Local graduates take on the world

The Summer Olympics, Edinburgh Festival, Glastonbury Festival, London Film Festival, Cricket and Rugby World Cup these are just a few of the amazing events New Zealand graduates contribute to as a world of opportunities opens up for them after completing a New Zealand Graduate Diploma in Event Management.

The graduates joined current students and special guests from the event management and hospitality industries including Ruth and Paul Pretty of Ruth Pretty Catering, Aimee Law and Mark Hartstonge of Boomrock, Casey O’Sullivan of the 2015 Cricket World Cup on Thursday to mark five years of delivery of the Graduate Diploma in Event Management by the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec).

“I’m amazed at the events graduates and current students have worked on. They are really showcasing their talent on the world stage,” says Linda Sissons WelTec Chief Executive. “Joany Grima, lecturer and programme manager of the Graduate Diploma in Event Management is internationally regarded as a leading academic and researcher in this field. Joany combines her role at WelTec with being the Project Manager for the Commonwealth People’s Forum (pre-runner to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) and is currently preparing for the 2015 Forum in Valletta, Malta,” says Linda Sissons.

Sarah Metcalfe, one of the first students to graduate with the GDEM and who now works for Displayways, one of New Zealand’s leading event companies commented, “My New Zealand qualification is the whole reason I’ve done so well internationally and back home. I have worked on the London Olympics and the Rugby World Cup. I loved it. I can work anywhere in the world with this qualification.”

Kelly Lensen has worked on projects as diverse as TRENZ and the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards. Kelly graduated top of her class in 2011 and now works for Red Pebble Event Design. “I’ve developed skills in room and stage design so I can combine event management with my creativity and design skills,” says Kelly.

Caroline Arapoff has combined her marketing and event management skills to work as a digital marketer at Plastic Studio. Previously Caroline worked for well known sports travel company Williment Travel and was the events and marketing manager at Roxy Cinema. “I was a bit lost after finishing my marketing degree at University. Completing the Graduate Diploma in Event Management means I have the perfect match of skills for my current role.

Jimmy Austin worked on the World Press Photo Exhibition for his practicum. His supervisor Daz Martin from Verve a New Zealand event management agency says, “It’s great to support up-and-coming event managers. Providing opportunities for young students like Jimmy to work in industry on projects is a way of our company Paying it Forward. It’s also a chance for Verve to scope new talent.”

“The Graduate Diploma is at a point where our graduates are now hosting event management students on internships, and they are also employers of new students completing the programme. Event management education at WelTec could not be successful without the on-going support from industry we enjoy and our excellent teaching”, says Linda Sissons. “Training future event management professionals is a great collaboration between WelTec and industry and it’s fantastic to see our graduates achieving so well.”