Eve Ryan-Smith shares her passion for events and starting an apprenticeship during lockdown

9th February 2021

Starting a new job often comes with its own trials, but undertaking an apprenticeship and starting a new role during lockdown has been more challenging than many could imagine. But against all odds, Eve Ryan-Smith has said ‘she is  determined to excel in the School of Events, Enterprise & Employability and won’t let anything hold her back’.

In just a few months, and while working from home, Eve has taken on several projects and initiatives and continues to develop both personally and professionally, as she navigates the challenges of a virtual workplace and the Events, Projects and Promotions Apprenticeship Level 3.

Where it all started

Prior to taking on an apprenticeship, Eve studied production arts at Park Lane Campus and discovered her passion for events management after completing a module in events.

“We got to organise a live Battle of the Bands event at The Wardrobe and I enjoyed this massively. If I had to pinpoint where my interest in events started, I’d credit that opportunity.

“I was also lucky enough to complete three weeks of work experience in Malta where I helped organise and run various events,” Eve said.

She applied for an apprenticeship before changing her mind and opting to give university a go. Not long into her course, she found that she missed the practical learning opportunities she’d had at college and wanted something that gave her the chance to earn and learn at the same time.

“I was in my first year of university studying stage management but I wasn’t happy. All I could think about was how much I wanted a more hands-on experience where I could be work and earn while studying – that’s why I was so interested in an apprenticeship.

“I was lucky enough to spot an opportunity to join Leeds City College as an apprentice, so I applied and thankfully, I was successful.”

Eve started her apprenticeship in April 2020 and has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience through planning and organising events, including scheduling and budgeting.

“I haven’t been in the role for long; however, I love it so far! It’s been interesting because it has challenged me to think about what students would enjoy and opportunities we can provide them with by running these events.”

“I’ve been involved in numerous projects, such as assisting with the strategic planning and setting up of Refurb. I’ve acted as the project administrator and have been helping write the project plan. I’m also picking up some extra administrative duties such as timesheets. I have been completing these tasks as individual learning, alongside my apprenticeship.”

An unexpected experience

While Eve has taken it all in her stride, she admits that the pandemic has caused unexpected challenges that she has had to overcome while studying her apprenticeship. She credits the School of Events, Enterprise & Employability with supporting her through this uncertain period.

“The main challenge I have faced so far has been working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic which happened just two weeks after I started my apprenticeship. My managers, team and department have been faultless – going beyond the call of duty to make sure everyone in the team had a laptop they could take home to work on.

“The communication has been incredible and I have felt completely comfortable with ringing or messaging my manager with even the smallest of worries. I feel so lucky to be part of a team that cares so much about each other and who are supportive with work and wellbeing,” Eve added.

Eve said the benefits of an apprenticeship is the practical learning, industry experience and versatility.

“I’m learning and working towards a qualification. Alongside the academic aspects, I am experiencing a real-life work environment. I am a hands-on learner and I take more in when I do tasks rather than reading, so an apprenticeship was a good route for me. I definitely feel so much happier than I did when I was at university, so this was the right choice for me.

“My apprenticeship teaches so many transferable skills and I feel confident that I will not be pigeon-holed into one specific role in the future. I could take this apprenticeship and use the skills gained from it in a variety of roles and sectors which is valuable, as it gives me flexibility and options in the future.”

What’s next on the cards

Eve is hoping to progress into a managerial role in the future.

“Hopefully I will progress on to a Level 4 apprenticeship so I can get another qualification at a higher level, which I believe will open up more opportunities and advanced roles. I am thoroughly enjoying my work in events and projects so I’d love to continue to develop in this area. I would like to potentially work in project management in the future.

“I’d like to acquire the right skills to manage any project and be viewed as someone who does their best, and is easy to work with.”

To find out more about our apprenticeships, visit the website

Leeds City College