The Event Professor is in.
As a leading event researcher, I travel to many places and work with some of the best events in the world. I enjoy every new challenge and am always thrilled to partner with clients on their events. However, when I’m home, I’m busy with my other exciting career as a part-time event management professor.
Ten years ago when I was first asked to teach event management, my main goal was to provide students with skills they could use immediately. In the curriculum I designed, my students spend the first semester creating customized event sponsorship proposals. Then in the second semester, they write tourism event grant applications!
Hundreds of students have completed my courses and many remain in touch. It seems like every few weeks I see a LinkedIn post written by a past graduate, celebrating a promotion or a milestone number of years working in the event sector. I love watching young people succeed, and decided that this month’s Event Professor Story would celebrate some of their achievements.
Alex Kryvoshein graduated from our event management program in 2015. This dedicated international student sat in the back, didn't say much, and quietly achieved good grades.
I heard through the school grapevine that he was starting an audio-video business after graduation. Four months later, my daughter was having her 10th birthday party (with a talent show theme), and I reached out to Alex to see if he wanted to provide AV.
He happily provided me a pro setup at a good price, suitably impressing my daughter's friends. I humbly discovered afterwards that it was Alex who did me the favor, not the other way around! Alex had been in the country for less than a year and quickly built a successful business serving multiple professional clients. He was even applying for government grants to assist in his growth.
Alex told me his new country was a very easy place to conduct business. With the new skills he learned, there was no stopping him!
Today, GTA-AV rents a large warehouse and provides planning and technical support for many complex live events in the region, working with clients that include major national retailers and financial institutions.
Alex enjoys his rewarding job, and keeps a great work-life balance- extremely important with two energetic young daughters at home! You can visit Alex's company at www.gta-av.com.
Dasha Dives In
Not all graduates are entrepreneurs- some prefer to pursue jobs working for companies making a difference in the entertainment industry.
Dasha had a bachelor's in journalism before joining our program. She was an amazing student, and always gave 110%. After she graduated in 2016 it didn’t surprise me that she quickly secured full-time employment in her chosen field of event management. We were elated to learn that she was hired by IMG (now Endeavor) to work directly on some of the largest events in the city.
Each year in our class I hold a talk-show style panel discussion with several event industry professionals. It’s always the best class of the semester, and Dasha agreed to sit on our panel in 2018. When I announced to my class that a graduate from two years prior was among the esteemed brand-side and agency professionals on our panel, it was the proudest moment of my teaching career.
Well, maybe the second proudest! Not long after that class, I found out that Dasha scored an even better job at a major experiential agency, through contacts she met on that very same panel! It’s a great reminder to always be networking. Congratulations, Dasha!
I could tell enough success stories to fill several of these articles and plan on publishing more in the future. I’d like to wrap up today’s story by focusing on one recent graduate who like many, is doing all the right things to get ahead in the field of event management.
Gabrielle entered our program with a degree in live theater arts and graduated this past year. Her combined passion for both live performance and live events brought her great success in our courses, not to mention admiration from faculty and fellow classmates.
Recently I caught up with Gabrielle and she told me that she had already worked two great contracts as a production assistant with large city-owned events. Her superiors immediately recognized her passion for live events, along with her thorough training in logistics, volunteer management, and risk management. Within weeks, she was leading a large team of event workers!
Currently the job is not permanent, but her remuneration is excellent. Gabrielle recognizes that the gig economy is part of the event world and is just one step on the path to success. I’m positive that this will turn into greater opportunities, making Gabrielle one to watch for sure!
Career Advice for Students
I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of young adults trying to build careers. Recently I was asked to share career advice at a middle school, and this was what I told those young people:
I highly advise any young person to get a college or university degree in the subject they love the most. If older people warn that there are no jobs in their chosen field, they should respond by saying that there are very few career jobs available for any 22-year-old grads, so they will be no worse off than anyone else for studying what they love!
If you enjoy studying, go big with a graduate degree like a Masters, MBA, or law school. If you have had enough with school, enroll in a shorter applied program that interests you. Know yourself, and understand that different programs benefit different people.
How do I know? The three cases I gave you (plus many more I could share) followed this path. Alex, Dasha, and Gabrielle studied what they loved most, worked hard, became avid learners, and found immediate success afterwards.
Hire an Event Management Grad
Schools in every major city and town from coast-to-coast offer event management programs. Many courses are taught by industry professionals, and graduates become experts in sponsorship, programming, logistics, risk management, volunteer management, and sustainability.
If you’re hiring, make friends with a local prof and ask them to send you their top grads. You won't be disappointed!
I have researched 1000+ events worldwide and love to share stories. Please contact me if you want to discuss anything from visitor surveys to economic impact to sponsorship ROI measurement.
Want to know more about life as an Enigma researcher? Visit us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or our new profile on Instagram.
Yours in scholarship,
Michael, The Event Professor
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