Hear from a current student on the online MA in Creative Events Management about her experience on the course.
An lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and is a current student on our Falmouth Flexible's MA in Creative Events Management. We spoke to An about what motivated her to study events at master's level, what the networking opportunities were like on the course, and how she feels it will impact her career as an events manager.
What led to your interest in events?
An: I grew up in a family wedding restaurant that my parents had run since I was three years old. So without knowing, I became really passionate about hospitality events.
I had the opportunity to manage the restaurant’s operations for a few years before studying full time with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management. During my university years, I was involved in coordinating various events.
Then I worked for the university’s hospitality industry partner, managing the events in their Lifestyle Division in my final year, which was also the year before the pandemic started.
Why did you choose to study online with Falmouth University?
An: Just as I was completing my Tourism and Hospitality Management degree, the pandemic erupted. So instead of joining the workforce, I started to think about pursuing higher education online.
It was not easy to find a totally online master’s degree in events that an international student can enrol on. On top of coping with COVID, it took me almost half a year to be able to find what I wanted.
In fact, I found out about Falmouth’s online course in Creative Events Management only a few days before the application deadline!
What motivated you to study Creative Events Management at master’s level?
An: I love organising events but prefer project-based work. I also enjoy learning, so the map I have for my life is composed of alternating events work and study, with a PhD degree as my ambitious goal.
That was why I wanted to pursue a master’s degree with a research component when the hospitality industry was impacted by the pandemic.
What has the support you have received been like?
An: When I first contacted the Course Advisor to start my application, there were only a few days left before the application deadline. But the Course Advisor was very supportive. We communicated via calls, texts and emails so that I could get all the paperwork properly submitted as well as the tuition fee paid in time for me to start on week two of the term.
Even though my background is in hospitality, all of the communication and support I received from the Course Advisor, Student Advisors, Course Leader, Module Leaders, Online Tutors as well as the Head of Events have been much more hospitable than I would ever expected.
How do you balance work, social life and studying?
An: It is not easy of course. Just as how accepting that not everything can be within our control is an important learning for events managers when dealing with all of the unimaginable chaos that may happen at an event, I am learning to accept things as they happen.
Sometimes I would barely make it when multiple issues occurred at the same time. What matters is that I got through it while still keeping myself safe from COVID.
Deciding to minimise criticising myself for things that I should have done and keep reminding myself to do so, plus dedicating time and space to do things I like after each 'battle' are how I have managed to maneuver through these uncertain times.
What are the networking opportunities like for online students?
An: This year I and several other international classmates worked together to plan and organise the virtual face-to-face two-day event.
It was a very valuable experience, not only in terms of practicing our events management skills, but also in terms of networking and building relationships on a personal level, both amongst students, with the coordinating university staff and with the invited guest speakers.
The welcome week drop-in sessions, the language support courses, two group assignments, and the peer learning in the weekly webinars are all wonderful networking opportunities for me.
How do you think the course will help you in your career?
An: One of the shortcomings that people usually think of when talking about online degrees is the lack of networking opportunities, which would potentially help with one’s future career. But I would argue against it as my network has significantly expanded during my study with this MA Creative Events Management.
The interviews that I am conducting for the Final Major Project that I am working on are a brilliant means of connecting me back to my previous industry network, plus some bonus referrals. This I think is the important first step in bridging me from my current study to my future career.
I enjoyed the knowledge I have been exposed to as well, especially those on creativity and culture, complimenting my previous managerial knowledge, preparing me to become more well-rounded for future events work.
What’s your advice for anyone else thinking of studying Creative Events Management online with Falmouth Flexible?
An: I would borrow the words from the majority of the student feedback that I had the honour to collect as one of the two course representatives: ‘The course is challenging but is worthy of the effort you put in’.
And if you happen to see someone in the course with the skills, knowledge or network that you are interested in, reach out and connect! It is the relationship you build during your MA Creative Events Management study that makes your journey memorable.
Find success in the events industry with Falmouth Flexible's part-time, online MA in Creative Events Management. Choose from three start dates a year: