What's it like to study... Events Management

Events Management is about much more than organising parties, says Ruth Stone, who studied at Manchester Metropolitan University

If you had asked me to describe 'events' as a teenager, I would have told you it was all about glamorous parties, weddings and celebrities. When the Commonwealth games came to Manchester in 2002 and I saw the spill-over effects in my local city, it certainly changed my mind!

The event was a catalyst for developing Manchester, and the community spirit was palpable. Today I am proud to say I’m from Manchester because it is an amazing city with lots to offer – something the Commonwealth games and more recent events have revealed. With the latest mega event, The London 2012 Olympics, it’s easy to see how the vast and far reaching the events industry truly is and how Events Management as a career can take you round the world.

I was a mature student coming back into education and was advised to study a Foundation year. Although at first this felt like a negative step for me, I soon realised how much satisfaction and confidence it gave me to put the work in and come out with top marks – something I had never achieved in school. It provided a basic grounding for events as a topic, but also familiarised me with studying and valuable techniques. For the first time in a long time I was proud of myself and doing something positive. It was hard work, but it was worth it when I saw the results, and of course I progressed onto the degree programme.

The topics were based on management and business but from an events perspective covering a range of subjects from marketing, accounting, economics, HR, risk and legal implications, to sustainability, sponsorship and even running our own event projects. There were some great field trips like Alton Towers, Spy Games and The BBC Good Food Show, which really helped apply the in class learning to live situations. I found events to be such a vast industry and some of the subjects surprised me, now I know how to alter aesthetics to create different atmospheres, the danger of bouncy castles, and how to apply environmental standards, but my study also helped me improve my management styles and understand cross cultural laws and communications. 

The lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University were brilliant, they all had working knowledge of the events industry and their passion and enthusiasm for the topic made it exciting to learn and inspired me especially when workloads were high and deadlines were approaching!

Students were encouraged to volunteer and get involved in a variety of events throughout our course, I honestly believe the more you put into your learning the more you get out of it and so I got stuck in. I have had lots of fun and amazing experiences working at events and made some great contacts for the future. I started off small working at a local bonfire night, but worked up to more responsible positions like artist liaison at Creamfields, assisting at a fashion show, or managing a team of stewards at Glastonbury. Some of my favourite events, though, have seen me in less glamorous roles, like collecting feedback from event customers. This has given me insight into customer preferences for my own events in the future. I also enjoyed coordinating a waste management team at BBC Proms in the Park in Salford - this was a great experience of an important issue within events.

There was an opportunity to take a placement year – and of course, who would turn down the chance to work abroad? I went to America for a year where I worked for Hilton and had the most amazing time. I met so many great people from around the world and gained valuable work experience in hospitality, tourism and events. It was tough being away from home, but I have so many great memories and experience to offer future employers.

The best and hardest part of the dissertation is the self-study, and choosing your own topic. I chose to examine the economic effects of the MBNA Chester Marathon, something I would not have previously thought relevant to events! Once I started researching I realised there are so many integral interlocking social and economic aspects to events, and just how important they are to society. It’s not just about conferences, concerts and sports - it’s about bringing people together for a shared purpose or experience, and enriching lives.

My degree was about developing my career, but I also saw it as a personal achievement. I continued to work part time to cover the costs of studying and I feel this has enhanced my life skills, such as time management and organisation – also essential for events! Managing all this and meeting deadlines was certainly a challenge and there were moments when I wondered what I was doing. However studying a degree has taught me I can do it and I loved every moment. Events management is not a glamorous topic as you might think, nor is it easy, but there are so many exciting and fun aspects of events. Now when I tell people I studied Events Management, and they ask “What will you do now, organise parties?”  I’ll tell them I can do anything from developing my community, raising awareness, representing my country, or traveling the world!

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Cloud ERP Solution Provide...

Guru Careers: Junior Designer / Design Graduate

£18 - 20k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Junior Designer / Design Graduate to...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee Teacher - Maths

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organization is the larges...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific