MA Creative Events Management student wins major award

Tue 12 Dec 2023

Master's student and events professional Eva recently won a prestigious award for her postgraduate thesis.

Eva Balaban is a graduate of the Falmouth Flexible MA Creative Events Management and winner of the Association of Events Management (AEME) Student of the Year Postgraduate Award 2023. AEME works to advance events education within the UK and overseas and its annual awards celebrate the efforts, progress and unique engagement of students in the field. 

We spoke to Eva about what winning the award means to her, as well as how she feels her master’s degree has helped propel her career forward.  

Read on to find out more: 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. 

Eva: I’m originally from Bulgaria but I moved to Spain where I studied and lived for several years. I’m currently based in Berlin, so I consider myself a European. Professionally, I have a background in event and project management, and supporting international teams.  

During Covid, I decided to change my career path, focusing on music and cultural events. I chose Falmouth University because of the well-structured MA Creative Events Management. The Sustainable Event Planning module resonated deeply with me, and I was inspired by the training with Dr Teresa Moore from A Greener Future (AGF) 

As a result, I became an AGF assessor, decided to write about festival sustainability for my master’s thesis and I’m currently working as a sustainability manager at the Berlin Music Commission. 

You recently won the Student of the Year Postgraduate Award 2023 from the AEME. Congratulations! Can you tell us about your winning submission? 

Eva: Thank you. I was nominated by my tutor, Dr Alexandra Lambley who, together with Clare Hearn (the previous Course Leader) supported and guided me while I was writing my master’s thesis. To be honest it all came as a huge surprise. But a very pleasant one, of course. 

For my thesis I explored transformative experience design and the potential link between positive psychology and pro-environmental audience behaviour change. I interviewed pioneers in festival sustainability and my research, titled 'Using transformative design for long-lasting pro-environmental attitudinal change in reluctant music festival audiences' was awarded a distinction. I self-published it recently and it can now be found on ResearchGate. Eva Balaban - photo credit Jacqueline Mellor

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

Eva: I have a degree from a Spanish university, so it felt like the next step in my personal and professional development to do a master’s. I wanted to advance my studies and I liked the course and its practical approach.  

I live in Germany, so it would have been quite challenging to move my family to the UK for my degree. I found that the online course suited my needs perfectly. I am a mom, so I could focus on my studies when it was convenient for me and still dedicate time to my family.  

English is my third language, after Bulgarian and Spanish (but before German) so I also needed some time to familiarise myself with academic English. Falmouth University offers excellent support to international students.

There are a variety of classes and help with assignments and the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) team is amazing. I would like to give special thanks to Tess Cobb and Isabel Noon for all their help during my studies. 

If I am completely honest, balancing my studies and family time was often challenging, especially close to assignment deadlines and during the final major project. However, many of my classmates managed to work full time while studying. They are my true role models. 

From the beginning, we were encouraged to interact with our classmates and my cohort ended up creating a strong emotional link, even though we were based in different parts of the UK and Europe. It has been a lifesaver at times and an incredible opportunity to get to know very interesting and talented people. I am still in touch with them. 

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

Eva: Due to the course and my thesis, I became an AGF assessor, got to meet some of the pioneers in festival sustainability in Europe, and became a sustainability manager. As a result, I am currently part of the sustainability working group of the Berlin Music Commission, working closely with sustainability experts in Berlin.  

Some of my future plans include deepening my knowledge with specific courses on event sustainability, such as the ISO 20121. I would also love to be involved in more international sustainability projects. As an AGF assessor I have already gathered some experiences in Denmark and Belgium.  

In my case, the course certainly helped me achieve some of my goals. It is an investment in oneself, in personal and professional growth. My master’s studies at Falmouth were essential for my professional development and successful career change. 

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

Eva: I highly recommend it. And I urge anyone to try to connect with as many people from the course as possible. For me it was an essential part of the whole experience. 

Thank you to Eva for telling us about her award and experience on the course! 

Speaking about the award, Course Leader Chantal Laws said: ‘We are enormously proud that Eva has won PG Student of the Year with AEME. Eva has made the most of opportunities available on the course, particularly our partnership with A Greener Future, and we are delighted to see her forging a career in sustainable, inclusive and creative event management practice. Our MA Creative Events Management students are really well-placed to become change-makers in the events industry and Eva really exemplifies this - we can't wait to see what she does next.’ 

Find success in the events industry with Falmouth Flexible’s online MA in Creative Events Management. Start in January, May or September: 

Explore the course

Photo credits: Jacqueline Mellor

Creative Events Management