Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Student experiences 'real world learning'

Richard Cheetham put his Event Management studies to good use as he helped to deliver The National Citizen Service (NCS) Network Conference 2013 at Aston University Campus Conference Centre.

Currently in his second year at UCLan, Richard works as a consultant for the Young Advisors Charity in Sefton. They act as the voice for young people in their area, sitting on decision making boards and bringing about positive impacts on their Council and other agencies.

They are commissioned by organisations across the borough to support them to better engage with, and involve, young people. The charity's hub is the National Young Advisors, with schemes networked across the UK and USA.

Richard's role was to create a presentation and co-facilitate workshops on Social Media and the showcase of a new web-app, RoundUp, created by the Young Advisors for NCS. Approximately 350 NCS Members and affiliates of the Network attended the conference.

Richard gained a great deal from his experience: "The event gave me an interesting perspective of how business conferences are run, especially as I was able to experience this by actually delivering part of it. I've been to conferences both locally and nationally, but only ever as an attendee, so it was good experience to see behind the scenes.

"With this being the first time RoundUp was shown publicly, I did feel a little apprehensive before the presentation. Nearly half the conference had signed up to see our workshops which meant I presented to about 150 people.

"The majority got the idea and could see how useful it would be to their work. There are always a few people who couldn't grasp what the app does and it was dealing with these where I gained the most.

"I found I was able to convincingly answer questions. This was something I was apprehensive about at the beginning, especially being a young person having to present a new idea to adults experienced in their field of work.

"I feel the event has opened up more working opportunities for me, and there have been suggestions of more work with RoundUp in the near future. I was also brought in to work on another web-based product currently in development."

Richard now plans to use examples from the conference for a current Events assignment looking at whether technology is a threat or opportunity for conferences and meetings.

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