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Ashfield Meetings & Events, the largest full service event management agency specialising in serving the healthcare sector, is making final preparations for its university placement scheme’s annual assessment centre.

The assessment centre, which will take place on 24 March at Ashfield’s UK headquarters in Ashby De La Zouch, has already received applicants from a variety of academic institutions offering degrees in event management and related disciplines. This is the sixth year that the highly-successful programme has run and sees the initiative extended to include graphic design applicants that are aligned with Ashfield’s creative event service offerings.

Since the launch of the scheme in 2012, around 50 students have been assessed annually. There are currently five students placed in the UK office who have travelled on-site to international events, participated in Ashfield’s award-winning in-house training programme and are empowered and encouraged to make important contributions to the business. Each year, several students return to full-time positions after completing their studies.

Sarah Gledhill (Sales Support Executive) commented: “My experience as a placement student was a thoroughly enjoyable one and I can’t thank Ashfield enough for the opportunity. I even had to think twice about returning to university but did so with a sharper focus on my career and plenty of new skills which helped me succeed in obtaining a first class honours degree, something I’m sure I wouldn’t have received without the willpower and self-motivation I learnt on my placement. What I loved the most about the company was the people; everyone made me feel at home and I learnt so much in a short space of time. After only a few weeks I was working as a Project Executive on a large sales conference in Tenerife before being flown out to Dubai with a day’s notice for a four-day meeting. Of course, it wasn’t always that glamorous and the experience came with its own challenges, but I couldn’t imagine how different my life would be now if I hadn’t done a placement year at Ashfield. Subsequently, I was delighted to return to Ashfield full-time after finishing my studies.”

Helen Capelin (Operational Excellence Director, responsible for implementing and managing the placement scheme) said: “Our undergraduate programme has proven to be hugely successful. It is an unrivalled opportunity for the students to gain insight and understanding into the realities of event management whilst developing personally and professionally. By immersing the students in our agency and providing bespoke development plans we create a mutually advantageous partnership, with Ashfield benefitting from their hard work, dedication and different ways of thinking. We are looking for the students to demonstrate their passion, commitment and curiosity at the assessment centre, which has become one of our favourite days of the year.”

The assessment consists of individual presentations, group exercises, problem-solving situations, a question and answer session with existing agency staff and computer proficiency tests. The successful applicants will be offered a year-long work placement that will start in July and form part of their vocational degree course.

Any undergraduates interested in applying should contact Helen Capelin for more information. The closing date for applications is 13 March.

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