I woke up at 7am today feeling slightly nervous and with a bit of self doubt but knew that this was normal for anyone starting a new gig, let alone in another country or industry. I remember the last time I started working here as a teacher in 2006 when the backpackers I was staying in the night before my first day caught fire and I was left feeling a bit frazzled, so this would be have to be easier. But would people like me? Can I actually do this? Am I out of my depth? How much ribbing would I get for the Ashes?
I have invested a great deal in this career reinvention and have put a lot on the line to make this happen, but I backed myself to do this, to change my life, find a new passion and cant express how emotional it was to stand on the side of the pitch and say in my mind ‘Well done, you did it’.Theres plenty of people who have helped along the way and this moment would not have happened without their help and guidance.
I needed to start work at QPR at 930am so intended to leave the house at 8am for the trip north to west but as the house had just been painted over the weekend the bloody door was glued shut so I had to try to get out through the ground floor window before I eventually woke up one of my flatmates with my banging, who was then able to pry it open. 8.25am with a 55 minute journey in London peak hour was going to be touch and go and being late on my first day would not set a good example and is certainly not one of my traits as I’m a stickler for time management.
However I made it to the White City tube stop by 9.21am and walked the short distance to the Loftus Road stadium.
I took a deep breath before entering, telling myself ‘lets do this, its time to roll’ before going through to reception and waiting for the lady who organised all of this to greet me. I still cant get over the fact that this person had faith in me, believed in me and had the time to want to take me on. I’m still just so blown away by her willingness to give an Aussie a crack at this! Going back to April and my first meeting with QPR where I had the guts to ask for an internship I just cant get over how she kept her word. She could have just said ‘yeah sure’ then reneged or after the visa issues given up and told me that this was all too much work but she didn’t and she backed me and for that I’ll be eternally grateful.
I started the day with an induction to the different teams, from marketing to digital media, hospitality to finance and HR to my department, operations. Everyone was so welcoming and lovely and really put me at ease, especially as we all shared some Ashes jokes.
I was taken through a very professional workplace health and safety package then on a tour of the whole ground taking in the corporate boxes, media areas, control room, player dressing rooms, the tunnel and finally the pitch.
Standing on that pitch (the artificial side, not the real pitch as I’d get yelled at!) felt amazing in the cool breeze and light rain and I got this huge overwhelming sense of emotion knowing I’d really started something special with my new journey.
I was lucky enough to help assist in completing some work on a really interesting crowd safety issue as well as engage in lots of office banter, something that I really wanted to experience with this role by learning more about office culture.
I knocked off at 4pm having received my professional looking AAA staff card and made my way onto a cardio boxing class in North London to keep my fitness up while here.
An epic first day on my sports business internship with Queens Park Rangers.