SAEM major April Weber was the recipient of an internship that she used to gain experience in event management in Australia. Her experience was so positive that she accepted the internship company's offer to stay on the job through the fall semester!
Background and Area of Interest
I grew up immersed in the entertainment and arts culture, doing everything from dancing to film production. My passion for the entertainment industry pushed me to begin a degree in sport, arts and entertainment management.
I couldn’t figure out what area of SAEM I wanted to pursue, so I decided to try them all. In the past four years I have gained experience in multiple areas of sport, arts and entertainment management through both jobs and internships ranging from sports facility management to talent representation.
Why I Chose This Internship
A few semesters ago I had taken an event management course and realized that this may be a field that I would enjoy, especially because it could be applied to all aspects of SAEM. So when I was awarded the internship, I decided that the next area to try out would be event management. I chose to do my internship in Sydney, Australia because of my new-found love for traveling. I selected a company called Images Concepts Events because they had a great reputation of giving their interns hands-on experience and had a history of working with large clients.
Kind of Work Done in Internship
During my internship at Images Concepts Events, I was able to get hands-on event planning experience. I helped organize and implement large gala dinners, cocktail hours, promotional events, seminars and road shows. I loved the work that I was doing and I was really lucky that my co-workers asked for my opinions and trusted me with large responsibilities.
All my hard work ended up paying off and I was asked to stay and work at the company as an event manager after my internship. I decided to take a semester off from school to get full-time work experience before I graduate. As an event manager I have my own clients and events to organize. So my internship turned into a full-time position and now I have work experience even before I graduate with my undergrad. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Lessons Learned from this Experience
I gained so much experience from this internship. I now know how to create great relationships with clients as well as all the elements that go into putting on a successful event. Working abroad also allowed me to gain a unique skill set in adapting to different customs and overcoming cultural barriers. I am now confident that I have the ability to work as a professional event manager wherever I choose to go. The biggest lesson I have learned is that hard work pays off and to never think you are above the small tasks because it will show your desire to be there. I also learned that being outgoing has huge advantages. I was the one who mentioned to my employer that I wouldn’t mind staying in Sydney a few extra months to help out with a big project if they were willing to have me. I honestly don’t think that I would have had this opportunity if I had not expressed my interest to them.
There are so many valuable things you can learn from internships that you cannot learn in a classroom. Having these experiences will help you immensely after college. If there is one piece of advice I could give to college freshmen, it would be to get as many internships as possible.