Rhianna Dineen

Whilst in school, I knew I wanted to get into work as soon as possible and a family friend who ran a restaurant on a match-day at Ashton Gate Stadium let me know that they were always hiring waiting staff.

I applied for a job whilst still studying my GCSEs with the full intention of studying my A-Levels and working towards becoming an aerospace engineer. Having achieved 2 A*s, 4 As and 4 Bs, I went on to study Maths, Further Maths and Physics at A-level. Unfortunately, I developed severe anxiety and found it difficult to attend classes so started distance learning and eventually had a break with the intention of starting again the following September. In the meantime, I still felt confident at work and had switched from working in the restaurant to working in the bars around the stadium. I’ve never particularly been interested in the football or the rugby but I fell in love with the matchday atmosphere and the passion shared by the fans. As my confidence grew, I requested more hours and picked up some casual work in the cash office at the stadium. Our cash controller at the time moved roles and I took on her job as a part-time role at the age of 17; whilst managing one of our busiest bars on a match-day. September soon came round and I realised I was already working towards a career I loved; so I asked our HR department if they would let me do an apprenticeship in accounting. They agreed, and I attained my assistant accountant qualifications. Timing was again in my favour; and an opening came up in our finance department as purchase ledger clerk for the stadium; so I applied for it and was successful but had to give up working the match-days to focus my time on the new job. Once settled, I signed up to do agency work and picked up shifts in various pubs & bars around Bristol, meeting some wonderful people along the way. Since then, I’ve taken on a lot more in the accounts department and currently look after credit control, purchase invoices and daily transactions; and am currently studying my level 4 professional diploma in accounting with a view to study CIMA and become a chartered accountant in the future. I also work between 20 and 35 hours at a local pub and love socialising with the locals and feeling part of a community.