Employable Me case study 2: Stephanie Gooch – Archery, Rugby and Taekwondo societies

Stephanie Gooch

  • MSC Mathematics
  • 2011-2015
  • Senior DevOps Engineer at KPMG
  • Studying for a Masters in Information Systems and Technology

Skills gained through sport

There can be no doubt that universities and employers really recognise the skills and qualities that playing sports highlight.  Team sports, especially, prove a candidate’s reliability and responsibility and so, for me, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to showcase these skills throughout the interview process for my grad scheme.  Whilst at Surrey I took every opportunity to get involved with volunteering, playing sport and organising teams and I loved being part of the whole sporting community that is so strong at Surrey. I am a firm believer that my involvement with sport benefited me hugely throughout my whole application process.

The attributes that I needed for organising clubs such as Archery and Taekwondo are well-recognised by employers and enabled me to really highlight my commitment and enthusiasm which appeared to be more important than a very high level of academic success.

Transferable skills

Through my involvement with these clubs I really honed my team working and communication skills. Then when I attended my interviews, these skills, and being able to provide the real-life examples to support them, appeared to be what the interviewers were looking for.  For example, in my final interview the partner spent more time talking to me about my involvement with Rugby and Taekwondo than he did about anything else.  The skills that I have developed through sports have definitely transferred into my workplace.  Being able to follow instructions but also give them, respecting others, determination and perseverance are all a necessary part of who we are as sports people but these are also all the skills that I use every day in the office.  Using the mind-set of wanting to be involved in sports events means that I am always open-minded to everything that I have been given at work including networking, being part of the Women in IT group, charity events such as abseiling down the KPMG building in Canary Wharf and I was also proud to be nominated and shortlisted for the National Woman in Tec 50 Award last year.

The qualities and skills that I have developed through my sports at Surrey meant that I have been happy to get involved with similar opportunities at work and the ‘can-do’ attitude that we all have, has led to me being involved in all sorts of projects both as part of my job and socially such as running a regular boot camp for my team workers

Our involvement in sport undoubtedly gives us pleasure and we all love the social aspect to that too.  However it gives us so much more.  It allows us to exhibit those precious skills that employers are looking for.  I have absolutely no doubt that my sporting commitments were instrumental in my success in interviews.