12th December 2017
Student profile: Masters student Stephen has boardroom ambitions
Stephen Adkins studies MSc Sport Management at UCFB Wembley. Here he tells us more about the programme, his time at UCFB and what he is gaining from his Masters…
What were the reasons for you choosing UCFB to study your Masters degree?
I chose UCFB over other institutions because I was excited to develop my leadership skills
further in preparation for a career in the sports industry in a hands-on way. UCFB provide numerous opportunities to do this with their fantastic connections in the sports industry. I was also keen to explore parts of the industry that I am unfamiliar with, gaining a real perspective of the sectors and what they offer. I could see from UCFB’s curriculum and varied modules that I could achieve this.
How are you finding the programme, and what aspects of it are you particularly keen on?
The programme is varied, meaning versatility is needed for the different areas. This means you get a chance to explore the different aspects of being a manager/leader whether it’s financial, planning, creative or management. This allows you to tap into your own skills and gain a better understanding of your own strengths and areas to improve on. I have a keen interest in the strategic sports marketing module and the task of understanding consumer needs and behaviours in order to create or redefine a product. The guest speaker series is another favourite, as it provides a fantastic opportunity to not only gain unique insights but to network and make yourself known to industry experts.
Have you undertaken any work experience placements so far, and if so what were they and how was it?
I began an internship at Fresh Press Media and Read Everything, which looks to publish articles on nearly everything you can think of, including sport. I saw an advert for the role which was posted on the UCFB work placement page for current students to see. It is updated every Wednesday with a variety of roles and sectors within sport to apply for either as a voluntary intern to gain valuable experience in a particular field or a part-time paid role.
The beauty of this work experience is that I can work from any location – all I need is a laptop and an internet connection. Through this internship, I was given the opportunity to interview ex-Arsenal players for the documentary film ‘89’, which centres around Arsenal’s famous league title win in 1989. Having the opportunity to meet and interview players that I had grown up watching on TV was an absolute dream. The interview was conducted in a roundtable format at the Renaissance hotel in London. I was there with four other journalists, all who worked for Arsenal fan pages and sites. In preparation for this, I really needed to brush up on my knowledge because even when you think you know everything about football and when you have to focus on every single detail of one team’s season, it’s funny how certain aspects are forgotten. I did my research on Arsenal for that season and even Liverpool too, as they were their main challengers at the time and played a huge part in the journey of this incredible story.
Any words of advice for people thinking about studying a Masters at UCFB?
I think the variety of modules I’m currently studying on my Masters course requires you to wear many hats and be as adaptable as possible. It meant that I started the course with an open mind. Use the course to enter fields you wouldn’t have necessarily thought you’d work in. I had no previous experience of journalism, interviewing, or article writing before this work experience so I’d say the course has taught me to have an open-mind and don’t be afraid to try anything.
What are your plans post UCFB?
I have aspirations to work within the media business in the future, as well as becoming a CEO or director at some point. I think the experience of working as a content creator fits both of these, especially the media side. However, I believe it’s vital to gain an understanding of every industry, particularly if a leadership role is something of interest as chances are you’ll be faced with someone or an issue that involves that industry, so having some background knowledge already can prove crucial. I also have a financial goal to earn a six figure salary – so watch this space!