When Maddie Edwards graduated in 2020, it wasn’t quite how she had planned. Having completed her degree in International Business at Loughborough university, she was looking forward to taking a well-earned break from a very busy final year of university and going travelling around South-East Asia.
However, with covid putting paid to those plans, Maddie was able to bring forward her start date and get stuck into her new role as a Graduate consultant at Principle One. She joined us at the start of the summer, working remotely with occasional office days, meeting many of her new colleagues picnicking in the park rather than around a meeting room table. While it wasn’t quite business as usual, she impressed us from the very start with her drive, focus and strong team working skills.
When Maddie first interviewed with us, it was clear that she gave 100% to everything that she committed herself to and over the last two years she has thrown herself into a range of different roles, undertaking business analysis work, providing project management support to the Home Office’s Accelerated Capability Framework and now working as a Scrum Master for the design and delivery of a major new information handling platform for UK Law Enforcement.
Alongside her academic achievements, her passion for handball came across during that interview; both as a player and as a coach. During her time at university, she coached the Men’s First Handball team and also acted as vice chair for the university handball club. As a player, she was able to progress her career to national level, representing Great Britain for the first time in April 2019 to win silver in the Elite cup tournament in Hungary.
In 2020, the covid pandemic put a stop to Maddie’s international career and even to training with her team. “After training so frequently and looking forward to all the upcoming tournaments and matches with both Great Britain handball and my Loughborough team, it was a shock to the system to not be allowed to train with them all for the foreseeable future. Over the 18 months before indoor sport was permitted again, I was only able to train twice. That’s when I realised how much I missed playing the sport and was very keen to get back to it.”
We’ve been delighted in the Principle One team to support her this year as the opportunities to play have begun to open up; the determination that Maddie has shown to earn her place in the squad for the World Championships this November has been incredible and she has given up her weekends and holiday time to work consistently towards that goal. International tournaments for handball may not have the glamour of more well-known sports, but for Maddie, both the wait and the hard work have been worth it.
“I have always had to ensure that one part of my life does not take over the other; starting a new job can often be daunting, so the fact I was welcomed into Principle One so warmly made that transition to full time working life much easier. Since I joined, I have had the opportunity to work across a number of projects and gain a variety of experience to really help me develop my career across business analysis, delivery and project management.
From December 2021, we started getting back to national team training once a month, often travelling between Liverpool and London. This would be entire weekends of up to 12 hours of training, then resuming work on the Monday morning. I have really appreciated the support I have received from Principle One throughout this; being able to work from home after camps or being flexible about taking holiday when representing GB in overseas training camps and tournaments. Being able to balance work and training has been difficult in places, but I am so grateful that I work for a business that is more than happy to not only support me through this but also act as a sponsor for the women’s GB team.”
Over the last two years, it’s been clear to us that the qualities that handball has helped Maddie develop are just as applicable to her day job. The teamwork skills she has learnt through handball are intrinsic to working effectively as a consultant, valuing and playing to the strengths of the rest of your team and working closely with them to overcome their weaknesses.
Good luck in Turkey, Maddie! The whole team at Principle One are rooting for you!