From university cheerleading to Carrington West Consultant, Olivia Woods shares her journey so far. The following article published on the University of Portsmouth Sport website follows Olivia's journey from studying her degree, participating in sports, to joining Carrington West and looking to the future. You can read more about Carrington West's partnership with the University of Portsmouth here.
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.
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 & infrastructure, town planning, water & environmental, utilities, power & telecoms, building and rail industries, or if like Olivia, you wish to work in recruitment.