Event Manager, Lemongrass Productions
Bachelor of Arts in Event Management
She loves events, says Natalie Tan Yee Ning who came to AUT as an international student from Singapore and now works for event management company Lemongrass Productions.
“In this role, I’m involved in co-ordinating and planning one of Auckland’s largest dining events; Auckland Restaurant Month in August. This involves reaching out to restaurants and chefs, and encouraging them to participate in the event. After August, we’ll move on to planning a large food and drink festival that takes place in late October or early November. In between we also help plan some smaller-scale cocktail events.
“What I like about event management is that no two days are the same. I love food and cooking and all things in between, so being involved in events like Restaurant Month is right up my alley. I also enjoy being able to meet top chefs and visit restaurants as part of what I do.”
Events had been running in her bloodstream for a while, says Natalie who was working in events before she joined AUT.
“While I knew the technical side of events, I was curious about why and how events are run, and the wider impact they have on the community. I knew I had to satiate this academic hunger in me. I had been to numerous universities to decide which one to go to, and AUT fitted me best. It provided a very welcoming vibe and class sizes were small, allowing for maximum interaction with your classmates and academic staff.”
There were many highlights throughout Natalie’s time at AUT – from making new friends, learning about New Zealand life and visiting Auckland’s beautiful beaches, to her regular 8am coffee at Counter café and the workplace experience in her final year.
She also enjoyed being able to support other students through her role as a peer mentor, Natalie says.
“I loved the opportunity to be a peer mentor. I’ve always wanted to give back to the student community and helping other students either academically or with advice on settling into New Zealand life. It was so heartwarming to know that the students appreciated my time and help.”
Advice for other students
Natalie, who received the Top Graduate Award for the Bachelor of Arts in Event Management, has some great advice for other students.
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class even if no one else is asking and you feel like you’re the only one. If you have a curious mind, AUT will help you fuel it. If you ever get stuck, there are lecturers, tutors and peer mentors to turn to. You’re never alone.
“Volunteering for events and activities is also a great way to build not only your resume but also your interpersonal skills, which will groom you to be job ready for the future.”
Her time at AUT helped develop her confidence and was a great chance to meet new people, Natalie says.
“My role as a peer mentor and the presentations we had to complete helped me develop my public speaking skills. Through the different group assignments, I’ve also learnt to manage interpersonal conflicts and group tasks. The academic research also taught me to be receptive to the rationale of why and how events are run.”