Class of 2023: Nieve Trifunac

We’re so proud of our class of 2023. They’ve overcome enormous challenges, helped others, grasped opportunities, and developed their skills, showing their Essex Spirit in so many ways. And they’ve done all of this during a pandemic when life – and student life – changed beyond recognition. Here, we’re taking the opportunity to share some of their stories.

  • Date

    Wed 5 Jul 23

Nieve Trifunac, smiling and looking relaxed

Entrepreneurial student Nieve Trifunac trained as a classical musician but years spent travelling around Europe led her to Edge Hotel School and now she’s launched her own innovative company that helps venues sell their spaces to prospective brides and grooms.

Nieve, who trained as a cellist in her home country Croatia, decided professional music wasn’t for her after seeing first-hand what goes in to hosting events as she played concerts across Europe. Now she’s graduating with a BA Events Management.

She was inspired to start her own business after hearing from the Essex Startups team as part of her Innovation and Entrepreneurship module at Edge.

Her company uses augmented reality software that allows couples to see how a wedding venue will look dressed in different styles, letting them see exactly how it’ll look on their big day.

Despite still being in its infancy, starting her own company has taught Nieve important lessons: “The three key things I’ve learned are: firstly, not to let self-doubt stop me from following through with my business idea,” she said.

“Secondly, building a network with people in the industry is the key to gaining industry contacts and ‘getting yourself out there’. And lastly, constantly working on self-development is crucial to stay on track with industry trends and understanding who your competitors are. This helps with improving and growing your business, and outdoing what you previously did.”

During her time at Edge Hotel School, Nieve also volunteered at the 2023 Master Innholders Leadership Conference where she got the chance to network with top industry professionals.

One of her most memorable experiences as an Edge student though was working at the BRIT Awards in 2021 and 2022. Another was working for a year as a Box Supervisor at Ascot racecourse, a job she got through the School.

Nieve, who joined Edge during the pandemic said the disruption caused by COVID-19 was a valuable learning experience: “It gave me the opportunity to learn how to adapt and work in different environments which I believe helped me grow professionally.”

She would recommend Edge for the practical experience and industry opportunities it offers and cites her lecturers for inspiring her: “What they all have in common is their passion for the industry and their professional backgrounds. All of them were successful event managers and hospitality professionals before their careers as lecturers. They inspired me to work harder on my degree and professional development.”

After graduation Nieve plans to move to London to grow her business.