Ahead of today’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Graduation ceremony, we spoke to Queen Mary alumna, Trisha Mason, who a year ago attended her own graduation. Trisha explains how her time at Queen Mary helped on her rapid journey into the corporate world and has some advice for this year’s graduates.
Trisha Mason, VIP Relations Executive, Informa
(French with Business Management BA, 2018)
22 July 2019
What did you study at Queen Mary and what are you doing now?
I studied French with Business Management with a year abroad in France, splitting my time between Université Catholique de Lille and Université Sorbonne Paris. I am now in a client relationship management role at Informa Group- a company that delivers events, intelligence and research to companies worldwide and I work within the telecommunications, media and technology division called Informa Tech. I source top-level executives to attend our global conferences and also facilitate and maintain business relationships with both our buy and sell-side clients. As part of my role, I have the wonderful opportunity to travel for the projects in my portfolio that are based in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary and what advice would you have for 2018/19 graduates?
I chose Queen Mary mainly due its reputation as a Russell Group university, the attractive programme structure and modules. The fact that I was given the liberty to also nominate some electives meant that I was able to explore other subjects such as Spanish, History of Art and even coding! I also come from a small town in Dorset so I wanted to ease myself into living in London by choosing a campus university.
What sparked your interest in your current career?
I have always had a natural affinity for interacting with people and seeing my efforts come into fruition. During my time at Queen Mary, I held several roles in sports clubs and societies. Doing those made me realise my core strengths and the kind of professional role that would suit my skillset and personality. I looked into a career in events and here I am with my dream job!
How did your time and study at Queen Mary help your career and development?
Queen Mary enabled me to become as well-rounded as possible as I was given the opportunity to select modules that balanced both of my academic and personal interests. The sports clubs and societies allowed me to improve my hard and soft skills as well as develop new ones. I always felt encouraged to push my boundaries, so I was confident in entering the world of work. Such experiences contributed to my securing three internships during my 4 years at Queen Mary: one as a Summer Analyst at Morgan Stanley, a Business Consultant role on the QConsult programme and an internship at a FinTech start-up called Dines.
What advice would you offer to our 2018/19 graduates who are in the same position as you were, 1 year ago?
Grab every interesting opportunity with both hands without hesitation. The jobs market is getting tougher and what they say is true- good academics are simply just not enough and companies will select those with more to offer than simply good grades. If you are yet to secure full-time employment, make sure that you’re learning, volunteering or working part-time during your search. If you’re about to begin your first graduate role, make sure that you get to know your role, the importance of it and learn the business well. Engage with as many colleagues as possible (not just who’s in your team) - it goes a long way. Finally, work hard, work smart and the rewards will always follow.
Why is it exciting to do what you do?
I engage with clients on a daily basis and I feel the biggest sense of achievement when the team delivers an event after months of hard work behind the scenes. It’s an amazing feeling that never gets old. I also get to travel the world on business trips where I am inspired when I meet professionals of the highest calibre, whilst learning more about the landscape of whichever market the conference is centred around.
Do you have any role-models that you look up to, both inside and outside of your field?
In my field, I look up to Carolyn Dawson (Managing Director of Informa Tech), a woman at the peak of her career who manages to maintain such a positive culture in the office, whilst ensuring that every colleague delivers strong results.
Outside of my field, I look up to Lisa Nichols, a motivational speaker who believes that each of us deserves to live our best life and delivers this message in a very powerful way. My other role models also include Simon Sinek, Mel Robbins and Dan Lok.