mia porter and max whitlock


Meeting Max was a Highlight of my University of Hull Internship

Since completing my 12-week internship working at the University of Hull I have been offered to extend my Team GB Communications role for an additional 12 months.

My 84 days of experience have been an incredible learning opportunity and I am grateful I can continue the internship to see what skills I am able to further gain and develop.

Looking back, the last six weeks in this role have been fast-paced and exciting with two Team GB athlete events falling into one week.

For one of these the university welcomed three-time Olympic champion gymnast Max Whitlock MBE, of which I was able to play a key role in the planning and implementation of an amazing event.

max whitlock on the pommel horse
Max Whitlock on the Pommel Horse in Middleton Hall

I aided in securing BBC presenter and host Kofi Smiles, creating a social media plan to promote Max’s arrival in the weeks leading to the event, liaising with an athlete agent, creating a media call and even sourcing a pommel horse.

On the day I was responsible for ensuring Max was fully briefed and able to keep to the tight schedule. I accompanied him during and between events which was an overwhelming prospect however he was incredibly humble and as normal as Britain’s most successful gymnast could be!

max whitlock at the university library holding a gold medal
Max Whitlock on the stairs outside the University of Hull Library

As part of the first event, we worked with the Schools and Colleges Engagement Team to deliver a range of physical activities for students which Max set the benchmark scores for.

Sian Alexander, Schools and Colleges Engagement Officer, said: “Mia has been a pleasure to work with on projects like the Max Whitlock event. Always professional, organised, creative and engaged, she’s been a real asset since the start.”

mia porter and max whitlock
Max Whitlock and Mia Porter

As well as Max Whitlock MBE, we also welcomed Dr Paul Ford MBE, Deputy Chef de Mission and the Head of Sport Engagement at the British Olympic Association (BOA), as well as former Team GB swimmer Caitlin McClatchey for two online events.

I also had the pleasure of liaising with Team GB rugby sevens player Daniel Bibby to prepare for an Open Day appearance.

As part of these appearances, I have continued to work closely with the British Olympic Association commercial executive Leyla Toothill, who had the following to say: “It has been a pleasure to work with Mia, interns and volunteers are always so much fun.

From planning athlete appearances (from Team GB Olympians such as Max Whitlock) to social media campaigns, Mia has made a huge difference to our partnership and helped us deliver some great and impactful projects.

Leyla Toothill

British Olympic Association commercial executive

I was also really pleased to receive the following feedback from our Head of Brand and Digital at the University, Amanda Wilde, who said: "It has been fantastic to have Mia as part of our wider Marketing and Student Recruitment team. She has been hands on from the start working on a variety of projects which have helped our team with planning and developing student recruitment campaigns and events.

“Mia has been quick to learn our ways of working and also fit into the team really well. It has been great to have Mia involved, bringing her fresh perspective and authentic student voice which is critical in maximising engagement with our prospective student audience.

“We are really pleased to offer her an extension on her internship programme because we have been so impressed with her professionalism and enthusiasm which she applies to every project.

‘We are really looking forward to seeing her valuable contributions over the next 12 months as well as helping her develop further skills and knowledge within marketing and communications."

kofi smiles and max whitlock
Max Whitlock and Kofi Smiles

Working as the Team GB Communications intern at the University of Hull has significantly altered my perception of the partnership. As an undergraduate I dismissed it as an opportunity only appealing to students studying in Sports. Now I realise the value in the partnership and the vast range of opportunities it can offer to a variety of students from Marketing to Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.

I’m so grateful I get to continue working on the partnership as well as being offered the opportunity to develop my skills elsewhere in the Marketing and Recruitment team. In the next 12 months I hope to gain more experience in social media as well as PR and events.

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