I’m a first year graduate on the commercial downstream programme and have worked at Nexcel as a business development executive since September last year. Nexcel is a Castrol automotive technology start-up whose plug and play system is shaping the future of vehicle servicing with reduced CO2 emissions, greater convenience and re-refining of used oil. My role involves assisting the business development team who are talking to vehicle manufacturers about testing our new technology and building it into future engines.
Fitting in training around work has been a challenge but BP and Nexcel have been incredibly supportive over the last few months. I commute daily to Reading and manage to fit in strength and conditioning sessions at lunch time or straight after work. Back home in London I play for the Wimbledon Hockey Club and train twice a week on pitch.
The run up to selection for the games was pretty intense. I’d play our Saturday league game in London then head up to Scotland for a full days training on Sunday in Glasgow with the whole squad, and then be back on Sunday night in time for work on Monday. Come Monday morning I'd be pretty shattered but now that selection has been made I know it's all been worth it!
My manager has been extremely supportive and understanding - I can't thank him enough!
I used to swim competitively and was part of the Scottish Development squad, so I didn’t start playing hockey properly until I was about 13. I’ve always loved all sports and hockey was just another one to get involved with at school and have a good time with my friends! I was drawn to hockey as it was a team sport, and heading off to tournaments with the squad and coming away with medals and good spirit was always one of the things I looked forward to most at school. Hockey is a very fast sport and the rules are continuously changing to keep up with the pace of the game. You need to be physically up to standards as well as focussed 100% of the time on the pitch and these are the kinds of challenges that I enjoy taking on.
I have played age group international hockey since under 16’s level and I was asked into the Scottish women's squad when I left school for university in 2012. It was the natural progression for me as I'd always loved playing for my country at age group level and so I obviously wanted to reach the highest level I could.
It's a huge honour to be able to pull on my Scotland strip, stand in the line up next to my mates and sing our country's national anthem. Hockey is a big sport in Scotland, and to be able to represent with the best is a fantastic feeling!
There are many parallels between the business world and the sporting world. I have learnt how important it is to stay calm under pressure. You perform at your best with a level head. Decision making on the pitch has to be quick and well communicated which is also important in a day to day working environment. I’ve learnt how vital it is to value everyone's opinion and work as a cohesive unit as opposed to working in isolation.
There's nothing more important than fuelling correctly... But really everything you'd expect! Bananas, cereal bars and hydration is key!
I'm not superstitious at all. As long as I get some good chat and some good tunes in I'll be raring to go!
To be honest, the Commonwealth Games is as good as it gets. It's the biggest tournament that Scotland can compete in, and the fact it's multi-sport adds a whole new dimension. We're hoping to produce Scotland's highest ever finish at this Games.
After that, I'm going to be back at BP and concentrating on getting the most out of my graduate scheme that I can. I've loved it so far and I'm really looking forward to getting back to it!