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You’re closer than you think to a career in event management

Last updated November 30th, 2018

Aida Oliva talks about her placement with the charity  DM Thomas Foundation

For a long time I didn’t know what to do with my professional life. Straight after I finished my degree more than 4 years ago in Barcelona I came to London. I needed adventures, I needed it to improve my English and I needed to get away from my little town. I didn’t know if I wanted to start a career in Journalism but I wanted to go to London and here I came. London seemed the right place. For 4 years I tried to survive in the working jungle that this city is. I have worked in different sectors, none of them related to what I studied. I worked in Pret a Manger and as a nanny trying to find something that would fulfill my professional ambitions. But they didn’t. I could feel that something was missing. The excitement wasn’t there. These jobs are dull jobs with no future. So I left seeking my professional passion. But what was it? What could I do?
These questions would fly around my head day and night. I was trying to find something that I liked and I could find myself working in with a future career. And then my mum suggested EVENTS. It sounded strange, I never really thought of that. Not exclusively events, but I had thought about Public Relationships while I was at University. I always liked to socialise with others, to organise things, to be able to put together and to create the strategy of a social event. But I didn’t like the bureaucracy and the politics of PR. And events? YES. EVENTS.
My mum had found the solution for me. Mums, what we will do without them, eh?!
I started looking into studying events. That was 2 years ago. And I found a Master’s degree in Barcelona that I could do online. And I went for it without realising at the moment that that was a mistake. But at that moment I didn’t felt confident enough to study at school here in England. My English wasn’t good enough. So doing a Master’s in Catalan seemed just much easier. Although, and as I came to realise after, living in London a Master’s done in another country doesn’t have the same value than one done in UK.
After I finished my studies I tried for a year to find a job in Events in this big city. I did some volunteer jobs in Charities and I discovered my passion for the Industry and for the charities itself. Working with different non-profit organisation with different aims but ultimately with the objective to do some good to our society is so fulfilling. It was then when I realised I wanted to work for charities. I wanted to work in Events for Charities. I loved the idea that I work helping others by doing something that I loved: organising events. I loved the excitement and adrenaline after every event, and when the day comes, to see what you have imagined and help putting together. So I tried to find a job, a paid job, without any success.
I was getting desperate again when I took the initiative to study something here in London that would give me the accreditation that I needed to work in the Sector. I did some research, a lot of research, and I found Event Academy. There were a lot of different schools offering the same exact course that Ashdown, three moths lessons and three month practice –what I wanted, the practice-. The only difference was Ashdown was the only one accredited by the CIM and that made me decide.
I came with a lot of enthusiasm hoping that this will help me. It was kind of my last chance here in London. Sounds a bit dramatic, but this is how I see it. And I found myself in a class with incredible people. A few with the similar stories than mine, few with a completely different backgrounds, but all of them looking for the same than me: experience in the Events Industry.
And we got that. The projects we work through the course are a real professional experience. Not just because you get to know the real client behind the briefing, but because you have to present a real project in short time. I remember the first one, it was chaotic. We thought we could never do it, that was too much for such a short time, but we did it. And the others seemed easier, just because we already pass the first one.
Although the most challenging part wasn’t the projects but working with different people. The pressure sometimes can bring the worst out in you and in the others. But you also learn how to be patience and how to manage people with different personalities and characters than yours. Our job, events, is a people job. You have to work in a cooperative way with people in order to success. And working with this bunch of people was a very good trial. Very surprising too. If one thing surprised me about our group in Event Academy was the creativity. I never considered myself creative, and working with some of the most creative mines I’ve ever seen was incredible. Makes you want to improve and to get better.
After these three months of lessons with some incredible lectures with amazing stories and a lot of positivity, I entered my long expected internship. As I knew since I started, I wanted to work for charities. This was my objective. So I came to work for DM Thomas Foundation for Young People an amazing organisation which aims is to help transform the lives of vulnerable
and disadvantage young people and children across Europe and UK.
They are a very small team. The fundraising team is formed of just two people handling the entire fundraising job. The Foundation itself organises a few events throughout the year. Mainly they acting as an administrative office giving administrative support to their partners who ultimately are the ones who organise the events. I am well aware that events are not just action but also desk job. So I am more than happy to take this kind of job. Working with DMTFYP has given me another perspective of the events job and I take this as an advantage. I have learnt new computer skills and this is always useful. And, luckily enough, I also had the opportunity to actively participate in their first Charity Cup and Afternoon Charity form the beginning through their execution.
But, my three months will finish in three weeks. This is coming to an end. Soon will be just me and the events world. So, with a bit of fear I had already started to look for jobs. And this time, with the experience gain on the course and on the internship I hope I will be able to find a one. I won’t get defeated. Now I am an Event Manager, and I will get a job!!
And you, the new undecided person who wants to get into the Events Industry but is afraid of losing, you can too. If I did it you can do it! Let’s do it!

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