Business events coordinator

Katy MacKay

Katy was working for an electrical wholesalers when business took a downturn.

‘I was last in, so I was made redundant,’ she says.

At just 18, she wasn’t sure what her next move would be. But spotting an advert for a Modern Apprenticeship with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) started her on a new track.

‘Getting a job with an apprenticeship was a sort of spur-of-the-moment thing when I saw it advertised online,’ Katy says. 'I didn't realise then just how viable an option it really was.'

‘Plus, I had heard of HIE and knew it was a good organisation. I thought this would be a good way to get my foot in the door.’

The Modern Apprenticeship

Through her Business and Administration apprenticeship, Katy had some important responsibilities. She organised meetings, updated records and files, formulated agendas and booked travel for colleagues. 

'My apprenticeship was a great experience, learning new things every day while still working towards my qualification,' she says. 'Being able to do things hand-on was brilliant.'

Katy started the apprenticeship thinking she'd like to go into human resources. But getting to work with different teams helped her uncover an interest in events. 

'I’m really proud to tell people where I work, and what I do.'

After completing her MA, she applied to join the team as a business events coordinator – and got the job.

‘Having my qualification and work experience in HIE definitely gave me an advantage,’ she says. 'My Modern Apprenticeship really boosted my career prospects.'

The job

Now Katy helps to plan all kinds of events. She updates project managers, books venues, organises catering, and keeps track of who's invited and who's coming.

‘My favourite part of the job is probably the run-up to an event. It gets really busy, and it’s exciting,' she says. 'I like to see the things we’ve worked on for months unfolding.’

Working for HIE also gives Katy a new outlook on where she lives.

‘It’s quite heartwarming actually,’ she says. ‘I didn’t realise how much the Highlands and Islands had going for it before.

'I’m really proud to tell people where I work, and what I do.’