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BU graduate Lucy Owen talks about how she’s gone from a Sports Management degree to the world of Formula 1…

June 2012. Exams done. Final year complete. But that didn’t mean a clean break from work for the summer.

Instead I started my first Graduate job just one week after my last exam, and headed to the Big Smoke for a minimum wage role at a PR agency located just off Oxford Street.

Six months down and already I’d started to get itchy feet. London was where I wanted to be but the job no longer lived up to my expectations. I had left BU with a first class honors degree in Sports Management and the job that initially promised work with some of the most influential sports media brands, including Sky Sports and ESPN, was progressively changing face to move away from the sporting world. I had good reason to start my search for a job elsewhere.

To get started I signed up to a few recruitment agencies who frequently posted sports marketing positions. A couple of exciting opportunities came up including careers with The FA and Premier League football clubs. But they did not provide quite the route into the sports marketing world that I was looking for.

The search continued.

Browsing through my LinkedIn newsfeed, I noticed a former colleague from my work placement year had recently started a new position at the leading motorsport marketing agency JMI. I had known about JMI since my search for a third year work placement first began. Brokering major sponsorship deals and managing partnerships with some of the biggest names in the Formula 1 paddock, the company had always been firmly on my radar. But I quickly realised that finding my way into such a workplace would not come as easily as just submitting an online application form.F1

To enter the Formula 1 business you need to know the right people. And it was only from my third year work placement at Sports Marketing Surveys Ltd that I had such people in my contacts. And it was only via the world’s largest online business networking platform, LinkedIn, that I was able to get in touch with such contacts instantly.

I am now an Account Executive at JMI, globe-trotting with the rest of the Formula 1 circus to manage and further develop partnerships between teams, rights holders and sponsors.

Day-to-day you will find me at our London based office working with a brilliantly enthusiastic team to create, plan and deliver key sponsorship activations with the ambition to meet our client KPIs, raising brand awareness and driving sales through our Formula 1 partnerships.

My role is predominantly focussed on events marketing, organising the logistics and set up for race weekend activations, working closely with the comms team to ensure our event spaces are fully branded and suitable for the various functions that take place within them. My responsibilities also include managing hotel contracts, organising race hospitality for our client guest programmes and liaising with Formula 1 transportation services to ensure our guests can get from A to B throughout a Grand Prix weekend.

Planning often begins months in advance of each race and once you reach the race destination it’s time to deliver, with most of the team running off adrenaline right throughout the weekend to ensure everything is perfectly executed from start to finish.

Strained by political, financial and commercial powers, the Formula 1 paddock certainly makes for a challenging working environment. But the pressure of the job keeps me on my toes. And, without question, my third year work placement played a huge factor in getting me to where I now am – where I want to be.

Lucy Owen cheering


Come back soon to hear how a Paramedic Science degree has led to globe-trotting charity work for two BU graduates…

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