At MEETinLEEDS we are all about trying new things: whether it be jumping aboard the Pokémon Go bandwagon, testing our physical attributes in a personal training session or becoming Total Warriors.

We definitely agree with Christopher McCandless when he said “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” We however, draw the line at wandering into Alaska alone for 3 months…

Anyway, over the last month we have had the pleasure of hosting two work experience interns, both of whom wanted to see what life is like in the world of conferences and events. First up was Adam Laverton (you can read his story here) and then last week Robyn Leonard joined us while we were in full conference season swing. You can take a look at the awesome video she filmed and edited at the top of this story, so it’s over to Robyn to let you know about her time here with us!

Day One

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L-R: Emma, Robyn & Lisa

I arrived at the Conference Events Office and was greeted by the team I would be shadowing for the week. I was introduced to people in the office and also shown the works within different departments. An introduction to MEETinLEEDS was given and I further looked into the conference and events services they provide using their website, social media, advertising campaigns and brochures.

I was introduced to the systems and processes that the conference, accommodation and catering departments that are involved in the organisation and running of events use to connect and communicate with each other.

Emma then gave me a tour around the campus and the surrounding buildings in which I was shown conference venues, sport facilities and the beautiful green spaces.

After lunch I worked at the Storm Jameson Court accommodation meeting reception and working with them to help guests of Teach First check in and show them to their rooms.

I really enjoyed my first day and was relieved to know that I would be working with a very friendly team.

Day Two

TFI was shown the databases and systems the team use in more detail, shadowing Lisa as she demonstrated how she responds to the multitude of conference and event queries the team receives and books guests into accommodation.

I began to plan photos of the Teach First event, where thousands of trainee teachers take over Leeds for 2 weeks. I was soon outside in the campus to capture the Teach First attendees, banners and welcome signs. It was perfect because the skies were clear allowing me to catch lots of high quality photos, which will be used for web and print marketing by MEETinLEEDS!

Having time to explore the campus on my own was very useful as I learned where to go for future reference when I would be filming on Thursday, also I wouldn’t be getting so lost easily.

I was able to tell who was and wasn’t from Leeds as when a great big plane flew low over the city, those from Leeds didn’t looks up but those who lived out of Leeds always looked up.

After lunch I returned back to the Storm Jameson Court accommodation to work on the reception again, as the team were checking in a number of conference guests. Quite a busy and varied day!

Day Three

RefectoryIt was Graduation Week at the University and I would be working the following day at the marquee, where the celebrating graduates celebrate their achievements with champagne and snacks in the sunshine, so I went to meet the Great Food at Leeds team that looks after the catering at the University.

It was a completely different environment to the MEETinLEEDS office: serving customers, keeping the café and bar area tidy and making endless amounts of Pimm’s!

Many people visited in large waves, they were either graduates or family and friends of the graduates, and although it was the hottest day of the year with temperatures reaching over 30C inside the tent, I still had lots of fun with the friendly and welcoming team.

Many thanks to Geoff for getting me the best Costa drink I’ve ever had!

Days Four & Five

BeeMy final two days in Leeds gave me lots of freedom to go out on an adventure in the lovely weather and experiment with my camera, with the intention of producing a final short film of my perspective of Leeds. This allowed me to further improve my photography skills as I had only just realised how to use manual focus! This discovery greatly improved my film skills as it brought in soft textures and transitions giving it a more professional feel, which I will be using in my future productions.

I was excited to see that the software I recognised – Adobe Premiere Pro – was available and I was given hours of editing and playing around with effects to reach my desired film. This is the fastest time I have ever produced a film but this allowed me to adapt and I will now be able to produce films and keep it very time efficient!

Roger StevensLeeds had lots to offer for the film and was very interesting with the architecture and life in the city, I also discovered from Ryan that the Roger Stevens Building, which appears in my short film, was almost used in a recent dystopian film due to the distinctive brutalist architecture.

The film I produced will become a part of my portfolio as I head of to apply for film courses and university, so the experience has been very rewarding and also very useful to my future career path!

To finish the day we ate lots of red velvet cake and ice-cream themed cupcakes where there was plenty to go round. Overall I felt very welcomed by the team, although I was a little nervous as I am usually quiet, I settled in fast and felt very comfortable. Thank you!

Take a look at our Facebook page for more photos from Robyn and MEETinLEEDS.