Award-winning Falmouth graduate on the impact of her online MA

Mon 1 May 2023

Read about Falmouth Flexible graduate Caragh King's award-winning sustainable event project. 

Caragh King is a graduate of Falmouth Flexible's online MA Creative Events Management who recently won an award for a sustainable events project she completed following her degree.Caragh King resized

We spoke to Caragh about winning the prize, as well as what motivated her to study a master's and how she thinks the qualification will help her in her career.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Caragh: I've worked in live event production, including on-site set-ups and production, public conferences, hybrid and online events, as well as local event and festival production as AAA crew for the last 15 years. Before that, I worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years in pubs and clubs.

I recently graduated with an MA (with Merit) in Creative Event Management at Falmouth University. I then applied and was successful in getting an internship with the university.

The key role of my internship was the hosting and live streaming of digital events for Falmouth University's ‘Guest Speaker Programme 21/22’.

Our team developed a digital pipeline for Teams Events for professional, remote sustainable event production. We also hosted a series of one-hour online events with interactive speaker Q&A's for staff and students at Falmouth University, both on campus and online.

You recently won the ALT Award for Case Studies in Ethical EdTech. Congratulations! Can you tell us about your winning project?

Caragh: I was given the opportunity to conduct a ‘Sustainability in Digital Events hosted by UK Universities’ research project and audited the ‘Guest Speaker Programmes’ Digital Event Impacts and GHGs Emissions.

This enabled the University to have an accurate account of the impact of digital events and their total emissions for the year's programme. I compiled a report documenting the outcomes of the research and created a sustainable digital event toolkit for use by other UK Universities.

This research project enriched my own sustainable event knowledge as I have a deep passion for enabling sustainable futures. I'm continuously looking for the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills in this research sector.

The research project won the ALT Ethical EdTech Award 2022, which was a huge achievement for myself, and I am immensely proud of the academic recognition of the project’s impact for Falmouth and other UK Universities.

This project wouldn't have been successful without the contribution and support of my fellow Digital Interns and the Digital Learning Department at Falmouth University, who I would like to thank here for their collaboration.

You’re also a graduate of Falmouth Flexible’s MA Creative Events Management. Why did you choose to study online with Falmouth?

Caragh: I chose to study my MA online, as it was a suitable option to develop my professional career opportunities, whilst still working.

Using the government's postgraduate loan scheme, it was an affordable way to gain academic qualifications, in my circumstances. I applied with no previous experience of academia, with APL from my 25 years' work experience in the entertainment industry.

What motivated you to study this course at master’s level?

Caragh: I wanted to improve my circumstances after working in the gig-economy of event production for 10 years. I was motivated to return to academia and tackle the challenge of sustainable events that I was passionate about, after years of seeing the impact of events on the environment and wanting to make a difference.

What are the networking opportunities like for online students?

Caragh: Great! I'm still in contact with my year’s alumni and there is a wide range of connections via LinkedIn that keep expanding, across industry sectors. There is such a wealth of lovely, talented, creative individuals in Falmouth University’s wider online community.

How did you balance work, study, and socialising?

Caragh: I had a morning cleaning job at a local theatre, studied during the afternoon and caught up with friends in-person and online in the evenings. I just fell into a routine as best I could, planning for assignments and trying not to have to do an all-nighter the night before the deadline (it always happened!).

My best tip for balancing it all is make a study plan and give yourself an extra week before the deadline; because proofreading takes longer than you think!

What was the support like, both during the application process and your studies?

Caragh: The application process is straightforward and there's great advice available, covering any special needs and what you need to do for a successful application. There are lots of support services available, both online and in person.

Throughout your studies, the Creative Events Management course team provide excellent student services, clear communications and guidance when needed. They have a wealth of knowledge they share to support and enrich the learning experience. It makes the course really engaging and encourages the creative in you to think big!

What are you up to now and how do you think the course will help you with your future plans?

Caragh: I'm currently working in partnership with Falmouth University to release an online application for other UK universities as a toolkit for digital event impact reporting. I'm also developing my start-up, Eco-events Collective Solutions, as an event data intelligent service.

I hope that now I've graduated with an MA with Merit, this will open higher-paid job opportunities and a pathway to creating sustainable events now and in the future with others, who think there are ways we can create events that protects and respects the environment we host them in.

Would you describe the course as a good investment?

Caragh: I would say it was one of the best decisions in my life, opening my own career opportunities and enriching my knowledge base for taking my career forward, as a woman, in my mid-40s; and as a mature student.

What’s your advice for anyone else thinking of studying this course online with Falmouth?

Caragh: This is a commitment of your time, energy, and finances. So, make a plan of things you want to do away from your studies and spend at least an hour a week doing something completely different – go visit a museum, see an exhibition, or play - to keep the inspiration flowing! 

Develop skills to design, plan, produce and manage events across the creative and corporate sectors with Falmouth Flexible's MA Creative Events Management:

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Creative Events Management