60 Second Interview: Event Coordination Apprentice

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team event planning

Ellie Denyer is an event coordination apprentice at Fidelity International, on the Investment 2020 training scheme, which offers trainee asset management jobs to school-leavers. She tells us why she loves her job – and the unusual place she learned to work well under pressure...

Name: Ellie Denyer

Company: Fidelity International 

Industry:  Investment management (Banking & Finance)

What is your job? Event coordination apprentice

How long have you been doing this job? 8 months

Education: A-levels: media studies, business, IT

1. What was your very first job?

My first job was working in a family-run pub. I started off as a kitchen porter, washing up and assisting the chefs. I then moved on to waitressing. Once I turned 18 I was trained on the bar. I also did extra jobs such as making desserts and cleaning when required.

2. What did you want to do when you were at school?

I had always wanted to organise events however I also wanted to have a career in law, either working as a lawyer or becoming a detective within the police. The more I explored the option of going into events, the more I liked the idea of it and am really glad that I joined an events team.

3. What made you want to do your current job?

I have always been extremely organised. When working at my first job as a waitress we dealt with many events such as weddings, charity nights and family parties. I really enjoyed running these and making sure the customer was satisfied. I decided I wanted to do this on a bigger scale and organise much bigger events with a larger customer base.

4. How did you get there?

I did work experience in an insurance company in London and also in an accountants’ firm whilst carrying out my A-levels. I think this helped get me into corporate events as my job is office-based and in a large corporate company. I also think working part-time at the pub really helped me get into events. It helped me develop excellent customer service skills and taught me how to work well under pressure.

5. What is a typical day like?

What each day involves will depend on which event is coming up. For example when we are planning a board meeting I will gather flight information of the guests attending and ensure they have the relevant transfers and hotel requirements.

I will also update a schedule that will be sent to all of the guests. When organising the company’s service awards, I order gifts for staff and get these ready for the awards. For both the awards and the Christmas party, my job involves editing and sending out an invite and survey to collect responses and then processing this information.

Other day-to-day duties include visiting venues, liaising with suppliers, attending food tastings and much more. Of course this is all under guidance from the rest of my team as I am an apprentice and am still learning all about organising events. At the same time as my job, I’m studying for a Diploma in Business and Administration.

6. What's the best thing about your job?

My team. I work within an extremely experienced and professional events team who are also amazingly friendly! I have learnt so much from every single one of them and they are always more than happy to help and guide me.

7. What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Lots of our events take place abroad as we organise board meetings all over the world. This can be extremely challenging working from the UK when the event is taking place elsewhere. Part of the events team always go to the area where the event is taking place, however with time differences and other issues this can be a difficult part of the job.

8. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?

Work hard and stay positive. You may have to work extra hard for a while, even when you don’t want to, but it will always pay off. Always stay positive about the future. You never know where you will end up but as long as you work hard you will end up somewhere great!

9. What things do you wish you’d known before starting your career?

It’s not all about the education you have received. Of course this is important and ticks boxes on your CV but once you really get into the events industry it is all about experience and learning from others and your own past events. Getting work experience in the career you want to be in before going into it is the best way to find out what it is really like.

10. Where would you like to be in five years?

I would like to be fully trained in my role and hopefully in a higher position within the company. I would like to be running large events with full responsibility from start to finish and being successful at this.

Investment2020 provide trainee asset management jobs with leading investment management companies. You develop skills and experience—while earning a salary. You can even apply straight from school. As well as events roles like Ellie’s, there are also opportunities in human resources, sales, finance and lots more. Apply now!

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Main image via Freepik 



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