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April 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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BY ANY STANDARD, Makini McGuire is an over-
achiever; she's a medical doctor with her own general
practice in Chaguanas, as well as an entrepreneur.
Along with her husband, Nigel Brown, McGuire co-owns
Corp-So Events Solutions, a professional event man-
agement service for corporate and social functions, all
at the 'tender' age of twenty four!
It's a good thing that Dr McGuire is "a multi-tasker who
loves to keep busy"; it's a balancing act that she seems
to have perfected. "It was more difficult to balance both,
when I was at the general hospitals because of the in-
tense hours; sometimes I would be on 12 or 24 hour
call.... with my own practice I'm more flexible".
A globally certified events professional, Dr McGuire
founded Corp-So Events a year ago. "Thank God for my
husband; he's my inspiration. He saw my gift and en-
couraged me to start this business, and he paid for it!"
One of her biggest coups was the recently completed
'I Do' Bridal Expo, held at La Soledad estate. Corp-So
Events Solutions was brought in less than two weeks
before the event, after another service provider failed
"This is why I started my company, because there is a
need for greater professionalism in this industry. My
client experienced the same thing I did as a bride: lack
of communication by the events planner. Imagine you're
planning a really special occasion, you've entrusted it to
a professional, yet they are not keeping you informed
of the decisions they're making or they are not meeting
the timelines as agreed. This can be very nerve-wrack-
ing and unsettling for a bride or host...at the end of the
day, your planner needs to understand that while they
may be planning your special occasion, it's still YOUR
day and you are paying for it."
Dr Mc Guire relished the opportunity to build her brand.
"I love challenges. We worked really hard to pull off the
event; we were glad to prove ourselves... Our client and
the attendees gave us the thumbs up; it was a success."
Dr Mc Guire approaches every event with the precision
of a surgeon, with a three-step method. Firstly, "there's
the conceptualization stage, where we get an idea from
the client of their vision, and we brainstorm. Secondly,
we 'plan and manage'; we create an event plan and walk
through each step to ensure that everyone is on the
same page. Then, on the day, we execute our event plan
and coordinate the event." Drawing from her medical
background, Corp-So offers a unique bridal service: a
couples' blood test. I shudder to think of the conse-
quences of a negative outcome on a couples' wedding
plans! "As a medical doctor, I've seen positive blood
tests for one person but their partner is unaware; be-
cause of patient-doctor confidentiality I cannot say any-
thing," Mc Guire sighs.
While event professionals need to keep their clients
looped in and communicate frequently. McGuire shares
that customers also need to let their event professional
do their job. Borrowing an analogy from medicine, a
good doctor listens to their patient and a good patient
listens to their doctor. But sometimes you get a 'client
from hell' who is very stubborn; they disregard advice,
they want things their way; sometimes they reel them-
selves back just before the brink of disaster. It's a good
thing, then, that Dr McGuire knows how to be patient.
"If it's a minor thing and they insist, I let them have their
way, let them be happy, but if it's a major thing that
could impact the event and tarnish my reputation as a
professional, then I stick to my guns."
Dr McGuire graduated in 2013, and her practice is doing
well. "My patients love my bedside manner. Medicine is
my calling, my purpose... events planning is my passion.
I love to see something that I've planned take shape; I
love the finished product. With medicine, the workload
is great, the hospital hours were long and only a person
who genuinely wants to practice medicine should em-
bark on this journey. I say that because I know people
who were coerced, as it were, to become doctors; they
didn't want to disappoint their families but they're just
going through the motions. Their heart is not in it. Re-
cently, a colleague said, Makini, how do you do it? I wish
Usually, doctors stay longer at the hospital, but
Dr McGuire went into her own practice so she could
have flexibility with her other business. "I keep up with
my medical courses and I am doing the Canadian qual-
ifying exams, which are very intensive, to be able to
Dr McGuire met her Jamaican husband while both were
studying at UWI's Mona campus. "I had applied to study
here; somehow my name appeared on their list and I
was accepted there instead... to this day it's still a mys-
tery to me." Well, if that's not Divine intervention, then
I don't know what is. Doctor McGuire gushes that her
husband is her rock. As for her father, economist and
management consultant Gregory McGuire, she says,
"I'm a daddy's girl; I love my Mummy, but my father did
everything to ensure that I am what I am today... he al-
ways said, see yourself five or ten years down the road,
and then do what it takes to get there".
By Onika Nkru'mah-Lakhan Photo by Richard Cook Makeup by Reya Gosien
At the end of the day,
your planner needs to
understand that while
they may be planning
your special occasion,
it's still YOUR day and
you are paying for it.
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