Jed Pearl recently graduated from the MSc Sport Management programme at UCFB Wembley. Upon completing the programme, Jed successfully applied for an internship at the Middlesex Football Association, one of the many county FAs that help govern English football. Here, Jed tells us about the experience and what he learned in the role…

What was the role you had at Middlesex and what did it entail? 

The role I had with the Middlesex FA was as a Referee Recruitment and Development Intern.

The role was two-fold. The first element was to support the county in finding new markets for referee recruitment (through analysing their database), as the county wished to bolster their refereeing numbers.

The second was to liaise with referees within the county and to understand how they could be better supported by the county FA.

How did you get the internship? 

I discovered the internship through the UCFB jobs and opportunities page. I am not a qualified referee, but worked with referees in my undergraduate degree at another institution, so decided to apply for the role. I then successfully passed an interview with the county.

Tell us about the research you’ve undertaken there.

One of the first things I did with the county was to analyse their database of current referees. I broke the database down into easy to read reports to illustrate locations and age groups that could be better targeted for recruitment.

I then offered to combine my dissertation with the research I was doing with them, which the county agreed to.

And then I produced a dissertation that covered recruitment and retention solutions for Middlesex, which was achieved through interviewing referees within the area.

It was a great experience and I learnt a lot through talking to the referees and working alongside some very friendly staff at the county. The dissertation is in the process of being published, so it was successful for both the county and myself.

Any words of advice for UCFB students?

I would say you have to be prepared to take the opportunities offered, and to work hard at making those opportunities a success. For example, I commuted in from Cambridge every day, which took around two hours, but this did not stop me from pushing for experience within the industry.

If you can use the opportunities offered to produce research with an industry partner, or gain valuable experience, then you will be in a position to standout against other graduates going for the same roles.

Lastly, apply for everything that comes up on the UCFB opportunities page – as mentioned before I am not a referee but got an internship based on supporting referees.