Event students urged to 'take the initiative' to get jobs

Event management students should 'take the initiative, pick up the phone' and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the industry to find employment, according to a panel of experts.

Students enjoyed one-to-one meetings at MPI Connects, The University of Westminster
Students enjoyed one-to-one meetings at MPI Connects, The University of Westminster

At the inaugural MPI Connects event at The University of Westminster yesterday (28 April), a panel with representatives from Banks Sadler, Absolute Corporate Events and TFI Group advised event students to do thorough research on the ‘complexities’ of the industry and the company their job application is directed to when applying for a job, and advised them to ‘pick up the phone’ to get themselves noticed. 

Around 50 event management students from all over the UK attended the event, where the panel debate was followed by a number of one-to-one appointments between students and event professionals from agencies including drp, Ashfield Meetings & Events, Grass Roots, First Protocol and CWT Meetings & Events.

Students were advised to "listen carefully, ask questions, and follow-up proactively", and were told to call agencies before applying to really understand the job, as well as to follow-up on their applications. They were also advised to know the industry well, and decide where they wanted to fit into it.

Angie Mason, director at Absolute Corporate Events, said: "I need you to know and tell me what you want in the events industry, and really understand it. Don’t expect to be planning Elton John’s birthday party, it’s more likely to be spreadsheets at midnight!" 

MPI UK & Ireland commercial director Hamish Reid told C&IT that agencies had been keen to get involved in the event.

"Feedback from agencies inspired us to create MPI Connects and when we set it up, the majority were keen to say 'yes' and get involved. We got some very fast replies," he said.

Richard Parker, director of healthcare at American Express Global Business Travel and president elect at MPI UK & Ireland, was taking part in the one-to-one meetings with students and was impressed with the calibre at the events.

"I think we’re pioneering something; the buzz in the room is superb," said Parker. "I’ve met some very talented young people and I’ve been very impressed by the standard. I feel really proud to be here."


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