Whether you are a single freelancer, a small agency, part of a team of event managers or even work at a large company.
The very nature of events means we all have peaks and troughs of resource and time demands. While technology and automation continues to develop at high speed, event management is still very much about human interaction and there really are only 24 hours in a day.
One way to help manage these resource peaks and troughs is to employ a student intern.
Most universities offer Event Management courses and a critical element of these is having real life, event experience through an internship. These can vary in duration, reimbursement required (if any), graduate levels and specialisation, but generally most universities and colleges have a co-ordinator who will help you find a suitable option and even match you with a short list of suitable candidates. Today’s students themselves are often very intelligent, enthusiastic, tech savvy and raring to help.
Of course you need to fill in a few forms, adhere to any legal and insurance responsibilities, recruit for a cultural fit to your business, create a job specification or project plan for the work they will be undertaking and provide initial training, as you would with any new employee. But for such minimal effort you can get so many benefits from hiring an intern.
Here are our top five benefits from employing a student:
1. Financial savings
You will be acquiring another pair of helping hands to your team, clients and events for little (if any) financial outlay. Some recommend a minimum salary, some only require travel expenses and others even have additional funding opportunities available. Unlike recruiting a temp or a permanent employee you can be assured that the student will do their best to ensure the placement is a success – their degree, reference and entire future career depends upon it.
2. Resource flexibility
Two magic words in this role. As mentioned earlier, event management can swing the resource pendulum, be all hands on deck one week with a high profile event and twiddling fingers in between events. Often event management businesses are small teams and can be massively disadvantaged by maternity leaves, illness or sudden increases in new business – all of which make it difficult to fulfil short to medium term gaps. Again, depending upon each university institution and individual course, there are often many points in the year when internships commence for different durations and you can therefore usually recruit a student at very short notice.
3. Stay ahead of the technology game
Without a shadow of doubt, technology is changing at high speed and those that embrace it have a significant competitive edge over those that don’t. You only have to read the latest Event Management Blog technology posts to find a new innovation or tool we should be adopting. Technology advancement is part of the Generation Y evolution. The speed that today’s students can research, test and apply new technology is nothing short of amazing and will provide you with an essential competitive advantage.
4. Access wider university resources
Universities and colleges are no longer just hubs of text books, libraries and lecture theatres. Today’s institutions are professional , cutting edge resource centres that employers can tap into. Media centres, film studios, global research, local business networking opportunities, lecturers who are leading specialists in their fields and of course the very wide network of students themselves. All of whom are quick to connect and collaborate with each other to provide solutions at the touch of a social media button. Accessing the wider university worlds, resources and sophisticated networks is a huge asset to any business.
5. Give a little back and gain a lot more
Haven’t we all had someone who helped or mentored us early in our careers and helped to mould us into the professionals who we are today? Where would we be if we hadn’t had that critical piece of advice, direction or support when we really needed it? Think back to these times, return the favour and reap the social satisfaction. In addition to these 5 significant benefits there is so much more you could gain by helping someone along the way. Interns may return to university and research your business for their thesis or dissertation providing you with specialist research. They may go on and become a client, a supplier, a friendly sounding board in the industry or even your potential future boss. Entirely possible if they have been reading Are Universities Doing Enough to Encourage Entreneurial Event Managers? by Becki Cross.
I speak from experience with interns having recently recruited two from Salford University, to help cover three concurrent maternity leaves in Hotel Desk’s Venue Finding Team. I opted for two interns because they were both of such high calibre and I couldn’t decide between them. They are both with Hotel Desk for 3 days a week for 3 months and we pay them travelling expenses. Both students have been tremendous assets to the team and I am also currently looking to replace them at the end of their internship. Hopefully, they have also enjoyed and valued their experiences with Hotel Desk. Of course there are gaps between the text books and real life, but that is food for thought for another post.
Are you an Event Management student looking for an internship? Or have you recently completed work experience? Are you an Event Manager who has provided internships? Or a university lecturer looking to place events students with employers? We welcome your thoughts and experiences.
Hotel Desk – a Venue Finding Agency that specialises in providing UK & International, free venue finding services. Follow Hotel Desk on Twitter @HotelDeskUK or visit their website http://www.hoteldesk.co.uk/
Mum of three and constantly juggling the home/life balance, Jo is a blogger, social media and new technology enthusiast.