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Interview With a Professional in Events: Charlotte Watkivs, Schools and Colleges Events Assistant, Birmingham City University

News Categories: aspire

What was your first job?

A sales assistant at TJ Hughes.

Did you ever imagine to be undertaking your current role? If not, what did you want to be doing?

While I was at university, I wasn’t aware of this role. However, when it came to applying for it, I realised that it fitted my criteria of what I want in a job – working with young people to raise aspirations and realise their potential.

Which parts of your role are the most enjoyable, and which parts are the most challenging?

The journey that I go on with students – from their very first visit to a university setting to the point where they get to make decisions about what career path is right for them – is by far the most enjoyable. The most challenging would be trying to showcase to outside stakeholders that our work makes a difference, especially when it can be many years down the line before a student makes a choice about their career path!

How do you balance your work and personal life?

My job can’t be completed to the best of my ability if I am not fully living in the moment – it is not fair for me to talk to young people about their careers if I am not fully focused on my own. In order to take time out, I attend yoga, sing in a choir and work on craft-based activities. All of these help me relax and reflect, in order to remain stress-free at work.

What advice would you give to a young professional wanting to progress in your industry?

Treat everyone with equal respect. Whether they are your direct colleagues, within another department or on an internship, everyone you meet is a networking opportunity.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years’ time?

I will be running my own creative business in Birmingham, which will involve offering the community a safe space to explore their artistic ability while combating social isolation, and growing and maintaining strong community links.

What’s the best tip or piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Hard work works.

What do you enjoy the most in/ about Birmingham?

The sense of growth and prosperity. From the constant changing landscape, to what I have achieved since living in Birmingham, it really is a city of transformation.