Kevin Leaver, head of events at Millbrook, on the success of the Bedfordshire venue’s placement scheme.
Undergraduate placements provide valuable industry experience in events.
Millbrook Venues, a location for automotive events, has taken on undergraduate students for as long as I can remember.
The advantages to everyone involved are obvious. The students get a valuable insight into careers within the events industry, the business gets a highly motivated member of staff, and the university builds lasting relationships with key industry businesses.
In my opinion, there aren’t any downsides, not only do you get an enthusiastic employee to support the running of events, you are guaranteed to have a well equipped graduate available for employment every year.
Tanya Appleyard completed her placement year at Millbrook Venues in 2006-07. Since graduating from Leeds Beckett she has had some impressive roles within the industry, including as events co-ordinator working for the mayor of London, event sales executive at the Hilton in Taupo, New Zealand, and as public events manager at Silverstone. She has also popped back to Millbrook to assist with some of the bigger events held there.
Appleyard says: “Millbrook was the place where it all started to fit for me. It has helped me to develop many key skills, including the most valuable lesson for events professionals ‘the importance of teamwork’, and guided me down the path and into the industry.”
Charlotte Abson, from Bournemouth University took on her undergraduate placement during 2011-12. She said: “It not only teaches students essential skills such as prioritising, time management and clear client and supplier communication, but it also allows you to experience a real job with real pressure, allowing you to develop skills in responsiveness, leadership and co-ordination.”
Abson works as production manager for Fusion 2K Ltd, an experiential marketing and events agency with a range of automotive clients.
Charlotte Jarman, another 2011-12 undergraduate from Leeds Beckett, won the Eventice, an Apprentice-themed events competition. This accolade resulted in a graduate job for her as account executive at Bluehat Group and she has since been promoted to corporate account manager.
Jarman said: “As my first ‘proper job’ in the industry, Millbrook Venues taught me that events involve a lot of hard work! ”
Hannah Coleman, is one of Millbrook’s most recent undergraduates and was accepted onto the Fast Forward 15 mentoring scheme.
She spent last summer in Valencia, on a five-week language course to support her long-term goal of managing international events.
Coleman says: “As Millbrook works with many prestigious clients, we were taught early on how to deliver service to a high standard. The connections I made during my placement year have since made me appreciate the importance of networking in this industry and in sustaining those relationships.”
We are proud to have supported the development of young professionals in our industry for more than 10 years, and are dedicated to continuing to support future graduates to gain valuable experience in live working environments.