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Hugo Milner is a professional athlete and represents Great Britain in Triathlon. He studied Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard University and graduated in 2021.  

About a year ago, Hugo joined Portas as a Researcher in the Knowledge team. He has since left Portas to pursue his career as a full-time athlete, aiming to compete in the Olympics next year.  

We sat down with him recently to talk about his sporting career, and his time at Portas.  

Born and raised in Derby, UK, Hugo has always had a passion for sports and fitness. At the age of eight, he started running cross country and went on to represent England and Great Britain since the age of 14. Recently, Hugo made the transition to triathlon. "It's a lot of hard work but hopefully I can achieve my goals of going to the Olympic Games in 2024 and 2028," he says. 

Hugo believes that it takes a combination of both physical and mental preparation. "Physically it's demanding doing any sport to a high level, you're going to have to push your body a lot further than you think. At the same time, your body follows your mind. If you're not strong mentally, then your body is not going to be able to cope with the demands of training," he explains. 

To prepare for competitions, Hugo has a specific routine in place. "I do a lot of training and then the week of the race - or a week before the race - I bring the training load down. It gives my body a chance to recover and feel good on race day," he says. He also emphasises the importance of managing stress and eliminating distractions before race day so he can focus on the competition. 

For Hugo, meticulous organisation is paramount: “I would do it in an Excel sheet and have Monday to Sunday in a table. Everything is planned out almost by the hour every week”. He emphasises that failure is part of the process: “there are going to be times – weeks, days – where it is a real struggle. But you are also going to have some good days. You need to persevere and keep doing what you are doing and do it well – even if you face setbacks,”. 

Hugo's experience working at Portas was a positive one that supported his sporting demands. "Working at Portas was great. To achieve my sporting goals, it was essential for me to work on a more remote basis because of my training regime and base location. I'm thankful to everyone at Portas for allowing me to do that," he says. 

Hugo appreciates the flexibility that Portas offered him. It allowed him to balance his demanding training schedule with his corporate career. "I could not have commuted every day to London and still do what I what I did," he says. 

Not only was the company understanding of his needs, but they were also supportive of his goals and aspirations. "Everyone at Portas was so supportive of what I was trying to achieve. And in fact, I met lots of people that were very interested in athletics themselves. It was great to meet so many people that are so invested in sports and working in sports all the time. It is a great opportunity to network with people with similar interests and understand what it takes to compete in sport to a high level," he adds. 

Hugo's experience at Portas is a testament to how the company supports its employees in achieving their goals and aspirations, whether it's in their corporate careers or in their personal pursuits.  

For anyone interested in a career in sports and consulting, Hugo's story serves as an example of how it is possible to achieve success in both areas with the right support and mindset.