I’m Stacey Storey. I’m an Events and Logistics Manager for the Civil Service. I lead a small team of event managers who plan and deliver corporate events.
I was so excited when Claire told me that a new Event Academy location was being announced – in Manchester! I love Manchester, it has so much to offer, some fantastic venues for sports and music and much, much more. Manchester is only an hour away from me by car and is quite a central location for those in the North wanting to do the course. These are some of the many benefits of having an office location in Manchester.
I have had some fantastic experiences with The Event Academy and have met some wonderful people along the way – here’s my story…
A Change of Career
Firstly, I’ll give you a bit of background. Two years ago, I was working on an online customer support team. The people I worked with were great, and I got on really well with them all, but the job itself had begun to ebb. I wasn’t being challenged enough and I could see facets of the role changing into something I knew I wasn’t going to like if I stayed.
An internal role came up in a brand-new area, on a new team to manage our newly built Collaboration Zone (or CZ for short!) back in our office. I pondered over applying for it for a couple of weeks and decided to just go for it. I was taking a massive risk – the role wasn’t established, we were based in another office (our main office had been flooded – and that’s a whole other story in itself!) so we couldn’t physically manage the event space and it was a complete change of career. I told myself I had nothing to lose by applying for the job, so I did. As it turns out, I was the only person who applied – so I got the job!
After initially working to get our people back into our office (which was no mean feat!) I could concentrate on learning my new role properly. The timing fell quite nicely for this next bit.
New knowledge, new friends
I got everyone back into the office, and then travelled to London for a week-long course in Events Management. This was only my third ever trip to London. I was excited and a little apprehensive, as I’d never spent more than a single night away from home and my little girl.
I travelled to Regent’s University for day one of the Foundation course. I met Claire Derrick and Justine Kane. These two ladies are amazing – they welcomed everyone with open arms, and immediately I felt a sense of belonging. They talked to us like we’d known each other for years. This was the point where I knew I had done the right thing applying for the job.
During my week in London, I met some lovely people – I worked with a group on a project and we all got on well to be able to deliver a great pitch and idea for our assignment. We all worked really hard on that project, working late into the night, doing site visits around London, researching.
One of the highlights for me personally was being able to go on site visits for lectures – my previous two visits to London were work related, so I had no idea of the kinds of places London has to offer. And my goodness, I was blown away! I visited Fulham Palace, a wonderful site for weddings; Gilgamesh, the most elaborate and intricately designed restaurant I’ve ever been in – tucked away nicely in Camden, where I also experienced proper street vendors for the first time. It’s a wonderful little world of its own. Finally, I visited the Haymarket Hotel. Wow – this place was just wonderful and had so much that I wasn’t expecting – including an indoor pool, which had a giant floating flamingo and swan in it!
After my week in London, I was asked by Claire to provide some feedback, and was also asked my opinion on the possibility of a new Northern based Event Academy, and whether I thought there would be any benefits or pitfalls. Hailing from Bradford in the North, and having just spent a very tiring and long – but extremely rewarding – week in London, I was ready to give some feedback on this – I believed that there was a market in the North for new and prospective event managers, who may be put off by travelling to London for a week.
Six months after completing the Foundation level course in London, I secured a promotion at work to lead the now established Events and Logistics team. I now have a 5 strong team and our work has expanded from management of one single venue, to now looking at other venues for events within our estate and delivering a variety of corporate events for senior leaders.
I contacted the Event Academy after my promotion and spoke with Claire. I expressed keen interest in taking the next level of course online – the Level 4 Diploma. Claire was really supportive, and actually advised me to think about the Level 7 Post Graduate course – after seeing how I’d worked on the Foundation course, Claire told me she believed I would be a great fit for the Post Grad course. After a think about it, I took Claire’s advice, and got myself into the Post Graduate online course.
I began the online course in May 2017, and now have just a few months left. I work on the modules in my own time, and help is always available from the Student Services team. I’ve also met Clare Thomas along the way, who I just love! Clare is so friendly and easy to talk to, and I have been able to call on Clare for advice on a few things during the course. The Post Grad course is definitely challenging, but the great thing about it is that because I’m working on it at my own pace, in my own time, I can make sure I take the time to really understand each module and take it all in. Being able to work at my own pace is perfect for me – it fits in nicely with my home and work life.
I’ve also met my ‘Project Buddy’ Megan, who is from Belgium on this course too. One of the things I need to do on this course is to work remotely with another person on a couple of projects – it’s tricky, but modern technology has helped us like you wouldn’t believe! We Skype, email, and we’ve got to know each other pretty well.
Just do it!
I honestly have not looked back since I took that risky job move in August 2016. This is the best career move I have ever made and I would totally advise anyone who is thinking of a career in events to take the Foundation course – get yourself to Manchester (or London), meet some lovely new people from across the world, and get immersed in this wonderful, crazy world of events. You won’t regret it!