After starting out as a teacher, June Schultz took an administrative position with former Wall Street powerhouse Drexel Burnham Lambert. There, she was asked to help with roadshows, followed by conference planning.
“I really just fell into it,” Schultz recalls.
In fact, this was the beginning of a remarkable 25-year career in planning that would see her rise to the heights of the profession.
When Drexel went bankrupt in 1990, she moved on first to The American Physical Society (an association of physicists) and then to The National Kidney Foundation. Spending three years at each organization, she ran international meetings and conferences—trade shows included—for thousands of attendees across multiple concurrent sessions.
Wishing to return to the corporate world, she joined Lehman Brothers for 12-plus years. In May 2008, she lost her job in the firm’s second round of layoffs—prior to the bank’s filing for bankruptcy.
“I was lucky to have extended unemployment benefits, but by April 2009, I could no longer afford to live in New York City,” Schultz says. “After 32 years in the same apartment, I moved in with family in New Jersey.”
Nearing 60, Schultz was far from idle in confronting her situation. Taking advantage of a national grant program available to workers displaced from specific financial institutions (Lehman Brothers among them), she went back to school and earned a paralegal certificate, thereafter finding work at a New Jersey law firm.
Then came the phone call that changed everything.
“While at Lehman, I had switched from planning to globally managing the American Express Corporate Card,” Schultz says. “A former colleague from that program called me regarding an open position in card management at the Interpublic Group of Companies in New York.”
With the search almost closed, Schultz applied for—and won—the position of Global Corporate Card Program Manager. Save organizing small events for her “very social” department, her planning days are behind her.
“No regrets,” Schultz says. “I had a great career and met many wonderful people along the way, but there comes a point when you have to be realistic about moving on. There is life after planning—you just have to plan for it.”