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Sam Hopkinson

BA (Hons) Sport Development (2010) and MA Sport Management (2011)

“Sport has always been a huge part of my life; I’ve played various sports competitively from a young age alongside coaching at college/university age. As such, I had always hoped to work within the sports industry but felt that my professional skills were most suited to a career within a business environment. By undertaking these two degrees at UCLan, I was able to gain an insight into the sports marketplace as well as learn business management principles and skills required as a basis for a career in the industry.

I’m currently working as an Online Marketing Assistant at Manchester United Football Club - my role is very varied on a day-to-day basis, however, it is based around contributing to the formulation and implementation of marketing strategies across the Club's seven websites.

My work at Manchester United started with a three month internship with the Sponsor Servicing team, where I looked after various aspects of the sponsorship relationship between the club and three of the club's global sponsors. Following this, I was kept on and worked in this position for a further four months before gaining my current job in the Online Marketing team.

I think the thing that struck me the most about UCLan was the amount of time lecturers had for students outside of lectures and seminars. This offered a great opportunity to clear up any issues I had over the content of lectures, which very often only become clear when you try to utilise theories within work at a later date. Also, the amount of first-hand industry experience within the sports department meant that a great insight into the practical workings of organisations could be gained.

I would certainly recommend that anyone looking to get into the industry takes up study first, as the insight it gives you can be invaluable once you are working within it. It is also hugely important to get relevant experience whilst studying as this can be crucial for getting a foot through the door to an internship/first job.

Once you have gained a position within an organisation, it is crucial to show that you will have a positive impact on the business if kept on. This can be quite a daunting process involving contributing ideas and opinions with colleagues at all levels, however, you need to make sure your impact has been noticed if you are going to progress.”