Charlotte Jefcoate, Events Management, 2015
What are you doing now; tell us about your role and your journey since graduation?
I’m currently working as a Conference and Event Coordinator for the Hilton London
Wembley, based within the sales department on site at the hotel. My role is to deal with clients; taking care of their various meeting and event requirements.
I managed to get this job after attending an open day event at one of the London hotels where I met with the General Manager of the Hilton London Wembley. We swapped details and I ended up getting a job interview.
What were the main reasons you took that course? (to get a good career, innovative facilities/teaching, to go onto further research/study etc)
I took the event management course because I have a passion for the industry and wanted to have the knowledge to back up my enthusiasm. My end goal was to be able to work efficiently and confidently in the industry once completing my degree.
Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?
I chose to study at Derby because of the Buxton campus, where the course is based. It’s a beautiful campus that provides a fantastic real world learning environment. On my campus tour at an Open Day I spoke with some of the current students who gave me further details on the course, and after exploring the topics in more detail, it became the obvious choice for where I wanted to study. The course content covers the whole industry, from health and safety, marketing and PR, to the themes and ideas that all come together to create the event itself.
What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?
Studying the course at Derby was the first step on the ladder to my career. Not only did I learn the theoretical side from books and lectures, I also had the opportunity to experience hands on how the industry works as we were given the opportunity to put that information into practice. Combining the practical experience gained with the knowledge acquired I felt ready to face ‘the real world’.
How did the lecturers inspire you?
The lecturers at Derby inspired me because they had worked in the industry themselves. They didn't just read from a book or a power point presentation, they were able to back up the information they were teaching with real experiences, bringing everything to life.
Not only did they tell us about the amazing fabulous side of events we can all see, but they gave us an honest insight into some of the things that can go wrong, and how to make them right!
How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?
Although I didn't take a placement year, the University offered various opportunities to grow, whilst teaching us the skills needed to obtain a job once graduating. I was lucky to be part of a sports committee throughout my degree, which helped develop my organisational and communication skills that I now use on a daily basis in my current position.
As well as this we were able to work on many events, from Student Christmas Parties to the National Student Events Conference. To top it off we were provided with fantastic networking opportunities; in fact I’ve just recently been in contact with a company at work that came in and spoke to us as students when I was at Derby.
What are your future plans?
To continue growing within the industry; I hope to become increasingly experienced in my role so that maybe, one day, I’ll be running my own events organisation.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?
Do it! After studying at the University of Derby for three years I would definitely go back and do it all over again.
Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?
I have various lecturers and students as connections on LinkedIn and I’m also still in contact with all the students from my course on Facebook; we have a group where we all catch up on new job positions amongst other things.