Thursday, 16 October 2014

Festival Volunteering & Greenbelt 2014

I've spoken about Greenbelt festival countless times on this blog, due to interning with them in 2011 & volunteering with the programming team for the last few years! I know I am bias when I say this festival is brilliant, but thats not going to stop me from saying so! Not only are they an amazing team of people, but they gave me my first real opportunity to learn about how a large event is organised and managed!

In 2011, I was a 18 year old events student who's only events experience was 2 weeks in an office organising hotel rooms and speaking to volunteers; and sadly for many organisations that is a no go zone. Why? Because it takes time to train and help someone who has no experience in that particular area. We all know that there is a vicious circle within the events industry in needing to gain experience but to get that initial chance you have to show you have previous experience!

Which brings me on to why Festival volunteering is such a great opportunity for Event Students! You don't need to have tons of experience to be a good volunteer, just a focus to work hard & be willing to learn and do a range of different jobs!  Whilst the idea of stewarding isn't for everyone it does involves many different skills from dealing with the general public through to artist liaison & if you volunteer for the same festival or volunteer group you will gradually gain more responsibility that will add so much to your CV.

Because I first interned with Greenbelt I have been able to volunteer and work with the programming team, which I absolutely love because it is much more to do with event operations than other stewarding work i've done in the past at other festivals. But I know a lot of people who have volunteered as Stewards for some big UK music festivals & then been given the chance to work backstage main stage, managing large volunteer teams & even getting the chance to do some longer work experience!

Showing passion, working hard & getting involved will lead to some amazing opportunities! 

The great thing about festival volunteering is it takes place outside of term time, mainly during the summer months & there are so many different types of festivals to work at, you will be able to find one that suites your interest! Festival volunteering doesn't have to mean music festivals, there are many art and literacy events across the UK - plus a large number of music festivals cater to a smaller number of attendees!

If you are in your first year of Uni & are struggling to find work experience or are looking to fill in some of that free time during the four months off at the end of every year - I would highly recommend that you look at the opportunities to volunteer at a festival. Most festivals put all their info up on their website, with a majority of events promoting their volunteer opportunities from the end of the year; i've listed just a few websites & festivals that I would recommend having a look at!

Have you volunteered for a festival before? How was your experience? 

Remember that the #EventStudents project has both a Facebook & Linkedin group; come join in the discussion & send across your tweets to our twitter account

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Graduate Journey: September 2014 (and start of October)

I understand that I am a few weeks late in this being a 'September' update post, however lets not let the date get in the way to a good old catch-up! 

Back at the start of September (Wednesday 3rd - to be exact), whilst in Berlin, I found a fantastic job opportunity via a re-tweet on twitter. When I say it was a fantastic job I am not exaggerating, this was the perfect one for me, it brought together my passion for using events to engage with young people - in a company that seems to embrace creating something meaningful and engaging. 

Right of the bat I should say that sadly I didn't get the job BUT it gave me the chance to do another video application (the last one being for The Eventice). I got through to the interview stage & participated in an enjoyable social media challenge that set the goal of creating a week long campaign  on a topic of choice that fitted with the goals and focus of the organisation. 

The rest of my time has been spent trying to update my CV, but its been hard.

You know when you get to the point of only having to make a few small changes, but those small changes are really complicated and mess up the whole formatting of the document, so you give up and go watch box set re-runs?! Well thats the stage I have been at for around a week and a half!

Applying for jobs is a combination of determination and an ability to fully 'get' online applications; you know the ones where you attach your CV but then have to write out your full education and past jobs! It is mentality defeating!

Alongside all the applications i've been doing some regular freelance work for a start-up company, they work within the Ed-Tech B2B area (something that I have not previously been exposed too) - which has been incredibly interesting and quite a learning curve.

So for now I am still on the Job Hunt, somedays it can be very boring and little is achieved but slowly and surely I am getting to grips with this long and windy process that is Graduate Life!

If you are a recent Graduate, how is the Job Hunt going for you?? 

Remember that the #EventStudents project has both a Facebook & Linkedin group; come join in the discussion & send across your tweets to our twitter account

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Winter Ambition: A Reading List for Ballsy Women.

This is my first post as a member of the Bullish Blog Network; which I am very very VERY excited about! 

Bullish was created (and envisioned) by Jen Dziura, and is career advice for determined individuals who want to construct their own path in their own way! You can read tons more about this on the website - which I highly recommend you do! I’ve been a BIG fan of Jen’s articles for years, partially because she is a wonderful writer but mainly because I found her whilst at University and at a time when I needed that push, that reminder - i’m in charge of my future! 

That’s what we all need sometimes to read something that motivates and propels you forward. I’m all for feeling empowered and over the last few months have been reading books that inspire, engage and teach me things; which is all propelled from the fact I am no longer a Student but don’t count myself as a ‘real’ graduate as I am still on the Job Hunt! 

These are a few books that I’ve loved and that I hope you will too!

Lean In: For Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg

I did a full book review of this last week, but it really is a great book that I highly recommend! If you are not a recent graduate or current university student then the original Lean In book is equally as good (and pretty much the same). Out of all the books on my reading list this is the most ‘academic’ in the sense that is very focused on teaching and sharing advice; the points raised are things that I was already aware of, but Sheryl gives honest stories of ways to get past the ‘problems’.  

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

I finished this book within 3 days of purchase & it really is a good read, it is more of a memoir and the story of how Sophia got to where she is, alongside a few tips. A lot of people had recommended this book and for that reason I was both excited and wary to read it, I grant you that it is a little repetitive & there were a few chapters that I found slightly condescending in their tone with the ‘advice’ not being that helpful. However it is much more of a relaxed read compared to Lean In, and it did inspire me to go ahead and do the things I been ‘dreaming’ about (but obviously not putting into action!) 

The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism by Ellie Levenson

This is the first Feminist book that I ever read - I was 16 & I owe a lot to this shaping who I am as a individual. I found it to be both informative and interesting without being condescending and whilst there are newer and more ‘popular’ books out there that talk about the idea of Feminism I am bias to Ellie’s book!

Basically this is on my list because I think all Women & Men should count themselves as a Feminist, equality for all is extremely important especially when talking internationally!

Rookie Yearbook (One & Two) by Tavi Gevinson

I remember reading Tavi’s Fashion Blog all through secondary school & Rookie Mag, although aimed at ‘teens’, is a fantastic site. One of the best things they have done it collate their articles and posts into a yearbook for each of the years the site has been running! I love reading the essays that individuals have written and whenever I am having a ‘bad’ day, reading these incredible stories helps me regain focus! 

45 Pep Talks by Kara Haupt

This Women is by far one of the most amazing and talented individuals! I have followed Kara for years (in a non stalkerish way!) across her different blogs and through to her recent creation Babe Vibes! She produced an amazing booklet of Pep Talks that are perfect to read when you just need a lift, a push to get you back to being your amazing self! 

These are only a handful of books that are worth reading, the other Bullish Bloggers have recommended some incredible books that I cannot wait to get my hand on - so check out Katherine Shives & Jamie Lee's posts! Also if you have any suggestions of books that I should be reading then let me know!!