Emma Davidson - BA (Hons) Events Management

Emma Davidson
A 30-year-old Robert Gordon University (RGU) student from Aberdeen who took an unconventional path to university has graduated with a first class honours, as well as a full-time job, in the field she craved after years of working and travelling.

Emma Davidson studied Events Management at RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business after realising during the pandemic that her passion for events wasn’t yet being fulfilled.

“I decided to go to university as I was on furlough during the pandemic with a company as an Admin Assistant and, whilst I enjoyed this role, I knew I wanted to be more involved in events and began to research how I could achieve this.

“Whilst experience was required (which through the pandemic was impossible!), I quickly realised I needed to develop my education and that a degree would put me in a better position moving forward.”

A Kincorth Academy school leaver, her route towards university was somewhat different to the more traditional means straight from school.

“From secondary school, I attended NESCol for an Art and Design course which I left within six-months. In the following academic year, I completed HNC Events Management then after this I wanted to work to save up to go travelling.

“I then started working for a drilling company in their accounts department for five-years before going travelling with two of my best friends at the end of 2017. After travelling for six-months and then living and working in Australia for a further year I gained a wealth of work experience and memories which will last a lifetime.

“After coming home in 2019, I was then very fortunate to have the opportunity to work on The Yacht Week as part of their events team for 13-weeks in the summer – something I found out about through an excursion to Whitsundays in Australia. This really helped to confirm that I wanted to be involved in events.

Having had the time of her life in Australia, Emma then decided the time was right to return to further education - but not without some trepidation.

“I am really pleased and proud of my achievements during my degree, though I was unsure for a long time if I would be cut out for university. With being a more mature student, I wondered if I would ‘fit in’ but these feelings quickly subsided from the first couple weeks of the course as my peers and lecturers made me so welcome.

The Events Management course is specifically designed for students to gain as much work experience as they possibly can with the aim of taking that forward into future employment.

“I liked how there was required industry experience throughout the course. Whilst during the second year we had to find alternative experience due to the pandemic, when restrictions started to lift, I managed to gain experience at Cultivate music festival in Aberdeen which I have been involved with for a few years now.

“Had it not been for the course, I would not have known about OGV Taproom, our venue for our third-year events’, and would not have been offered a job as their Events Coordinator for OGV Taproom, Podium and Energy Media Group for the last 15 months.

“They have been incredibly understanding and encouraging throughout my last year at university, which I am very grateful for, and I’m excited to get back working full-time and involved in the variety of projects and daily shenanigans that is OGV!

Looking back at her time at RGU, Emma’s thankful that she took the opportunity when she did.

“My time at university was different compared to the typical experience, with online and hybrid learning as well as some personal challenges, but I am very glad that I went for it in the end and stuck through it.

“It’s definitely made me more resilient and trusting in the fact that things will work out in the end. Whether they go according to plan or being able to find a solution to an issue - which can often actually be a better outcome than the original plan.

“I would also say the course has helped me be more confident in seeking opportunities or speaking to those within the industry. Speaking to people generally has never really been an issue as I do love a chat, but I feel more comfortable now putting myself forward as a potential candidate or reaching out to industry contacts.”

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