As part of the Events Management degree at Cardiff Met our lecturers encouraged us to go out and seek a range of work experiences to help us gain real life experience of the events industry. In order to see what I was interested in, I volunteered at a range of charity events during my time at university, including The Cardiff Corporate Run Challenge, Step out for Stroke, Cardiff Half Marathon, MoRunning, Reindeer Run and the Cardiff 10K. I engaged and networked with a range of people and built up my contacts.
Alongside my studies, I offered my time to the lovely team at Kidney Wales as a Fundraising and Operations Assistant. The role involved managing and preparing promotional materials to send to Cardiff 10K participants, as well as supporting and promoting the charity at a range of events, including the Gauntlet Games and Cardiff 5K. The team notified me of the opportunities and placements that Santander Universities offer to students, and two summers later I was a Cardiff 10K Fundraising Executive.
As part of my placement at Kidney Wales, my duties and responsibilities included marketing and promotion of the Cardiff 10K, which is the second largest road race in Wales, and updating their social media pages. I gained experience in project management, as I was given the role of Finish Funnel Manager where I managed a team of volunteers to successfully direct runners through the finish line. In my second placement, I was given the role of managing a cheering station of volunteers to support the participants around the race.
I built relationships with fundraisers by offering them support and guidance in the lead up to the race. I also assisted with the recruitment of volunteers, which was an integral part of the role as the event would not have been possible without their help. This also motivated me to base my dissertation in my final year of university on volunteer motivations for charitable organisations.
Through my placements, I received volunteering awards which made me feel appreciated and motivated me to go back and offer my time. The charity really made me feel part of the team by giving me further responsibilities, which have proven valuable when applying for employment after graduation.
My experiences with Kidney Wales and my degree benefitted me by helping me work out what job role I wanted, and allowed me to bring something new to the company I now work for, where I’m in charge of the organisation and implementation of events.
Thanks to my work experience placements, I will always have an interest in working within the charity sector, and I’ll continue to offer my time to those who are in need of it.
I would highly recommend taking any work experience opportunities that are on offer while you’re at university – they could lead to your perfect career!
Find out what other graduates are up to now with our Life After Uni blogs, or read more about how work placements benefit Cardiff Met students