Updated: May 22, 2020
Sharifa Wilkinson is an international event, venue and sports management specialist. We are delighted to interview Sharifa and learn about her career and personal journey, in our dynamic and ever-changing industry.
Hi Sharifa, could you tell us about a few of your career highlights?
Playing football at one of the highest levels in Women’s sport was a dream come true. It was something that I had been working towards since I was 10 years old and it provided me with my first real opportunity to travel, live and work within events.
Attending Syracuse University in Upstate New York, provided me with a solid foundation within the sports industry. I had an opportunity to experience large scale sporting events from Division I Football to a NBA game to the 1st American Hockey League Outdoor game. It created a platform for me to develop in a dynamic, fast paced space.
Another experience was working for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Venue Management. I took a chance on myself, moved to Australia and was able to participate in an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience.
Lastly, my current role as Sr. Venue Operations Manager at Tower Bridge for Seasoned Events has been a memorable experience. The opportunity to work for one of London’s most iconic landmarks has been an enriching opportunity. I have been able to work closely with a variety of corporate and private clients from all over the world.
Is there anything you wish you had known when you first got started in the event industry?
And any advice for newcomers now?
It took me a while to figure out how to work international events. It was something that I had wanted to do for a while but there was not a lot of information available or compiled on how to pursue those opportunities.
I learned by doing and found a fabulous mentor that has been able to guide me in this journey.
My advice is to find a professional doing what you want to do and connect with them. They are invaluable in your career.
Has there been a great role model or mentor that you admired who helped you progress in your career in events?
Yes, Suzanne is an exceptional lady who has travelled the world working some of the most notable sporting events. She provides excellent advice, has guided me through professional situations, makes time to connect me to other professionals and to chat through ideas.
While it is possible to progress in your events career without a mentor, I highly recommend putting in the time to find one.
Is there a “dream” event you wish you could have worked on?
2012 London Olympics! I was just finding my feet in the events industry and was unsure how to turn my dream into a reality. I have heard from many of my colleagues that it was an exceptional event and I wish I could have been apart of it.
Sharifa teaches on the following online courses and more...
Certificate in Sports Event Management
Certificate in Event Management
Certificate in Venue Management
Micro MasterClass, Work International Events
Micro MasterClass, Design an Event Website
Micro MasterClass, Venue Management 101
Learn more about these online courses