A blog post written for studentlifestart.com which unfortunately closed in April 2019
If you have no idea what you want to do in life, don’t worry! Eva doesn’t seem to have ever really truly known either. There’s no five year plan here. Eva’s success seems to be in the way she has approached life. Read on to learn her secrets!
Eva is a whirlwind of a person. As we all arrived at Madison Restaurant with the gorgeous view of St Paul’s and London’s rooftops, Eva still managed to cut through the hubbub of the restaurant to capture our attention and imagination. Her career story, as she warned us before beginning, has not been a clear career route. Yet she has still managed to have forged a career that has been impressively varied and international.
Her career path has been like this:
Eva began her journey like most, at university. After studying Theatre production and management at Central School of Speech and Drama, she has done a huge range of roles. Eva values them all similarly, whether that was her ‘stop-gap’ job at Barbican as she undertook her own projects, or even her current role at the V&A as product manager. She presents each job as what she learnt from it, whether that’s her time working as a theatre producer or co-founding a start-up. When speaking about each and every experience she highlighted how she grew or learnt from the experience and how it helped her progress further.
Many of the participants were interested in how to therefore manage client relationships. Considering her freelance and start-up background she can re-frame difficult situations that she has been faced with. One piece of advice that she gave, was to always view the company, client, customer as a person. By voicing who they are, finding out their story - she concluded that it was the best way to find the most effective solutions. People connect with other people, and she uses this belief to pitch, network and convince clients.
Despite me saying that she had no concrete plan, Eva still has had goals that she has worked towards through her career. One inspiring example is working for the theatre company Hebbel Am Ufer Theater in Berlin. She contacted them continuously until they agreed to give her an unpaid internship for 2 months with the possibility of extending to a paid position. Her hard work paid off, as they continued her position allowing her to stay in Berlin, improving her German and working for a theatre that she loved. This story may seem unique to Eva, but when she broke it down it became evident that she had just done her homework, knew who she was pitching to, and worked hard to connect with people that she knew she shared a passion with
Although Eva now seems to fit the polished mentor that has followed a specific route into V&A, within 5 minutes it became obvious that this wasn’t the case. She has travelled when perhaps others would worry about looking for a job and has always kept her freelancing background open, even whilst holding down a full-time job.
Although Eva is full of incredible ideas and advice (ask her to go for a coffee so you can hear it for yourself), the biggest take away was that success can come to those who aren’t even sure what it looks like and to find the people in everything that you do.