• Alison Harvey

    TOTE IRELAND

    I was very lucky to start my internship with Tote Ireland at the end of May; it was a very busy time with the Galway Festival just around the corner. The selection process involved two interviews and I was thrilled to be offered a position with the Tote marketing team. 

    With my family home in Cork situated between a riding school and trainer's yard it was inevitable that I was going to end up with a passion for horses. I have competed in all equestrian disciplines, and grew to love the speed of hunter trialling and hunting.  I found myself applying for R.A.C.E (Racing Academy Centre of Education), where we were put through our paces in an unforgettable ten months. I was very fortunate to have been assigned to Michael Halford's yard, where I learned a great deal about the racing industry and held an apprentice license. After two and a half years I made the decision to return to education to do my leaving cert. Like so many others, when leaving school I was unsure of what I wanted to study but knew it was going to be something business related. I completed a post leaving cert certification in Event Management and PR, and am about to head into my final year in Cork Institute of Technology studying Business Studies and Marketing.

    I read about the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) internship online and it was something I was very interested in, as I knew it would extend my knowledge and give me a greater insight into the horse racing industry. On arrival for my first day, I was greeted by Aine Corcoran, who gave me a tour of the building and introduced me to the rest of the Tote team. For the first week I shadowed Multimedia Executive, Emma Brennan, who has been a major help to me throughout my internship.  My duties on a daily basis include: management of Tote's social media, regular updates of content on the Tote website, running online competitions and promotions, creating content for the weekly newsletter and voucher order preparations. I have also been involved in various projects, such as SEO, customer research, and planning for the Galway Festival.  It was really interesting to attend the planning meetings as the team formulated their plans for the various audiences online and on-track, to determine what promotions we would run. 

    Tote sponsored the full race card on Wednesday of the Galway Races, with the feature race the thetote.com Galway Plate. I attended Galway that day and it was a great opportunity to see how Tote operates on course and I was able to give a helping hand where needed. I enjoyed seeing all the hard work that had been done in the weeks leading up to Galway come to life at the Festival. Seeing the designs on a large scale showed how important attention to detail is in the planning and preparation for such a major event. 

    I feel very privileged to have been given this opportunity and have enjoyed it immensely. As a result of this placement my communication skills have improved, I have a greater insight into how a marketing team operates and my knowledge of the racing industry has grown. I have learned how to use various new computer programs that will no doubt be of benefit to me in the future. I would like to thank everyone in Tote Ireland for making me feel like part of the team, especially Aine Corcoran, Emma Brennan and Eamon Moran for helping me over the past few months.

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