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Alumni

Sam Brand

Career Path: Professional Cyclist, Team Novo Nordisk
Location: UK

After graduating, I stepped into a role at the largest Quantity Surveying practice in the UK in Gardiner and Theobald. I had previously completed a placement test with the Newcastle branch of the business and was set to continue this. During my fantastic time at Northumbria University I was part of the Triathlon team and twice competed at World Championships (Age Group) as well as one European Championship. Towards the end of my first month in my new position, an opportunity came up to switch from Triathlon to Cycling as I was still training alongside working full-time with the hope to go to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

I took the plunge and jumped straight into full time cycling with Team Novo Nordisk Development Team. Moving to the USA in January 2016, was a steep learning curve and I became a Stagiaire, trainee, for the Professional Team in July 2017, signing my first professional contract in 2018. Since then I have raced two Commonwealth Games and numerous World Tour races including the prestigious Milan San Remo on three occasions. Team Novo Nordisk is the world's first all-diabetes professional cycling team with the ambition to inspire, educate and empower everyone around the world affected by diabetes to truly set out on the mission of driving change in diabetes globally.

Sam Brand

What are you doing now?

I continue now to race for Team Novo Nordisk, having done so since 2016. Aiming to change my part of the world everyday.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

The fantastic community and homely nature of the city. I felt settled from day one having visited prior to the commencement of my degree. I love Northumbria and the fantastic city. 

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

It was such a diverse course, and diverse perspectives with a multitude of backgrounds and experience. It was the best environment to learn in. I couldn’t have hoped for better. 

How connected was your course with industry?

It was brilliantly connected and as mentioned, I was able to complete an industry placement within Newcastle. 

If you took on a placement during your course how did you feel this helped you in your career/ with your studies?

It helped my not only in my final year of studies but I’m my life. I gained valuable experiences that have lasted with me in all walks of life.

What was the best thing about your course?

The people I met certainly made it a fantastic experience but the range of perspectives, industry personnel as well as support meant that I was able to gain a wide range of experience both through my lectures and teachers but also my peers.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

Studying at Northumbria provided me not only with a wonderful educational experience but the extracurricular opportunities truly gave me an edge in meeting other like minded individuals. This was key in developing life skills. 

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

How to problem solve. We worked in groups throughout the four years and also on my placement. This knowledge and understanding of others if a skill I rely on everyday.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

The city, the people and the whole feeling of community. 

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

What are you waiting for. I wouldn’t want to recommend anywhere else. 

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Love. Community. Change. 

For more information about me visit:

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