Summer of Success: Alex Partridge
1 January 2013
If, like most of the British public, you spent last summer glued to your television set you may have caught Alex Partridge, Henley Business School alumnus, win a 2012 Olympic Bronze.
If, like most of the British public, you spent last summer glued to your television set you may have caught Alex Partridge, Henley Business School alumnus, win a 2012 Olympic Bronze in Rowing, one of the 65 medals Britain achieved in London.
So how did it feel being part of such a historic win? "It was the first time I felt an overwhelming sense of pride, not just of myself, but being British" he said. "It wasn't just the racing either, it was just being part of the Olympics in London. I had the opportunity to say to my young daughter in years to come, that I was there."
For Partridge, this summer was the realisation of a long-running dream. As a 16-year old watching the 1996 Olympics he was inspired by seeing Steve Redgrave "push himself to the absolute limit, and I wanted to be able to live my life pushing myself, searching for its limits".
Partridge's natural talent shone through and he began competing professionally, winning his first medal, a bronze, in the 1998 World Junior Championships. Partridge carried on to win 11 Gold World Cup medals, 3 World Championships and was named as rowing's Olympic Athlete of the Year in 2010.
Amazingly, Partridge was studying for an MBA at Henley Business School whilst in training for his Olympic success. "I knew that studying for an MBA while training for the Olympics wasn't going to be easy. The personal coaching in my… programme helped me prepare mentally for the Games. I was a much better athlete whilst doing the MBA".
So how does he see his MBA fitting in with his career as a rower? "I think the qualities that make a great leader in business are very similar to what makes a top sportsman: determination, willpower, utter belief in oneself.
Like sportsmen, business leaders need to lead by example and have the temperament to make tough decisions."
Having won an Olympic medal, Partridge's mind is turning to new opportunities. "I am not going to carry on rowing full time" he said. "I am keen to explore new adventures".
If Partridge's achievements of the past year are anything to judge by, his future career will be one to watch.