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MPI UK & Ireland reveals Vanessa Cotton Scholarship winners

Delyth Davies of Oxford Brookes University and Holly Steenson of Leeds Beckett University are this year's winners

Pictured: Graeme Barnett (far left) and Jane Baker (far right) with the scholarship winners Delyth Davies and Holly Steenson

MPI UK & Ireland has announced the winners of the Vanessa Cotton Scholarship Award as Delyth Davies from Oxford Brookes University and Holly Steenson from Leeds Beckett University.

Davies and Steenson were acknowledged for their achievements at MPI’s Christmas Celebration event at the Sofitel London St James, where they celebrated with a drinks reception and networked with more than 35 event professionals from agencies including Clive, Imagination, JLE Events Management, TBA PLC and TimeBased.

Now in its sixth year, the Vanessa Cotton Scholarship scheme was created in 2011 in honour of UK event industry veteran Vanessa Cotton who died in 2010 after a battle with cancer. More than 50 entries were received from students based in the UK & Ireland studying event management related courses.

Following the strength of the applications received, the judging panel made a strong recommendation that two stand-out entrants be put forward for the month-long paid for internship at Reed Travel Exhibitions.

Jane Baker, president of the MPI UK&I Chapter, said: “MPI UK & Ireland is committed to helping the industry’s next generation of talent to join our growing sector. It’s vital that workplaces offer talented young people the opportunity to kickstart their careers and we are delighted to work in partnership with universities from across the country and Reed Travel Exhibitions to offer this platform to event management graduates. The quality of entrants received this year was stronger than ever and we look forward to continuing to support students and entry-level professionals into the industry with a number of exciting initiatives planned for 2018.”

Graeme Barnett, senior exhibition director at ibtm events, part of Reed Travel Exhibitions, said: “Reed Exhibitions is delighted to continue its long-standing association with the Vanessa Cotton Scholarship Award and even more so this year with the announcement that part of the Award will be to bring talented individuals into our organisation to see first-hand what it takes to be part of the world’s largest exhibition organiser. Deciding on just one winner from the outstanding list of entries proved too difficult so we decided to offer two work placements for 2018 and we look forward to welcoming Holly and Delyth to ibtm events and Reed Exhibitions next summer.”

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