Thursday 25 October 2012
Queen Mary student Anthony Schafer has recently completed a yearlong placement with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) for the ‘year in industry’ component of his BSc Business Computing with Industrial Experience degree. Anthony began his placement before the Games commenced, working on test events and acquiring new skills in Information Technology. Once the Games began, Anthony worked on a 350-person team that provided IT support at events across all of the Olympic venues. His team was responsible for the running and maintenance of 11,000 machines in over 35 Olympic venues. During his placement he received a promotion as a result of his motivation and hard work with his team to make the Games a success.
Anthony said that his continuously varying team structure was the most challenging aspect of his placement, but also the most exciting. As a result of his changing team, he travelled from venue to venue across London and worked with people from all around the world. While it was rewarding to meet many new people and make meaningful connections, it was challenging to quickly adapt to different environments and varying styles of professionalism. Anthony says he has gained valuable skills in time management, leadership, task prioritisation and communication, all of which have given him “a great boost in [his] personal and professional development.”
The most prominent highlight of Anthony’s placement was the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympic and Paralympic games. Anthony said it was incredibly gratifying because “everyone was working so hard to deliver the Games on time… several years of preparation paid off, and the whole world could see the amazing performance[s].” Anthony’s ‘year in industry’ placement was a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience as he was able to witness the Games firsthand, and even attend some of the sporting events. Additionally, he made many useful contacts from all over the world, and was offered interview invitations for upcoming Olympic events. This has inspired him to broaden the boundaries of his potential careers and work all over the world; he looks forward to exploring different countries and cities.
As one can imagine, being a part of London 2012 “felt like contributing to a global success.” Anthonywas incredibly proud that the result of his team’s hard work was something that the whole world was witnessing. For now, Anthony is glad to have resumed his studies at Queen Mary, and thinks that what he learned on his placement with LOCOG is not only valuable professionally, but academically as well. After graduation, Anthony would like to go to Sochi, Russia, where the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held. If he is unable to make it there, he hopes to carry on his studies with an MSc Degree.