I’ve recently joined the hundreds of students in London looking for experience in the events industry. We’re constantly reminded by lecturers and career advisors that spending three years attending lectures, writing essays and pondering the more theological aspects of events management, just isn’t enough for a job now a days. Nope, we must also jump at every opportunity to ‘work’ on an event and get as much real world experience as we can.

So what exactly, from a students perspective, are we after in these internships?

1. Responsibility

There is something really exciting about being given some responsibility. Sure, we don’t expect to be put in charge in the first 15 minutes, but how about trusting us to take on a few of the smaller tasks like being a room manager or helping guests. Alternatively, just make sure everyone knows what to expect before turning up. I’ve volunteered at an event expecting to be doing one thing but then to find out the plan for us students was to be behind the scenes moving boxes round a hotel for the next four days. Sure the less glamorous jobs need doing, and we’re happy to do them, as long as we know that’s what we’re there for.

2. Money

London and a Student Loan aren’t really two things that mix so well, of course we know we’re cheap labour and you are doing us a favour by (hopefully) showing us the ropes. But you might just be amazed at how much the talent of your applicants will go up if you pay us a token amount, we’re like moths to a light when we see a paid opportunity. I do some work for a company who pay us £40 a day ‘expenses’, a two day event and I’ve just doubled the weekly budget.

3. Experience

We are after the one thing money can’t buy, some new skills and having something to add to the CV, if you are able to help us it will be a massive bonus to any internship. Equally that doesn’t mean we’re not shy of doing the dull jobs, there were so many aspects of an event I’d never really thought about until I worked on a reception desk at a conference. I guess the best answer here is just to rotate us around your event and show us as many different aspects as you can.

4. Contacts

The ultimate win at an event, a contact card. Even if it’s just to go for a coffee sometime and talk over our dissertation or a job application, we’re really grateful when we get to build our network. One day, in the increasingly not too distant future, we’re going to be looking for a job in this big recession hit world and knowing someone to call on for advice is a massive plus.


Matt Paiton is a second year events management student at the University of Greenwich, in the past he's worked with several different event companies including Gartner and JetSet Sports at London 2012. He's keen to get more experience in the events world and is a self confessed London addict, having moved down here from Burnley in Lancashire two years ago. You can follow Matt's on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.
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