Friday 12-06-2015 - 12:02
Guest blog from Tayler Fulton, student at Glasgow Clyde College, who together with fellow students organised the Scottish Student Journalism Awards 2015.
Organising the Scottish Student Journalism Awards (SSJA) this year was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Granted there were multiple frustrating and challenging moments during the course of the project, however nothing can beat the instant it’s all over: when you have achieved something that, at times, you thought just wouldn’t be possible or was so far out of reach that you wanted to give up and run away from the stress and the worries typical of an event organiser.
Before the SSJA, I had never been responsible for organising an event. I had never taken on something so big in my life. For me, being given the opportunity to organise the SSJA and to give rising talents in the journalism industry a platform to showcase their work and liaise with industry professionals was unreal to me. I didn’t know where to begin, I had no experience in this sector at all – but I just had to go in head first. I wanted to have as much experience in the media industry as I possibly could. Mostly, I wanted to show people that we can achieve something massive if we put our minds to it.
I learned a lot about myself and the media industry throughout the project. One thing is for sure you have to be persistent. I’ve lost count of how many times I would randomly call someone because they hadn’t replied to my emails. That is something I would NEVER have done before the SSJA. Before, I would find it hard even to call for a doctor appointment never mind anything else. If you want something done in events management, you simply cannot be shy, otherwise it’s a one way ticket to fail-ville – and when a place at university is at stake you just can’t take the risk of not getting things done because you are too shy or embarrassed to chase people up.
What else did I learn? Always have a plan B. Always. That is my first and last warning and is all I will say about the matter.
My last piece of advice would be to do the small things ASAP. Do not wait until the last minute to do a simple task because the chances are something will go wrong and then you will have no time to fix it. Trust me, you do not want to be running about on the day of your event looking for battery powered fairy lights during gardening season when all you can find is solar powered ones and especially when you haven’t been paid SAAS yet so need to get a sub for the batteries but you MUST get the fairy lights otherwise the room will look totally bland and the night will be ruined. I still get chills thinking about it. In short, if a task can be done now, do it. Or the world will punish you.
There is no doubt that organising events is stressful and really tests your patience, your mind and your ability to stay calm and get things done. I cannot express enough that it is worth every tear and every hair pulling moment. When someone compliments you on how professional you are, and how much they have enjoyed their night, you get a feeling of pride and a sense achievement. Even more so when you realise you have helped people achieve something for themselves to, because at the end of the day, the SSJA is there for students to show the world what they can achieve, for the contestants and all involved.
Organising the SSJA has made me realise that events management is a route I would definitely consider as a career for the future. I’ve gained an unforgettable experience and I can truly say that it is my biggest achievement: gaining skills, confidence and respect for people aiming for the stars along the way. The SSJA gets bigger and better every year and I look forward to seeing it progress in the future.
The full list of award winners from the Scottish Student Journalism Awards 2015 can be found at http://www.allmediascotland.com/press/100791/media-awards-scottish-student-journalism-awards-2015-winners/