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Focusing on my passions

Last updated April 25th, 2016

Postgraduate alumna Elly Thomas shares her experience of the event management placement as part of eventcourse.
Photography and events never occurred to me as a good combination of my interests, but now I’m thrilled my placement with the World Photography Organisation is extended until May.
I’d chosen events and knew I was onto a winner as I worked my way through the postgrad course at Event Academy. I was keen on getting experience in sporting events and did some research to find a placement company to begin the placement in January, but nothing jumped out at me.
Justine (Course Director for eventcourse) was a lifesaver – she knew I was getting worried about finding a placement and she called to tell me about an opportunity with the World Photography Organisation. My undergraduate degree was in photography and I’d always loved the exhibitions side of it – bringing people together, setting up and getting audiences through the doors.  The opportunities to work with galleries are really limited though, so I’d shelved it as a career path.
Then I got thrown headfirst into this placement! I’ve learned so much in just a couple of months. The WPO run the largest photography competition in the world, and a series of smaller competitions through the year. My first big job was on the production team for the Sony World Photography Awards. Talk about household name brands! I also got to go over to Dubai while working on the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards (or HIPA for short). This is an international exhibition and I can’t believe I had the opportunity to spend 4 days in Dubai and be a part of the production team. It was hard work, but so worth it.
At the moment I’m rushed off my feet with production for the WPO London exhibition. We’re co-ordinating photographers from all over the world for the exhibition and awards ceremony. I’m looking after all the student finalists, making sure their travel and accommodation is booked, arranging their itineraries and generally making sure they get star treatment. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about large scale exhibitions, all by getting stuck into my placement.
If you’re in London why not head along to the Sony World Photography Awards – you might even bump into Elly, as she’ll be on site at the event. They’re open now until 6th May.

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