Jon Parker went from Astrophysics to event logistics and is currently working on the Olympic Games in Rio.
|BSc (Hons) Astrophysics
|Year of Graduation
Your time at the University
Not a day goes past when I don’t reflect fondly on my time at Edinburgh. I chose the University because of its reputation and the majesty of the city itself; it was probably the best decision of my life.
My certificate says I achieved an Honours degree in Astrophysics but the reality is Edinburgh gave me so much more than that. It is not just the tangible reward from years of hard work that sticks in my mind, but the view from our lectures at the Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill, learning to ceilidh dance, the magic of Edinburgh at Christmas and the joy of post-exam summer days on the Meadows. Edinburgh has a fantastic choice of societies for students to get involved in and in my Freshers’ Week I joined Fresh Air radio. I spent four of the best years of my life presenting and producing shows, leading fundraising campaigns, organising club and event nights and eventually became Station Manager in my final year.
In hindsight, making the most of one of the plethora of great societies was a brilliant decision. Many people, like me, are unsure of what they want to do post-University but the experience gained from getting involved in societies gives you extra strings to your bow.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduation but my experience organising events for Fresh Air gave me something I was proud to talk about in an interview for a Logistics role at the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.I got the job and have since built a career in Event Logistics, working at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games for a year and most recently the England 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Essentially I am responsible for making sure the right kit- anything from furniture to sports equipment - is in the right place at the right time. It is a challenging role but one I love. Leading a team against tight deadlines is a skill I learnt during Senior Honours projects and one that has helped me during my career enormously.
I am currently in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for twelve months to work as a Project Manager on the 2016 Olympic villages.
My advice would be to make the most of Edinburgh as a city (I have travelled the world a fair bit and have still not found anywhere that truly tops it) and the University and its opportunities. In hindsight, making the most of one of the plethora of great societies was a brilliant decision. Many people, like me, are unsure of what they want to do post-University but the experience gained from getting involved in societies gives you extra strings to your bow and makes you more interesting as a person.