Interview with Candice Coppola: What my Students do RIGHT!
At QC Event School, our students are driven people who want to succeed in their courses, and also in their future industry! As a result, we often receive questions from students asking what they can do to achieve the highest quality of work in our different Event School courses. In order to give students the best advice possible, we sat down for a conversation with QC tutor and event planning professional Candice Coppola of Jubilee Events! Candice told us what she sees her most successful students doing right, and also what she’d like to see students do more often to reach their full potential. Here are some helpful tips for completing assignments that really show your tutors how hard you’re preparing for success!
Actually invest the time
Even for the simplest assignments, you should spend significant time ensuring that your work will meet your tutor’s expectations. Candice responds most positively to students who make it clear that they put their best effort into their final product. Just because an assignment isn’t complicated to complete doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it your full attention! As a professional in the industry, you’ll be expected to take great care with each detail of every event you plan. By investing good time in each and every assignment, no matter how small, you show your tutor that you’re ready to take your future career seriously. Think hard about your answers and really analyze the information that you’re given, as well as the information you’re providing to complete your assignment. Your increased understanding of the topic will be evident if you’ve really invested your full effort into the assignment.
Do more than the basic requirement
Candice stresses to her students that doing the bare minimum amount of work required to complete a job won’t lead to success within the event planning industry. The same rule applies to your course assignments! The students who receive the highest marks are those who go above and beyond what is expected of them. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should tack on unnecessary information just to increase the length of your material. Candice likes to see students who have taken extra steps and put in additional effort in order to complete their assignments to the absolute best of their ability. Instead of just describing your vision for a theoretical event, why not include visuals to help paint the picture for your tutor, much like a professional planner would for their client?
Paying close attention to detail in your assignments is extremely important. Being as specific as possible in your descriptions and analysis will show your tutor that you actually understand what is required of you. Candice often encounters students who provide a vague idea of what they would do in a theoretical situation, and she always encourages these students to give more concrete details and real life examples moving forward. For example, if you are asked what kind of food and beverages you would provide for an adult birthday party and you simply answer “finger foods and alcohol”, your tutor will be left wondering what types of finger foods and alcohol you mean. If your tutor is left wondering, then your clients would also be unclear in an actual planning situation. Your plans should be detailed enough that neither your tutor nor a client would feel unsure or full of questions.
Stay one step ahead
One of the best habits to get into even before you’ve finished your course is anticipating questions and expectations in advance. Candice advises that students who stay one step ahead for their tutor during their assignments will continue the habit into their professional career. If you can provide the information people need before anyone has to ask for it, you’ll be much better prepared to impress clients with your expertise and professionalism. Similarly, your tutor will see your understanding of the topic much better if you can answer all of their questions and address each of their concerns in advance!
Act like an expert
In order to succeed in both your course and your career, you’ll need the confidence to act like the expert you’re working to become! Of course, assuming that you know everything is ineffective, but Candice often encourages her students to adopt the attitude of a professional early on. Clients feel more comfortable working with planners who are concrete in their abilities and can provide all of the information they need with an air of confident expertise. Similarly, your tutors will be more convinced that you truly understand what’s required of you in each assignment if you provide explanations without questioning your own knowledge and wavering on your stance. If you’ve mastered a concept, show that to your tutor, just like you would to a client! Treat each assignment like a real professional opportunity.
Be professional from the start
Conducting yourself like a professional goes further than just being confident in your own knowledge. Once you’ve graduated, the way that you communicate with your clients will be extremely important to your reputation and your ability to get positive references from the people you work with. In the same way that you would correspond with clients in a respectable, professional manner, Candice advises that students communicate with their tutors as though they were already a working expert within the industry. Students often forget that their efforts in simple things, such as spelling and grammar, contribute to their professional reputation. Candice recommends treating assignments and correspondence with your tutor as though you were already working professionally with a client. This is the number one habit that she wishes to see more students practicing right from the start! No matter how skilled you are as an event planner, your ability to form a good client base will be impeded if you speak too informally or forget that professional communication plays a huge role in establishing your professional reputation.
Achieving success in your Event School course doesn’t necessarily mean having the highest grades every single time. If you’ve already started your assignments, for example, there is still room for improvement as you progress! Practicing good habits like the ones listed above is the key to producing high quality work and displaying your potential. The earlier your tutor can see your passion and professionalism, the more likely you are to achieve top grades as your work your way through your course. Even for students who have already submitted assignments, it’s never too late to get into the kind of habits that Candice loves to see!