Michela Sala in her KarriereForum office. Photo: Krystof Diatka

The girl who loves events

Michela Sala is a girl from Oslo who decided that working as a receptionist is not a life for her, so she took on Masters in Event Management at Molde University College which she studies for a second year now. 

And she set on the right foot. Michela is a leader of the Career Forum student organisation and she was a leader of the board of the Opening Week 2015 at Molde University College.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am half italian and half Norwegian. I was born in Oslo where I lived almost all my life. I took bachelors in tourism and relationship management and I worked for few years as a receptionist, but I realized I do not have any chance for career growth in that field. I have been fond of events my whole life, so Molde was my obvious choice. I am glad for that because it had already given me many opportunities, such as organizing the Opening Week this year.

How does the duality of your origins influence you ?

Well, I would not say I feel it as a duality. When I am in Norway I feel like a Norwegian with a hint of Italian in me, and when I am in Italy I feel even more Norwegian because I see all the cultural differences between those two countries. I think I am  stubborn, and that could be that hint of Italian.

What is your favorite music ?

Anything between Metallica and Spice Girls.

What is your favorite food ?

Spicy oriental food or a real Italian pizza. Not that what you call an American pizza.  Even though I sometimes end up taking the easy way out with Grandiosa.

What are your favorite series and a movie ?

When it comes to series it depends on my mood. If am exhausted I go for a comedy, but sometimes I can be in a mood for the thriller genre. My favorite movie is Fight Club. I love how weird it is and how it messes up ones mind.

The board of the Opening Week. Photo: privat
The board of the Opening Week. Photo: privat

How did you get to the position of the leader of the Opening?

In March I applied for a position in the board of the Opening Week and Istudent, after an interview, accepted me and gave me the position of the leader.

What were the biggest challenges of the preparation?

Probably that things take time. And they always take more than you expect. For example booking a venue does not take just one phone call but a lot of discussion and agreements.

Which subject of the event management course helped you the most with this events organization?

Probably Applied Event Management because there we had an assignment to simulate an event preparation from scratch which makes you realize all the little things that need to be set straight for an event to run smooth and be succesful.

How did it go during the opening week itself ?

Well the whole board had to work like 20 hours a day and I wish the day had even more hours. But it was a lot of fun because of that I had a lot of energy. It felt so good to receive positive feedback both during and after the opening week.

What was the highlight of the opening week ?

The concert of Broiler at the Scandic Seilet Hotel. We sold 843 tickets for that concert. The organisation of that event was more demanding than the other because we had to organize the sound and lighting as well as opposed to for example Kompagniet where they have all the infrastructure needed in the house and where most of other concerts took place.


Michela taking a selfie during the opening speech. Photo: Privat
Michela taking a selfie during the opening speech. Photo: Privat

How did the cooperation with the school go ?

We had a lot of meetings concerning ideas for the event and they were sort of looking after us in a good way. And they gave us one specific restriction and that was that the color of the T-shirts of buddies cannot be orange because that is the color of the football team from Ålesund. The cooperation went smoothly.

Was there something you think could have gone better ?

This year the school had an official opening the first day at the city hall.  Due to the fact that the new students got to meet they buddy groups beforehand, they went after their evening activities instead for the official opening. Therefore the turn out there was not that large. For next year I would suggest that the new students meet their buddy group after this official opening.

Last year the international students were almost not incorporated into the opening week. How did you handle it this time ?

I was very happy with the way it went this year. Instead of letting them register for their buddy groups online, like Norwegian students did, we entered the welcoming speech for International students before the Opening Week and we spoke about what the event really is. Most of the international students are not familiar with the concept. And we let them register right there and there.

What do you want to do  after you are done with the degree you study ?

I want to work with cultural events. My dream job would be in an event company where I could work with different kind of venues so there would be something new every time. I do not want to work with sport events.