Friday, 11 September 2015

BA (Hons) Events Management

Liz
It must have been about 6 years ago when the idea of being a wedding planner popped in to my head. Come to think of it, that’s probably about the time 27 Dresses came out in the cinema, and Catherine Heigl played the role of a wedding planner, inspiring a 14-year old me to make a career choice.

Now, aged 20 and having just finished my second year studying Events Management, I cannot imagine anything worse than having to deal with Bridezillas, Monster-in-laws and lace handkerchiefs. Each day I’m grateful my Dad suggested looking into studying Events as a degree rather than letting me peruse a career within the wedding industry!

2 years of Sixth Form flew by and I’d after a various open days, I'd made my UCAS application with my first choice to study BA Events Management at the University of Greenwich. Not long after receiving my text message of acceptance on results day, I found myself in the back of my Dad's car with what felt like my whole life in the back, making the 5 hour drive down to Cutty Sark Halls in Greenwich. The first few weeks were a bit of a blur, so much happened in such a short space of time, and once Fresher's fortnight was over, - and after succumbing to a brutal bout of Fresher's flu (It's a real thing) - I was in my first proper lecture of the year ready to start the next three years of my life.

The first year of the course, was mainly an introduction to Events as an industry. Throughout the year we had 4 different modules that we studied, and being part of the MET (Marketing, Events and Tourism) Department, meant that we shared some of our lectures with students on other courses.

Before we arrived at the university, the faculty had emailed us asking to choose one of our modules. We already had 3 set for us, each worth 30 credits: Introduction to Events, Professional Practice and Experience Design for Events (Now called Experience Design and Event Marketing). Then we had one additional module that we could choose from: there was the 3 languages that we offer at the university; French, Italian or Spanish. Or one that was part of the MET department, I think in our year it was either: Public Relations, Marketing, Tourism or International Events and Festivals; which was what I chose.

Out of all 4 modules, we only had one Exam at the end of the year. This was something I was very pleased about as I always struggled with exams in school and college! The rest of the modules were a mix between group presentations, reports, portfolios and essays. One assignment that particularly stood out for me, that I really enjoyed writing was for the International Events and Festivals module, where we had to review a live event that we'd been to. The catch was that It had to be one we'd attended since starting in September, which I thought was quite clever, as it got us all competing against each other trying to find the best and most interesting event to go to. This was really where we got to see the range of things as a cohort we were interested in. There was people wanting to do things like music festivals and sporting events, to people who have already worked in the Events industry and want to get a degree to be able to expand their knowledge and experience. There's no two people that are the same on this course, which creates a really nice culture, and is always interesting when we get put together for group work!

Despite first year not actually counting towards your final grade, you still have to pass it to get on to your second year - and after what felt like no time at all I had finished my first year with a 2:1. I knew a few people who left uni after first year; because they realised it just wasn't for them. However I know I definitely made the right choice and I spent the entire summer just waiting to get back to London to start my second year.

Just like the first year, we all got to chose a module to take for Terms 1 and 2. The format was a little different this year, and as well as the two that were already set - Event Operations and Event Production in practice - in Term 1 we did an HRM module worth 15 credits and then a new module in Term 2, called Research Methods, which was preparing us for our dissertation (!!!).

We got a choice in what module we could choose again, however we got the chance to hear a little more about the modules in question, and during one of our lectures in the last term of first year, we had different tutors come in and speak to us about the modules and we got to ask questions to help us make a decision. The two that proved to be most popular were Destination Management and Conferences, Exhibitions and Corporate Events. I was torn between the two but eventually what swayed my decision was the fact that I'd been working for a company in the corporate events and conferences sector and found that this was something I really enjoyed and was good at and it's a part of the industry I want to pursue.

Second year as a whole was quite challenging, but in a good way. One of our particularly big projects was having to put on a charity event entirely by ourselves, which was super stressful but totally worth it!

At the end of term we chose our options of third year and the reality of everything sunk in, I'm really looking forward to what my final year at the University of Greenwich is going to bring. If the past two years are anything to go by, it's going to be amazing, and this time next year I'll be a graduate, ready to take on the real world, I'll keep you updated and let you know how it goes.

Liz x

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