Thursday, 13 November 2014

Riku takes scenic route to Warriors

From Finland to Wigan, via Cyprus and Preston – it's a long journey, but one which helped programme graduate Riku Jokela secure an internship role with one of the UK's top sports clubs.

Whilst studying International Business at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (VAMK) in Finland, Riku joined an exchange programme to Cyprus which enabled him to add some Sports Business qualifications to his CV.

Riku said: "I realised the combination of sports and business would be a match made in heaven for me, as sports had always played an important role in my life.

"I applied for four Universities in the UK, but had the feeling that UCLan would be the best option for my Master's as the course focused on sports marketing.

"In addition, an active communication from the course leader played a pivotal role and I felt like I was really wanted on board. The course was fantastic with interesting modules which put emphasis on the fundamental aspects of sports marketing, professional development and strategic thinking for sports managers.

"The tutors were always there for us - whenever I had any questions they always had time to have a little chat with me. I particularly enjoyed the Consultancy Project module which enables students to make a difference in a real-life context.

"The course was really intensive and challenging, but eventually I was able to create a clear study plan which resulted in great academic results. I feel I became much more determined and disciplined, as I was also working at Wigan Warriors twice a week which was not always easy as I was a full-time student at the same time."

Riku has worked as a Marketing Coordinator for the Warriors since December 2013 and is currently overseeing a project which aims to enhance the value of season tickets. He is looking to establish partnerships with local businesses and is trying to find ways to reward Warriors' loyal season ticket holders.

He added: "I was honoured when I got an opportunity to work at one of the biggest sports club in England. Working here has given me a deep insight into what it actually takes to work at a big, successful sports organisation.

"It has been such a great experience to see how things are planned and carried out in practice. I've tried to learn as much as possible from my bosses and everyone who works at the Club. In addition, working at matchdays has opened my eyes in terms of seeing how many things are going on and how carefully Super League home matches are planned in advance.

"I hope I'm able to find a good job after having graduated from UCLan. The combination of my Master's and experience at Wigan Warriors will hopefully open many doors in the future. I'm constantly monitoring job prospects and I'm willing to go to work anywhere in the world. I'm convinced there might be some good opportunities for me in Finland, as you basically cannot study sports marketing there.

"I really enjoyed my Master's studies at UCLan. The campus is a really great one and there are some fantastic opportunities for students, such as UCLan Sports Arena or Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre."

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Master's graduate progresses into senior teaching role

Our Master's programme provides a platform to a variety of careers in the Sports Management industry.

Catherine Elliott started her Master's soon after becoming a teacher, after realising she wanted to teach sport at a University.

She joined UCLan on a part-time basis, juggling a near full-time role at Preston's College with family life, but Catherine says her hard work has definitely paid off.

She commented: "There was a small cohort and we were really supportive of each other. I still keep in touch with a small group of friends I made at UCLan.

"The teaching staff were very helpful and understanding towards my work/life situation – they all provided excellent support and feedback and my writing and approach to coursework improved throughout the course.

"I even surprised myself by securing high grades in Economics and Sports Finance despite hating Maths! Sue Minton was my dissertation supervisor and was very supportive. I really struggled with trying to find the time to write, culminating in having to hide in Anglesey for a month on my summer holiday to get my dissertation written, but Sue was never more than a phone call away."

During her time on the course Catherine took part in a weekend visit to Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centre, where she was able to see the practicalities of managing a large sporting facility which caters for several sports at an elite level.

After graduating, Catherine moved into programme leader roles in further education, before becoming Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). She has also just started her PhD researching volunteering in sport.

Catherine added: "I found the course to be really useful as it looked at the wider picture of Sports Management and I was able to link the coursework to case studies and real life situations at my place of work.

"It also enforced my opinion that as an academic member of staff we need to be involved with sport, so I volunteer at my daughters gymnastic club and at other events - the most recent being the Sainsbury's 2014 School Sport Games as a team attaché."

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Team building - North Wales 2014

Students from the Division recently enjoyed a team building trip to North Wales as part of UCLan's Frontier Education programme.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

What's that Tech you're wearing?

Apple's triple product announcement - big screen iPhones, the Apple Watch and the Apple Pay payments system – caused a media frenzy around the world this week.

With wearable technology developing at a rapid rate, there are numerous new innovations available to consumers.

New Course Leader for Sports Business Management, Tony Keaveny, has produced a presentation, using content from Fjord, containing useful links to the latest must-have products.

What do you think about these latest developments? Lets us know on Twitter.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Course Leader joins Burnley Leisure Trust

Dr Sue Minten was recently appointed as a Community Director/Trustee for Burnley Leisure Trust.

The Trust went live in April 2014 and has taken over the management and operation of St Peter's Leisure Centre, Padiham Leisure Centre and the Mechanics Theatre from Burnley Council.

In addition to providing arts and cultural development services, the Trust will also run sports development & play services and healthy lifestyles programmes. Sue has been helping Trust managers with data analysis and research projects within the Trust.

Councillor John Harbour, the Council's executive member for leisure and culture, said: "The project to establish the partnership has gone extremely well and I'm confident Burnley Leisure will not only continue to provide excellent leisure services for Burnley residents, but will develop a wider range of services that will further improve the leisure and cultural offer in the borough."

Charles Green, the chair of Burnley Leisure, commented: "It has been clear from the start that the Council wanted to establish a successful Trust and we are keen to meet that aim and excel in inspiring active, creative and healthier communities and provide even more opportunities to enrich people's lives.

"The new Trust board includes members with a wide range of experiences and interests and I'm confident that along with staff within the Trust, we will ensure that the services going forward will continue to be of the highest quality and focus on the needs of residents and visitors to Burnley."

The Trust will work in close partnership with the Council to continue to provide a high quality and accessible service for the people of Burnley. It will bring added benefits to the town with new freedoms and flexibilities around how it operates the service it provides and the resources it can access.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Students support Derian House charity

UCLan Sports Business Management undergraduates joined their colleagues from the Sports Development & Enterprise programme to raise nearly £1,500 for Derian House.

As part of their TL3082 Sport and Leisure Events module, the students organised a series of events including a casino night, a pub quiz and football, pool & table-tennis tournaments to raise money for The Lodge.

Opened in 2010, this 4 bedded unit assists with the continuity of care of young people accessing their children's service. Derian Lodge caters for the unique needs of young people aged 16-25 with a life-limiting illness.

Lucy Sawdon-Collings from Derian House praised the students' efforts: "As I explained when I first met everyone, the hospice relies almost entirely on donations to continue to offer the support and care we give to families throughout the North West.

"You can rest assured the money raised will definitely make a difference. A huge thank you on behalf of everyone at Derian House - it's an absolutely fantastic amount and we truly do appreciate every penny."

UCLan Sports Business Management & Marketing would like to thank Lucy for her tremendously helpful input in assessing and offering feedback on the feasibility study presentations and also for the support offered to groups on an individual basis.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Internship leads to United role

Sam Hopkinson
UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers.

After graduating through our programme Sam Hopkinson undertook an internship with Manchester United FC before securing a full-time position. Sam explains how this came about:

"Sport has always been a huge part of my life, having 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 my professional skills were most suited to a career within a business environment.

"By taking my two courses 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. The course enabled me to start a three-month internship at Manchester United FC.

"Following this, I was kept on and have progressed into a position with the Online Marketing Team, with the job based around contributing to the formulation and implementation of marketing strategies across the Club's seven websites.

"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 a great insight into the practical workings of organisations could be gained. I would certainly recommend 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. The insight into the industry I gained at UCLan has been very useful in understanding how different parts of the Club work.

"Also, the chance to complete a year-long placement at Bolton Wanderers during my Master's almost certainly gave me an advantage when gaining an internship at Manchester United."

Monday, 24 March 2014

Students attend showpiece conference

First year Sport Business Management undergraduates were invited to attend the recent Leisure & Fitness exchange leadership conference at Middleton Arena, Manchester.

The conference included presentations from leaders at Fitpro, Technogym and Alliance Leisure. The event provided students with the opportunity to see what current leadership thinking is in the leisure and fitness industry, but also the chance to network with sport and leisure managers.

Student Rachael Durband said: "Everyone was really welcoming and we made a lot of contacts within the industry. A couple of these have even offered us some work experience within their facilities."

The group made a big impression on the organisers, with Burnley Leisure's Neil Hutchinson commenting they had represented UCLan well and had posed some excellent questions. Rachael is pictured with Tony Majakas, Vice-President of Technogym (2nd right) and fellow students Shawn Kaseke and Sam Tompkins.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Kazan links develop

Ingrid (left) with Kazan students at Manchester City
The recent visit of staff and students from the Volga State Institute for Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism in Kazan is the result of a growing relationship between the Institute and UCLan.

This began in 2012 with joint live video lectures and seminars between UCLan's Sue Minten & Ingrid Griffiths and the Sport Management course team in Kazan.

These provided students with a fascinating insight into the similarities and differences between policy and provision for sport in the UK and Russia.

In March 2013 Sue and Ingrid were invited to Kazan to teach at the institute for a week and to view the preparations for the World Students games which Kazan hosted in summer 2013. The live videos and seminars continued into 2013/14, while there will be a return visit by UCLan Sport Business Management students later this year.

Veronica Gayvoronskaya, Volga State Institute International Coordinator, commented: "Our students said it was a marvellous experience. They were especially impressed with your multinational academic environment - such a uniting spirit."

A selection of images from Sue & Ingrid's visit to Kazan and the subsequent return trip can be viewed here.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Internship boosts student's career prospects

Work placements and internships give our students a unique opportunity to put their studies into context. James Pattison's role at UCFB Burnley exposed him to business practices at some of football's top venues and he thinks this will greatly help his future job prospects.

James told us more about his placement: "UCFB Burnley is an enthralling place to work and take up an internship. During my time there I was also able to see behind the scenes at Wembley Stadium and St George's Park, as well as attending the North West Football Awards.

"I met a variety of people from the footballing world including commentators, managers, chairmen and players. I even got to meet Sir Bobby Charlton and have my picture taken with him! I also attended Sean Dyche's first press conference as Burnley FC manager which was a fantastic experience.

"UCFB also put me through my Prozone Match Analysis Level One. This was another tool I could add to my CV and gave me an in-depth look at match performance analysis using professional software.

"My main roles included working with the accommodation and facilities team. I also worked alongside the marketing team and I took a big involvement in running the men's football team at UCFB.

"The placement gave me first-hand experience of real-life situations and pressure within a work environment, while adding value to my studies at UCLan.

"When my internship finished, UCFB were keen to keep me on board and offered me a paid summer job, with the opportunity to come back and work for them once I've finished university.

"The biggest plus I believe about taking a placement is that it strengthens your CV immensely, often placing you above people you'll be competing with for a job."

Monday, 13 January 2014

Ben develops skills with The Golf Trust

Ben Lawrence (on right) with Trust colleagues
We advise all our students to undertake a work placement to help their future career prospects. Ben Lawrence secured an internship with The Golf Trust, London, and believes the experience will be invaluable.

He took time out from his busy schedule to tell us more: "My placement has given me hands-on experience and taught me a considerable amount about the day-to-day running of sporting organisations.

"I've learnt how to deal with situations in a real life environment while improving my social, teamwork and communication skills.

"I've also gained a huge insight into the world of disability sport, which has opened my eyes to all the possibilities out there. Some of the people I met and worked with were hugely inspirational.

"The Golf Trust aims to remove the barriers to participation and provides pathways to people wanting to play golf. It's mainly outreach focused, taking the sport to people working in sports centres, parks, community centres, hospitals, schools, rehabilitation clinics and many more.

"It's aimed at both mentally and/or physically disabled people, with some focus on young children and growing the sport. The Trust highlights the inclusive values of golf, not only and as a sport, but a perfect low impact activity with added social benefits.

"During my time with here I've organised fundraising events, developed funding proposals and bids and helped build partnerships with venues and customers. Every day provided different experiences and challenges which helped develop me as an employee and an individual."