For many of us, New Year is simply a time of celebration. For Jordan Low, a first year BA(Hons) Creative Events Management student, it was an incredible opportunity to gain real industry experience at a world-class event: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2019 in Scotland.
The Hogmanay is one of the biggest (and best) New Year’s Eve parties in the world; a vibrant three-day festival that sees the city light up with a variety of concerts, performances, fireworks, activities and events. Hundreds of thousands of people attend the world-famous celebration, travelling to Scotland from all over the globe.
Jordan volunteered as an Ambassador at Hogmanay 2018, where she met Matt Lamb, the Volunteer Manager. Matt was so impressed by her dedication and passion for events that he invited her to volunteer again this year. Looking for a challenge and an opportunity to increase her skills, Jordan successfully applied to be one of five Ambassador Supervisors.
Explaining her role, Jordan told us: “I was responsible for the team of Hogmanay Ambassadors for the Torchlight Procession and Street Party. My role entailed supervising the Ambassadors, ensuring they engaged with the public and delivered a positive and exciting experience. I also supported the Volunteer Coordinator, ensuring all Ambassadors felt part of the event and had a memorable experience.”
In a letter of recommendation, Matt praised Jordan, saying how impressed he was by her positive management approach, maturity and growth. He described her as “one to watch”.
Complimenting Falmouth’s industry focus, Matt also said: “It’s really great that Falmouth students understand the importance of on-the-ground industry experience; to both gain experience informed by study and to network to unlock a world of events management opportunities.”
Jordan agreed: “Working at the Hogmanay helped me gain new perspectives and commercial awareness. This role provided me with an opportunity to develop key skills such as communication and leadership, which I can now apply to my studies, particularly when it comes to second year and planning my own event.”
Looking at how her studies helped her during the event, Jordan told us: “The lectures, seminars and guest speakers have all been valuable in providing me with information on how to become a successful practitioner. How to approach applying for a job, how your body language and the way in which you speak can determine your personal brand, and methods of reflection have all been beneficial lessons that I used for this role.”
Being an Ambassador Supervisor has further ignited Jordan’s love of events. She told us: “Despite all the pressure on the night, it is one of the most rewarding jobs I have experienced yet. Speaking to the directors, I learned that there are two fundamental things to becoming a successful events manager or coordinator: networking and experience.”
Her final lesson, Jordan told us, was that “you must be prepared for the unexpected”. The more experience you have within the industry, the better prepared you will be to succeed.
By getting out into the industry and gaining experience at such a high-profile event, Jordan not only learnt how to successfully manage a team and to positively engage with a huge public audience, but was also able to develop key leadership, negotiation and decision-making skills. These skills, along with the invaluable industry connections and relationships that she built throughout this experience, will be vital in the shaping of her future career.