“It’s more exciting behind the scenes”
Leonie Wilken is in her second year of training as an event manager at Jacobs University Bremen. Photo. Jacobs University ,


September 11, 2018

Planning, organizing, ensuring from behind the scenes that everything runs smoothly on stage – that is her specialty. That was the case at school and it is now the case at Jacobs University Bremen. Leonie Wilken is in her second year of training as an event manager and she seems to have made the right choice. She says: “The training is really interesting and varied. I look forward to coming here every day.”

The 19-year-old deals with topics that at first sound somewhat heavy: the German Model Venue Ordinance, for example - in German: Muster-Versammlungsstättenverordnung, abbreviated to: MVStättVO. "That's what we're dealing with at school right now," says Leonie. "It is also important for everyday life.” It primarily deals with the safety of visitors, how big the escape routes must be, for example; the ordinance also regulates smoke extraction and fire protection in detail.

Whoever goes to an event, be it a conference, a concert or a theater performance, seldom suspects the effort that goes into such an event. Leonie had a first impression of it during her school time at the Kippenberg Gymnasium, a Bremen high school. Her advanced German course performed a play, but she was not seen on stage. She was busy planning the construction and dismantling, moving the scenery during the play and collecting the money for the tickets. “It was a lot of fun. It’s far more exciting behind the scenes than on stage.”

When she by chance read a job advertisement for Jacobs University on the internet, she didn't hesitate. “I didn't know much about the university, so I checked the website first.” And she liked what she read. She applied – and was accepted.

Leonie, who likes to play volleyball and also works as a service employee for the Weser Stadium, has so far worked in three departments at the private, English-medium university: Campus Life, the department that assists students from all over the world in their activities, the events department and purchasing. Leonie is involved in the organization of scientific conferences, she also took part in the “AutoDigital” automobile conference organized by the Weser Kurier on campus. “The work is very varied. My job is different every day.”

Celia Grove (18), Fynn Koste (19) and Victor Tilgner (20), the new trainees at Jacobs University, have recently started to make the university even more diverse. There are now four of them and they can exchange ideas with each other. Leonie does the same with her classmates at the vocational school, which she attends two days a week. The trainees there represent the entire spectrum of events in the city, from the Bremen Trade Fair Centre to the Lagerhaus Cultural Center and the airport to dance schools and agencies. Topics such as insurance, copyright or lighting and sound technology are on the curriculum this school year, including visits to various event venues.

At some point at the beginning of next year, Leonie Wilken will be due to write her intermediate exam, and then the end of her three-year training will gradually become a reality. Has she thought about what she will do next? “I would love to stay on campus. I like it here.”

This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University is featuring students, alumni, professors and employees. For more stories, please have a look at www.jacobs-university.de/faces

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