BA (Hons) Arts and Event Management (now Creative Events Management) graduate, Ruth Newman, began an internship with global brand experience agency, Jack Morton, Dubai back in August 2017.
Ruth was lucky enough to work on the opening week for the new Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, in what she describes as a ‘hectic, wonderful, eye-opening and emotional experience’.
The event consisted of an opening ceremony that was broadcast live across many channels. In attendance for the special ‘ribbon cutting’ moment were French President Emmanuel Macron, and HH Sheikh Mohammed, Ruler of Dubai. Amongst the event’s highlights were live performances from the Insula Orchestra, local oud and flute musicians, and an Arabic singer.
We caught up with Ruth to find out more about her internship and what it was like to work on such a high-profile international event.
How did you find working on the event? Please talk us through your role…
The Louvre Abu Dhabi was one of the most stressful events that I’ve worked on. Me and my colleagues were working night and day seven days a week for several months. However, the event was a huge success! All of the artists, VVIP’s, and public audience had an enjoyable and exciting visit.
My role throughout the event was General Project Coordinator and Artist Support/Liaison. I can now say I’m a pro at drafting contracts, taking meeting minutes, creating PowerPoints, drafting up post event reports, and overseeing budget reconciliation… on top of everything else.
How have you benefitted from this opportunity?
Working with Jack Morton (at this event in particular) has helped me to grow in many different ways. At times, I felt like I was thrown in at the deep end, but I managed to persevere and produce work to a high quality…and I kept on smiling throughout. The event and museum opening were truly spectacular to work on. I’m so proud of everyone that made it happen because it was a huge challenge.
In addition to this, I was also a Props and Furniture Assistant for Dubai Internet City, GITEX technology exhibition. This event tested my ability to cope with deadlines, particularly when having to get clients to sign off on every piece of furniture. Alas, the team and I were able to make it happen. This exhibition was another successful and insightful experience, with the possibility of it happening again next year.
How did you secure your internship at Jack Morton? One of the most well-known event companies…
I’ve been very lucky to gain an internship at Jack Morton, especially in their Dubai office. In 2014 I worked at an event for Porsche Middle East & Africa. The Managing Director at Porsche asked me to return in 2016 for another of their events, this time with Jack Morton, who were brand managing the event.
I worked with Jack Morton for a month between December and January last year. The Managing Director (MD) of Jack Morton and my Project Manager were both impressed with my performance and asked me to apply for their full-time internship program.
The application process took nearly six months. The first step was to prepare a PowerPoint titled “Why Choose Me!”. Then, I created a pitch proposal for a Nike event. It was a fun experience as it gave me free reign to come up with something creative. Finally, I had a Skype interview where I had to present my Nike pitch idea, complete a ‘speed challenge’, run through some interview questions, and complete a PI test.
How long is your internship with Jack Morton?
Six months. I started in August and I’m finishing at the end of February 2018. The MD would like me to stay on, but I’ve made travel plans to Australia. However, I’m keeping my visa open, so I will return later this year to work on specific projects. Hopefully there’s more upcoming projects like the Louvre.
The first few months of my internship were very crazy – as expected when starting a new job in a new country. But, this was craziness on a whole new level! Luckily, I thrived from it and my confidence has grown tremendous amounts. I’ve learned so much more about the events industry, whilst working with people from a whole mix of different cultures and backgrounds. I’ve also worked alongside some of the best professionals in the industry, and with many high-profile clients.
How did you find your experience at AUB?
I loved my time at AUB – the university, the Arts and Event Management course, my lecturers! I’m constantly promoting AUB to anyone and everyone. What I enjoyed most about my course was producing live projects each year. This gave us all such a great learning experience, whilst gaining enough confidence in ourselves to create something with our names tied to it. I have friends that studied Events Management at other universities but never actually produced their own live events – that just doesn’t make sense to me.
I particularly enjoyed the eight-week work experience, I think this was the most valuable unit on my course as it helped me get to where I am today. The experience I had with the festival production company in Bristol was invaluable. They took me on after I finished university, and want me to work with them again when I return from my overseas projects and travels.
If you had one piece of advice for prospective students and graduates, what would it be?
As cliché as it sounds – never be afraid to fully express yourself. Industries, clients, agencies, lecturers, and so on will appreciate it a lot more when they can see the ‘real you’. Also, don’t take university for granted – get stuck in because it is over in a flash!
Find out more about the BA (Hons) Creative Events Management course.