My Internship: Claudene Yousif
Claudene is the quiet achieving, hard working and capable type. All the traits that add up to being a good student and potentially a great event manager. But underneath all those lovely attributes is a true passion for events, the best and most vital ingredient for real success. Here, she tells a little of herself and her journey from student to intern to full time event team person.
Question: What events are you passionate about?
Claudene: I have always loved exhibitions, regularly going to Oz-Comic Con and EB Games Expo, but I also love food and wine festivals and small music gigs. I am constantly spending my income on event tickets!
Q: Where did you do your internship, what was your position and what were the terms of the internship ie how many days per week for how long?
C: My internship was at Reed Exhibitions, a global leader in the events industry. I worked in Content, alongside an amazing Content Manager for the Industrial portfolio. I worked three days a week for three months, balancing that with my studies and part-time work.
Q: What did a typical work day look like during your internship?
C: Being in the content side of exhibitions, my day went from managing the speaker list for our conferences, to research for the conference schedules. I would make sure all our speakers were prepared and briefed for the upcoming exhibition. Being onsite for our shows was a little more wild, making sure everything stuck to schedule.
Q: Is working in events as glam as it sounds?
C: Well… not at all! There is definitely a bad side to events – the 6-7am starts, very long days on your feet, the slow days in the office, and clients can also become aggressive and grumpy at times. It’s all worth it though! I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.
Q: Can you tell how you secured your internship?
C: I sat down with the Industry Engagement Manager and had a talk about the direction I want to head in. I had a few ideas in mind and knew I wanted to experience a little bit of everything, since I had no previous events experience. I was told about the internship at Reed Exhibitions and took it upon myself to apply with my updated resume. I made sure to stay calm and confident in the interview process, which resulted in a call back only a few hours later!
Q: Why do you think you were picked (be honest not modest)?
C: I showed a genuine interest in the company and the exhibitions industry. If you are really passionate about something, it will naturally show! It also helped that I asked a lot of questions – about the work culture, the job description and also about the chance of a job opportunity. I walked in to the interview knowing it was the position for me and that really helped with my confidence. It also helps to be honest in your answers – I mentioned to them my limited experience in the events industry, but highlighted the many volunteer hours I did for a range of events.
Q: What was your favourite thing about interning with Reed Exhibitions?
C: My favourite thing about interning with Reed Exhibitions was the interstate travel opportunity, where I got to work at and experience our show we worked so hard on. Seeing the exhibition come to life really made up for the early morning starts and 11 hour days on my feet.
Q: What tips could you give those wanting an internship during or after their course?
C: Push yourself and experience different things, you never know what type of events you’ll fall in love with doing. It may be tough to balance work, college and an internship, but it’s possible! Prioritise important tasks and you may need to put your social life on hold for a little while, but it will definitely pay off.
Q: What factors lead you to study?
C: I wasn’t happy with where my career choices were leading me to, so I decided to take the plunge and go for a whole new direction! Finding CoEM was a big factor in my choice. I was very much drawn to the flexibility, the content and the high industry focus that the college offered.
Q: How valuable do you think the Industry Engagement Program was and why?
C: Without a doubt, the program was incredibly valuable. The most valuable being all the contacts you make in the industry, who are always willing to guide you in the right steps. It was definitely a highlight of college, it made learning the content a lot easier as I was able to put practical and theory together with real-life examples.
After graduating from CoEM, Claudene was offered a full time event coordinator role with Reed Exhibitions.