Kristina Schreiber of The National Ballet of Canada: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Today’s Notable Young Professional is National Ballet of Canada Manager of Special Events and Turnout Kristina Schreiber, who’s responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of approximately 100 events each year, one of which Toronto young professionals should definitely have on their radar for June 11th…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
As the Manager of Special Events and Turnout for The National Ballet of Canada, I am responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of approximately 100 events each year, including our annual fundraising gala, MAD HOT BALLET, which takes place this year on June 11 at the Four Seasons Centre and raises over $1 million for the company. I also plan and oversee all of our events abroad when the company is on tour. In addition to this, I provide leadership and support to the National Ballet’s young professional programme, Turnout.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I began working at the National Ballet in 2007 as a Special Events Coordinator and have progressed to where I am now. I have always wanted to work in events, and my previous experiences have helped me to lay the groundwork for the skills I have now. Turnout, our membership programme for YPs, is a fairly new initiative for me. I am delighted by how much I enjoy this aspect of fundraising!

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
My job involves interacting with all areas of the company – from marketing to fundraising and everywhere in between. I love getting to know the dancers and seeing the different stages of rehearsal.  I love visiting the wardrobe department and seeing all of the wonderful things that they’re working on. I love learning about how the company is inspiring people in the community to become donors – it’s a very stimulating environment!

It’s often a challenge to be sure to give each project the focus it deserves when we have so many events going on. Events are just as much about the details as they are about the big picture.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
Although I’m on a constant journey to find the right balance, I know that my work/life balance is off when I eat cereal for dinner more than three nights in a row. I make an effort to stay healthy, especially during our busy seasons, to ensure that I’m in the right mental and physical state to perform my job well.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
The National Ballet is constantly growing and I would be lucky to continue to grow along with it!

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Nerves – before events, big meetings, or presentations, my nerves used to take over my mind and body.  I have worked on building my confidence and have developed strategies for preparedness that help to ease those nerves. Also, experience helps! The more you complete a project or task successfully, the more your nerves will settle the next time around.

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Success to me would be enough time to spend with my family while still working on achieving my professional goals.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being hired by the National Ballet over six years ago! Having the opportunity to work for such a prestigious institution has been a wonderful experience. Other notable milestones include the National Ballet’s annual fundraising gala, MAD HOT BALLET. The event grows so much every year, and it’s very exciting to be a part of it. Also, revamping our young professional membership programme, Turnout, during the last year; being able to connect such an enthusiastic group of young people to the ballet has been a great experience.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Be persistent – if you have a passion, follow it and find a way to make a living doing what you love. 

Volunteer – there is no better way (especially in a non-profit environment) to get to know the type of organization that you’re interested in than by volunteering.

Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Jacob & Co Steakhouse is a favourite for my husband and I. It’s somewhere that we go to celebrate special occasions and we always treat it like a special outing in itself. The steak is superb, but it’s the atmosphere and service that really make it top notch. 

When I want to stay in and still eat a delicious meal, my husband is an excellent cook and wouldn’t hesitate to cook up a lobster risotto or a lamb leg and invite some friends over to enjoy with us.

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I love catching up with friends and family, eating my husband’s delicious meals and walking/running/biking along the Kay Gardner Beltline down to Brickworks for brunch at Cafe Belong – it’s the best way to spend a nice day!

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Europe! I love to travel and I spend weeks/months perfecting my travel itineraries before heading overseas. I’m currently working on a travel blog, From Ronus With Love. The name is based on a nickname and I’m using it as a tool to share my experiences, which are really geared towards young professionals and how we like to travel.

If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
I can’t pick one! I’m a Gemini, so one day it could be “Girls” by Beyonce and the next it could be “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.  

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Planning elaborate vacations for a boutique travel company. 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
The National Ballet of Canada, of course. I love being able to support such a beautiful art form. I also support Rethink Breast Cancer and I have been on the planning committee for Boobyball for the past three years and co-chair of the Decor and Logistics subcommittee for the last two years. It’s an excellent organization that focuses on supporting young woman battling breast cancer and I have been honoured to help with this event! 

What to you is notable?
Young professionals who are working hard to achieve their goals – and hopefully creating something fun for the rest of us in the mean time!

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone for personal use, BlackBerry for work. 


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