How one graduate went from study straight to managing large-scale events

Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO Louise Baxter (centre) and Captain Starlight with Almila Bailey-Ertürk (second from left) and the events team.

Starlight Children’s Foundation CEO Louise Baxter (centre) and Captain Starlight with Almila Bailey-Ertürk (second from left) and the events team.

A little bit of study can go a long way, and for many of our graduates a simple course, diploma or graduate program at the William Angliss Institute has led them straight into the job of a lifetime.

Almila Bailey-Erturk, a graduate from our Diploma of Event Management and Diploma of Hospitality Management programs, is now travelling around Australia and making people's dreams come true as the National Projects Coordinator for the Starlight Children's Foundation.

Her role entails working with committees to organise and put on Star Balls, which are fundraising galas that take place in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Darwin each year. The balls blend glitz and glamour with an undertone of goodwill, with all proceeds going directly Starlight to help transform the lives of seriously ill children, teenagers and their families. Each ball has a theme and plenty of entertainment, making it a magical night for all involved.

Almila enjoys working alongside talented people in her role with the Star Balls, and relishes the chance to travel around Australia and call it work. She admits there are challenges to her role, such as working within different committees to deliver events of the highest quality while keeping costs low in line with fundraising goals, but the payoff is more than worth it. The Ringwood local must adhere to strict deadlines and oversee a wide range of tasks in her every day role.

It's not all hard work, though. Once the hard part is over with, Almila gets to watch it all unfold. She cites seeing the events coming together as the best thing about her role, along with witnessing the generosity of those involved with Starlight. In the events industry there is truly never a dull moment, and the fast-paced environment lends itself to new challenges, learning opportunities and plenty of fun each and every day.

The young professional opted to take the Event Management and Hospitality Management courses after volunteering at the FINA World Swimming Championships and deciding to turn her passion into a career. She believes her education at the Institute gave her a broad overview of all elements of event management, along with the practical skills required to stage events from application to completion.

Her studies helped her confidence to grow, and Almila believes the education was responsible for securing her first job within the industry, which was as an Events and Membership Officer at APNA. When applying for this role, she impressed her employers with an event plan she had completed as part of the course, and Almila believes this helped her secure the role. Since then, she says she's used everything she learnt at the Institute in her career.

Since her early days in the industry, Almila also worked as the Events Coordinator at the Melbourne Racing Club, before stepping up to Acting Events Marketing Manager to coordinate the Festival of Racing. She says her study gave her the vast skills and knowledge required to not only successfully complete these tasks, but also build on her experience and advance her career. She's not content yet, however – eventually, Almila wants to own and operate her own Event Management Company working on a national and international portfolio of events. With her experience and solid educationfrom William Angliss Institute, it's looking increasingly likely that she'll do just that.