This is the story of Milly Pickles:

“The proud feeling you have when you see an event come together is the exact reason why I wanted to pursue a career in the events industry. After finishing college, I was not sure what I wanted to go into so took a gap year. I ended up working at Goodwood House waitressing for many of their events, realising then that I wanted to have a career in events.

Fast forward a few years and I graduated from my Event Management degree. With my placement year experience, I secured a graduate role at a venue finding agency, growing my love for the industry. Here, I was able to gain a true understanding of venue finding, which gave me the grounding and knowledge of finding the perfect venue for my client’s events. This experience allowed me to become a better event manager as I progressed through the industry.

Whilst working in my graduate role, I was able to work on a few full-service corporate events. I realised that this was where my passion lay within the events industry. I wanted to be the person to create experiences and memories for attendees. Therefore after a few years in my graduate role, I moved to a full-service agency where I could gain more event logistics experience whilst delivering a range of corporate virtual and in-person events.

One week into this new role, the pandemic hit and I found myself working from home for a new company with colleagues I had only just met. I felt that my confidence in my abilities had diminished and the things that I once did frequently, I doubted I could do anymore. I therefore decided that I needed to do something about it, as the world was beginning to open up again. This was when I discovered Fast Forward 15. From reading what the programme entailed, I knew that this was the right thing for me to help me overcome my limiting beliefs, push myself out of my comfort zone, and improve my confidence by setting goals to work towards.

I also have a huge passion for supporting event newcomers by sharing what I and other event professionals wished we had known coming into the industry. Not knowing where to start, I had the support from my mentor, Shonali Devereaux, and set up my events Instagram account where I have started to share this knowledge. My goals for this project have grown; I am now working on a go-to resource hub to accelerate the skills and knowledge of those entering the industry. My goal is to launch Events Simplified, my resource hub, later in the year.

A big part of Fast Forward 15 for me, was stepping out of my comfort zone and becoming team leader for the Charity event run by all the mentees. My confidence grew and my imposter syndrome lessened; I had proved to myself that I could lead a team. This newfound confidence reflected in my day-to-day job and as a result was offered a promotion in my current role.

Looking back to where I was when I started the programme, I have become a new person! I have achieved so much more than I ever expected to when I was first writing the application form, and I have both Fay and Shonali to thank for this. To list a few, I was named a CN 30underThirty and Tomorrow’s Talent winner for the work I have done inside and outside of my job role. I also presented to university students in relation to Events Simplified.

The experiences I gained whilst on the programme has now led me to securing a new job at Top Banana. I am excited to be a part of the Top Banana team due to their commitment to the team and culture, their strong presence in the industry and the opportunities to progress myself as an event manager. This upwards step in my career will allow me to not only grow my corporate event experience, but also my creative and film experience too. It feels an honour to be working for Richard Bridge, who was a mentor whilst I was on the programme and is a current mentor now too. I cannot wait to get stuck in, expand my event experience and continue doing what I love – planning events! If you are interested in following me on my journey post-Fast Forward 15, both in my career and with Events Simplified, you can find me on LinkedIn and on Instagram at @millypicklesevents.”