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Alumni-Chloe Spicer

 

Chloe Spicer is a graduate of our Tourism and Events Management course. Find out how she secured a fantastic work placement and how Northumbria has helped her develop key skills to succeed in the Events industry.

 

What is your current job title and what does your role involve?

I’m a Meetings and Events Coordinator at Vermont Hotels. Within this role, I’m responsible for booking corporate events across 2 hotels, which involves dealing with enquiries, showing the client around the facilities and finally, managing the event. The role requires a lot of customer service skills and attention to detail as sometimes clients will request very specific and small things!

 

How did studying at Northumbria help prepare you for your career?

I did a Placement Year with BSG Interns, where I spent 7 months in Florida and 5 months in North Carolina. This placement gave me versatile experience within the events industry. For example, as part of the placement I managed events at private country clubs and one of these clubs was Jewish, which involved a lot of events such as Bar Mitzvahs. The Bar Mitzvahs were hard work and in general, the work at these clubs was very demanding  but helped me gain skills in being prepared for anything. When I came back from placement, I felt very motivated and had a new found sense of get up and go. I think if I hadn’t of done my placement year, I would have struggled more with final year.

There was lots of support when it came to finding the right placement. The BSG Team came into Northumbria to provide a careers and employability talk and to share current opportunities. This was all set by the Business School faculty and other companies such as Disney were there too. The Business School organised a full list of employers and Business students were able to choose ones they were interested in attending based on their desired career path. Employability modules throughout the course really helped me achieve my placement, especially through CV and Interview sessions. I was always scared about going to interviews, but the 1-2-1 practice interview sessions helped put me at ease.

 

Did you make use of the careers service throughout Uni? 

I used the careers service in my final year and attended a few different sessions where you were encouraged to brain storm different employment ideas and you get sent away to complete tasks and research. I was quite torn between working in Events or Tourism but the Careers Service helped me make a decision. Since graduating, I still use the careers service to help guide my career forwards.

 

What skills did you learn throughout your programme? 

One of the key skills I learnt was Customer Service and this was taught through the course on live projects, such as when we had plan and host events which involved speaking to the public. I also developed dedication and resilience, especially when on the first few weeks of the course we stood outside the university in bright yellow shirts to assist the public.

I also gained the confidence to work things out myself and learnt to use my own initiative, mainly because although the staff are very supportive, you are not spoon fed information. My placement also gave me skills in taking on hard work and responsibility.

 

What was the support from staff like on the course?

We were very lucky to have such good lecturers, especially Sharon who was a life saver! The staff would always go above and beyond, whether that was for academic help or pastoral care. We had a small cohort (only about 12 students) so there was a really great relationship between the students and lecturers. A particular skill they taught me was confidence. For example, in second year you have to create your own event from scratch, which encouraged independence.

 

What advice would you give to students on the course? 

Definitely do a placement, because it motivated me so much more and employers also really value experience over grades. In your first year, especially in the first few weeks, always listen as it’s hard to back track later-on in the module. However, don’t get too overwhelmed by things, just try your best! It’s also helpful to build a good relationship with your lecturers. 


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