Say hello to one of our Great Barrier Challenge crew members


Stephanie Wicken, a part time MBA student at our Medway Campus, is one of the team taking part in the challenge as part of our university team.

Alongside Claire Chalmers, Liz Laurence, Abigail Rickard, April Moore and Clare Tubridy, Stephanie is aiming to raise at least £2,000 for the AHOY centre in Deptford, a charity which supports disadvantaged children, young vulnerable people and those with disabilities.  

The Great Barrier Challenge is taking place on 30 September and our student and staff team will row 8.5 miles from Crossness, through the Thames Barrier and finish at Greenwich.  

They'd welcome your support and have asked you to guess how long it will take them to complete their row. They've already raised 90% of their target, so every pound really does count.  

We caught up with Stephanie ahead of the challenge and asked about her time at Greenwich, what advice she'd give to other students and why she's chosen to take part in the challenge.

Who are you, and what did you study at Greenwich?

"I'm Steph, 24 and live in Kent. I call myself a professional academic as I am yet to leave school yet having started in 1997, but have combined my higher education with working in the construction industry in a variety of roles since 2010.

"I began studying at the Medway Campus of Greenwich back in 2014, on the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering programme. I completed the undergraduate in 2017 with a first class degree and the Engineering & Science faculty award for best academic performance and decided to continue my studies at Greenwich, enrolling in a part time Executive MBA from September 2018. 


"I'm currently entering my second year of the MBA and enjoying the contrast it's given me to my engineering background as well as insight into larger business operations (as I currently work in an SME)."

What advice would you give to students at Greenwich?

If you have the chance to do a year in industry on your course, go for it. It'll not only allow you to try out what you've learned, but it'll also help you realise whether you'll enjoy working in the industry after graduating. It's a lot easier to transition between industries at graduate level, and while a year feels like a lot in your early 20s, by picking something that is right for you, you will come out so much better off in the end.

What sports do you play, and at what level?

"I play ice hockey and netball regularly. Netball I play in a recreational league but I play ice hockey at a higher level. I'm currently trying out for the British Universities GB National Team for ice hockey ahead of the world Universiade games in Russia.

"Prior to playing ice hockey I used to sail at a national level and we used to do a lot of rowing as part of the training. I'm nowhere near as fit as I used to be, but as I have a personal connection with the AHOY Centre, I thought, why not give it a go?"


What's your proudest sporting achievement (so far)?

"Without a doubt that would be back in 2009, when I was ranked 4th U17 female at the world sailing championship in Japan. It was so unexpected, but nothing beats being stood on the stage when the flags are being raised and the national anthem is being played at the closing ceremony. It was the first time in my life that I was truly proud of one of my achievements."

And finally, do you have any words of wisdom for the rest of the AHOY crew?

"Make sure you put in the training and get some gloves for the day. The oars won't have the nice foam padding of a rowing machine and nobody likes blisters!"

To support our crew please make donations on their fundraising page. If you're guessing how long they'll take to complete the challenge, please make a minimum donation of £2 on the fundraising page adding SWEEPSTAKE with your time in the format 00.00.00 minutes.