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Behind the scenes with Mita Nathwani

Hear from colleagues who volunteered to contribute to the International Biology Olympiad (IBO), find out about their role and what they enjoyed about it. It's a chance to see some of the activity that went on behind the scenes to help make the IBO a success.

Behind the scenes with...
Mita Nathwani
Duty Manager
Warwick Conferences, Conference Park & Events

Role for the International Biology Olympiad: Working with the Events Team from the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and IBO steering group as well as assisting the Event Manager with the logistics. Being the main point of contact onsite for the client for all elements of the event.

My usual job involves…
delivering our conference product to every client with the help of our teams to the highest possible standard, ensuring that our clients achieve their event objectives. Other areas of responsibility within my role include supporting our Sales and Events Management team in their questions from clients during the planning stages of events. I am also responsible for the recruitment and training of our Unitemps staff.

In advance of the International Biology Olympiad I...
was fortunate to be given the opportunity to attend IBO 2015 in Denmark. This was a perfect starting block for me to meet the client and start building a relationship with them, and really to create an understanding of what IBO was all about. The RSB started to work closely with Warwick Conferences to plan IBO 2017 and before we knew it 2 years had passed and I was stood in the Opening Ceremony in the Butterworth Hall.

During the International Biology Olympiad...
my primary focus was to ensure RSB had what they wanted, sometimes even before they asked for it! Working within the operations team, my team and I are the first port of call for any queries out on the floor, it is essential we are proactive in planning the day’s activities and react quickly to requests and issues that may arise.

I really enjoyed being involved with…
observing IBO 2015 in Denmark, helping plan the event and then delivering whilst on site. I was able to really grasp all the essential elements of the event and get the wheels in motion of how the logistics of the event would work at Warwick. This experience was invaluable and helped us to achieve fantastic results. If I had to choose one element, it would be being responsible for the set up and in making sure the ‘Jury Room’ was all good to go ready for Monday morning. This is the area where the adults who accompany the students to IBO begin to review the exam questions and aid in translation of the papers into their own languages. Translating can go on long into the night and for some countries even all through the night. I was aware that in previous years IT had been an issue, so this was an area which I wanted to ensure had all the necessary resources possible to support the Jury Members the best way we could.

The International Biology Olympiad is unique because…
it is an international event, where we had over 250 students from 68 different countries staying on campus. This event is hosted by a different country every year, and every year the number of participating countries increase therefore it may never be hosted by the UK again.

If I could change one thing about the International Biology Olympiad it would be…
Although it may sound like a cliché I really wouldn’t change a thing. The whole experience has been amazing from beginning to end. The support from internal stakeholders such as IT Services, the School of Life Sciences and also the whole team at Warwick Conference Park & Events has been incredible. It’s been a massive team effort. Working with the Events Team from the Royal Society of Biology and the IBO steering group has been great, the Royal Society of Biology Events Team worked tirelessly to put the event together and without their precision and attention to detail we would not have been able to make this happen.

Not everyone knows that…

  • During the event we prepared and served over 4000 breakfasts.
  • This was the 28th time the event has been hosted, it was the first time the event was hosted in the UK.


Hear from other colleagues behind the scenes

Mita