July 17, 2019

O’SAM – Changing the face of HE Events Management education

Events Management alumni and Teaching fellow at GSM London, Hope Flynn, shares her reflection on an O’SAM meeting where GSM London events management students and alumni alongside their lecturers collaborate with industry contacts to shape their course. O’SAM is a University teaching model implemented firstly for Events Studies from founder of the idea and Programme Leader Fotios Vasileiou with the work of a team of students and graduates called “events student consultants” and “events leader consultants”.

Today was a day filled with a mix of emotions. As all the Event student consultants gathered to meet with an industry expert there was a real sense of achievement underpinned with a touch of sadness as the final year students handed in their dissertations. I overheard a few whispers of “what next?” muttered by these students.

GSM London OSAM meeting for Events students

The meeting started with an exchange of hugs and smiles between students, then Francesca Marzullo (an O’SAM Leader) kicked off with a round up off the experiences and opportunities the O’SAM method has offered her over the last few weeks. Francesca was very thankful with a readiness to show appreciation towards Fotios (creator of O’SAM) alongside the other students. Francesca shared her experiences of visiting other Universities to present the method and many other students flagged that they were now keen to be involved with the promotion of O’SAM.

This led me to discuss with students identifying their individual strengths and the idea of contributing these according to their talents. Being part of the O’SAM method gives students the chance to contribute an array of experience’s to their CV. With opportunities such as producing a publication, teaching in class, volunteering and visiting conferences it is important for students to tie their strong points alongside their future ambitions in order to gain experience in key areas that are beneficial to their future careers.

This meeting was a real eye opener to the gratitude these students have towards the OSAM method. Lyndsey Jackson who is Head of operations for the Edinburgh Festival gave a fascinating and honest insight into running Europe’s biggest Arts Festival. This gave the students a real understanding of the industry and the work load that is involved with running such major events. The event consultants were shown the importance of applying their knowledge and the significance of attaining experience in the work life of an events manager. Without the O’SAM Method these individuals would not have had the opportunity to meet with such experts and openly ask questions they may not ordinarily have asked in the classroom. Lyndsey also supported the development of the new academic programmes. She is the Events External Consultant for the O’SAM method, giving the events industry specialist’s perspective to the curriculum of Events Studies.

As the session continued everyone began to discuss their personal experience with O’SAM and how it has impacted majorly on the experienced student they are today. Final semester students were keen to stay involved and were extremely happy with the up and coming chance to win a full time position at one of London’s elite event companies, offered to O’SAM participants by another external expert. Lyndsey has also provided all event student consultants with the opportunity to gain experience at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer.

A real sense of community and belonging shines through the O’SAM student consultants. And today was a real example of how the opportunities provided to these students really has a tremendous effect. The motivation can be passed from student to student and they are all role models to one another. OSAM really is proving to be an awesome experience for everyone involved.

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