Somehow, almost seven months after I started my internship at Davis Events, it’s my last day in the office. While I’m happy to have a few weeks off before going back to college and final year, I’m also really sad to leave the job and the amazing team of people I’ve become so used to seeing every day (I’ll also really miss the weekends off!)!
My internship went by so quickly and I feel like I’ve achieved so much during my time at Davis Events. The final entry into my Intern Diaries blog is a reflection on the past seven months and will include a few tips for those of you looking to be an intern or get into the industry!
Some of my favourite moments working with Davis Events were at the events that we had worked hard to create; from being a steward for Dropbox’s float at Dublin Pride to winning my own concept pitch for the company! But I’ve also had a lot of fun in the office with the team and getting to know more people in the industry that I may not have met if I didn’t do my internship here.
My Favourite Event
If I had to choose one, I think my favourite event was the St. Patrick’s Day celebration for Dropbox (which you can read all about here!). This was the first project I had worked on from the initial concept to the night of the event. And it was a really fun one to be part of! From figuring out how to fit our larger props in the service lift to sourcing a supplier for the Guinness Masterclass I think the project definitely helped me to start thinking outside the box (a skill that I had to use a lot over the past seven months)!
Due to forward planning and great clients, the event turned out to be even better than we anticipated. Everything ran so smoothly that I mostly got to sit back and watch people enjoy themselves – one of the reasons why I got into the industry in the first place! I think the most challenging part of this event was keeping my hands off the delicious macaroons and sweet treats for the guests!
My Proudest Moment
My proudest moment during the past six months is winning some new business for the company! We had the almost impossible task of putting together some creative concepts in the space of 24 hours when there were only two of us in the office! Michelle and I studied the brief, came up with two different concepts from scratch and put together creative pitch decks for the client. I think this was the first time I really felt under pressure to get something done in my internship, I remember bringing my laptop home and working past 10 o’clock because I wanted it to be perfect!
The hard work all paid off however when we got the call to say that we won the business and it was my idea they were going with, I was on a high for days! From there I had different challenges to face, for example it was my first real experience of working closely with the client on a project. There was a lot for me to learn in this area and there still is but I’m so glad the team put their trust in me and supported me all the way because I know a lot of other interns would never have this opportunity!
Networking & Showcase Events
I was really lucky as an intern to be invited to a lot of cool networking and venue showcase events. The Westin, the Little Museum of Dublin and the Irish Whiskey Museum are just a few of the places I got to experience as a guest. Every experience was amazing; I never thought I’d experience an impromptu Irish dancing performance at Medley’s first birthday or the very close intimate dining experience of the Constitution Room at The Shelbourne. And while I got to meet with some management of each venue, I also got to network with some other people from different companies and agencies. Because of this, I now feel like I’m more a part of the industry I want to work in which not many students or interns have the luxury of saying!
What I Take Away from my Internship
All jokes aside and without trying to sound too clichéd, I really feel like I’ve learned so much during my placement here. What you study in college prepares you for some things but you’d be surprised at how clueless I felt coming into an event agency after three years of studying event management! While studying the theory is really useful and gives you a great knowledge of the industry, it doesn’t set you up for dealing with people and problems on the spot or even the creative side of things. It was an adjustment to come away from the endless academic reports and Harvard references into a more relaxed environment where interactions with people are key and creativity is encouraged.
One of the main things I’ve taken away from the internship is don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from the team that you’re working with. Whether you’re unsure of a task that you’ve been assigned, you think you have a good idea for a client’s event but want a second opinion or to bounce ideas off someone, it’s always a good idea to talk to somebody you trust on the team.
This isn’t advice that I would give to only students or interns, I’d tell anyone regardless of what industry they’re in! I’ve seen people with years of experience in the industry occasionally needing help and seeing them asking for it really comforts me as we all need help every now and again!
Advice for People Interested in the Industry
If I were to give any advice to people looking to get into the industry or students who will be looking for their internship soon it would be the following;
Experience, Experience, Experience!
Experience is everything in this industry, so as soon as you know the events industry is for you, go and volunteer for anything you can! Local events & festivals are always shouting out for volunteers and even the bigger festivals if that’s what you’re looking to do!
I began volunteering in fifth year soon as I knew the events industry was for me. I thought I wanted to go to university in the UK and it was a requirement for every application. From getting more involved with school events (like planning our graduation & being part of the school bank), being more involved with the community (Care of the Aged annual events) and volunteering at some larger scale events (Spraoí International Street Arts Festival in Waterford) there was always an opportunity to be involved in an event in one way or another! Even though I didn’t end up going abroad for college, I was glad to have gotten that experience before going into my course here. I felt a little more prepared because of it!
You can get into the event industry without an event management degree, in fact a lot of people I’ve met in the industry have come from all different types of backgrounds, whether they have a completely unrelated degree or don’t have one at all. Because of this, the experience that you have is key!
Networking can be a super scary word when you hear it. When someone invites me to a ‘networking event’ it still makes me a little nervous! But when it comes down to it, networking is really about having a chat with people so that they can put a face to the name if you were to contact them in future.
You don’t even have to talk about yourself and all the experience you have. A positive interaction with someone, be it you talking about the weather or something interesting you’ve seen on the internet, is enough to make them remember you in the future! I’ve found that there’s a few people that this has happened with during my placement that I’ll remember and hopefully they’ll remember me too!
Whether you’re learning all you can through a specialised event management degree (which isn’t necessary to have) or learning by doing, don’t be afraid to be constantly learning new things. The industry is a very fast paced one and you’ll never know everything you need to know about it, you just wouldn’t get any work done!
Whether it’s new technologies like VR and AR or event trends that can change faster than clothes trends, I’ve quickly accepted the reality that I’ll never know everything but I’ll constantly be trying to, which is all that matters!
I’ve had an amazing experience over the past seven months with Davis Events and I honestly don’t think I could have gotten a better one anywhere else! I never imagined I would have learned as much or gained as much experience as I have. Working in a small agency gave me the chance to be involved in so much more, from putting together creative proposals, production plans and budgets to getting to work on site at the events! I really got to see and experience the whole process from beginning to end on totally different projects with very different clients. I may be biased but I’d definitely recommend coming here for an internship if the opportunity arises!
Written by: Sarah Morrissey Davis Events Agency