"Everyone was very happy for me. They were very proud and pleased. They thought I did well – no-one said I didn’t deserve it!" says Maddie Vining, senior AV technician at the Royal Society of Medicine in London, looking back at winning the Rising Star Award at the 2016 InstallAwards last June.
What has she been up to since then? "We had a big installation done over the summer – though I wasn’t much part of it – we had a new 4K projector installed, with a surround sound system. I’ve been working with the team, building my experience, and teaching people stuff."
What sort of teaching? "I've been teaching a few technicians how our equipment works and training them up on basic AV skills. One of them was freelancing before, so it’s a bit of a different environment for him working in our venue. I've been teaching him basic stuff, like setting up analogue desks. I’ve also been on some training courses, working towards my CTS.
"The team has been running events and working to build our name – we've also won some other industry awards. It's been a good year for us."
Is there anything she's particularly proud of? "I’m quite proud of how everything’s turned out in the last year. I’m proud of our awards and our team. I feel we’ve got a good bunch of people who enjoy what they do and make the effort to provide a good service."
She's also enjoying the recognition the Rising Star Award has brought her. "It’s very nice for me having won the award. Being part of Women in AV and the AV User Group, people do mention it – and it’s nice to be recognised. I met one of the judges who voted for me. They explained they thought what I had done was good and they felt that I deserved it, which was really nice."
So what would she say to someone now who might be thinking about entering the Rising Star Award? "I’d say, definitely go for it. It was an honour just to be nominated – it was nice to think someone thought I was worth the nomination. You’re not going to lose anything by going for it, it can only increase your confidence like it has with me, and make you feel good about yourself and the work you do, like you’re really making a difference."
Nominations for the Rising Star Award, and the other categories in the InstallAwards 2017, close on 28 March. Details and entry forms are available on the InstallAwards site.