February 2022

Ainhoa scoops dream media agency role in Belgian city she fell for on placement

By Melanie Hall

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A Spanish postgraduate has scooped a dream job working for a non-profit media agency in the Belgian city she fell in love with during her degree placement – a journey that started with support from University College Birmingham’s employability team. 

Ainhoa Arrieta is now a project and communications manager for Brussels-based CUMEDIAE, which supports initiatives that boost the impact of the creative and cultural industries as a way to create jobs and generate social and economic growth. 

The agency’s work includes everything from promoting online meeting spaces for those who are isolated from opportunities to raising awareness of European Jewish creative heritage through a pan-European photography contest and a new app.  

They have also worked on enhancing the image of women in the broadcasting and cinema sectors in the Mediterranean, and are experts in industry analysis. 

Ainhoa’s journey to securing her dream role started during the 25-year-old’s MSc in Global Meetings and Events Management at University College Birmingham.  

"After the placement, I could see much more clearly what my interests were and I have made my decisions based on that ever since"

Ainhoa Arrieta Global Meetings and Events Management MSc

Tasked with finding a placement as part of the course, Ainhoa turn to hired@UCB.  

“I wanted to explore other cities in Europe and my employability tutor at the University, Nicola Machin, offered me an internship in the events booking centre of Marriott Hotels in Brussels,” she said. 

“It was an experience that changed my life forever.  

“I discovered a city with many different opportunities for me, professionally and personally.  

“After the placement, I could see much more clearly what my interests were and I have made my decisions based on that ever since. 

“I had the highest quality mentoring from hired@UCB and felt like I could get in contact with the University at any time and they would answer me. I did have one issue during my placement and they helped me resolve it straight away.” 

Ainhoa, from San Sebastián, first joined University College Birmingham in 2016, studying events planning as part of what was then the Erasmus exchange scheme.  

She got so much out of it, she went on to gain her Events Management BA (Hons) degree, before enrolling on her master’s, graduating in 2021. 

“I had always been incredibly attracted to the idea of working in a sector that mixes strategical thinking and creativity,” she said.  

“Being able to imagine big events and then having the resources and knowledge to make them happen – for me, it was really about entering a sector that could accentuate my skills and passions.” 

After finishing her BA, Ainhoa said she was looking for even more specific knowledge in global events, leading her on to the MSc.  

“I have to say that it was one of my best decisions ever, as the whole structure and content of the master’s is very different from the undergraduate degree,” she said. 

“The MSc allows you to critically think about every aspect that you are learning and select your interests within the sector, understand the value of research and be creative in the whole process. 

“The classes were very well organised, in terms of vision, objectives, structure and content. And nothing would have been possible without our amazing professors. 

“They really encouraged us to think deeply about all different aspects of the sector, motivating us to share our views with our classmates.  

“Also, coming from another country, I valued the British way of teaching and how the University worked in general. 

“My ambition now is to be highly involved in having a positive, sustainable, inclusive and creative impact in the cultural and creative.  

“More precisely, I would like to use my strategical thinking, creativity and value for sustainability in every professional decision I make.” 

Find out more about University College Birmingham’s wide range of postgraduate courses and how hired@UCB supports our students.

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