Q & A with grad Jessica Newmarch
Like many of our students, Jessica has happily made the transition from a career in hospitality to a career in events, taking only one month to secure an event coordinator role in the corporate sector.
Let’s have a quick look at Jessica’s career path so far…
► Food and Beverage Attendant
► Food and Beverage Supervisor
► Banquet Sales Executive
► Event Coordinator with GEMS Event Management
► NOW Senior Event Coordinator with GEMS Event Management (congrats Jess)
Let’s find out how she fared while studying and how she made the transition from one career to another.
Why event management?
I have always wanted to study event management but thought it was too hard. While working in hotels I saw the different functions being booked and thought to myself, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ When looking for event organising roles, I noticed that you needed a qualification for most roles so decided it was in my best interest to study event management.
What program did you chose?
I chose the Event Manager program. I liked being able to go through the course with a group of class mates as a class. And I enjoyed the different ways of learning content. It wasn’t all reading text. There were videos, case studies, imagery and webinars. I was also able to work closely with my course coordinator to ensure I was on the right track.
I noticed that you needed a qualification for most roles so decided it was in my best interest to study event management
Where are you currently working?
I’m an Event Coordinator with GEMS Event Management
How long did it take you to secure a job in events after graduating?
Why do you feel you got the job over others?
I had the right attitude, willingness to learn and assist with all tasks, a sound understanding of events and what is needed to make an event successful.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day can be very different depending what events we have coming up. My day can consist of any or all of these tasks;
- Management of registrations
- Setup and monitor EventsAIR system for conferences
- Liaise with organising committee in regards to presentations, keynote speakers etc,
- Answer delegate enquiries
- Source sponsors and exhibitors
- Source and liase with venues
- Create event collateral including powerpoints, workbooks, program, Website.
- Follow project plan to ensure all tasks are delivered on time
- Assist other coordinators with their events
- Talk with delegates to ensure they are enjoying themselves
Phew! How satisfied are you with your current role?
What’s a highlight of the job so far?
Working on the Transplant Nurses Association Conference 2018, It was an amazing experience being able to work closely with the organising committee to put together a successful and enjoyable event for people who do so much for our community. It was an enjoyable experience and to be able to exceed their expectations of the event was amazing.
Did the course contribute to you securing this position?
The fact that I studied EventsAIR at college put me at an advantage to other candidates. I was also at an advantage as I could show the interviewer my major project; an event from start to finish and how that process is managed.
I love that every event is different and no two days are the same.
While studying how valuable was the Industry Engagement Program?
Industry Engagement was very valuable as it allowed you to see what is happening in the industry and the many different avenues there are in events. Industry Engagement also allowed me to network with other event professionals including other CoEM Students who were part of other classes.
What other valuable lessons did you take away from the course?
- The way an event runs from start to finish.
- How the event is put together including all the little jobs needed to make the final product.
- How each component of an event correlates with the next step in the event cycle
- The importance of the project plan and working closing with the team you have
- The power of industry contacts and how they can help you with you event
- How the industry is growing rapidly and fast changing
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting a career in events?
Take every opportunity that comes your way. Where you think you will end up in events isn’t always where you end up – I never thought I would enjoy being a PCO (Professional Conference Organiser). But here I am!
What do you love about events?
I love that every event is different and no two days are the same. I love being on-site at events, talking with the delegates and seeing my hard work come together. I like watching everyone enjoy themselves, I love the organisation of events and the structure of events to create a successful event.
What does a future in events look like for you?
I plan to continue to grow in the PCO world. I plan to learn as much as I can and challenge myself by working on events in different states (maybe international). I will continue to ensure my events are successful and an enjoyable experience for all.
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