In an attempt to foster communication, and partnership between our sporting graduates and current students, Alumni Officer of the Sports Union, Kirsty McConnell, organised an evening of talks entitled “From Sports to Success”.
Four speakers, each from a very different sporting background, joined together to speak to students about their time at the University of Edinburgh, explaining how their sporting endeavours and experiences helped shape their successful careers.
Dougie Graham, employee of Aggreko and entrepreneur, was captain of the Athletics club and liked to think of running the club as a small business. He has now set up his own skate park, children’s soft play and cafeteria. He urged students to follow suit, to make the most of the support and protection offered by the Sports Union and to take on challenges at University.
The second speaker, Jo Richards, studied Applied Sports Science at the University of Edinburgh and has become well-regarded in her work as a personal trainer, dancer and choreographer. Jo had a number of important messages for the students but, having competed in the USA, performed at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and regular appearances at BBC Radio 1’s Fun and Filth Cabaret, she felt it most important that we all “embrace the randomness”.
The third of the speakers was a successful freestyle skier during her time at the University of Edinburgh. Lorna Carmichael was a valuable member of the EU Snowsports Club through her Economics & Geography degree, receiving her Blue for sporting performance and her Colours for sports organisation in 2004/05. Lorna explained that a number of skills which she developed through University sport, including teamwork, leadership and communication have undoubtedly contributed to her success as a Management Consultant at Accenture.
The final speaker, Jock Millican, was closely involved with the University Rugby club while he was a student and was in fact called up to play for Scotland during his final years at University. As with the other speakers Jock explained that the skills he learned through University sporting experiences were transferable to his career in the brewing industry. As well as a number of successful ventures throughout his career, Jock has managed to keep up his involvement with Scottish Rugby, now holding a position as a non-executive director.
The event attracted students from all years of study and a wide variety of academic subjects. All of those who completed the feedback forms said they would attend a similar event again, which suggests that the correlation between sport and success is a prominent one.
“I found the speakers engaging, and the range of sporting backgrounds they came from and careers they now led meant that no two speakers were the same. The opportunity to socialize afterwards with the speakers left me with a favourable impression of the whole event, and the chance to network gave me some ideas to ponder in my future career”
TOM BATESON, History Student/Athletic Club
An appropriate conclusion to the evening, the speakers unanimously agreed that had they not maximised their involvement in sport at University, they would not have enjoyed the success that they do today.
This article was published on Nov 23, 2012