On the evening of Friday 22 March, AMPed QUT and the QUT School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations (AMPR) came together to host Business After Dark, a professional development and industry networking night for students.
A student society for advertising, marketing, public relations and international business majors, AMPed specialises in organising various events year-round for students with similar interests. These include a variety of networking occasions that provide attendees with a range of knowledge, tools and insights into the relevant industries. Business After Dark is a roundtable networking event consisting of six tables of different industries that directly relate to AMPed and the AMPR faculty. This included marketing, public relations, international business, business sustainability, media sales, and technological developments.
With a start time of 5pm, faculty members, key facilitators and industry professionals gathered at Gardens Point VIP suite, The Gibson Room. Located on Level 10 Z-Block, The Gibson Room offers the perfect space for professional functions and open discussions, with a beautiful river view of South Bank to compliment. With over 70 attendees, once all were seated in their chosen tables AMPed president Phoebe Peralta gave a formal introduction of the event.
Before official discussions began, all tables spent 15 minutes on ice-breaking activities, with each member going around introducing themselves, what they study and an interesting fact about themselves. Through this, it was revealed students from a wide variety of degrees were present. Once this was revealed, I was impressed that the two industry professionals at each table were able to hear this and offer advice to these students that would be useful for their chosen interests.
Once official discussions kicked off – under the facilitation of an AMPed member per table – the industry representatives would answer questions relating to their career path, specific roles, required skills and direction they see their industry going. They would also answer any student questions and offer advice relating to their profession. Every 10 minutes a bell would ring, to which each group would move to the next table and next industry. This structure and organisation was a big takeaway for me. I was very impressed by how well run the process was and how 10-minute sessions were still able to be thoroughly informative.
Throughout each discussion, each industry representative offered sound knowledge and advice that was applicable to each attendee, despite the range of degrees and experience. I enjoyed the diverse range of students in attendance. In each group, members ranged from those in their first year of study, to which this was their first networking experience; to those soon to graduate. Despite this diverse range, I was impressed that each topic of discussion was relatable to all students. In each group, conversations were continuously flowing on all sides of the table, showcasing the engagement skills of the industry guests and interests of attendees.
The networking activities finished shortly after 6 pm, to which thank you speeches were given to conclude the formalities. Following the event, attendees gathered to enjoy some drinks and a variety of delicious canapes supplied by Dello Mano. On the balcony, students were also able to take professional headshots by a present photographer for the event. In discussions following the event, everyone expressed extreme positivity and satisfaction. I enjoyed the fact that whilst the event remained relaxed and casual, it was still approached in a professional manner and remained organised, informative and insightful.
The success of Business After Dark was a showcase of AMPed and AMPR’s ability to organise an event that benefits the academic and professional development of students. This balance was something that really stood out to me. The wonderful work of the facilitators, the industry guests and attendees was a major highlight. Based on my experience, I have high hopes for future events AMPed hosts for the remainder of the year.