I was classed as a ‘mature’ student so had many years of work experience under my belt in the hospitality and retail sectors ranging from junior to management positions. However, as I tried to pursue a career change into events, my lack of experience and depth of business knowledge proved difficult to gain employment. Enrolling on my course gave me insight into the different business industries and what to expect from a range of event productions – from charity to corporate events and everything in between.
Being a local girl and having a young family made the University of Suffolk a perfect choice to further my education. Having watched the campus develop over the years within a prime waterfront location and the variety of courses on offer provided an accessible institution for me to complete my degree.
In my first year, I completed a one-year internship with a local children’s charity, providing me with hands on experience of running community events, before becoming involved with a student led project creating, implementing and managing a tourism conference. Upon graduation, I became part of the student team for the PlacementPal app, writing content to feature in the app to support students during work placements/internships during their degree.
During my final year at University, I secured employment and became the Events Manager of a beautiful Tudor barn and vineyard on the outskirts of Ipswich managing weddings and corporate events. I then changed path and wanted to focus on the marketing of events and business so took up a role at Ipswich Building Society, Suffolk’s longest serving financial services institution of which I am now the Membership and Local Marketing Manager. I run a membership events programme, manage sponsorship relationships, develop marketing campaigns for our branch network and am part of the implementation team for our upcoming rebrand to Suffolk Building Society – so the firefighting continues! I have also recently completed my CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing with Cambridge Marketing College to further bolster my skills and academic knowledge, although after 5-6 years of studying (from degree to professional qualifications) I think I’ll be taking a little break!
My favourite memory of studying at Suffolk was during my dissertation module, where I would sit on the third-floor computer area of the Waterfront Building which is where I made some of my best university memories. Dissertations were due across many of the courses and I became friends with students from a range of subject areas from the business school right through to criminology. Teaching staff who had guided you over the years would gather in this area and there was a real sense of community, supporting each other to complete the final goal of our degrees. One moment the floor would be filled will the tapping of keyboards, then the outbreak of laughter – memories I will never forget and still laugh about with friends now!