MPI awards Vanessa Cotton scholarship

MPI UK & Ireland has awarded its inaugural Vanessa Cotton scholarship to event management student Olivia Pole-Evans.

MPI awards Vanessa Cotton scholarship to Olivia Pole-Evans (pictured)
MPI awards Vanessa Cotton scholarship to Olivia Pole-Evans (pictured)

Pole-Evans, who is an event management undergraduate at Leeds Metropolitan University, was awarded the scholarship at an MPI networking event at Mezzanine Cafe at The Royal Exchange Grand Cafe in London last night (22 January).

As the winner, Pole-Evans will attend the MPI European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, next month.

The Vanessa Cotton Scholarship was created to recognise ambitious and bright students graduating from Event Management degrees and to support their first step in to the industry.

The scholarship also pays homage to the late Vanessa Cotton who played a significant leadership role in the professionalism of the meetings and events sector both in the UK and internationally.

The scholarship is funded by ExceL London, Reed Travel Expo and the MPI UK & Ireland Chapter.

Karen Walters, director at Eventful Connections, headed the judging panel, which also featured Sarah Fleming, managing director of Sarah Fleming Associates and Jane Hague, head of corporate account development at ExceL London.

Walters said: "Olivia impressed the judges with her focus and understanding of our industry. Olivia has already accumulated a very strong track record in event management, co-ordinating a host of different festivals and congresses, whilst studying for a degree in event management at Leeds Met.

"As an MPI Young Achiever, she has a clear mindset for her career path and is looking to excel as a PCO, which was a sector close to Vanessa’s heart."

Miguel Neves, MPI Chapter President added: "The scholarship is a unique opportunity to empower student members who have the drive and passion to make their mark in the meetings industry. In Vanessa's memory we are rewarding a student who has demonstrated outstanding communication skills and a strong desire for personal development through the MPI Foundation Scholarship. Olivia will now reap the benefit from the quality education and valuable connections to the global MPI network."

Pole-Evans said: "I am truly grateful to MPI and the sponsors for providing this amazing opportunity to attend EMEC in Istanbul. Without their support this would not have been possible, and I’m looking forward to networking and developing professionally. I really appreciate the value of the opportunity and feel very privileged with the help MPI provides in developing my career." 

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