Mitchell Henderson completed his Event Management course in 2016 and graduated with a first-class honours degree. Mitchell enjoyed his time at as a student so much that he started his postgraduate career right here at the University of Central Lancashire and has stayed ever since. We caught up with Mitchell, who is currently working as a Corporate Events Assistant, to get the low down on his new role and experiences of UCLan.
“I actually started my first year of University on a different course when I realised it was not the one for me and decided to study Event Management. I chose the programme at UCLan because of the originality of the course and the chance to be stuck in with live event briefs. I wanted to do a course that had a hands-on approach and constantly tested my skills and knowledge of the industry. Upon my interview for the course, I automatically got a warm welcome from the Course Leader, Rod Train. I made my mind up there and then that I was going to apply for the Event Management degree at UCLan.
Other than the warm welcome and programme details, I chose to study at UCLan due to the accessibility of the University. With most universities, buildings seem segregated, meaning that the accommodation and university buildings are not in close proximity to each other. This is not the case at UCLan, with my halls of residence only a five-minute walk to most of my core buildings, and it is extremely close to the train station, which helped me with returning home on holidays. The variety of onsite services available were also a deciding factor for me. There is a campus doctors, dentist, and 24-hour library, gym, advisors, there is even a Starbucks!
During my time on the course, my favourite lasting memory was the opportunity to travel to Cambodia and volunteer with the Green Gecko Project as one of my modules. This experience was amazing, and I will always remember fondly the experience I had. The trip was hard and testing due to the extreme climate and poverty within the country, working on the gecko farm being one of the hardest challenges I have faced in my life to date. Despite the hard work, it was a once in a lifetime chance that I will never forget.
Since graduating in 2016, I participated in several internships at UCLan, which allowed me to widen and strengthen my skillset, and provided me with a range of new departments, colleagues and students to work with.
I initially started out as an ‘Event Intern’ for three weeks, before becoming a ‘Social Media, PR and Digital Marketing Assistant’ for nine months. Before my finishing date in this role, I managed to secure a third internship as a Conference and Events Co-ordinator at UCLan. It was during my third internship that a permanent position popped up, the opportunity to join the Events Team as a Corporate Events Assistant, which I successfully obtained!
Since being in my new role, I have been able to adapt my work and the team has welcomed my ideas and suggestions for events.
I have several key responsibilities within my role, all attributing to working and planning a wide variety of events. Most recently, I held the ‘Staffing Manager’ role for the Lancashire Science Festival, which is a large three-day event that takes place on the Preston City Campus. The main priorities of the role was to recruit, train and manage over 100 UCLan staff members, student ambassadors and volunteers on the lead up to the event and for the duration of the event. I learnt so much during and leading up to the festival within my role, I feel especially proud of all our hard work due to smashing the numbers this year with a wealth of fantastic feedback!
Another key responsibility within my role is to oversee UCLan Venue Hire. One of my day-to-day tasks involves selling and promoting the Preston City Campus, Westlakes Campus and Venue 53 to internal and external clients of the University, whilst working with several large organisations that are key stakeholders of the University. This can be for all differing types of events and conferences. I also work closely with other University teams such as the Press Team and Marketing, ensuring I liaise with them for the promotion of our venues and events.
My upcoming responsibilities include the planning and execution of the Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Winter Celebration and the University Stars Awards, a large event that takes place annually. All University staff receive an invitation to the celebration as a thank you for all their hard work and dedication to the University. This is an amazing event to work on as it allows me to be creative and generate new and fun ideas, bringing them to life.
I take pride in working for the University that provided me with my degree. I work within a small but extremely dedicated team and I love the role I am working in. It has been an amazing experience so far and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!”
29 August 2018