Events Became Esha’s Calling!

12 July 2022

Esha McCallion – 2019 Degree Graduate and Events Coordinator for Auckland Stadiums

My time at PIHMS was very interesting to say the least. I learnt many things both inside and outside of the institute that have helped me in life.

Besides the obvious of learning academics and the operations of PIHMS, I learnt a lot about teamwork, and I created some amazing connections and friendships that I will have for life. I am very grateful to those who helped me through my PIHMS journey and to those who have stuck around even after leaving. 

Through PIHMS I was able to nail down what career path in the Hospitality industry I wanted to go down. Through the event assignments we did, I discovered it was what I was meant to do. 

My first-year placement was at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland Central. At Crowne, my role was a banquets attendant. I got to look after many sports teams that came through such as The Springbok rugby team, The Australian Diamonds, and the Argentina Pumas. As well as this we hosted many school balls, weddings, and corporate meetings. My role consisted of event set up, service during the events and event pack down. Whilst not out in front of house during these events a lot of my time was spent back of house polishing cutlery or glassware, sorting linen and folding napkins. I can say that PIHMS definitely set me up well in F&B operations to be well prepared for this role! 

My second-year placement was on Hamilton Island, working in housekeeping for Holiday Homes. I was cleaning the villas and rented houses on the island. This was definitely a highlight of my time with PIHMS. How can you not love living in paradise while you work! I remember housekeeping getting a bad rap in terms of no one really wanted to do and granted I was not too excited to be getting into it, but it was the best time of my life. I realised the back of housework is sometimes the most fun as you are not always on show so you can relax a bit more and have a bit of fun. Cleaning 5-bedroom villas also meant that we got to work in teams or 4 or 5 so you always did have someone to keep you company. I can easily say that my time on the island did not feel like a placement, it easily just felt like a way of life. 

Mrs. Green is a legend! When I graduated from PIHMS, she was a huge helping hand that brought opportunities to my attention. I was lucky enough to get a job offer over in Scotland at St Andrews, but Covid put a stop to that. The Industry Placement class we took also helped, having to do practice interviews for placements definitely helped me build more confidence when being in any interview. As I said before, my time at PIHMS whether that is through the lecturers, brand days and special guests, I was able to create connections with people who have offered me opportunities. 

I began my career with Auckland Stadiums through a connection that I had. They informed me of a role opening as a Business Services Coordinator. Even though this role is more of a support role to the events team at Auckland Stadiums I knew it was my way to get my foot in the door into the industry and I am happy to say that I have now been promoted to be an Event Coordinator! My role now involves organising events such as rugby games, concerts, corporate functions and many more. We cover all events held at Mt Smart, North Harbour Stadium and Western Springs. I am very excited to be a part of this team and to hit my goal so quickly of becoming an Event Coordinator is awesome! Now to set a new career goal!  

When I was a teenager, I did like the idea of providing people with experiences they would not forget or that they would love. Working in the industry now for more than 5 years, I will say that view has very much changed but I am glad that 16-year-old me l had this idea as it has now gotten me to where I am today, and I love where I am today! 

“My favourite part about the industry is definitely working in the events side of things.”  

My new goal is to become an Event Manager here at Auckland Stadiums and once I have a few years under my belt, I want to use that to expand and travel the world working in events. I am very interested in seeing how events are run all around the world. I hope to one day be organising Coachella, VIP Weddings, or the FIFA World cup! 

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