Hey Gemma! 👋 Tell us about yourself and what you study.
I am an Events student studying at the Event Academy doing a Level 7 degree alternative course. After studying psychology, business and media at A-levels I was very stuck with what I wanted to do in terms of my career. Most people I knew already had their life planned out with getting their placements and applying for university. I was one of the very few who didn’t even apply for university as I always knew I didn’t want to go. I found the Event Academy online and my love for events grew even more. So far, I have completed the foundation certificate and the intensive diploma going on to do the postgraduate diploma this month.
Why did you choose to study events, and what are your aspirations? ✨
I guess I have always loved events from a young age, within my friends’ group and family, I was always the one who wanted to plan the outings and plan what we are doing. The most fun to plan was probably my own birthdays, I would always go all out to make it perfect. I was quite naive in not knowing I could have a full-time career in events but after researching I knew that is where I wanted to be.
My dream job would probably be an event planner for weddings and work freelance, one day having my own business (even though I’ve probably been to about one wedding in my life)! The glam and the romance of weddings is just beautiful but I also thrive off the stress of it. I love the whole idea of being a ‘swan’, all calm and graceful but no one sees the stress and work put in underneath all that.
What have you learned & enjoyed most about your course? 📚
I would say the main thing I have learnt from my course is working in a group. This is something I have done a lot from being in sports teams during my school years but actually planning a logistical event with a group of people of all ages, through zoom and whom I have never met before has definitely got its challenges.
What I enjoy most about my course is that it is very realistic and hands-on. We don't just sit there learning all the theory and no practical. Planning the actual pitch and writing up a ‘leave behind’ document on an event on our own creative idea to a real client is actually what I love doing and learning about. Our first project was an incentive event for a coffee and sandwich company, we planned a festival themed glow party and went all out! Definitely enjoyed that one!
What work experience opportunities have you taken advantage of while studying and what did you learn from them? 💫
The Event Academy have some amazing volunteering opportunities for all students, however of course due to the pandemic I haven’t been able to do many! Before I even started my course, I did volunteer at the Country Living Fair basically shadowing an Event Manager there, it was the first time I saw what the role of an event manager was. It helped me understand what work I wanted to do in the long term as well as showing me a different aspect of the industry. One main thing I learned was the role wasn’t always ‘glam’, I loved every part of it. I got to meet people and connect with them which may one day come in handy!
I am also now currently volunteering with EMA-UK as part of their social media team, which is something different but a great opportunity to volunteer virtually.
How have you adjusted to virtual learning? 💻
I think for me it was tough at the beginning and I know my family were a bit hesitant as I had just come out of A Levels being in the classroom with a lot of help to then completely working alone in my room online with no one pushing me to get on with it. However, I think I have taken the challenge on quite well and actually I am finding it better than if I was to travel into North London, especially as this course is very intense and just because the lectures are finished our day is certainly not, as we have our group work to do in the evening so it has definitely saved time and energy!
What advice would you give other students or aspiring event students? 🎉
I am not the greatest at giving advice but I would say to take every opportunity you get at the start and put all you can into it. Everyone always says ‘networking’ which I think is the best thing to do, it is definitely easier said than done but once you get the ‘hang’ of it, its well worth it! Just message people, ask them how did they get to the position they are, or just simply say ‘hey thank you for connecting with me’ and just start up a conversation. One message can really get you far!
In one sentence, tell us your favourite event 🎟️
Weddings, events of celebration are definitely my favourites.
Thank you Gemma for taking part in the Event Grads Student Showcase!
You can follow Gemma's journey here:
The Student Showcase aims to highlight the incredible talents, resilience, and expertise of event management students.
If you would like to contribute to the Event Grads blog, get in touch! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Student Showcase" for more information.