Alumni Success – Gemma Gow

SSES Graduate Gemma Gow is on an internship with Northampton Saints Premiership Rugby Club

Gemma Gow

Gemma Gow graduated from School of Sport and Exercise Sciences with BSc Sport and Exercise Science in 2018. After this she completed a MSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Loughborough University. Gemma is now on an internship with Northampton Saints Premiership Rugby Club. We asked Gemma about her time at Kent, what she has done since and what she is doing now.

Why did you choose to specialise in nutrition?

I really enjoyed my second and third year nutrition modules so I spoke to Lucy Hale (Sport and Exercise Science Programme Director) about possible career options in this field as well as looking for work experience opportunities.

What is your role at Northampton Saints Premiership Rugby Club?

I lead the nutrition programme for the U18s and U16s academy. This includes writing food diaries, writing game day plans, holding workshops and contacting players to discuss their nutrition. I have improved my public speaking skills and my presentation skills. Part of my role is to translate research from journals into a real world setting and make it both interesting and engaging in the form of infographics.

I am in with the senior squad three times a week for training and game days, working under the lead nutritionist. I oversee the breakfast and lunches, as well as ensuring that players have access to the correct nutrition during the day. Providing education to the players in the form of pre and post-game nutrition posters is also a key part of my role. During sessions I run water for the players and aim to build good relationships with both players and coaches. It is such a good opportunity that I am so grateful for and feel like I have learnt a lot from it.

What extra experience have you gained outside of your studies?

At uni I was a student rep and a peer mentor. I have also been a course rep, sports event volunteer and open day helper. This experience allowed me to pad out my CV and spend time talking to different types of people which is important in a performance sport environment. As well as this I devoted a lot of my time to the University of Kent netball club as a team member, 1st team captain and ultimately club President. This allowed me to gain necessary leadership skills as well as people management and a good opportunity to socialise!

What are your top tips for current students?

  • Networking is key
  • Be prepared to work for free
  • Keep on top of current research
  • Look into career options early