Placement student Ellen McQuaid joined the wefindvenues team as an intern Venue Consultant at the start of 2019 as part of her university degree requirements. Find out how she found her experience with The AOK Events Group...
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT US?
After travelling last summer, I decided that completing my internship in Dublin wasn’t going to be an option for me. I'd visited London for a week and stayed with my auntie who lives here and she was as eager for me to come and stay with her as I was to make the move to the Capital! We sat up one evening searching for UK Event companies and she sent me a link to The AOK Events Group. I got in touch and Paul from wefindvenues agreed to meet with me whilst he was on business in Dublin. The rest is history!
FAVOURITE EVENT YOU'VE WORKED ON?
My favourite event would have to be a venue find that we worked on as a team together for a large multimedia company. This event was a live screening, held across six major European cities, for a highly anticipated television series finale. The scale of this event amazed me as I'd never been part of a project as large as this before. We usually work on our own individual enquiries, but this was such a large project that it needed approaching as a team, dividing up the locations between us.
HOW DO YOU THINK YOUR INTERNSHIP HAS HELPED WITH YOUR COURSE?
I think the practical situations you find yourself in when completing an internship give you an experience you'll never find in a lecture theatre. The exposure this position has given me to the global market, and the contacts I've gained within the industry are worth their weight in gold. It has definitely sharpened my skills in time management and communication, which will help me hugely with my course.
TOP THREE THINGS YOU'VE LEARNED FROM YOUR INTERNSHIP?
I don’t think I could get away with answering this question with anything other than; I've learned what gazpacho, burrata and canapés are. There have been so many more valuable things that I’ve learned since being at The AOK Events Group, but my lack of food knowledge has definitely been a continuous source of entertainment for all of my team.
This is a tough one. In an office full of big characters, there’s definitely been plenty of laughs along the way, but number one would have to go to my team-mate Miss Charlotte Keefe, and her infamous hacked laptop fiasco.
One afternoon, suspicious things started happening on Charlotte's laptop so she called IT support to investigate this further. The following day nothing had changed, and Charlotte's laptop still seemed to have a mind of its own. From sending endless rows of x’s at the end of emails to clients and emails mysteriously being deleted from her inbox, there was a slight frenzy on the wefindvenues team as we gathered to see who could be hacking Charlotte's laptop.
Meanwhile, IT support ran several virus checks from their side, totally unable to figure out what was going on. Halfway through day two of the 'hack' it transpired the USB connector for Charlotte's mouse and keyboard were connected to her laptop but, as she was no longer using the keyboard, she had wedged it down the side of her desk. The connection was still active and another team member moving around in her seat was triggering the chaos by pressing random buttons at random times. Needless to say; IT support find it difficult to take any of Charlotte's calls seriously now!
MOST EXCITING EXPERIENCE?
The places I’ve seen over my seven months at The AOK Events Group are something I’d never have imagined, but my most exciting experience would have to be my FAM trip to Copenhagen. Besides the fact we got to fly business class (!), the places I saw, the food I ate and the activities we took part in far exceeded anything I anticipated I'd get to do during my internship.
I was trusted to go on the trip as the only team member from wefindvenues and met with representatives from six other agencies from the UK at Heathrow before we set off on our journey. The trust the team had in me sending me on this FAM was something that I really appreciated. They saw me as an equal member of the team, who was capable of going on this business trip and not just a placement student carrying out basic tasks within the office.
WHAT WILL YOU MISS THE MOST?
Without a doubt, I’ll miss the team at The AOK Events Group. Since week one at our company off-site, everybody has been so inclusive and friendly. Days out like the AOK Events Group Sports Day were a really great way to have fun with colleagues outside the office environment. I’ve made some wonderful friends along the way, and know that I’ll keep in touch with them after I’ve moved back to Dublin!
I’ll also miss the relationships I’ve built with my clients. Speaking with most of them every day, you start to feel like an extension to their team. I think it also goes without saying that I’ll miss the luxurious five-star hotel overnight stays and extravagant meals that come with my role as a venue consultant. It’s definitely been a major lifestyle transformation to that of a university student...
Thank you The AOK Events Group!