Mixing your passion with the degree you’re studying is the ideal set up for most of us post-university. We spoke to Emily Brammeier who has done just that; she’s combined her love of cycling with her communications skills to create Brammeier Communications.
Could you give us a brief outline of what you do as a freelancer?
I have my own company in the cycling PR and Comms industry, Brammeier Communications. My current clients are Voxwomen; a women’s cycling TV show, Cyclevox; a cycling production company and the Africa Kit Appeal; a charity that collects and donates old cycling kit to young cyclists in Africa and Team Sunweb; a WorldTour professional cycling team. I manage my client’s communications, social media and PR often travelling to cover different races.
So far, what has been your freelancing highlight?
Earlier in the year I worked at La Course by Le Tour de France, held on the last day of Le Tour. The atmosphere was amazing and working with ASO (the organisers of Le Tour) was good fun! The work I do with the Africa Kit Appeal is definitely a highlight too. My brother, a professional cyclist, set the charity up at the end of 2015 after years of his old kit clogging up his wardrobe, so far we have donated over 1000KG of kit to children in Africa. It’s incredible to play a small part in making that happen.
Did you always want to work for yourself whilst you were at University?
To be honest I never thought of it as a serious option, I knew I wanted to work in cycling but I didn’t quite have a plan on how to get there. I went into business on my own pretty blind but I’m really lucky to have a great support system around me to guide me and help me through the process of setting up. It’s good to have someone you can call to ask your stupid questions too!
Did you choose to work for yourself straight from university or did you work somewhere else first? If you worked somewhere else first, what influenced your decision to start your business?
I worked at a restaurant and spent a couple of months chasing a few full time jobs in the cycling industry. I wasn’t successful and quickly realised that these jobs don’t pop up every week, especially when there aren’t an awful lot of full time roles in cycling PR worldwide. I didn’t want to wait around another year for a vacancy to appear so I decided to leave my job and start my own company. Its worked out better than I could’ve imagined, no two days work are the same and I’m often on the road working with different clients which is great fun.
Is your current career sector in line with what you studied at University?
I graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA in Media and Communications (Public Relations) so I’m doing well at staying on track so far!
Did your University discuss working for yourself as a viable option post-graduation?
We did a couple of mandatory modules in professional media practice which have proved to be really useful. They taught us how to market ourselves and we often had guest lectures with people who work in the media industry. All of my lecturers at BCU were brilliant and the support was always there, but at the time I wasn’t thinking too seriously about working for myself so probably didn’t take full advantage of what was on offer.
Would you encourage others to start a business?
Definitely, I absolutely love working for myself. It’s given me a new found confidence in my skills and abilities. For sure it has its difficult moments, but it all pays off in the end. You can follow whatever crazy ideas you like and the freedom of it all is amazing!
Is there anything you would change about your journey/career so far?
It would’ve been great if I could’ve got one of those jobs pretty early on in my career! But I’m a huge believer in that everything happens for a reason and I think I’ve learnt an invaluable amount over the past year as a result. I’m actually really happy with how things have turned out, I love having my own business.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My aspirations are fairly simple. I want to grow my business and progress further in the cycling Communications industry. I'm pretty happy with how things are going at the minute, especially now I am part of the communications department of a WorldTour cycling team.