Athlete Profile: Olivia Carnegie-Brown

When Olivia won a silver in rowing at Rio 2016, the achievement also earned the British women’s eight team their first ever Olympic medal.

The roots of that success trace back to Reading Rowing Club and early experience in the boat which enabled the Westminster-born athlete to break into the GB Rowing Team’s Start Programme while still at school at Caversham, Berkshire.

Balancing a degree at Oxford Brookes university with a career as a professional sportswoman, Olivia bolstered successes at junior level with a silver medal in the U23 women’s pairs at the World Rowing Championships in 2012.

Her pathway to the top continued at the European Championships in Varese, Italy, where she won bronze and silver medals in 2012 and 2014 respectively. She replicated these accomplishments with bronze and silver medals at World Rowing Cup regattas in 2015 and 2016 in Italy, Switzerland and Poland.

A fantastic achievement in itself, Olivia’s gold medal with the women’s eights at the 2016 European Championships in Brandenburg, Germany, made her first Olympic appearance at Rio 2016 a fitting progression. It was here that she capped ten years as an elite athlete with a silver medal.

Over the summer of 2016, sports transition specialists, Athlete Career Transition (ACT) carried out an extensive search among female Olympians for a business internship with global services provider, EY.

Alongside eight others, Olivia stood out as a clear candidate for EY’s Women Athletes Business Network (WABN) Intern Program. Following the Rio Olympics, the British rower joined the Core Business Services (CBS) function of the EMEIA Financial Services Office.

In her new role she has been working on three projects in brand, marketing and communications (BMC), and is based at EY’s new flagship Canary Wharf offices. She is also benefitting from continuing transitional support from ACT, together with coaching from ACT’s transitional sports psychologist, Ben Paszkowec.

Olivia has developed into an outstanding leader at the highest level, and her depth of transferable skills are enabling her to thrive in the corporate environment. A fantastic communicator, she brings energy, organisation and first-class team skills to her internship with EY.

Before beginning her internship, Olivia spoke to ACT.

“The EY internship is a huge opportunity for me to build on my successful Olympic rowing career and silver medal in Rio. To be part of this ground-breaking program with EY and ACT was something I had to go for,” she said.

“I’m certainly going to be outside of my comfort zone initially, but isn’t that what life is about – pushing yourself? I’ll have amazing support and mentors around me so it’s now down to me, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of succeeding in a new business environment,” she continued.

“I’ve had great support from ACT, and that’s really helped me make the transition from professional sport into the business sphere,” she added.

Stay tuned for further updates on Olivia’s progress.

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