Newcastle University Business School

Absolute

Jess McGann

Marketing and Management student, Jess McGann, did her one year placement as an Events Intern at Absolute Taste.

Choosing a placement

I chose to do Marketing and Management at Newcastle because of the placement year opportunity. I am a very practical person so I knew a placement year would be a great opportunity for me.

I had some experience on my CV but I though having a year long experience at one company would look really good on my CV.

I learned skills on my placement year that you could never be taught in a lecture room and I feel in a much better position to get a graduate job now. 

Projects

My responsibilities included the planning and organisation of events, organisation of staff members and liaising and communicating with external suppliers and clients.  

Throughout the year I worked on the organisation and running of many different events. This ranged from week long hospitality events to canapés and drink parties or dinner parties. 

My role changed occasionally for different events. At some events I was more operational based and at others, I was involved in planning. 

My final project at the end of my placement year was to organise and run the IMG client house at Wimbledon. This was a massive project with a lot of responsibility. It was a two week event with approximately 75-100 coming to the house each day for breakfast, lunch and different evening events.

It was a great experience to be responsible for every aspect of the event including, staffing, catering, client liaising and much more. Being the only point of contact at an event was a lot of pressure but a great responsibility to be given. 

Learning and development

I have developed so much as a person, thanks to doing a placement year.

As the year was so people driven my interpersonal skills improved rapidly. I was thrown into liaising with customers and clients over the phone and in person within my first week.

Working in events is all about team work as there are so many different teams, including operations, planning and chefs that have to come together on the day of the event to make it successful. I have developed my team working skills from working with such a range of people, from the managing director, to a part time staff member or my manager.

I am also much better at coping under pressure. Working on events means you are constantly working to a time limit and there are often sudden changes you have to adapt to.  

This has developed my ability to work under pressure and to time constraints, which is so important for coming back to my final year of university. I have so many more examples now to use in competency based questions, which is great for applying for graduate jobs.