- Describe your personal work space.
As a Gamesmaker (volunteer) for London 2012 Olympics I am working at Eton Dorney rowing lake. My personal work space is situated in a purpose built 2km rowing lake and varies through the day but normally involves checking Olympic athletes on and off official transport.
- How do you get to work?
As my shifts all start at 6am, I am driving, it is 25 miles but only takes 30 minutes at that time of day and, as the weather has been gorgeous, it has been a pleasure. I am car-pooling as much as possible, but we are not allowed to use the Olympic Lanes, and anyway they don’t start until 6am on my route, so I am already there!
- What is an average day like?
Busy! We are ensuring the safe passage of all the Rowers and Canoeists and making sure that transport is the very best that it can be to allow them to concentrate on their race preparation and competition. During competition time we are also the hub where dignitaries are welcomed, so I have been very close to a number of members of the Royal Family and senior politicians visiting the games.
- What is essential to you being able to work happily?
Organisation and good humour; we are dealing with hundreds of athletes arriving and leaving the venue and need to be really slick, but also have a second to say Hi to them and enjoy the experience ourselves.
- What do you think your employer looks for in its staff?
All the Gamesmakers have volunteered for a reason; it might be a passion to be part of the games, get some experience on their CV or to get the chance to mix with the athletes (this last one isn’t guaranteed!). This passion to contribute to make the London 2012 Games stand out for everyone involved is essential, and was emphasised during the recruitment process. They selected 75,000 staff from 250,000 applicants, so they were able to choose the best people for each role.
- What do you like best about your job?
Until I arrived on site, I hadn’t appreciated how close we would get to the world’s best rowers and canoeists; this has been the biggest kick to see and quite often be able to chat with them, when it doesn’t interfere with their program. Being present when GB won their first gold with the women’s pairs was incredible, the atmosphere was amazing. I must be one of a small number of people who actually witnessed both GB Gold Medals that day, as after my shift ended I joined friends in Hampton Wick and saw Bradley Wiggins win the men’s Cycling Time Trial too!
- How much responsibility have you been given?
I got to use the clicker and count people onto a bus. That was pretty exciting! That’s the fun bit; the volunteers often have very responsible jobs outside the games and having very little responsibility during the games is rather nice.
- How green are you and your company?
I am impressed how much effort has been put into ensuring that the games are sustainable and this goes into waste and recycling as well as the choice of official vehicles, encouraging the use of public transport for spectators and workforce, and where shifts are too early, car-pooling amongst the staff.
- What inspires you?
Good question; outside of my day job with Ayuda Media Systems, where I am driven to deliver the best possible software solutions for our clients and more importantly, other companies who haven’t yet realised what we could be doing for them, I do quite a bit of volunteering and I love being able to make a difference. Leaving things better than I found them would sum it up, I guess.
- What are your ambitions?
Can I have three please? – yes, Ed
(a) For the Olympics to be the best yet and for everyone touched by the Olympic experience to come away with a positive story.
(b) For Ayuda to be the de facto supplier for all OOH/DOOH operators globally.
(c) For me to always be challenged, and to not forget my supportive husband, Phil and daughter Cameron as I pursue my own interests!
- If you could change only one thing, what would it be?
GB to win all the medals!
- How much time do you devote to social networking?
Personally, probably too much! Professionally, it tends to ebb and flow as to when we have something particular to share.
- What are the most useful tools you use to do your job?
Security pass, sun cream, clicker counter, cheerful personality.
- What would be your dream job?
Applying suntan lotion to the Aussie rowers? – see the picture shown above, Ed. This is going to sound corny, but working with Ayuda is brilliant for me, as I love seeing systems and processes applied intelligently to improve a business and being able to do this for many companies suits me really well.