A lot can happen in a year. 365 days ago, I wrote my final post as a UCBlogger. Having finished my final year of a BA in Sports Management at UCB, received confirmation of my degree classification, and accepted a new job, I had no idea what the next 365 days would bring.
I can tell you now. It’s been an absolute whirlwind.
I am in total disbelief that a year has passed. And looking back, I have some truly amazing memories to share with you.
The biggest change is that I am back in full-time work, having decided at the age of 26 to to take a break from work, head off to uni and get a degree. I am Marketing Manager for an artificial grass manufacturer so get to combine my love and knowledge of sport with my dream to work in marketing and communications. I get to travel every month, from the Netherlands to Spain to Belgium to Germany, which helps quell my intense wanderlust a little bit (I also get to visit lots of sports stadiums and I’m a total geek for a stadium). And, I’m responsible for our overall marketing strategy across EMEA – see, I knew that Strategic Management module would come in handy!
My family came to Birmingham in September to watch me graduate and it was such a proud and lovely day for us all. Having sat in the Great Hall at University of Birmingham to watch my big brother graduate in 2003, I never thought I’d get the chance to share a similar experience with my family. To have them there at Symphony Hall was so special as their support, love and encouragement throughout my degree course really meant the world to me.
In my penultimate post as a UCBlogger, I was on a countdown to the start of the Rugby World Cup. The experiences I had throughout the tournament will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was blessed to be given a role within the Match Management team at Twickenham, which meant I was responsible for helping oversee the teams and officials on match days. I got to meet some of my rugby idols and get an up-close insight into how these global tournaments are run. I was also incredibly honoured, during the tournament, to receive an invite to Buckingham Palace to attend a reception celebrating the World Cup. I was one of a handful of volunteers invited to attend, alongside coaching staff, players and officials involved with the tournament. It was most spectacular and an evening I will never forget. (And yes, I did meet the Queen!)
In the middle of the World Cup, I turned 30. Over the years, as friends of mine have hit their 30th birthdays, they’ve reacted in varying ways. Some have breezed through it as just another year to celebrate and others have taken it pretty badly, feeling like the milestone holds more meaning than it probably should do. I didn’t have much time to process my own feelings to turning 30 as I was so busy with work and volunteering but I did get to enjoy a wonderful evening with friends and that’s exactly how birthdays should be.
Since the start of 2016, focus has been on work although holidays to New York and Spain have helped break up the routine very nicely. We are in our busiest period at work at the moment, with clubs and schools getting new pitches installed during the Summer Holidays and so many homeowners getting new lawns laid. I am going to start blogging more frequently again though so stay tuned and catch up with you all again soon…..