Getting to know Sarah King
On the final day of our #NationalCareersWeek look into our incredible team here, we feature Sarah King, our Marketing Executive, and how she came to work at Newbury Racecourse.
When did you start work at Newbury Racecourse?
I started at Newbury in July 2015 as part of a yearlong placement halfway through my Marketing Degree at Liverpool John Moores University.
What did you do prior to working here?
Just a carefree undergrad… I spent some time before starting my degree working in a few agency jobs, I wasn’t 100% sure which route I should take so used these jobs to work out what I enjoyed. The most entertaining was responding to magazine articles as Peppa Pig! I also did a stint at a mystery shopping company which was fascinating, I got to see the flip side of marketing and it ultimately made me decide a Marketing degree was the path I wanted to go down.
In terms of horse racing experience I had very little, other than the odd student job being a beer keg girl at Aintree – being 5ft and carrying half my weight in beer sounded more fun than it was on a busy National day!
What was your first job here?
I started out as the intern, assisting the Conference and Events (C&E) side of the business with Marketing before they had a dedicated C&E marketeer. I found this placement myself after a chance encounter at a football game, it wasn’t advertised and I believe it might never have been a role at all if I hadn’t asked if they’d consider taking a placement student for 2015. The best bit about being at a small business was that I was treated as a ‘proper’ employee rather than just an intern. When I look back I was so fortunate to have been given the chance to get stuck in with real projects that meant something to the business, my proudest were working on the collateral for the new Lodge Hotel and helping to re-map the C&E marketing plan.
What is your current job here?
I never really left, I travelled to and from Liverpool weekly to do a day a week in the office – everyone thought I was crazy. But it paid off and I am now here full time as Marketing Executive working on the racing side of the business. I particularly enjoy the planning and project style of a race day, I think everyone who works here would say the same, the thrill of a successful day is worth the exhaustion.
What advice would you have for someone looking to get into a similar line of work?
Don’t waste those early years, do your best to get as much experience as possible. Also if your doing a degree with the option of a placement, I can’t recommend it enough; if your struggling to find a placement with the corporate giants and on the verge of giving up, look outside the box for small businesses who might not have considered offering a placement before you asked. You will certainly get out what you put in and you never know, there might be a job at the end.