It’s not every day you get an Olympic gold medallist doing agency experience at a marketing company.
So when Team GB hockey star Nicola White turned up for work at Blackpool-based Happy Creative, the staff knew they had to put in a winning performance.
On an historic night in Rio this summer, the 28-year-old scored the equaliser in normal time as Team GB beat the Netherlands on penalties.
The Oldham-born forward also has a bronze medal from the London Games.
She has been a Team GB hockey player for the last eight years.
Away from the sticks and the pitch, Nicola has a keen interest in marketing and was invited to spend a day shadowing the experts at Happy Creative – on Preston New Road – by director, Simon Brooke.
Nicola said she wanted to visit Happy Creative to give her an insight into life after sport and find out whether it could be her next potential career path.
She said: “After a crazy summer focusing on Rio and an even crazier few weeks with parades and having my life turned around following Team GB’s success, it was great to spend some time with another interest of mine.
“I have always been interested in the world of marketing and after meeting Simon, he suggested he came and shadowed the ‘Happies’ for a day.
“It was fascinating to see all the different fields they work in and creative minds developing ideas for their clients.
“After completing two Olympic cycles, naturally it is sensible to start to consider alternative careers for life after sport and visiting Happy Creative gave me an opportunity to gain experience first-hand of what the working world looks and feels like.
“This is only one of a handful of experiences I have gained outside of the athlete ‘bubble’.
“I have been a Great Britain hockey player for eight years and have adapted to the highly intense, competitive and unique lifestyle you must embrace to be able to make it to the top.
“We certainly do live in what athletes call a ‘bubble’ – which is an environment built by the values and behaviours we collectively choose as a group of 31 girls and staff.
“Essentially, it creates a virtual barrier between us and the outside world and makes our programme very close-knit and focused on the visions we want to achieve together.
“This feeling is at its most powerful, during a tournament like the Olympic games and one that makes the experience even more special.
“Not only are we close as a GB hockey team, the bubble expands to being part of Team GB at an Olympics.
“You meet so many other amazing athletes and are part of something so much bigger.
“I was surprised at how many skills I have learned through sport and in particular our elite training programme, that overlap.
“The Happy team was so welcoming, energetic and experienced and they really do live up to their name.”