My Year at The Rugby Players' Association

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Name: Alice Ward

Company: The Rugby Players’ Association; Commercial Events Assistant

Location: Twickenham, London

Course: Sport Management


·       Why did you choose to do a placement?

I wanted to get experience to help build my CV and also learn more about exactly what area of business I wanted to work in. I’d previously done some short placements in marketing and P.R but getting to work in a role for a year really helps teach you about what skills a job requires and whether you enjoy it.

·       How did you choose where to apply?

I only wanted to work in sport! There’s not many placement opportunities out there within sport so when the RPA were offering a commercial role I applied straight away.

·       How have you enjoyed working this year?

It’s been amazing! Such a good experience; I’ve met so many people and learnt a lot about what real working life involves. I was given a lot of responsibility within my role and it’s made such a big impact on me now – I’d definitely recommend a placement year to anyone!

·       What is a typical day like?

My role was “commercial events assistant” so it could really varied depending on what event we had coming up. This time last year I was spending my Saturdays running the hospitality suite at Twickenham whilst in the week chasing up caterers and suppliers to make sure the right orders were in or sending clients tickets and signed memorabilia. We did a lot of fundraising for our charity so I was often having to organise prizes for winners; flights, golf days or player appearances. Later in the year we ran a lot of dinners so there were a lot of site visits, menu tastings (best bit!) and dealing with suppliers/sponsors to get resources together.

•  How has it/it not benefitted you?

It’s definitely made me a lot more confident; I got thrown in at the deep end a bit at times but to come through and solve problems, deliver good events…you learn so much and know next time it’ll be easier! The people you meet too are incredible – I was lucky to go to a lot of external meetings with sponsorship execs and business managers who taught me a lot too.

·       Would you recommend other students to do a placement year?

Definitely – especially for sport. Grad schemes don’t really exist so getting as much experience and contacts before you leave is a big help.

·       What are your plans after university?

I want to stay within sport and hopefully work in sponsorship activation/experiential marketing.

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