The world’s best golfers showcased their skills at the Women’s British Open in August and UCFB Etihad Campus student Emma Anderson had a unique opportunity to gain invaluable work experience at the tournament.

The BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student, a keen golfer herself who is an ambassador for England Golf and Golf Foundation, worked with the media team during the event from 2-5 August at the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club near Blackpool, and saw Briton Georgia Hall go on to win the competition. Before the tournament, Emma also had the incredible opportunity to take to the course in the Pro-Am tournament, playing alongside Jodi Ewart-Shadoff. Here, Emma tells us about the experience…

How did the chance to work at the Women’s British Open come about?

We regularly get emails from the Employability & Enrichment team here at UCFB with opportunities in sport, but when this one came through it really caught my eye! As a golfer myself, I felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss out on so I sent in my application straight away.

Emma and her playing partners in the Pro-Am, including Jodi Ewart-Shadoff.

What was your role there and what did it entail?

I was working for the Ladies European Tour media team doing all sorts of things. Before the tournament started, many of the big players do press conferences and so I started off by writing up several of those for the Tour’s website, including one on the eventual champion Georgia Hall. Further through the week I started to produce more content for social media by going out on the course and watching the action and grabbing quick words with players in the media mixed zone after they had finished. It was quite reactive work, we all had to pay attention to what was going on. One of my favourite players, Azahara Muñoz, shot the lowest score on the Friday and so I went to get a few comments from her on her round and her battle with Hashimoto’s disease. It was such good fun to interview a player who I have admired for as long as I have been watching golf. On the Sunday I had a simple task, to follow round the final group and collect content for social media. To be that close to Georgia Hall’s win was incredible, and to know I was capturing moments that would be seen all over the world was amazing!

What did you learn that you can bring back into the classroom, and what have you been able to take from the classroom in to the work place?

I learnt so much across the week, but especially that you can vaguely plan how you will cover these kinds of events, but the unpredictability means those plans could have to change. I also learnt a lot about the industry. I was amazed by how supportive the whole media centre was to each other, even though they are working for rival organisations. They were all so encouraging towards me, kept giving me interesting little anecdotes they had gathered about players and gave me lots of useful tips about getting into the industry and what to do when you get there. It was great for my personal development.

Emma taking part in the Pro-Am event.

As a keen golfer yourself, explain the experience of playing in the Pro-Am?

Playing in the Pro-Am was an incredible experience, even if having crowds watching made me a little nervous! Playing with Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, an English Solheim Cup Player, was a great experience for me both as a golfer and someone who aspires to work in sport. I was posting the highlights of my day onto the Tour’s Instagram, and she couldn’t have been more helpful to me in doing this. I also played alongside the chairman of the Ladies European Tour, Mark Lichtenhein, and it was great to gain an insight into the commercial and operations side of running a large sports organisation like he does. I have had plenty of incredible experiences through playing golf, including playing Royal Liverpool last year with the UCFB Golf Team, but playing Royal Lytham & St Annes in major championship conditions was something else altogether. I even got a few compliments from the crowd which was nice, and Jodi’s caddy gave me a couple of pointers to improve my game. Overall it was an incredible week, with long days and hard work, but I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend a few days!