Olivia is UoP Alumni and a former member of Team UoP Cheerleading, find out about her career after university.

5 min read

As part of our EmPLAYability campaign, we are sharing stories from UoP Alumni who were also members of Team UoP during their studies. These stories are focussed around their careers after university and the benefits of playing sport at university.

Olivia studied Sociology and Criminology and was a member of the Team UoP Cheerleading Club, she now works for Carrington West, highly successful recruitment company and our Sports Club sponsor. 

Olivia is a Consultant in the rail team, specialising in working with candidates and some of the largest rail infrastructure organisations across the UK. She supplies talent working in project delivery roles on some of the country’s biggest projects including HS2 and Crossrail. Prior to joining Carrington West, Olivia worked with a national built environment recruiter based on the south coast with a client base across London and the South East. She has a degree in Criminology & Sociology from the University of Portsmouth and in her spare time she likes to socialise with family and friends. At UoP, she was in the cheerleading squad.

Did you know what career you wanted to embark on upon finishing university?

 Not really I studied Sociology and Criminology because I had an interest in the subjects but wasn’t too set on what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work with people in an interactive role and that was about it. 

Did this change once you started looking for jobs?

I did start looking at roles that fell in line with the degree I studied but realised that they didn’t pay too well so looked into more sales based roles and fell into the recruitment world. 

How did you come across Carrington West in your search for employment?

Prior to joining Carrington West I worked for a different agency. I had looked at various agency websites and Linkedin pages and thought that Carrington West stood out a mile from other agencies, especially with the awards they have won including their Investor in People accreditation, the  L&D awards and Best Company to Work For award. My interest was piqued enough to follow their social media so I could see what their culture was like, as once you have worked in an office, you realise how important that is!

How did playing sport at university help you in your career?

Playing sport on a competitive level definitely gave me confidence. I also feel that it gave me a sense of team spirit as well as the importance of personal development. It has helped me in my work life because although my career is my choice and in my control, most of my successes are down to the support of the team around me. 

How does working life compare to university life?

Completely different – life is more structured working in an office environment and I have had to plan my personal time more effectively! 

What advice would you give to your former self when transitioning from university to work-life?

Definitely do your research and think about what your strengths are. If you are chatty and sociable like me, then find a job that will play to that side of your personality. It will make life much more fun and easier. It took me a while to work that out.

What are your plans for the future?

I definitely see my future being successful with being a part of Carrington West, but with lots of holidays to hot countries. The great thing about a sales based role is that you can be in charge of your own financial success. Travel is a motivator for me, and with a company like Carrington West I know I can work towards achieving my own personal goals.

Olivia is flourishing in her career in a role that is highly interactive and completely complements her personality. The skills that she learnt whilst being a member of the Team UoP Cheerleading Club has perfectly equipped her with the confidence needed to work in recruitment as well as highlighting the importance of teamwork and working together. We would like to congratulate Olivia for her success so far and wish her all the best for the future.

Carrington West logo

If after hearing Olivia's story you are interested in finding out more about Carrington West, you can visit their website. Carrington West may be particularly of interest to you if you are considering a career in UK highways, transport and infrastructure, town planning, water and environmental, utilities, power and telecoms, building and rail industries, or if like Olivia, you wish to work in recruitment.

Careers and Employability Service

We also have services here at the University that will be useful to utilise on your search for employment. Our Careers & Employability Service is able to support you for 5 years after you graduate.  So if you'd like some help with your job search, your CV, or want to talk through your options with one of our qualified Careers Advisors then why not contact the team today at careers@port.ac.uk.

If you are specifically looking for a graduate job in Hampshire or along the South Coast then we also have a specialist Graduate Jobs team in place to help you get the right opportunity. They are on hand to source opportunities and make introductions for you to local employers, tailor your CV and help you prepare for interviews. Watch our video to hear more about how they are able to help you with your next steps. Should you wish to discuss the role you are looking for with the Graduate Jobs Team, please contact them at graduaterecruitment@port.ac.uk. You visit the Careers and Employability page to find out any additional information.

Playing sport whilst at university can provide you with a whole range of skills that will help you on your search for employment.