HND EVENTS MANAGEMENT K A M I E K I LT Y MY JOURNEY FROM HND TO FUNDRAISING MANAGER FROM COLLEGE TO UNI (EDINBURGH COLLEGE 2012-2014) Pros - I decided to complete my final year of study at Leeds Beckett University after my HND as in England you only need to complete 3 years instead of 4 to achieve the same honours degree. This meant I could get into working at a faster pace. - New city to explore, new people/contacts to make - Leeds Beckett was the first uni to offer Events
Management as a degree lots of expertise in the field from lecturers and lots more opportunities for experience - College was fantastic to start my studies in Events Management as I did not have the qualifications needed from school to go straight to uni. It helped to build confidence and knowledge. Cons - When I arrived into my third year of uni at Leeds Beckett most students had their group of friends, therefore it was quite daunting to meet new people considering there were about 200 fellow students in a lecture theatre. - The lecturers had no idea who I was as I joined in final year - Youre left to your own devices if you dont show up to a lecture you wont be chased. This is also a pro as well as it means youre in control of your own learning and development but it is a
big difference from college. MY WORK EXPERIENCE/INTERNSHIPS WORK E X P E R I E N C E / VO LU N T E E R I N G Throughout my studies I tried to gain as much experience as I could by volunteering and seeking out new opportunities As part of the work experience module I assisted with PR and Marketing at a local night club and also volunteered at an Oxjam gig I also volunteered at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and was part of the Press Operations team, looking after the press/media for all of the different teams in Judo/wrestling at the SECC In my spare time I wrote/photographed for an online music blog and had the opportunity to interview bands/attend events such as Rockness, Wickerman, T In The Park and Edinburghs Hogmanay. I N T ER NS H I P S
In 2014 I completed my first internship with Macmillan Cancer Support. I volunteered two full days in their Edinburgh office in between working part time and attending college. My role was to help recruit 200 volunteers for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival to help cheer on the runners (particularly the Macmillan runners as they raise over 500,000 across the weekend!) This was great experience as it provided me with an insight into not only the charity sector but also volunteer management and sporting events. When I moved to Leeds to complete my final year of university/studies I applied to become the York Race Day intern, again with Macmillan Cancer Support. Within this project I worked closely with the regional fundraising team and the special events team who were based in London. I gained experience in social media/PR and relationship building as I approached businesses to donate raffle and auction prizes. CAREER PROGRESSION Since I was 15 I have always had a job from paper rounds to
working in Customer Service jobs (New Look, Vodafone, Prudential etc) and it wasnt until I completed my first internship with Macmillan Cancer Support that I realised what type of events I would like to work within/progress into. Since starting with Macmillan my goal was to always become a Regional Fundraising Manager. Edinburgh Marathon Intern Regional Fundraisin g Manager York Race Day Intern
Macmillan Fundraising Support Centre (inbound call handler) COLLEGE SUBJECTS I FOUND MOST USEFUL Graded Unit this definitely helped when it came to writing my dissertation as I thought of each section as a graded unit so as it wasnt too daunting. Finance and Budgeting This is particularly useful to me now as I am responsible for achieving a certain budget for the geographical area that I cover and I review these budgets regularly in order to make a latest estimate, identify gaps/opportunities. Practical Having to pitch our event idea to a panel, create event plan, contingency plan, delegate and then carry out the event on the day definitely helped. Within my current role I have to pitch to potential corporates to win Charity of the Year partnerships as well as present to schools etc about Macmillan and the services we provide in the local area. Health and Safety Risk assessments etc This is all really relevant especially in this day in age as security at events is going to be a lot tighter after recent events so having risk assessments/plan in place to pre empt what may happen is definitely a must. As well as this in my current role I have 17 Fundraising Groups and Committees to manage and for each fundraising event they organise they need to complete a risk assessment to be covered under our Public liability insurance so it is useful for me to know how to complete one.
Customer Care Within any line of work customer service/care is of utmost importance. Particularly in fundraising as I may have to have difficult conversations with supporters about their expectations and what types of events they can organise. The most part of my job is building relationships and maintaining those relationships so it is really important to have excellent communication and customer service skills. ADVICE/HINTS/TIPS Support I really enjoyed studying at Edinburgh College and the support I received from staff was fantastic. I was always asking questions to make sure I was on the right lines or would question aspects that I was not so sure of. However, I do feel in order to prepare any student for university that possibly the support not to be lessened as such, however not too much hand holding. As I mentioned earlier at university you are left to your own devices and really need to use your own initiative and I do feel the support at college gives you that confidence and comfort net, however maybe sometimes less is more in terms of an individuals personal development. English/Referencing I do remember having a module for essay writing and referencing (although it was some time ago now). However, I feel it may have been beneficial to me to have more focus on Harvard referencing throughout all modules of the course as when you then go onto university you have to reference everything and you need to do it correctly or you lose points/marks on your work. There is a lot of theory at university and I did feel slightly out of my depth when it came to referencing my work. Conference Module I feel personally (this may not apply to everyone!) that another subject would be more beneficial in place of this module. It would be great for someone who wants to go into that line of events/work, however for me I feel like I didnt get much out of this module and would have preferred to spend more time on Graded Unit or my event. I know it can be difficult as each student may want to go into a different field of events, however most of the modules/subjects were transferable for all types such as finance, computing, English, practical etc apart from this one which did not take my interest at all and felt there was no overall objective of what I was going to get out of it from a students perspective.
Work Experience Module Im not sure if you still have this module in first year, however I wished I had started looking for a placement earlier than I did as although I thought I was going for a Marketing/PR work experience at a local nightclub, in reality it was more distributing leaflets than learning about their marketing and PR. It would be great If the college had partnerships with local events companies to assist students in obtaining a more structured and realistic work experience in the events sector. Due to working in the charity sector I see how fast paced and growing it is. Especially in terms of careers available in special events teams, challenge/ sporting events, customer service, fundraising and how vital volunteering is. It may be useful to have a module on the third sector/volunteering/managing volunteers at events? As well as this it will be interesting to see how security develops in events and how this is integrated into training/event and contingency plans due to recent events as safety and security are now of even more importance than ever before HINTS/TIPS For any current students studying at college I would give them the following hints/tips: Get as much experience as you can put yourself forward for everything Make an impression, make contacts as you never know what opportunities might come your way Use your own initiative Step outside your comfort zone Always be thankful/say thank you to those who have helped you along the way/provided you with a break you never know who you may need a favour from in future!
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