Martha Sandford

Events Management

“The Events Management course covered content related to the events spaces being adaptable to the changing and post-pandemic world, in particular how the events industry transitioned into the virtual space. It also provided the freedom to explore all aspects of the events industry.”

Q1. Why did you choose to study Events Management? Was there anything particular that stood out to you when researching for the right course?

I originally joined Oxford Brookes University to study Business Enterprise & Entrepreneurship. The course was engaging and interesting but due to some personal challenges during the pandemic, I didn’t succeed as best I would have liked. I then took some time to really focus on what my strengths were and what would inspire me in the future which led me to discover the Events Management course.

The course covered content related to the events space being adaptable to the changing and post-pandemic world, in particular how the events industry transitioned into the virtual space. The course also provided the freedom to explore all aspects of the events industry and how there are no constraints in exploring which area of events management interested us personally.

Q2. What attracted you to study at Oxford Brookes University?

Initially, I was attracted to Oxford Brookes University as it seemed to be a sociable and close networking campus which was appealing. I am an avid netballer and having access to a smaller netball society, in comparison to other universities, highlighted the opportunity to get to know the teams on a personal level and create a sense of community. In addition, Brookes is located an hour away from home which meant transportation links were excellent. 

Q3. What has been your favourite module to study on the course and why?

My favourite module hands down has got to be ‘Managing The Sustainable Event Project’. The module offered the opportunity to pitch an event concept and bring it to life. I was a part of creating the ‘Brookes Music Introducing’ Event where we provided an opportunity to five talented Brookes students to showcase their musical talent to a live audience of over 130 people. The module allowed us to harness our creativity, imagination and ideas to run free in order to create a unique event. 

Q4. What skills have you developed while planning and running a live event?'Brookes Music Introducing' Event'Brookes Music Introducing' Event

Through planning and running the ‘Brookes Music Introducing’ Event, I was able to develop real-world skills that could not be taught in a lecture. Proactive communication with stakeholders, organising meetings and incorporating an efficient organisational structure taught me that time management is a huge asset when planning and running a live event. Ensuring that set deadlines are met throughout the planning process meant that swift adaptations could be made to the event if something wasn’t working.  

Q5. How have you found the experience studying on the course and the balance between live project work and study?

Balancing running a live event with studying has been challenging but has proved successful in my personal character development. I am also a committee member of the Oxford Brookes Netball Club where I train four times a week alongside a part-time job of being a Student Marketeer for Red Bull. 

At first, it was rather overwhelming having responsibilities that stretched beyond the typical given day at university, however I enjoyed the challenge and crucially prioritised which task needed to be done at any given time. I got into a good routine of delegating my time to each responsibility so I was busy but not stressed. It gave me the experience of how to manage different tasks efficiently which I can take forward into the future.

Q6. Describe your experience working alongside fellow students. What have you learnt from them?

Within the events industry, it is never a one-man show! Working with fellow students encompasses different opinions, ideas and work ethics. It has been exciting identifying how people’s strengths differ and how to utilise them efficiently to create a successful event. Working with fellow students creates a strong support network whereby everyone can lean on each other for guidance and help when queries arise, bringing a strong, supported working environment. 

Q7. What has the standard of teaching been like on the course? Are there any memorable lectures or seminars you attended?

The teaching standard on the course has been invaluable. Lecturers go above and beyond if you are struggling with something and show passion for the subject matter. In particular, our lecturer, Alan McBlane, challenges your views and pushes you to think outside the box which has helped me look beyond my initial views and explore just how much scope Events Management can offer.  

Q8. To what extent has the course helped you set goals for your future career and what are your plans after graduation?

The course has enabled me to grow confidence in myself and my aspirations. It has helped me gain part-time employment working as a Student Marketeer for Red Bull where I have the opportunity to work at large scale, real-life events. The course has given me the skills and confidence to gain sponsorship for the university netball club and has also enabled me to have the courage to arrange a Ukraine fundraising event in 2022 which raised over £12,600. 

The course explores just how many opportunities there are within the events industry. Despite having an interest in sporting events I can’t say for sure what I plan on doing after graduation as every opportunity is worth experiencing.