This month, we look back to a Brightspark who also joined us at 18 and, over the next 5 years, he returned to us regularly when he was back from the States; he worked at venues we still support today including: Lords, Goodwood, Wembley, Twickenham and the Paris & Farnborough Airshows.
Will: August 2011-October 2016
“I am now working as an Airline Pilot flying short haul across Europe. I began my work for Brightsparks during the last year of my A-level studies in 2011. After completing education I moved to Seattle, WA where I started my pilot training late 2012. I would return to the UK every 6/8months where I would pick up part time work with Brightsparks.
I think Brightsparks can open many opportunities career wise, as well as develop skills that can translate well into other industries and career paths.
When I started with Brightsparks, I was still a relatively quiet and reserved person, rarely instigating conversation. For me, hosting a box or looking after tables at events pushed me outside my comfort zone but did my confidence a world of good. While working at multiple events you’ll find that you interact with a huge variety of people, from varied backgrounds and nationalities. This helps improve interpersonal skills and communication techniques, as English isn’t always a first language for everyone. These skills translate perfectly into my current job as I fly with a different crew every day, of varied nationalities while operating into many different countries.
You may also find that some customers at events can actually give some great personal advice or if you’re lucky, a contact in your aspiring career path. It takes subtlety and tact to have those sorts of conversations while working, as after all the primary job is to serve the customer. But you may just find some of them are interested in your studies and aspirations and give you a few tips. You just never know.
While working the Paris air show I was fortunate enough to cross paths with the Marketing Director for Textron (parent company of several aircraft manufacturers). The long and the short of it, is that I was invited into their chalet during the event, as a guest and was introduced to their test and delivery pilots (after I’d finished work for the day). Though it didn’t lead directly to a job at this stage (as those positions need much more experience) it did lead to more LinkedIn contacts and a wider knowledge of the industry which can be invaluable at interview.
A lot of companies are doing competency based interviews, which if unprepared can be rather taxing. However, I think the experiences gained in Brightsparks can be used very effectively to answer these questions as ‘working with a team’ or ‘having to communicate effectively’ are all things that happen regularly in the events industry.
Jumping straight into your dream job is becoming harder and harder. But having the option of ad hoc work like Brightsparks can be a great tool while hunting for a door into a career. Alternatively, it’s a great way to learn the events industry and build up your experience before moving into manager positions and beyond.”
We are a little in awe of Will here at Brightsparks and all he has achieved and wish him all the best!