Held at The Lowry Hotel, the Insider’s ‘Made in the Northwest Regional Awards’ triumphantly returned this year. Not only was UA92 CEO, Sara Prowse invited to attend as a guest speaker on the night, but an invitation was also extended to one of our media students, to help capture content, network with others, and experience a black-tie event for themselves.
We caught up with Cert HE Media Student, Judith, who was lucky enough to attend alongside Sara, all about her experience.
When I first received the invitation to the Awards from my Tutor my first reaction after looking into the details of the event, was to respond saying I was unable to attend. It literally took me 10 seconds to make that decision. There was no way that I could see myself getting ‘dressed up’ at a black-tie awards ceremony and networking with a bunch of strangers! I already felt awkward being the oldest student on campus, losing my confidence during the pandemic and still grieving the loss of my mum. So, in my mind I had enough excuses not to go.
But once I saw the invitation go out on teams to other students, I thought to myself, ‘are you really going to miss this opportunity?’ I reminded myself of the reasons why I’d decided to study at higher education in the first place and was instantly reminded of one of my top priorities: to step outside of my comfort zone. It was then that I made the move to re-invite myself to the event.
The next step was to meet with Sara, CEO of UA92, the day before the event. That created a whole new level of anxiety, what if she didn’t like me? What if I said the wrong things? What if… what if? As it happens I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Our meeting was lovely – informal and informative. She told me about her journey, and I told her all about myself and what was important in my life. By the end of our meeting, the only thing I was worried about was whether I would be able to walk in the shoes I had bought for the event!
Although, there really was nothing to worry about as navigating the Lowry steps in my new shoes was executed like a pro! It took a little while to get used to seeing people dressed to the nines all without masks and smiling and greeting each other, but I soon fell into the vibe of the evening and by the time we were all seated around the table, I felt like I was out with old friends.
My task on the night was to capture highlights of the evening, including Sara’s keynote speech and presentation of Food and Drink award. When Sara stepped up to speak, she was inspirational. I could feel the energy in the room with people genuinely interested in what she had to say.
For my first experience of an event like this, and my first attempt at content capturing, I am proud to have done exactly what I set out to do: step out of my comfort zone. It’s made me look forward to the next test of my resilience and next time, I will certainly jump straight into the incredible opportunities offered by UA92!