Where are our grads now? Meet Claudene
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 of her journey from student to intern to full time event professional and recent award nominee!
Which events are you passionate about?
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!
What factors lead you to study?t?
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.
Study hard and push yourself and experience different things, you never know what type of events you’ll fall in love with doing
Can you tell us about your internship while studying with CoEM?
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!
Reed Exhibitions is a global leader the exhibitions sector. Initially I interned three days a week for three months, balancing that with my studies and part-time work. I had to be onsite for the shows making sure everything stuck to schedule. That was pretty wild at times.
But my favourite thing about interning with Reed Exhibitions was the interstate travel opportunity, where I got to experience our show in real time. Seeing the exhibition come to life really made up for the early morning starts and 11 hour days on my feet.
You received a full-time job offer before you graduated. Why do you think you were chosen?
If you are really passionate about something, it will naturally show! I walked in to the interview knowing the position was for me. That really helped 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 on a range of events.
What’s happened since then?
I have continued to worked as an event coordinator with Reed Exhibition, particularly in the field of event production with Reed’s Hair and Beauty Exhibition. And to my surprise I was nominated for the EEAA* Young Achiever Award this year. Very exciting and great to be acknowledged like that.
Is working in events as glam as it sounds?
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.
What tips could you give those wanting to get into event management
Study hard and 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!
Before graduating from CoEM, Claudene was offered a full time event coordinator role with Reed Exhibitions and has recently been nominated for the EEAA* Young Achiever Award.
The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) is the peak industry association for those in the business of trade and consumer expos and events. The EEAA works to ensure industry growth by encouraging high industry standards, promoting the professionalism of EEAA members and highlighting the unique business opportunities that exist through exhibitions and their associated events.