An Athlete’s Job Search – Former GB Junior Hockey Standout, Harriet Mitchell, Discusses the Obstacles She’s Faced When Making the Transition

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Harriet Mitchell GB low shot

For many high-achieving student-athletes the job search can prove to be difficult, presenting an array of obstacles around lack of experience, missing out on timings for pertinent graduate opportunities, among other things. What isn’t fully considered when reviewing an individuals CV, especially in the case of an athlete, is the reasoning behind that lack of experience or why they haven’t applied 6-months in advance for that graduate programme. The answer is often simple: “I was competing”.

For most student-athletes the summers were a time to knuckle down on training and gear up towards a season eclipsing competition, which meant any opportunities to take multiple-week internships were out the question. Missing out on these opportunities can become increasingly problematic, particularly when contending for competitive full-time roles post graduation.

What add-victor believes, however, is that these sporting experiences shouldn’t be a defining hindrance on student-athletes’ chances of landing a role. Instead, the time and commitment to their sport can be considered as some form of work experience; although not industry specific, an individual develops time-management, working as part of a team, facing complex problems and creating solutions, and a level of discipline that all transfer well into the workplace.

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This has been the case with former England and GB junior hockey player, Harriet Mitchell. Having graduated in May she went on to compete internationally throughout the summer, a routine she undertook throughout her Biochemistry degree at Birmingham University. After being introduced to hockey at 11 when she started school at Reigate Grammar, Harriet soon developed a passion for the game and began making regional and national teams.

We recently spoke with her before starting a week-long work experience at a leading European bank, as she looks to kick-start her career in finance. Notably, she is keen to harness the skills and characteristics acquired through her hockey career to develop a new craft and field of knowledge, believing what she’s achieved in sport can certainly be used to add value to a company.

What would you say is your greatest achievement within the sport?

Playing for England and GB in the Junior World Cup and winning a bronze medal at the U21 European Championships.

 

What is your favourite part of Hockey?

Playing as part of the team. The bond you make with your teammates, especially when you win championships together, face defeat together, and have that one common goal, it really brings you closer.

 

How did you come across add-victor?

I was put in contact with add-victor by another elite hockey player, who they have successfully placed in a job. They mentioned that given my circumstances they were a good resource to help build out my career prospects, even if it was drilling down on what industry I would be a good fit for.

 

In what ways has add-victor assisted your career development?

add-victor provided me with the resources that allow me to frame my sporting achievements in a positive and constructive light when talking to prospective employers. They have also been proactive in searching for job opportunities that suit my skill set and promoting me as a candidate for these roles.

 

What advice would you give to high-achieving student-athletes like yourself who are looking to land that perfect job role?

Try and get as much experience as you can whilst you are studying/competing. Short but useful work experience will be more beneficial to you than trying to find a longer but generic placement as it will boost your CV whilst still allowing you to train and compete.

Harriet Mitchell Birmingham low shot

What have you learnt most from the game?

I have learnt how to work on my own individual aim all whilst still contributing effectively as part of a team. I think this dynamic makes me incredibly adaptable to different environments, especially in the workplace, where I might be required to work on a project alone or collaborate with multiple team member.

 

You have just graduated from Birmingham, how did you find your university experience?

Initially I found it hard. As a high-performance student athlete studying a time intensive degree you have to adopt a different lifestyle to the other fresher’s. However, once I learnt to balance my studies and training schedule It became much more enjoyable; playing hockey for a school with such a rich history was incredibly rewarding.

Harriet Mitchell Birmingham

What resources or structures do you think would be helpful to have for a student-athlete like yourself during the career search process?

Student athletes find it hard to complete official internships due to the time commitments they entail. A resource that enables you to find short work experience placements, through more unconventional routes would have massive benefit, or off-cycle internships specifically for those who compete in the summer and have different timelines into the workplace.

 

Is there anything more add-victor can do to help your transition?

add-victor have been a great help to me so far and I am very grateful for everything they have done. I would say compiling an official list of free resources that help you to develop a greater understanding of financial markets would be of help to someone, such as myself, who comes from a non-finance background.

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