22 Jan 2018
Based in London as a senior event manager for luxury personal concierge service Quintessentially, Jessica Noble is charged with planning and running lavish corporate events for some of Europe’s biggest businesses and their often high profile clientele. But while she’s regularly exposed to the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous, the 29-year-old says it was her passion for travel, organisation and bringing people together that first drew her to the industry.
“It was about finding a career with the right mix for me,” said Jessica.
“One of my best friends in school really inspired me too. She started out nine years ago working as the Commercial Manager of Woodford Folk Festival, and worked her way up to Deputy General Manager. She is now the General Manager at QMusic and continues to inspire me both professionally and personally.”
After returning from two years travelling around Europe in 2012, the Sunshine Coast local enrolled in TAFE Queensland’s Diploma of Events, where she was exposed to a world of opportunity.
“When I enrolled, I had some understanding of what the program would cover, but the level at which we became involved within the community and exposed to so many wonderful events really surprised me.
Students played an integral part of the events team for the Sunshine Coast Council’s SCENE initiative, AGL Action Rescue Gala Ball, Day for Daniel, Noosa Festival of Surf, and a whole variety of other events,” said Jessica.
“Our teacher was so well known and regarded within the industry, and had her fingers in so many different pies, that it gave us a great insight into the diverse industry we were entering and the world of opportunities available to us.”
“Being able to work on different types and scales of events really broadened my personal career horizons; I’ve gone down a more corporate events road but I’ve also had to organise private and sporting events, so it was great to have my TAFE experience to draw from.”
Whether it was managing her own event or getting up at 3am to pack goodie bags and assist in running some of the Sunshine Coast’s biggest events, Jessica says there was never a dull moment during her 12 months of study.
“For me, 2012 was one of my best years,” she said.
“There’s a different way for everyone when it comes to education, and for me TAFE was a fantastic stepping stone. Being creative and a hands-on learner, I wasn’t ready to jump straight into university and I didn’t want to do a course that wasn’t tailored to my long-term plans for the future.”
“Looking back on my career so far, the skills I developed at TAFE Queensland directly translated to the real world and my job today.”
After completing her studies, Jessica moved to London to be with her now husband and secured an internship with Quintessentially. Despite there being no positions in the events team at the end of her internship, Jessica remained positive and took a role as a personal assistant to get her foot in the door.
“My directors knew me and knew my capabilities, so I went straight from PA to being an Event Manager, and then was promoted to a senior role,” said Jessica.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity they gave me and their belief in me to fulfil the role, which I accepted with both hands open.”
It was then Jessica made the leap to work for another company in order to broaden her horizons in design and production. But after nine months, she returned to where it all began at Quintessentially, and it is there that she continues to put her skills to the test.
“Throughout the years I’ve worked on some amazing events; I sometimes have to pinch myself thinking about the opportunities I’ve had,” she said.
“I’ve done stand-builds in Las Vegas and Copenhagen, thrown a children’s party for Kurt Geiger, and have gotten to work with some amazing brands.”
“I don’t normally know anyone on the guest lists because they’re all British or international, but we once did a private 70th birthday party and it turned out he was an Aussie, because the high society of Australia had flown in for it. There was Dennis Lillee and Brett Lee and their wives, and even John the Aussie Home Loans guy!”
Organising corporate events of such a large and opulent scale carries great responsibility and at times, stress. But for Jessica Noble there is no greater achievement than seeing her hard work become a success.
“There is only so much you can do in the lead up to an event. It’s about having all your ducks in a row, so to speak, planning for the very best outcome with a great team supporting your vision, and having confidence in your work. But even with all this, when it gets to the day of the event, there is always going to be a curveball of some sort thrown your way,” said Jessica.
“I actually love those situations though. It’s an adrenaline rush, having to troubleshoot and solve problems that may arise on the spot. There is always a solution.”
“It’s really about doing what you love and loving what you do.”
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