Rachel Kent

Sponsorship Co-ordinator at Three Counties Showground

About my job

I manage about 50 different sponsorship accounts for four different major shows across the year. The accounts I manage are incredibly varied - some are equestrian, some agricultural, some sporting and some are from very different industry sectors like building management, educational institutions and clothing brands.

Why I went to Hartpury University

I chose Hartpury University because it allowed me to do a foundation degree in Equine Performance with a sandwich year incorporated and I was really keen to gain valuable work experience alongside my studies. When I returned from my sandwich year, I chose to stay at Hartpury University and top-up to the BSc Equine Management degree. I then went on to do my Masters in Sports Business Management and that progression route from foundation right through to Masters suited me perfectly. It enabled me to focus in on my areas of interest, hone so many different skills and gain a really wide variety of work experience. The opportunities at Hartpury University are limitless. At times, I had four or five different part-time jobs alongside study. I was crazy busy but I learned a lot about myself and gained impressive skills which have since helped me to start out on a great career.

My most memorable experiences at Hartpury University

So many! Endless memories of barbecues, movie nights and enjoying the sun in the beautiful grounds, not to mention trying to balance study with nights out! I organised a ‘Take Me Out’ event once for the Student Union. It was so stressful and I think I had a 3,000 word assignment in for the next day. Loading your plate like that is the best way to learn to work under pressure.

Using my degree at work

I use what I learned during my studies at Hartpury University every day, especially from the practical side, like delivering presentations to members of the board. Equally, I learned a lot about putting packs together for sponsors during my Masters in Sports Business Management. Time management and organisation is a huge part of any job role and Hartpury University helped me with that by always giving me a full plate!

How I got into the industry

I’ve always been interested in agriculture but I didn’t want to spend my career in wellies! I worked within the marketing team at Hartpury and that opened my eyes to more career possibilities. Networking was also key and it’s such an underrated skill. If you’re interested in working for someone, make use of the skills you already have, and follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook and add them on LinkedIn.

Advice for graduates

While you’re at university, get as much work experience as you can. It’s the only time in your life where you have a guaranteed income from your loan – use the extra time to get part-time jobs or voluntary roles in environments you wouldn’t normally put yourself into – you might find that you like them! Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re interested in a career, find out as much as you can about it. Preparation is key!