Julia Halgren has been travelling all over Australia managing events since graduating from JMC Academy's Entertainment Business Management course in 2009.
She's worked on a variety of event from one of Australia’s most remote music festival, Birdsville Big Red Bash, to promoting all ticketed events at Luna Park Sydney such as the Harbour Party New Year’s Eve for almost 8,000 attendees. Julia is now the Event Manager at Big Run events delivering off road and outback events across Australia.
Tell us about your time since graduating from JMC Academy?
After graduation from JMC, I continued on with my part time internship at Red Ant Touring (Warner Music) and looking for full time jobs.
An Events Assistant role came up at the The Big Top, Luna Park Sydney. I got the job and was soon promoted to Events and Entertainment Coordinator working in a team of 3 to promote and deliver all ticketed events at Luna Park Sydney, including Harbour Party New Years Eve for 8,000 people.
After more than 4 years at Luna Park, I wanted to expand my experience and try my hand at outdoor and sporting events.
Nearly 2 years ago, I started working for Big Run Events, a small, family run business, that delivers off road and outback running events, as well as the music festival The Birdsville Big Red Bash. The Bash has expanded from 2013 with 600 ticket holders, to 6,000 for the 2016 Bash.
How did you get you get your first position when you graduated?
I was very fortunate that my boss at my internship used to work at Luna Park, and was able to put in a good word for me. Out of 900 applicants, it meant my application was put in the 'maybe' pile, rather than passed over.
The unpaid internships I did for Inertia and Warner music were invaluable for making contacts in the industry.
What is one of your favourite things about working at Big Run Events?
I get to travel a lot, to places I wouldn't necessarily think of going. July will be my third time to the tiny outback town of Birdsville and the Simpson Desert, and in August, I will be going to Uluru for a month to help organise a 200km run and 100km Trek from Uluru to the South Australian border and back.
The people that do our longer distance runs are very inspiring. Many of them are doing it to overcome illness or adversity and raising money for good causes. Meeting and spending time with these people is pretty special.
Getting to work on the Birdsville Big Red Bash is amazing. It is the most remote music festival in Australia located 35km into the Simpson Desert outside of Birdsville.
Our toilets come from Port Augusta, our production comes 1700km from Brisbane, and everything else comes from all corners of Australia. It's logistically massive.
What did you learn that you weren’t aware of before working in the entertainment industry?
The area I was most lacking in coming into live events was probably licensing, licensing laws and requirements for all ages shows with alcohol. This isn't really something that can be covered extensively in the ENT course as every area, venue and state will have different laws for this.
What advice would you give to current students currently studying ENT and wanting to get an opportunity like this?
Getting a job in the industry is definitely about experience / contacts. Working for free under internships can be tough sometimes, but this is the absolute best way to get a foot in the door and secure paid employment by getting practical experience and meeting people. Start as soon as possible. Don't wait until you graduate. If you do it during your studies, it will help immensely.
To find out more about studying Entertainment Business Management here at JMC Academy and to enquire, click here.
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