There are a lot of things I have learnt in the last 21 years & the past 12 months have reinforced that I still have so much more to learn and experience.
Yes there are things I wish I had known when I started out on this course & even more I wish I had done, so here is some advice for you younger event management students from a still young but soon-to-be-a-graduate event management person – advice which I think my younger self would have appreciated!
1. It is never too early to start work: If you haven’t seen the countless articles about how professionals in the industry value experience over everything, then you need to get out of the university bubble & start volunteering.
I have said countless times that experience is so important in events, Yes it can be hard to get paid internships straight away, but why not volunteer at one of your favourite festivals and get free tickets at the same time? Why not volunteer at a local community event, or ask to help in the office for a few days beforehand? These opportunities could lead to getting to know the organisers and start your networking & every single one is experience on your CV.
Do not just rely on a placement year getting you a job after you graduate!
2. Keep up to date with the industry: Know about the trends and changes to the industry, about the people who are influential, the companies that are expanding. When you go to interviews you will have things to talk about and comment on, but more than that isn’t it good to actually know what is going on in the world?
4. Have opinions and share them: Along with having experience people want to know you have a personality and it is important to have opinions and views on topics. When you read an article saying that event degrees are not relevant, how does that make you feel? It made me feel annoyed and undervalued – and I let people know that (see the examples below)! You could do what I do and write a blog, share you views in 140 characters or just comment on those articles. People with opinions show passion and understanding of the industry!
5. Focus, use University services and concentrate on your work: I understand that first year is a big adjustment and that the grades don’t count, but this is the perfect time to talk to lecturers and hear their advice. I wish I had gone to see my tutors more at this stage because it helps with assignments in both second and final year. Really just try and do as well as you can, forget about how well or what your friends and classmates are doing & remember that your degree only affects you!
6. Challenge yourself: This is a main one for final year students, but is relevant to all students! You have to do your best to stand out from the crowd and that is not done if you do what everyone else is doing! Find opportunities and take them, such as the Eventice or by taking the internship that involves doing things you have never done before! CHALLENGE YOURSELF
7. Stop Procrastinating: Easier said than done but I’ve written before about how to beat it!
8. Learn to write a good CV & covering letter + know how to interview: Really important skills to have & something that will prove to be valiable throughout your professional career! I have written about how to succed in these three areas before; CV, Covering Letter & Interview.
9. Have a good time: Events is all about people, it is long hours, hard work, diverse and so much fun, which is why when you are studying or working – you need to remember to enjoy it. Remember to take a moment and get to know the people around you. Don’t be 100% work orientated, rather be 100% dedicated & take a look around and celebrate the things you will achieve.
10. Pass on your advice to others: Everyone will go through their own experience at University & we all have advice we would love to pass onto others so that they don’t make the same mistakes, or to help them experience the great things around them.
Let me know in the comments your advice that you wished to have know when starting university or as a young event professional.
This post is part of the Legal & General campaign to find out bloggers advice to their younger self.