Today was my last day working as a Marketing Coordinator for the United States Dressage Federation. USDF was my first “big girl” job, so leaving it is definitely a big deal, and I am not a fan of change. I have learned so much in my year and a half of employment at USDF, I know a bit more about dressage now but I’m still by no means an expert. I have learned plenty about sponsorship, event vendors, and inventory among other things. More exciting: I am one badass bag stuffer and box builder.
I have known for awhile that I wanted to move on. I felt stuck without any forward movement. With an hour and a half commute, and an uncertain future, I was mentally unsettled. By mentally unsettled I mean that my anxiety and depression were ramping up big time. It is crazy how much difference one week can make. Just one application submitted, I had no expectations. Before I knew it, I had a new job offer on the table from my dream company, Keeneland.
Keeneland is a racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky and it is one of my favorite places on earth. The track is gorgeous, and from a marketing geek standpoint, they are the top of the heap in the racing industry. Keeneland knows exactly who they are, they sell an experience that attracts outside the general racing demographic. To be a part of their team would be a dream. And I am so proud and excited to say that I get to join this team.
I knew I would miss USDF, but today I realized how much I connected with the people I worked with. I honestly didn’t expect to be missed very much, but the outpouring of well wishes from my colleagues warmed my heart. I spent 40 hours a week (sometimes more) with these people for almost two years, in a way they feel like family. I can’t help but think about the projects they have on the table and feel sad that I won’t be a part of that. I am ready for the next step but I won’t forget USDF or the people I worked with everyday.
This also marks the end of my time at the Kentucky Horse Park. Straight out of college I was given the amazing opportunity to work at the world famous Kentucky Horse Park for the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. The park feels like home to me. I remember my parents taking me there when I was six and I felt like that was where I belonged. I loved horses and this was my Disneyland. If you would have told six-year-old me that I would work there one day, I wouldn’t have believed it. Leaving employment at the park I was lucky to be able to stay on-site at the USDF office.
I am going to miss driving into this beautiful establishment everyday. On my lunch breaks I could walk through the park and see horses everywhere. I could visit Kentucky Derby Winner Funny Cide anytime I wanted. I got to go to the Rolex 3-Day-Event, BreyerFest, Pony Finals etc. I will never get this opportunity right outside my office ever again. It is bittersweet. The park will always have a piece of my heart.
As sad as I am to leave, I know this is the right move for me. I am excited to work at such an iconic establishment, I know I can learn so much and I hope my skills can benefit Keeneland. I don’t know what my future is going to hold but I am elated with how it is going so far. I am ready for a new job at a new company and a new home, Lexington, Kentucky.