Athlete Profile: Kim Brennan

An Australian Olympian, Kim Brennan (née Crow) is a dual world champion in the single sculls rowing, and a dual discipline Olympic medallist, holding bronze, silver and gold in the single and double sculls.

She is also a senior lawyer with experience in sports law, intellectual property law and commercial law, legal work that was balanced with life as an elite sportswoman.

The Melbourne athlete was voted World Female Rower of the Year in 2013, and was elected Chairperson of the Australian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission in August 2012.

The daughter of a Victorian Football League footballer, Kim grew up in and around the world of professional sport. She established herself as one to watch in track and field with success at the World Youth Athletics Championships in 2001.

A career as an elite hurdler was cut short by a leg injury in 2005, but with characteristic resilience and unflappable focus, Kim redirected her talents to become a member of the Melbourne University Boat Club.

Success representing Victoria at national level was soon replicated on the global stage with an array of medals at world championships between 2006 and 2015. Highlights include gold in the single sculls in Chungiu, 2013, and silver a year later in Amsterdam at the World Rowing Championships. At same event in Aiguebelette 2015, Kim threw down her intent with victory over rival and then Olympic champion Miroslava Knapková.

Fourth place in the Women’s pair-B final at Beijing 2008 marked the start of Kim’s Olympic career. This developed in London four years later with a bronze in the women’s single sculls and silver in the double sculls.

Kim added the final piece of the puzzle at the Rio Games 2016 when she led the women’s single sculls from start to finish to claim Olympic gold. Her seemingly natural elevation to the pinnacle of her sport belied a lifetime of dedication and an iron will to be the best.

Following the Rio Games, sports career transition specialists, Athlete Career Transition (ACT) conducted a rigorous search and selction process of female Olympians to find candidates for a business internship at EY. Kim was among nine elite athletes to be chosen for EY’s Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Intern Program. In September 2016 she began working with the EY Advisory practice, joining a team focused on federal government.

The global services provider stands to benefit from Kim’s prestigious sporting background and work ethic; her professional experience makes her a strong fit for work that will expose her to end-to-end sourcing and procurement life cycle, as well as the EY Major Programs methodology.

Receiving ongoing transitional support from ACT and coaching from ACT’s transitional sports psychologist, Ben Paszkowec, this multi-talented Olympian will surely enjoy a second career every bit as successful as the first. Before her internship, Kim spoke to ACT about stepping into the corporate world. She said:

“What I truly value about EY is that it has taken a real initiative with the WABN Intern Program with ACT and is doing something that no other company is doing. A lot of businesses talk about valuing gender equity and say they focus on striving for excellence but they don’t change or do anything different. However, EY is actually doing something positive about it and that’s what I love – its ability to think outside the box and create something unique.”

“It’s been great to work alongside ACT who’ve provided fantastic support in my transition from professional sport into the corporate sphere,” she added.

Kim is now nearing the end of her internship, stay tuned for more updates on her career journey.

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