Heidi meet the team cropped

Heidi Aulakh, a nearly 5-year veteran of CSG Creative and our Director of Client Service, has a secret weapon when it comes to client service (around here, that means everyone — association colleagues, vendors and, ahem, us — her fellow CSGers).

Well, it’s not really a secret: it’s the giant smile that radiates all day. We occasionally use it to toast marshmallows. This past week she turned it down a notch so we could chat about her journey to CSG.

How did you launch your career?

After college, I got an internship at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts to work in their special events department. It was incredible. The staff was truly committed to providing real-world experience for the team of interns. It wasn’t the feared sitting-in-a-corner-filling internship; we were responsible for coordinating a variety of tasks throughout the summer, including their annual Gala and their Ball at end of the season. I was given a good amount of responsibility and learned a great deal about events, membership organizations, office dynamics, etc.

It was a fantastic summer and, at the end of it, a full-time job opened up. I am happy to say that I am still in touch with many of them 12+ years later – and those connections have helped me land several new opportunities!

What were other important steps along the way?

IMG_2394Working on the client side for IAAPA and other membership-focused organizations taught me about the trade association’s world and those of boards and committees. It taught me the importance of understanding the process of decision-making and of allowing time for each of the constituents. As an intermediary who needs to facilitate communication with designers and clients, these were essential lessons.

Also, even though I was very young when I lived in Germany, having the experience of attending a German school and becoming fluent in another language and culture encouraged flexibility and the ability to cope in different situations – more good lessons.

Do you have any favorite TV shows, movies or books?

Is this a judgment-free zone? I haven’t seen most movies that are popular favorites. In fact, my friends have made it their mission to make me watch all of the Star Wars movies. And most of my favorite TV shows are on Bravo, which I know isn’t really cool to admit, but there’s just something about watching terrible TV at the end of a long day….

What about hobbies? What do you like to do outside of work?

My husband and I adopted our pooch, Sadie, a year and ½ ago, so we don’t have time for hobbies any more. The rescue organization assured us she was four years old and very mellow. Ha. It turns out she was closer to one and very feisty and sassy, which is fun (most of the time), and she loves hiking as much as we do. Plus, she’s almost as comforting as bad TV at the end of a work day.

Thanks to Heidi for giving us a peek into her life. We’re glad that “Aulakh” as in “frolic” is a member of our team.