AAA 30under30 alumni Paige Martin recently celebrated 8 years at the O2 Apollo in Manchester, where she currently operates as the assistant general manager. Here, Paige shares her thoughts on her career to date, influential figures and industry challenges.

What was the first live event that really made an impression on you?

Busted – Nottingham Arena 2003. It’s a vivid memory that sticks with me, as well as my twin sister and cousin, still to this day. I fell in love with the whole experience of live events and have found that the buzz only gets stronger with each show.

What made you want to get involved in the industry and why?

There wasn’t a specific moment when I decided live music would be my career; it just felt like a natural path for me. When I was younger, I always dreamt of being a singer, as I’m sure 99% of little girls probably do. As I grew up, my focus shifted to how I could transform my hobby into a career.

What is the first career highlight that comes to mind?

Shortly after I signed up to a full-time contract, I got to work on Harry Styles’ first solo tour. The venue was relatively intimate compared to the scale of shows he does now. It was surreal to realise that I was being paid to be there, using my skills, knowledge, and experience to fulfil my role. From being a 14-year-old watching the X Factor at home with my family, besotted with this new boy band, to becoming a working professional in my 20s, blew my mind. Standing there, experiencing it all first-hand, I thought to myself, ‘I’ve made it. This is the environment I’ve always dreamed of.’

Is there anyone in the industry who has influenced or inspired you?

A few come to mind. My lecturer Mike Burgess, who taught part time at the university while remaining proactive in the industry. A fountain of knowledge, experience and guidance and just an all round cool guy. Another influential figure for me was my first full-time manager, Phil Rogers. He showed trust and faith in me even when I was just a student on work experience. His experience working at various venues provided invaluable insights, and he was always generous in sharing his knowledge; a quality that’s not always easy to come by in the industry.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome?

Being a young female in a male dominated industry. Don’t get me wrong I still face challenges with this but the longer I have worked in the industry, building my contacts and engaging with other individuals, I am now gaining the respect and recognition I deserve for my position.