Saturday night’s alright for students

  • Date

    Thu 15 Jun 23

Five students, looking happy, stand in front of a giant Elton John poster board

Essex students waved farewell yellow brick road to Elton John and gained valuable career experience along the way working at his final London concert at the O2.

The five BA Events Management with Hospitality students from Edge Hotel School got the opportunity of a lifetime as part of their final-year live event project assessment.

They worked as team leaders responsible for supervising cashier staff, undertaking stock checks, and preparing hospitality units for specific clients.

Charlotte Carter, who was also one of a team of Edge students who worked at the BRIT Awards, looked after the Lansons Champagne Bar.

She said: “To have been given Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour for our live event project was an amazing opportunity. From having exclusive access to the O2 at the BRITs and the Elton John tour I have gained an insight into how a landmark venue operates.

“This experience will be useful in my future career as I have broadened my knowledge of how an event comes together from pre-event to post-event.”

The students started working with their clients ahead of the tour’s arrival in London when they developed and presented event proposals as part of the first half of their assessed assignment. Having worked at the concert, they have written post-event reports.

Connie O’Brien, who worked for Levy and was also part of the BRITS team, said: “My experience throughout was amazing! I appreciated every responsibility and moment from the beginning of the project until the end where we got to see everything which we have been working towards come to life right in front of us.”

She added: “This experience will bring countless opportunities to our careers as we have been responsible for leading a team within one of the most prestigious venues at a large-scale event.”

The students’ lucky break was all thanks to course leader Dr Philip Berners, whose previous work as BRIT Awards Senior Manager saw him work with music legends including David Bowie, Tina Turner and Whitney Houston. His O2 connections have resulted in a partnership with Edge Hotel School which has enabled students to work at the BRITs since 2017 and ensured the venue plays host to the School’s live event projects.

He said: “For students graduating with an events management degree it is vital to demonstrate quality experience on their CV. It massively increases their employability.

“Our exclusive access to the O2 allows Edge Hotel School students to gain unique insights and experience of prestigious events at a landmark London venue. This puts them ahead of their peers from other universities.”