In Conversation with an Events Management Alumnus
Events Management alumnus student, Soraya Tejedera, came back to college to speak to our current students, during National Careers Week. Our HE Communications Officer, Jenny Brook, spoke to Soriya about studying at The Manchester College and her career so far.
Hi Soraya, thank you for chatting with us today! Please tell us a little about your time at The Manchester College and what you are up to now:
1. What was your course and when did you graduate?
FnD Events Management, 2016
2. Could you give us a brief overview of what you have done since you left TMC?
I have continued working at the National Football Museum (since 2014), but I also had the chance to work as Events Sales Coordinator over the summer, thanks to my course at The Manchester College. Now, I am currently doing a BA Hons on Tourism Management at MMU. I also volunteer as Events Assistant at the Chetham´s School of Music in the Events department.
3. Wow, so you are busy then! Do you find maintaining education alongside work, difficult?
Not really because I am only working part time hours and volunteering at Chetham’s School of Music gives me the opportunity to work there as events assistant, which works alongside my course. I am building my experience whilst earning and learning.
4. What challenges did you face after leaving The Manchester College?
As I was already volunteering, I did not struggle for part time work. However, my major challenge as student, is not knowing anyone at MMU for my final year and not knowing the campus. However, the final year goes so fast that you don’t really have time to think about it. I started working on my dissertation in October, and before I knew it, it’s March and my dissertation is due in a week!
5. What have you found employers to be looking for?
Definitely work experience in the industry! That is why I find volunteering so important. Being motivated and having initiative of course helps, but knowing what you are doing, what is expected of you and what skills you can bring to the organisation; is always due to previous experience.
6. Were there additional skills that needed, in addition to those you had learned on your course?
I pretty much learned the basics skills that I would need, thanks to developing the research project for college. I drastically improved my organisation, problem solving, leadership, creativity and motivation.
7. What advice would you give to any current students that might be looking to follow a similar path?
Choose the right company to base your research project on, make a good impression and build a relationship with them - because you don’t know what opportunities may arise afterwards! Also, volunteer somewhere to gain the vital experience needed to start your career. It does not have to be with a big company; I actually find easier to learn from smaller places where they do not have a lot of staff, because they will rely more on you and you will learn the key responsibilities for your future work role.
8. How important is networking and working in the industry whilst studying?
Very important! Meeting people within the industry can open many doors in your career.
9. Tell us about your favourite event – why it was successful and any challenges you had to overcome.
My favourite event is actually the one that I had to develop as a project for my course at College. It was called “Diehard Football Fans”, and it was hosted at the National Football Museum, on the 5th March 2016. By the end of the day, 408 people showed up and had a great time with the activities that we provided: soccer skills sessions, photography contest based on social media, snacks and beverages, face painting and the show of a football freestyler to entertain everyone. The biggest challenge was that on the morning of the event, the original freestyler cancelled on us - so we had to act fast, use our problem solving skills and just hours before the start, find a football freestyler that would perform at the museum…and all for free!
10. What is your dream job/end goal?
As I have a Broadcast TV & Theatre production background, I would love to have a job where I can combined my two passions, theatre and events.
Thanks for chatting to us, Soraya, we have learned how important volunteering and gaining as much work experience in the industry during your course is. Good luck with everything and stay in touch!