UCLan sports journalism graduate, to Manchester United journalist
UCLan sports journalism graduate Ryan Grant bagged one of most sought-after jobs in the business as multimedia journalist to one of the world’s leading Premier League football clubs - Manchester United.
In what began as an internship with the club, armed with a wealth of experience, coupled with a UCLan sports journalism degree, Ryan was ready to take the world by storm and has since gone on to interview the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Zlatan Ibrahimović. He said: “I was quite lucky! I had already started my current role by the time I graduated, so this made the progression to more regular work much easier.”
Over the past four years, based at Manchester United’s iconic home ground of Old Trafford in Greater Manchester, Ryan has been writing and producing first-class news and feature content for all of the club’s digital platforms from the club's official website and social media pages, to its programme, magazine and television channel.
Breaking into the media industry is no easy feat and Ryan firmly believes that his decision to gain experience in a professional capacity early on played a key part in enabling him to fulfil his dream. He said:
“I actually started getting work experience as early as two or three years before applying to UCLan, and this is perhaps the best piece of advice I can offer to current students.
“I worked for my local paper, which gave me the chance to take on a fair bit of responsibility, before getting a placement at the Manchester Evening News.
He added: “Once at university, I found it easier to get placements, and went on to do work for FourFourTwo Magazine, the Guardian and Goal.com, among others. All of this led to an internship at Manchester United and things snowballed from there.”
Reflecting on his achievements, Ryan strongly believes that his time at university significantly enhanced both his life and career. He said: “Studying at UCLan was an unforgettable experience. Not only has it given me the platform to secure my dream job, I’ve made life-long friends and have countless memories from my time in Preston - from the practical and engaging work on the course, to the social side of the experience.
“An example of a good experience that came from UCLan was a guest lecture led by Andrew Jennings, the investigative journalist who famously exposed corruption within FIFA. I emailed him afterwards and ended up doing six months of research for him ahead of the London Olympics in 2012; It’s little things like that which can end up making a difference to your CV.
He added: “Without enrolling at UCLan, I think it would have been very difficult to end up in my current role as going to university has made me a more confident and social person and Charlie Lambert who was my course leader - I have a lot to thank him for!”
As a journalist for such a high-profile club, Ryan has enjoyed many extraordinary experiences and therefore finds it a struggle to pinpoint his greatest achievement. He said: “I keep changing my mind! I’m lucky enough to be in a working environment where big things are happening almost all the time and I’m proud to be part of that.
“If I had to choose, I think that reporting on my boyhood club in a Wembley final is right up there, as well as interviewing some of my heroes.”
In his advice to those striving for a career in sports journalism, Ryan said: “Experience is absolutely vital! Get your name out there and foot in the door nice and early, apply for everything and anything, because the worst response you can get is a simple ‘no’.
“After graduation, I continued to build upon my list of contacts, something I would recommend to any student.
He added: “More than anything, though, do something you enjoy - I can’t stress that enough!”
By Donna Sladen