Pamella Dunn Brand Ambassador Lindsey supported behind the scenes in the studio for the filming of the Wedding Academy International Trend Report 2017 and has gone on to secure a fabulous post at a beautiful wedding venue. Hear her inspiring story and how she made it happen even before graduating from the academy.
The Dream Job
A bit of background…
I am 27 years old, married with two children aged 2 and 4. Whilst planning my own wedding I was in my element and I thought to myself, “I could totally make a career out of this!” And so I started looking into courses, having two young children I thought it may be pretty difficult to juggle everything but then I found Wedding Planning Academy. I spoke with the course consultant/tutor Zoe and explained what I wanted to achieve, which was to become an wedding/event coordinator within a venue, and Zoe pointed me in the direction of the Venue Coordination course. Having checked the units, I knew the course was for me as it covered everything I needed! And so, I signed up and since the course material was available almost immediately I started studying straight away! It’s easy to follow and as I have 2 years to complete the course, with no deadlines to meet, it fits perfectly into my lifestyle!
Solberge Hall (Northallerton)…
So… this is the place where it all started for me – it quite literally changed my life (without sounding over dramatic!). After starting my course I knew I needed experience, completing the course would make me a good venue coordinator but I want to be a fabulous venue coordinator! And so the search began for the right venue, a venue that would be open to me learning all there is to know about them as a whole, what they do and how they do it!
I came across Solberge Hall online and saw that it had some great reviews and a small, experienced events team. I called Solberge and spoke with the Operations Manager Jamie, who was more than happy for me to visit the venue and do some shadowing of his staff to learn about the venue and how it ran. I shadowed for a while and then a job in food & beverage came up, I figured I needed to know how a venue worked from food & beverage right up to the operational side of the venue and so I went for the job, interviewed, and got the position!
I worked on food & beverage for some time and worked closely with Jordan, the Food and Beverage Manager learning all about how they provide a great customer experience and continuously deliver everything that is expected of them on the events side of things. For example, setting up weddings and conferences, all while following functions sheets to ensure all elements are delivered to the clients exact specification. So although other people may beg to differ, in my opinion, spending time within food and beverage has certainly given me the background on events – after all, would the events run without this team? Absolutely not!
After my time on food and beverage I worked with Jamie learning all about the operational side of the venue, and my gosh is there a lot to learn on the operational side of the venue! Jamie literally seems to do it all – from standing in the kitchen to ensure food runs out efficiently during events to holding meetings with the teams each morning to ensure the smooth running of the day within the hall. He is very hands on and has taught me A LOT and although there’s still plenty left for me to learn, in a relatively short space of time with him I feel I’ve gained so much knowledge!
Very shortly I’ll be visiting other venues within the ‘Classic Lodge’ brand and again, it’s all about gaining more knowledge, and, could I stay in the venue that I’m at now and learn this one way of running a venue/events team? Yes! But I’m out there looking for a great start to my new career and thinking outside of the box (or hall in this instance!). My thoughts are that by visiting other venues it can only widen my knowledge and enable me to gain other perspectives on running a hotel/event. This is being arranged by the General Manager, James – another example of how the team at Solberge Hall support me in becoming a better, well rounded, wedding/events coordinator.
The wedding academy course also offers me more than just study, support and a qualification. I have had the opportunity to be mentored and work alongside one of the advisory board members Pamella Dunn on the International Trend Report filming day in the studio.
To summarise – it’s true what they say, knowledge is power! And if you can find that one venue, one that will have your back, understand that you might drop the ball now and again while you’re learning… and catch it for you! Then you’re onto a winner! Learn, gain as much knowledge about ALL aspects of the venue then… you’ll get your dream job!
The Dream Job…
I guess, you could say I’m one of the very lucky ones – in the sense that not many people get paid for doing what they love but now, I do! I remember the first email I sent signed, ‘Lindsey – Wedding & Events Coordinator’ and I thought to myself, this is my dream job, and I’ve actually got the position – and I’m doing it right now! It seemed so surreal and it was just a great feeling of achievement! Solberge saw something in me, something that I don’t see in myself half the time – yes, I know I’m passionate about the role and yes, I know myself that I would have done whatever it took to get the position, but they have definitely seen something that made them think that I’d be right for the position!
Although I’ve not long been in the position, I have to say I absolutely love it! I wake up wanting to go to work, looking forward to my various meetings, whether it be meeting with the lovely couples getting married at Solberge or meeting with businesses who are wanting to hold a conference here. No two days are the same, and that’s what I love about the job – it varies so much from day to day.
I have a fabulous manager, Kate who has actually only recently been promoted to Manager from event coordinator – which again shows that with hard work, you can work your way up! Kate has been showing me the ropes – I still have so much to learn within the events team – but I’m taking it all in, making notes, trying to dive in as much as possible to make sure that I do become a fabulous event coordinator. Is it scary? At times, yes! Being new isn’t always the easiest of things to be – but nothing stays new forever!
I’ve just started in this role. But what’s next for me? I’d love to become a Wedding & Events Manager! You’ve got to keep dreaming and well, it’s the next big dream! Running a small team of coordinators would be amazing – it’d mean I’ve reached the top of my game! I’m determined and I’m sure that with more hard work and dedication… I’ll get there! Watch this space….