Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Mitchell's Staying Social at UCLan

I wanted to study Event Management because of the originality of the course. I wanted to do a course that had a hands on approach and constantly tested my skills and knowledge of the industry. Upon my interview for the course I automatically got a warm welcome from the head of the course Rod Train and I made my mind up there and then that this is the course I would like to study at UCLan.

I chose to study at UCLan do to the accessibility of the university. With most universities everything is segregated, meaning that the accommodation and university buildings aren’t in close proximity to each other. This isn’t the case at UCLan, my halls of residence was only a 5 minute walk to most of the buildings. It was extremely close to the train station. The variety of onsite services available were also a deciding factor for me. There is a campus doctors, dentist, 24 hour library, gym and even a Starbucks which is always handy. 

I managed to secure a job a month prior to graduating, working for UCLan themselves. Initially I started out on the Events Team assisting them with the DS16 degree shows and the Lancashire Science Festival. A month into the role a position opened up within the marketing team which I applied for and managed to secure the job.

My job title is Social Media, PR and Digital Assistant Intern. I run and control the social media accounts for Management, Law, Applied Social Sciences and CELT. Running the two main corporate channels of UCLan and Study at UCLan 2 days a week. In addition to this, I also attend several events that happen around the university. Most recently I was working UCLan Welcome Week, during this event I went round the societies fair to interview and record societies to get their messages out across social media.
One of the most exciting aspects of the job is working closely with UCLan’s China office in Shanghai. I frequently work closely with them to share student’s stories and experiences. Due to the social media restrictions within the country, a system has been developed that will allow them to access the information and share the data from their end.

I was lucky enough to manage the School of Management, which Tourism, Hospitality and Events fall under. I get to control their main social media platforms and I’ve been able to get the Twitter channel more active receiving more engagement and interactions through running several competitions and sharing students experiences and stories. The list of my duties are so vast I could go on and on! 

My biggest lasting memory of UCLan was receiving the opportunity to travel to Cambodia and volunteer with the Green Gecko Project. This experience was amazing, and I will always look fondly upon the experience. The trip was hard and testing due to the extreme climate and poverty within the country, with working on the gecko farm being one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced in my life to date.
In addition to this, I received the opportunity to plan and run several events in order to raise money for several charities. One of my favorite events was fundraising for Barnardo’s, my team and I ran two events for this which included a burlesque show.

Due to the size of the course, we all got to know each other closely and bond with each other. We were more like a family than classmates. The lecturers were also part of this family, they would speak to you in a friendly manner and were always willing to help and provide guidance whether it be academic or personal, they would never turn you away.  

My advice to potential students who want to study this course at UCLan is to participate in every experience you’re offered. Work hard, but don’t forget to have fun too. There are so many fun experiences I’ve had on this course and I will always remember them. The grades you get reflect upon the level of effort you put into the work. I never thought I would graduate with a first, but with a good work-life balance I managed to maintain an active social life whilst completing all my course work to a high standard.

I would also say participate in the placement year. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made, I struggled to find a placement initially due to my lack of experience; but in the end I managed to secure an event supervisor role at the Fusilier Museum. This organisation were amazing to work for and they provided me with so much knowledge and experience of the industry and I’ll be able to transfer the skills I’ve learned into future roles! 

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