Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) Future You ‘On the Road’ at Buxton: An ambassador’s role.

Emily B

ITT Future You conference

The Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) Future You conference came to Buxton campus on March 10th 2015. It is a travelling conference that the industries top employers attend and they give lectures on the latest trends within the travel industry and about future jobs. It is essential to attend if you are part of a tourism related degree or are looking to go onto such a degree.  It was mine and another student ambassador’s role to ensure the event ran smoothly.  Supported by industry experts, it was a day packed full of talks, speed workshops and networking.  With over 170 students attending from Derby University as well as prospective students from surrounding colleges including Burton and South Derbyshire College, Derby College and Buxton and Leek College, the event was a hub of information and networking.

Student Ambassador Role

As a student ambassador, one of my roles is to make sure that any events or conferences held by the tourism or events department are well supported and a success. It involves setting up the rooms ready for the events, ensuring the speakers are well looked after and making sure the attendees are directed on where to go and what to do. It is a busy time and a long day but the chance to network with the speakers and be involved is well worth it!

The Day

It was an early start because I needed to be up at Buxton for 8am to start preparing for the conference. We arrived at Buxton and were greeted by the College Marketing Manager for Business, Jenny and the Senior Marketing Assistant in Education Liaison, Sarah. Myself and my friend Lydia were assigned tasks for the day by the Event organiser for ITT, Kelly. The first role was to organise the tables for the day and set up the goody bags that each student and lecturer were going to receive upon arrival. There were 170 in total and so this was no quick task! Upon completion, we were informed of the itinerary for the day:

10:30am- Conference- Leading industry experts Guest Speakers educational conference

13:00- Lunch Break

14:00- Speed Group Networking

15:00- Coffee Break

15:15- Speed Group Networking Continued

16:30- Event Ends

At around 10am colleges and speakers began to arrive and it was my duty to check in each visitor and speaker and assign them a group number for the speed dating session. Here, they were also handed a goody bag and informed of where to go. Around 170 students from various local colleges came to the event which including New College Nottingham and Burton College as well as students involved in tourism courses at Derby University. Once everyone had arrived and been allocated their group numbers the conference could begin.

The Conference

The conference in the morning began at 10:30am and consisted of seven speakers. These were:

– ITT ‘Future You’      – Perfect Weddings Abroad           -STA Travel

– BH Mallorca            – Stella Travel Services                 – Derby University

– Chatsworth

Each speaker gave a presentation of their personal background in the tourism industry and how they got to the position they were in. They then spoke about the jobs they were currently in and the potential jobs available within these organisations currently. Some included graduate programmes, internships, summer jobs and straight from college/ university work. They gave a real, honest insight into the jobs and how it is best to apply for these jobs, including some hints and tips. It was great to see how people can progress in their jobs, with some even starting their own business.

There was plenty to take in and the size of the companies and job roles varied from each organisation so there was a wide range of information, which was great. Now it was time for a well-earned lunch break- which was free because we had worked the event- bonus!

The Speed Group Networking

Once lunch was over, the students got into their assigned groups and the speed networking workshops began. The companies that took part in the networking were:

-ITT                    – Perfect Weddings Abroad             -STA Travel

– BH Mallorca      – Stella Travel Services                   – Derby University

– Shottle Hall        – The Co-operative Travel Management

Each session lasted for 10 minutes and allowed students to ask the companies any questions they may have specifically for the company or of the industry in general. It was great to be able to chat to the people that new all about the tourism industry on such an informal level. They gave really useful hints and tips on improving your CV, interview techniques and how to approach applications.

Why the day was such a success

The conference was great as I further developed my skills in hosting and preparing for events but also I got the opportunity to liaise with the speakers themselves on a more personal level and gain a fantastic insight into their industry. It is with events such as these you get to get a real taste for the area of work you would like to be in and also really flaunt your skills to prospective employers.

If you get the chance to become a student ambassador- go for it! Not only do you get paid for your help but the experiences and people that you meet could help further your career in the industry.

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