The closer I get to graduation this year, the more I think about the things that are daunting me about being a fully-fledged event industry employee:
Am I ambitious enough?
I have had so much fun volunteering and/or doing small event jobs like stewarding during my time at university and it terrifies me that I can’t see myself loving coordinating events as much as I like just being a part of them. The level of organisation is daunting; if it takes me a week of fear before starting an essay how can I have the pressure of stakeholders and attendees on my shoulders? I don’t know if I want to be responsible for the things I’ve learned about during my degree; health and safety, sponsorship, day delegate rates, logistics, these things all quite frankly cripple me with fear and I can’t help thinking I’d have a much better time if I got paid for the role of ‘events volunteer’. post-graduation this summer, I should have the foundations of the skills I need to make events my full time career, that is so scary.
What type of events do I want to get into?
When I first decided I wanted to go into events, it was because I love award shows. The Brits, The Oscars, the Grammys, The BAFTAs, award season is one of the best times of the year second only to Christmas. Now that I’ve learnt about everything it takes to actually make an event happen, award shows sound like the worst thing ever: coordinating all those a-listers to be at the same event at the same time, making sure they’re safe before, during and after the event, broadcasting the event on live television, keeping timings precise and correct when Jolie’s train is hampering her ability to get on stage fast enough and someone’s let Clooney have too much champagne pre-speech. Just to name a few. It sounds like hell. So now what? I know that the options are endless and no event is the same. It’s difficult to specialize in one typology anyway as event types often overlap and are therefore hard to define (See Bladen et al, 2012 for typologies), but coming to terms with the idiosyncrasies and nuisances all of those rough event typologies (MINCE, cultural events, sporting events etc.) is daunting and, as we’ve discussed above, I may be unambitious.
Have I wasted 3 years on a degree I don’t need?
Will this debate never end? EVERYONE. IS. TALKING. ABOUT. IT. I am genuinely worried. Not worried that I wasted my time; if I’m honest, 18 year-old me A) wouldn’t be able to go into the industry knowing nothing at all and B) was an incredibly lazy teen. I know that after getting my a-levels I would’ve spent my time having an internal panic about life and the future, all the while taking no steps towards a career. To be fair though, part of my probably did go the university route because it came with a 3-year delay on real life. I’ve come to the conclusion that the degree was worth it for me personally, I needed it. But I’m so sure that the degree isn’t for everyone. When it comes to interviews for event jobs, I’m undecided about whether or not my degree will give me the edge over someone that has spent the past three years getting hands on experience in the field. After reading Cat Goulbourne’s tips for getting into the industry with or without a degree I feel like I’m on the right track, I’ve volunteered for event companies in the past and the amount of research I’ve done into the event industry over the past three years is huge in comparison to the amount 18 year-old me would’ve done without the motivation of a degree to work towards.