UKCEM 25 Years Alumni Stories: Kharmen Wilson
The UK Centre for Events Management, delivering events education for 25 years - Events Management Alumna Kharmen Wilson talks about her experiences and the challenges faced as a result of Covid-19.
Course Studied: BA (Hons) Events Management
Years of Study: 2014-2018
Current Position: Marketing Executive – University of Leeds
In 2015, as part of her studies at Leeds Beckett, Kharmen did a paid placement year as an Events Coordinator with Hull City Football Club. This enabled her to put her learning into practice within the industry and when she returned to university she continued to work at the KCOM Stadium in Hull, undertaking a range of roles and managing major sporting and non-match day events. After she graduated in 2018, Kharmen’s employer, Venue Catering Partner, offered her a permanent position as a Marketing and Events Executive at Scunthorpe Football Club. She worked in this role for a year, heading up both match and non-match day event sales, event management and working with the club’s media team to promote the venue.
In 2019 Kharmen joined the University of Leeds and works as a Marketing Executive in the student recruitment team. In describing her current role and how it utilises the skills she gained from her degree she said “It is heavily event management based, despite being described as 'Marketing' - it's a really great mix of marketing and events management. I specialise in the recruitment of mature, part-time and foundation level students, as well as holding an essential role in the delivery of large-scale recruitment events”.
We asked Kharmen to share with us her most memorable achievements and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her day-to-day working practice.
Q: What has been your stand-out moment in delivering an event?
I worked as a concert coordinator on the ELO Concert at KCOM Stadium in Hull. We welcomed 25,000 people to the stadium for the concert - a live event of this scale was a 'pinch me' moment – it taught me resilience, the importance of communication between team members, and the ability to prioritise and manage my own time. All the skills I had learnt on my course were put into practice, including problem solving, adaptability and striving to deliver a lasting memory for those who attended the concert.
Q: How have you adapted your practice throughout the pandemic?
It has been difficult to see how the pandemic has affected the industry. It has changed the operations at the University in ways we couldn't have imagined. We had to respond immediately to the new restrictions and moved all our recruitment events online. This was a huge undertaking, we had to develop a hybrid app/browser to host our Virtual Open Days, and schedule 105 live recruitment events which delivered a positive experience to prospective students. Our first event attracted 10,000 visitors and enabled us to tap into audiences we didn't have access to before the pandemic.
I have been proud of the way my organisation and the events industry has adapted to new ways of working and faced the challenges forced upon us. 2020 has been a challenging year but I think we have all learned some valuable lessons and our strengths have shone through.