October 2013

UCB teams up with ICC on new work placement scheme

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Students at University College Birmingham are gaining a unique insight into the planning and management of major events at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham.

As part of a new four-week work placement programme, events management students get hands on experience of what it takes to ensure high-profile meetings, conferences, dinners and product launches run smoothly at one of the country’s most prestigious venues.

ICC event managers have worked with University College Birmingham (UCB) Careers and Employability adviser Helen Hook to set up the scheme.

Zoey Harris was the first recruit – and ended up helping to oversee the degree congregation for her own university.

Zoey, 19, worked in every department at the ICC during her placement, including sales, marketing, graphics, catering, technical and security. She was also on duty when UCB held its annual higher education degree ceremony at the venue.

It is a very hands on place to work and you get to see everything, as if you are doing the job.

Zoey Harris

The ICC is part of the NEC Group, along with the LG Arena, the NIA, the NEC, The Ticket Factory, Amadeus, NEC Group International, Eight Feet Tall, Amplify and MemoryHaus. Zoey got to take a look behind the scenes at one of the NEC’s exhibitions during Leisure Industry Week. She also had a tour of the National Indoor Arena (NIA) which is undergoing a huge redevelopment.

Zoey said the experience – part of a professional events practice module – was invaluable and had helped to shape her career plans. Colleagues at the ICC had also helped her with useful networking skills, such as building up her online LinkedIn profile.

During her time at the ICC, Zoey, a second-year Marketing and Events Management student, helped the event managers at the ICC to fine tune the programme in preparation for the next recruits. She suggested parts of the programme that worked well and highlighted areas she thought future students would like to see more of.

Due to the success of the placement, UCB is looking at the possibility of working with other organisations to offer more events and hospitality students the opportunity to experience something similar.

We have had a massive response from students interested in being considered for the four-week placement and we are very excited about our collaborations with the ICC. Geographically, we are so close to each other in the city centre and it is great to be able to work together to develop our students’ career aspirations. Our aim is to have one student on the placement at any one time as part of a rolling four-week programme. Students who are interested in taking part should get in contact with a copy of their CV. The ICC will then hold an informal interview. We are thrilled the ICC has agreed to work with the university on this exciting project. It is a superb opportunity for students to get an insight into marketing and events at a premiere venue.

Helen Hook, University College Birmingham (UCB) Careers and Employability adviser

We are really pleased to work with UCB to offer their students the opportunity to gain a real insight into the volume and breadth of work that goes into making sure all of the events at the ICC are a success for our clients.

Karen Payne, ICC Event Manager

We manage a variety of events from large corporate conferences and annual association congresses to smaller meetings and banqueting events. The four weeks students spend with us are a chance for them to gain valuable experience and to help them decide which area they might want to focus on when they graduate. We look forward to welcoming many more students to the scheme in the future.

Gino Spolverino, ICC Event Manager

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