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Bright spark Sarah wins events management award


A Leeds Beckett University student has scooped a top award from a global events company.

Student Sarah Wilkes with Lucy Laville, Sarah Middleton and Rhodri Thomas

Pictured, from left, Dr Lucy Laville, Sarah Wilkes, Sarah Middleton and Professor Rhodri Thomas

Sarah Wilkes, from the School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management, has been named Events Management Student of the Year by Spark Thinking.

“Achieving the Events Management Student of the Year is incredible,” said Sarah, who gained a First Class BA (Hons) alongside one of the overall highest marks in her year.

“It’s a huge honour to receive it from such a well-known, creative events agency as Spark Thinking.

“This recognition will undoubtedly contribute towards my career development and I’m just excited to start contributing to my agency as a fully-qualified member of the team.”

Sarah will now begin her career at the same Newcastle-based events agency for which she completed her placement year, where she was quickly recognised as an important member of the team.

Longer-term, she is keen to pursue an in-house role in the voluntary sector.

Dr James Musgrave, Head of Leeds Beckett’s UK Centre for Events Management, said: “Our continued partnership with Spark Thinking is of vital importance.

“We really value this award as the company is involved across all our degree programmes, embedding a culture of excellence within our students.

“And it supports outstanding talent, enabling graduates like Sarah to commit to a career in the events industry.”

Spark Thinking - the sister brand of global healthcare events specialist, Ashfield Meetings & Events (part of UDG Healthcare plc) – is highly-regarded in the industry for its award-winning partnership with Jaguar Land Rover and its work with the world-renowned think tank, the Milken Institute, along with other leading brands.

The agency is passionate about supporting and investing in future talent in the events industry and has sponsored this award since 2001.

Account Manager, Sarah Middleton, said: “It was an honour to present Sarah with our Events Management Student of the Year award.

“Just from our conversations on the day, I could tell that her degree and work placement experience has really shown her how to be a strategic event manager.

“She knows the importance of good planning and attention to detail, but she also sees the bigger picture and recognises how an event contributes to an organisation’s overall aims.

“I’m sure Sarah’s future career will be successful as she grows in confidence and experience.”

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