YorkAlumni5 – 3 – Hannah Barwick-Walters

Today due to the amount of submissions we have now received here is a second entry this week. We are lucky to have an insight from Hannah Barwick Walters who now works as Corporate Events manager for a The Air Ambulance Service…

1. What did you read at York and why?
When applying to York I loved the college element of the university. Having previously studied at Leeds which is non-collegiate the opportunity to be involved on a college level really appealed to me.  

Also I think that York has the perfect combination of small town feeling where you will always see a friendly face on campus whilst also being big enough to host hundreds of amazing events and social/sporting groups.

2. What are your favourite memories from university?
My favourite memory from York is all of 2007. Halifax college really was an amazing place to be. From getting in trouble with a porter for attaching a hose pipe to the sink and filling up a paddling pool (attempt at an outdoor bath) to organising one of the biggest Christmas parties Halifax had seen.

Being involved on the student college committee was one of the best decisions I made and gave me the confidence to set up my own sports club as part of YUSU, the York Hornets Cheerleading Team. I would highly recommend all students to sit on one or more committees at university, they can be academic, collegiate or sporting. The experience you gain and can use to support job applications is priceless. I would certainly say that being president/coach helped me gain my first job after university.

3. When did you graduate and who do you work for now?
I graduated in summer 2010 and immediately moved down to London to start searching for my perfect job in the third sector. After temping for some weeks I gained a job at Orchid-Male Cancer Charity in the administration department. Although obviously not my ‘perfect’ job I understood that getting paid employment in this sector is TOUGH and I would have to start at the bottom. Which is what I did, starting in admin, moving to events administration and then to events management. In a small charity I was very lucky to gain experience in all departments, corporate, trusts, services, events and supporter services.

After two years I was ready for a management role and moved to ‘The Air Ambulance Service’ as Corporate Events Manager which is where I am now!

4. What do you do on a day to day basis in your job? 
I am responsible for the overall events income from challenge/sporting events and for engaging new corporate supporters through events. However as the organisation is moving quickly on a day to day basis I can be managing press conferences, attending networking dinners, co-ordinating marketing or showing supporters round our helicopter base, its safe to say that no day is the same.

Being an events manager it is essential that I am highly organised and time-efficient, unfortunately this does mean being tied to my iPhone 24/7 however the rewards are worth it when your event happens without a hitch.

Working for a charity isn’t all fluffy and nice, and you have to work as hard (if not harder) than those in the corporate world. However knowing that the funds you raise are going towards saving lives every day makes every second worth it.

5. What advice do you have for current York students looking to gain employment in your field/for your company?
For those that are interested in the charity sector the best advice I can give is to speak to people, whenever and wherever. I did not have the luxury of being able to afford to take an internship so instead I attended charity networking evenings, free seminars and pounced on everyone on LinkedIn. In this sector people will go out of their way to help you if you make a good impression, at the end of the day the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK had to start somewhere … !

Email: Hannah.Barwick-Walters@theairambulanceservice.org.uk

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