King James Alumni - Laura Newton

July 2021


“I was a student at King James from 2009 until 2016 and after leaving Sixth Form I went to Liverpool John Lewis University to study a Degree in Events Management; this was a degree in business management but with a specialism in events."

“During the summer following my first year, I travelled to Orlando, USA to work at the Hard Rock Hotel in Universal Studios as an Activities Coordinator. My role involved a 'meet & greet' service for guests, organising family activities to keep everyone entertained and coordinating events such as photoshoots taking place at the hotel. The whole experience was so much fun; I met many wonderful people and loved living in the sunshine so it fuelled my passion for travelling and my desire to live and work abroad."

“My degree course structure included an integrated work placement year, which I spent living in St. Julien on the island of Malta working for a company called Sarah Young Events. The company specialised in arranging luxury weddings across the island for both UK visitors and local couples. I found it so rewarding to help plan and coordinate the perfect wedding day for our clients; I really enjoyed seeing people so happy and knowing that I had played a part in making their dreams come true. The experience was invaluable for building both my confidence and my portfolio too, especially as many of the traditional Maltese weddings catered for up to 2,000 guests! It also allowed me to network and build links with other industry professionals including a photographer from Australia and a wedding planner from Dubai."

“Following my 12 month placement in Malta I returned to the UK but decided to complete my degree at Manchester Metropolitan University as the course on offer there gave me more opportunities to broaden my experience. I graduated amidst the first national lockdown in 2020 with a full programme of work lined up for the summer and beyond. I had been successful in securing a position to do stage production, project management and artist liaison at 18 music festivals, but sadly these were all cancelled due to Covid-19. I had also secured a three-month placement to work in Shanghai, China; this was to be fully funded by the British Council, however it was also cancelled due to the pandemic. At this point, I applied for a temporary position at King James as Key Stage 3 Covid Catch-up Mentor and was delighted to start work in September 2020."

"I've learned so much in my role at King James; I have had the opportunity to build upon my organisational and team working skills, and used my events planning knowledge to help organise the Academy's first virtual Prize Evening and 'Lockdown Legends'. Although I have loved being back at King James, the contract was for 12 months only so I will be leaving in October for pastures new and a return to events management in America."

“I am so excited to have secured my dream job in Florida, where I will be working as an Events Coordinator in a large luxury hotel resort in Delray Beach. The hotel plays host to luxury weddings, special events and conferences all year round so I will get to put all of my knowledge and experience to good use. Florida is my favourite place in the world so I can't wait to live and work there; I also can't wait to get back to the career that I love and have missed so much."

“My previous experience really gave me the edge when it came to getting this job so my advice to any young person is to be as pro-active as possible about building your cv. Make sure you take every opportunity to try new things, challenge yourself and gain life experience and independence."