Smells like team spirit…meet our project coordinator Grace
Despite being in the business less than three months, Grace is already a key member of the BeaconHouse team, bringing her enthusiasm and keen eye to detail to our projects, including the up-coming TechNExt Festival that will take over the North East this June. Outside of the office, you’ll find Grace on the football pitch, so we grabbed a pre-match huddle and caught up on the importance of team work and how she stays ahead of the competition.
Everyone in the BeaconHouse team has such different educational backgrounds – what did you study?
I completed my A.Levels and then went straight into an apprenticeship in Business Administration Level 3, which I completed with Gateshead Council. I always knew that university wasn’t my path, and learnt so much on the job as part of the Gateshead Council business centre team. My apprenticeship allowed me to discover what I was good at, and the parts of the role that I enjoyed, and I ended up being promoted to the business centre assistant manager at PROTO, before joining the team here at BeaconHouse Events.
My apprenticeship path allowed me to enter the workforce and start an amazing career much younger than other people that I know. I’m only twenty and I have already benefited from so much experience which has given me the opportunity to get ahead and take on a skilled role while others are still studying.
What first drew you to a career in events?
During my apprenticeship I discovered that I really enjoyed the research and admin side of the role and being able to practically solve problems, but it didn’t always allow me to flex my creative muscles and be part of a fast paced environment, which I really thrive on. I play a lot of spots, particularly football, and I enjoy being part of a wider team who are all pushing to deliver the same goal so I started looking for a role that would allow me use my skills in customer service, administration and leadership while also challenging me and giving space to develop. I was aware of BeaconHouse and the work that they do in the tech scene from my time at PROTO so when I saw the job role advertised I knew it would be a great fit.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I’m not sure I knew what I wanted to do! I knew I didn’t want to go to university and that a more practical, hands-on apprenticeship route was more suited, but after that I wasn’t really sure which direction my career was going to take.
I did always have dreams of being a footballer. I wanted to play for Newcastle Ladies but when I was growing up it wasn’t really a viable career option. I still play and it is amazing to see the recognition women’ football is getting in the mainstream media these days. After the World Cup in particular there are so many more opportunities for girls and young women to enter the sport and see representation on the world stage. There are so many more fans going to watch women’s matches now and I hope the investment continues so that little girls can see the opportunities that are there for them to take.
What does a typical week look like for you?
I love being onsite and giving delegates the best experience possible when they come to an event, but the majority of my week is taken up with all the research and admin that it takes to get to that point. In a typical week I can be researching hotels and event locations that fit with our environmental policies, booking flights for international speakers or carrying out surveys on what people have enjoyed at events so we can learn and continually improve as a business. Like I said, I love the administration side of the role and getting stuck in to the data – when you’ve worked hard putting an event together it’s good to step back and understand what has gone well and where we can build on that success.
Currently I’m working on an event for Newcastle Carers which will take place in early June. The event is celebrating the adults, children, and young people who care for someone living in Newcastle upon Tyne and will have over 50 attendees. I’m really looking forward to being on-site on the day, I think it will be a really wholesome event and I’m sure there will be a tear or two.
I don’t think there is a member of the team that I haven’t worked with yet so I’m really enjoying learning from my new colleagues and getting stuck in!
What skills do you think you need to be great in your role?
I think you have to be calm and fairly unflappable to work in the events industry. It is pretty fast paced and you can’t let curve balls throw you off your game. I’m friendly, chatty and I like talking to new people which I think is important when you are trying to make people feel comfortable when they come to an event, especially if they don’t know anyone there. A big part of my role is being that positive, friendly face that delegates feel comfortable turning too if they have a question or a problem that needs solving.
I don’t think there is one specific skill set that you need to go into the events industry because there are so many routes into the sector. I’m only twenty and I would encourage any young people looking for a fulfilling role, with opportunity to progress to consider it.
Where can we find you when you’re not in the office?
Outside of work you’ll usually find me with Smithy, my cross breed German Shepard/Beagle, we’re always finding new places to explore together.
Other than that I’m a bit of a foodie and I really enjoy trying new restaurants in the North East, though my favourite is still Panis in Newcastle. I love to travel and recently visited Crete and Amsterdam with my partner so I’m busy planning our next adventure (obviously based on where has the best foodie options!).
Finally, who would your dream client be and why?
It would have to be an animal rescue charity. It is the highlight of my week when the office dogs come in to visit so I would love to put on an experience where animals that need a home could be matched with their forever families. Maybe we could combine it with women’s football and have the dogs be ball boys and girls!
If you are interested in a career in events, we would love to hear from you. Visit https://www.beaconhouse-events.co.uk/join-us/ to view our current vacancies.
Posted on June 5, 2023