We sat down with Georgia Fenton Meinen and Daveen Kaur, both Pearson Business School students, to discuss their experience of their prize to attend Etc Venues after the Industry Day.
Tell me a bit about yourselves
Daveen: My name is Daveen, I am 19 years old, and I am in my second year of my Business Management with Marketing degree. My aim is to meet my deadlines and get my degree, simultaneously with gaining work experience.
Georgia: My name is Georgia, I am 24 years old, and I am also in my second year of my Business Management with Marketing degree. Prior to my degree, I did have some real work experience in a travel agency and for a retail company in Germany; but it was interesting to see a new company and the inside of that company from the Director’s perspective.
What was the task during the industry day?
Daveen: The task was to create an app for Etc Venues so that instead of calling up to make bookings for large corporate events, it can all be done through an application on a smartphone. The idea was that the app would be the start of the user journey, facilitating the individuals throughout, allowing them to book things such as:
- Numbers of people attending,
- Room requests within the venue,
- The positioning of tables,
- Food orders,
- And lots of other elements of the event that need to be identified.
Georgia: So we were given around 30 minutes to design the plan of an app which would allow a company to book their venue in the best way possible. We did this whilst having some lunch at the industry day, and we drew out our plans on a large piece of paper.
Dominic liked our idea the best and therefore we were awarded a trip to Etc Venues...
What did you do at Etc venues?
Daveen: Upon arrival, we were greeted by Dominic James (Director of Etc Venues) and he took us through an agenda of what we were going to be doing during the day. He then brought in Adam Simpson (Head of Marketing) and Xanthos Christodoulou (Creative and Strategic Consultant).
We then presented the app that we had created to these individuals. A few days prior to attending Etc Venues, we finalised our plans, added more benefits and tightened the structure of the app to make sure that the pitch was polished before our pitch. After our pitch, they asked us if we had any questions for them, and then asked us a few questions about how we might best communicate this to customers.
The professionals gave us an insight into what their roles entail at Etc Venues, what they deal with on a day-to-day basis, and a bit about their careers so far.
Georgia: One of the bits of feedback that they gave us was that they should hire us because we came up with a fully-developed application for smartphones so quickly.
Dominic then gave us a tour of the entire venues, which are located in Westminster, so you could see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben from the venue, which was really great.
Daveen: During the tour of the venue, he explained to us that there is a very well-thought-out layout and everything is done in a specific way to make sure that from the moment that the customer enters, every experience that they have makes them feel comfortable.
For example, when you first walk into the event, there are three people there to guide you to where you need to go so that you do not get lost finding the specific venue room for the event you are attending. It is all about the experience - even the nutrition of the food and the artwork on the walls is all designed and planned out with the aim of giving the customer the best experience possible.
Georgia: Something that was also mentioned was that they only do corporate events for big companies and they have huge rooms that can only be booked out by one company who might host a Christmas event or large meeting there for example.
How is Pearson College London providing you with industry opportunities?
Daveen: As part of the Pearson College London experience, we are actually getting to meet these people and interact with them, which is not something that I think I would get at a traditional university. The professionals are very nice, helpful and willing to interact with us and work with us on these projects. Etc Venues also said that they would look into giving us work experience opportunities and to contact them if we are interested, or even just for advice.
These experiences are giving us the tools that we need to excel in the workplace because we are going to these workplaces and experiencing how you need to behave and act in corporate environments.
Georgia: The hands-on experiences that we are gaining as a part of these opportunities and events are like a stepping stone into the real world of work. You’ve got the academic knowledge from your studies, and the practical knowledge when you go to these places and you feel how the company runs and how they might treat you as an employee. It stops you from just coming out of higher education straight into this working world that you have no clue about.
What advice would you give to other students when networking with professionals?
Georgia: Always connect with them on Linkedin afterwards and always follow up. Even if you do not want or need an internship, it is always good to have a few contacts within the industry that you have made yourself.
Be professional - don’t act like a student, act like a professional employee that is already in the workplace.
Daveen: Also, don’t be afraid to communicate your ideas and share your thoughts because when you are in the environment, although it may seem daunting, it is really supportive. Take some time to remain calm and think about any questions you may like to ask.
Being prepared with questions can really help you to get the most out of the experience, gain valuable insights into the company, and help you to gain more information about what career path you might like to go down.
Be yourself too.
Georgia: As well as letting you know what you like, these experiences let you know what you don’t like, so you can make more informed decisions when you graduate.
Current student? These sessions are open to all current students from Pearson Business School and Escape Studios students. Sign up on the Work Fitness Centre in the Student Portal!
Prospective student? Watch this space to get an insight into our next Work Fitness Week :)