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Find your niche placement on our Postgraduate Diploma

Last updated November 15th, 2016

Rebecca Oldham tells us her experience at The Brewery London
I started thinking seriously about a career in event management after serving on two May Ball committees during my time at the University of Cambridge. Each college of the university throws a ball for its students in June to celebrate the end of exams and the start of summer, and, being extravagant all-night affairs with unlimited food, drink and entertainment, they provided a great opportunity to understand and experience just how thrilling and complex organising a large-scale event is. After graduating I started to look tentatively for jobs in the field, without fully understanding the size and scope of the industry or where to start. That is one of the areas in which Ashdown really helped, by painting a picture of the industry and helping me to understand what opportunities were out there.
Of course, I learnt much more on the course than just how the events industry worked, and the knowledge needed to succeed in it, and was able to practice a range of things I’d never done before, such as presenting and pitching. The special sessions we had on these skills really helped boost my confidence, and I learnt that I could be brave and calm enough to deliver an effective presentation, after years of being terrified to stand up and speak in front of people, which made a big impression on me.  I did feel however, that pitching wasn’t really my cup of tea, and that I would prefer to work in a more reactive capacity, hence my decision to look at venues for my placement (having previously had no idea where I wanted to work upon starting the course). I chose The Brewery as my first choice venue, after being advised by Justine that I would get on well there, and after learning about the versatility of the space that meant it could play host to a range of different events.
At The Brewery I have essentially taken over the Event Sales Coordinator role in the Sales team, and work to support the Sales Executives (who are responsible for taking enquiries and planning events right up until the day of) by carrying out administrative tasks such as raising contracts and purchase orders, as well as sourcing services and products required for the events such as entertainment, furniture etc and creating BEOs. I also relay weekly information about upcoming events and sales activity to interested parties, both internal and external, and am responsible for client showcase guest lists such as The Brewery Summer Showcase, the upcoming Halloween Showcase, and the Christmas tastings. While at The Brewery I have also had the opportunity to do a few days of experience with the operations team who run the events on the day, including helping at the Association of Independent Music Awards, have accompanied the Sales Executives on our weekly competitor site visits, and have spent a day in the kitchens learning how the chefs make serving a 700-people dinner possible. Of course, through observing the rest of the team at work I have also learnt a huge deal about event management, and how a large venue like the Brewery operates on a day-to-day basis.
With my internship drawing to a close I have been offered a paid contract to stay on at The Brewery until Christmas and cover the busy period, and would then very much like to continue working there if a space opens up in the Sales team. If not, I am not sure whether I would like to stay in venues or move to an agency, and it is something that I am going to have to ponder in the coming months! I am, however, sure that I would like to stay in the events industry, at least for now, and would advise anyone looking to do the same thing to attend Event Academy, as the course really helps navigating the world of events so much easier. A strong work ethic and sense of humour is also a must, as events are much more complicated, and unpredictable, than anyone realises!
 

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