Sector: Events Management
Rachel Jones studied a microbiology degree but found her passion for events during her role as an officer for her students’ union. Today, she works as an events officer for Teesside University.
Where do you call home?
I grew up in Marske, and now I live near Middlesbrough.
Tell us about your role?
I’m an events officer at Teesside University. I arrange a series of events, and it’s my job to make sure that we’re creative, people have a good time, and enjoy their day with us. A job in events management is pretty hectic at times, but there’s always variety. One day I might be writing event plans and risk assessments, the next day I’m overseeing the build of event marquees and stages. It’s incredibly rewarding to see someone enjoy their day at an event you’ve organised.
How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up, I loved science. I studied science A-levels and then went on to study a microbiology degree. However, I found a new passion when I became an officer at my Students’ Union. When I started working for the university, I learned that I loved to organise events, so I did my master’s degree in events management alongside my job. I then secured the job I do now and here I am.
What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way?
Confidence has always been a challenge for me. Like many, I compare myself to others, talk myself down, and feel like I’m not good enough. I’ve overcome this by reminding myself of everything I’ve achieved and learning to acknowledge what I do well, not just what I need to improve.
Two years ago, I lost someone very close to me and it was unlike anything else I’d ever dealt with. It made me think about what is important and focused me to be part of something to help inspire young women and show them that they can do great things. Also, I am a mum to two young children and work full-time, so balancing everything is fun – although coffee helps!
Describe the moment you first got a feel for success?
Whilst studying my master’s, I learned that when you’re passionate about something, it makes your work easier. My course might have given me knowledge, but it also gave me the confidence boost I needed to go out there and feel like an expert in what I do. I worked all the weekends, read all the papers, wrote all the words and came away with a merit! It showed me that with the right attitude, I could go and do anything I wanted – I just needed to work for it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young females?
Look to others for inspiration, but don’t compare yourself to them if it makes you feel bad. Don’t ever feel like you’re too old, too young, too anything to get into the career that you want. Make connections, get involved in everything, but don’t forget to look after yourself along the way.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
When you’re disappointed or something doesn’t go to plan, don’t worry – everything happens for a reason and the right opportunity is coming. You just need to go and get it.
What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?
Go for it!
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