Holmesglen graduate helps Event Management students start their careers

Lisa Van Der Poel

While the pandemic impacted the Events Industry significantly, Holmesglen event management course graduate Lisa Van der Poel leaned on her resilience - and her Holmesglen connections - to keep her business thriving in difficult times.

Now Director of 38 Grace Weddings and Events, Lisa is giving back by helping Holmesglen events students find practical placements in the events industry and has taken on many Holmesglen students as part of her work.

“In the events industry we always look at networks first before advertising. Holmesglen teachers continue to give back to me, so I am happy to keep giving back.

Lisa recently gave four event students work experience at the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters annual awards. Holmesglen students helped with registration, set up banners and table gifts and undertook general tasks throughout the evening.

Events student Ryan Smith gained valuable industry experience at the event.

“It was really good, as I got to see everything in real-time,” he says.

 “I learned more of the technical stuff with Lisa. It was a good way of adding to my knowledge.”

Practical placements give students real work experience

Lisa credits her Holmesglen teachers for their encouragement and cites the work experience opportunities she received as setting the foundations for her successful career.

“Working with relatable teachers, who went out of their way to get quality placement opportunities, was a highlight.

“My placements were real, genuine learning experiences. The teachers didn’t sugar coat the realities of the industry and we understood the hard work that was involved.”

Holmesglen students work at major events

When she started her event management diploma at Holmesglen, Lisa was passionate about weddings. However, doing the events course opened her eyes to the excitement of working at festivals and corporate events.

She since has worked on major events including the Formula One Grand Prix’s Corporate VIP suites, Moto GP, Melbourne Chinese New Year Festival, and Melbourne’s Mid-Autumn Festival.

Now running her own business, Lisa recently coordinated the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters annual awards event at the Crown Palladium, while adhering to tough COVID-safe requirements.

This involved planning and delivering the event from end-to-end, employing almost 50 people, including performers, an audio-visual crew, sound crew, and events team.

“It gave our clients the chance to connect for the first time in over a year and our own industry a chance to be back at work. Everyone was so happy to be working that night.”

Lisa’s advice for events students

“Work hard no matter what you are doing as someone is watching. People will remember you and tell you about jobs.

Find out more about our events courses.

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