By Mackenzie Moffitt
University of Iowa PRSSA members met Michelle Lund at our last meeting, and we learned very quickly that as the vice president of sales for Caesars Entertainment, she is a very vivacious and aspirational woman. She started off talking about the casino industry, and specifically how Caesars Entertainment encompasses 38 major casinos and she leads sales strategies for all of them, earning around half a billion dollars in revenue annually.
At the age of 35, Lund was content living in her small hometown of 5,000 people, but itched to discover something more. It was at this time when she left her comfort zone to pursue a degree in business administration. After graduating, Lund began to build her resume and was eventually contacted by Caesars Entertainment on LinkedIn. Prior to the tedious, yearlong interview process, she knew nothing about gambling or the industry yet knew she had to take a risk and go for it. On top of being the vice president of sales for a large corporation, Lund is also pursuing her masters of arts degrees in industrial and organizational psychology. Not only is Lund continuing her eduction, but she is the mother of seven children. When asked how she manages to balance all of the things she has going on in her life, Lund believes in prioritizing rather than balance. She files every task into categories based on urgency and importance. “If it is urgent and important, I do that task first,” said Lund.
Lund told PRSSA members that in order to be successful, we should not pigeonhole or limit ourselves based on what we think we can, or cannot do. “It is hard to know what you love until you experience what you don’t love,” she explained, in reference to moving to new places or accepting a challenging job position. Alongside this bit of advice, she urged us to never make assumptions about anybody we meet. When the time for student questions came around, many of the questions were in regards to career options, how to prepare for an interview, and professional resumes. For job skills, she said that being a creative problem solver, thinking on your feet, and knowing that collaboration is key are among the important qualities for success. When discussing interviews, she explained that knowing your strengths, being able to swing your weaknesses into a positive light, and not giving one-word answers are among the top things that she looks for in potential candidates. The last word of advice Lund gave was a warning about keeping social media accounts cleans, because employers will check them.
The overall reception of Lund’s visit was very warm, appreciative, and more importantly, inspiring. She gave all of the PRSSA members a lot to think about as we continue forward in preparing for our futures.