my job and what I do makes it that much sweeter.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

When it came time to apply for college I struggled. It wasn't that I didn't want to go to college, it was that no campus evoked a certain excitement. My mom was extremely wise to say that "we're not paying this amount of money for you to hate it." Because of that, I started viewing college as an opportunity for growth. I simply spun a globe and landed on Halifax, Nova Scotia! I got out of the US and had the best experience of my life. After graduation, I joined Americorps and was placed in an educational nonprofit, ACES, in Minneapolis. After my Americorps term with ACES, they kept me on in a fundraising and event planning role! From there I decided to move back to my hometown and joined the Madison Club as the lead wedding planner! Every past experience introduced me to someone to get me to where I am today.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

This job is right for me because of the amount of interaction with people. From meeting them at wedding shows to touring them through our venue, I love the unique settings that I get to meet prospective clients. I also am extremely lucky to meet people during the happiest times of their lives! I feed off of other's energy and being with a happy group of people makes my job the perfect fit!

Who are your role models?

Role models include Michelle Obama, RBG (everyone should see the movie - it's incredible!), Mary Tyler Moore, Emily Blunt, my mama, and my sisters. I have such powerful and amazing women in my life and I couldn't be happier.

What is your morning ritual?

Each morning I wake up and meditate for 10 minutes, journal my gratitude & affirmations, try to read for 30 minutes, make coffee (lots of coffee), and get ready for work. In the summer and nicer weather I try to take my pup to the dog park for a couple miles before work, but in the Wisconsin winter that just doesn't seem to happen!

What does success look like to you?

I run 60 weddings in one year and the times I feel most successful come before the wedding day. I feel most successful when I don't have last minute work to do - when I am on top of my planning and I schedule out meetings far in advance in order to feel organized. When I can go to the bride 2 weeks ahead of time and say "all I need are counts" I feel like I'm on top of the world!

Success to me is being organized and having a clear mind. When I'm running behind I lose myself and my ability to process things clearly! So although this is a minor part of job, this is when I feel most successful.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

Work-life balance is a HUGE problem for me!! For a couple of reasons - as a wedding planner I typically work Saturdays, and as a fan of networking, I typically work week nights! The problem for me is that I love what I do! Going home and taking a break (which is necessary and needed) always gets pushed to the bottom of the list. I am so fortunate to have a supportive family who understands how much I love my job and does the hard work of telling me to slow down and take a break.

This is something I am consistently working on and learning about. I know that taking space and time away from work actually creates more outcome and productivity, so I am really striving to better myself in this way.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

It seems like the best advice I've ever received comes in the form of a quote about listening - "You have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly" or, "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply." These have completely changed the way I interact with others and is a constant reminder that listening is a super power in and of itself.

Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.

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