#EventStudents Advice: ‘Don’t rely on your degree to get you a career’

Last Tuesday I announced the #EventStudents project that I had been working on over the last 3 months, it was great to see such positive feedback from students and recent graduates & I cannot wait to see people’s participation!
As promised today sees the publication of my first interview in the #EventStudents Advice series, with the lovely; Emma Brockhurst! 

Emma took part in this interview back in June 2014 & whilst I have not had the pleasure of meeting her in person we have spoken several times over twitter because of our participation in the #EventHour chat – which happens every Wednesday at 9pm GMT! 

So without further ado, let me introduce you to Emma 

What, when and where did you study? 

I studied a BA(hons) in International Event Management at the University of Brighton. 

Where are you working now? 

I currently work part time as a children and young person’s assistant at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. This is arranging workshops and events for children, young people and families. 

What previous experience do you have?

I have had lots of work experience in assisting at fundraising events, Race for Life, arranging a conference and running my own events. 

What type of job do you hope to gain?

I hope to go on to work with children and young people in a festival setting, encouraging participation in the arts. 

What made you pick International Event Management at the University of Brighton? 

At first I did not think I would go to university but when I started doing my silver Arts Award and working part time at the De La Warr I found my feet in arranging workshops and events. This motivated me to do events management, particularly interested in arts and culture events.  

Did the University of Brighton offer a placement year, and did they push you to take part in work experience during you time at university? 

My university did both we were offered a placement year, which I opted out of. Instead of placement I have pushed myself to get work experience from arranging events and part of the Event Management Society and volunteering at the students union in arranging their events. 

Do you think partaking in a Placement year would have helped your career more? 

At the time I decided I didn’t want to do a placement as I wouldn’t want to come back to education. Looking back on my decision I don’t regret it as I have had plenty of other experience, the only downside is that jobs are looking for a more full-time experienced individuals. 

Overall do you think studying events has helped you figure out what type of job you want?

I think my degree has reinforced the career I knew I wanted. 

Would you change anything about your course or time at university?

I would have probably got involved in extra curriculum activity sooner. I didn’t start volunteering until near the end of my second year, if I’d have done it earlier I would have got much more experience. 

What is your opinion on the recent views that event management course are NOT relevant or helpful to gain a job in the events industry? 

I can understand these views as experience is what really gains you the job. The only comment I would make is that academic study gives you better managerial skills and knowledge in the field. Some knowledge which you would learn in working anyway. 

Would you recommend that students should go to university if they want to work in events? 

I would recommend going because I had one of the best experiences in my life! I think it is all on personal preference, I needed to work on my professionalism and get some confidence before I leap into the world of work but for some people this isn’t always the case. 

What advice would you give to current event management students at university? 

Use your time wisely, don’t rely on your degree to get you a career because it won’t & spend as much free time as you can volunteering and working on events to get the experience you need. 

You can follow Emma on twitter and check out her Linkedin profile.


#EventStudents was set up as a way to allow students to easily connect with students at other universities & to pass of advice and learn from others! You can use the hashtag #EventStudents to pass on advice, talk to other students or (if you are a final year student) to promote academic research! Use it how you will but lets get talking!!!