565 days ago
Among the historic artefacts and exhibitions which trace the history of modern warfare, Abigail has recently started her career in events and hospitality. She graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University this year where she was a recipient of the Sodexo Defence Scholarship.
How have you settled in?
Really well. It's very busy but I'm loving it. The whole team has been amazing. I've moved up to London from going to university in Cardiff so it's all a big change but it's nice living up here.
What are your main responsibilities as an events sales coordinator?
I do everything from taking the initial enquiry to meeting the client on the morning of their event and then I hand it over to the operational team who look after the client on the day.
My main duties are to answer any enquiries which come into our events inbox. We also have agencies who regularly send us short briefs for events to organise so I'll handle those too.
I'll send quotes to clients and then I'll also show them around the venue, suggesting different ideas, and making sure we can give them what they want.
You came through the Sodexo Defence Scholarship, what did that involve?
I was provided with support from Wales and West Midlands contract, Sodexo Defence throughout my second and third year in university, and also over the summer of my second year I undertook work experience at the Infantry Battle School, Brecon, Cawdor Barracks, Brawdy and Churchill lines at St.Athan.
I was mainly based up in the Infantry Battle School, Brecon where I got to see how they were run operationally. I got to see the catering side of it where you've got the officers mess, which is fine dining formal seated dining and then you had the soldier’s restaurant which fed 600 people during lunch time.
I don't have any family who are in the military, so it's really interesting to see how military messes and restaurants are run and what their lifestyle is like.
What is it like working at IWM London?
It's really unique and the space we have to offer is so different. I was recently involved in my first evening dinner which was for 270 people in the middle of the atrium of the museum. We had royalty here, which added more pressure.
We had to transform the venue in just one hour. I thought: 'How are we going to do it in an hour?' but it all happened and it all went very well.
What exhibit do you find most fascinating?
I like the First World War gallery. It tells the story of the families and everyone affected by the war, not just the war itself. Within the tour you get to read the letters and it's all filtered around the museum taking in the trenches and everything else.
What's your ideal three-course meal?
The starter would be smoked salmon with cream cheese and herbs, and then duck for main. I'd finish with a trio of desserts because I can never pick just one! It would have to be cheesecake, something with caramel in it and something chocolatey.
But everything has to look good!
Something about you colleagues might not know?
I've done ballet all my life. I've found some ballet lessons in London, which I really enjoy.
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