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Courtney coordinates her way to an eventful career

TAFE Queensland graduate Courtney Laurie has landed her dream job in the events industry. But the path to her first role was not straightforward.

Like most students after graduation, Courtney wasn’t getting much traction with the roles she was applying for. Frustrated with the impact COVID-19 was having on breaking into the industry, she decided to approach her job search a little differently.

“I’d been working in two hospitality jobs since graduating but had my sights set on an events role, but because of the uncertainty of the pandemic getting into the industry was really hard, so I decided to reset until the New Year," she said.

“So I set my sights on having just one job and applied for barista role in the city. To my surprise an Operations Manager from the RMS group contacted me, and after seeing my application for the barista job he wanted to chat with me about another role."

“When we met he mentioned that my strong resume, hospitality experience, TAFE Queensland diploma and my events experience was perfect for an events coordinator role they were recruiting for – I was blown away!”

Courtney now coordinates business and corporate events at Alfred and Constance in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. She liaises with clients from their initial enquiry, organising their food and beverage packages, room theming and providing anything else they need to ensure they have an amazing experience.

Every day she’s using the skills learnt while completing the Diploma of Event Management (SIT50316) at TAFE Queensland to bring her clients ideas to life in different ways.

“I’m lucky to be working in a role where I can use my skills to help create amazing events for customers – particularly after such a difficult year.”

“The timing is hectic because I joined while Christmas party planning was well underway - so there’s been a lot for me to wrap my head around. But I think the best way for me to learn by just throwing me in the deep end!”

“But thanks to my training with TAFE Queensland, I feel prepared to take on this challenge while being brand new to the industry. My teachers gave us insights from their experience in the events industry and connected us with volunteering opportunities at major events so we participate and know what to expect.”

“Everything I learnt in my diploma has been useful in my role, from anticipating client needs and managing back of house. I love the organisation and planning and then seeing it come together, run smoothly and get positive feedback from clients.”

TAFE Queensland Teacher Event Management, Antoinette Adams said TAFE Queensland courses build a pipeline of highly skilled, job-ready graduates to support the growing events industry.

“It is fantastic to see Courtney applying the practical skills and experience gained during her studies to the workplace.”

“Her innovative approach to finding her first job after study is a compliment to her determination to get into the industry. I have no doubt her skills and enthusiasm will benefit both her employer and the industry in this challenging environment”, Ms Adams said.

“Courtney is a great example of what businesses gain when employing TAFE Queensland graduates - productive employees with hands-on industry experience, skills and confidence."