UCFB ambassador and former FA Chief Executive Dr Brian Barwick explains the career benefits of studying at UCFB
UCFB ambassador and adviser Dr Brian Barwick has explained how students will benefit in their future careers in the football and sport industry by studying at the world class facilities on offer at UCFB.
Dr Barwick, the chairman of the Rugby Football League and former Chief Executive of The FA, was speaking as part of the Executive Guest Speaker sessions, a regular and unique feature of the Complementary Curriculum on offer to students at UCFB, where students can listen and ask questions of industry professionals.
How better prepared is a UCFB graduate for the rigours of the sport industry rather than a graduate from a non-sport institution?
The education you get at UCFB about the professional sport industry is outstanding and first class. You’re often talked to by industry professionals, either past, present or even future, and you assimilate a lot of knowledge over that short period about how the professional sport business works. So you come out of that education in good shape to understand some of the twists and turns of the industry.
What are some of the key tools a UCFB graduate can expect to take into the working world?
A UCFB graduate will gain a greater understanding of how professional sport works, a greater understanding of how football works – the mechanics of it, the politics of it, the participation in it, the pitches and tosses of a season. You get immersed in the world of professional sport. If you’re lively and bright and intuitive, you’ll take a lot away from it.
Your role as a UCFB ambassador shows you feel there is a need for well-educated business minds within the sport industry.
I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for people to come out of a higher education facility which has been dedicated to the world of football, sport and events, and it’s undoubtedly a very sharp education, mixing with people around the globe and in all the key jobs. If you immerse yourself in it, you’ll learn a lot about how the industry ticks.
How could an institution like UCFB have shaped your career progression if it had existed when you started out?
I think I would have been at UCFB if it existed when I started out, but they barely built universities when I started! I did an economics degree and I’ve probably used that across the next 30 years of my life, but to have had something as specific as what UCFB offer would have been a fantastic draw to me, and the theory of actually being taught with the iconic Wembley or Etihad Stadium pitch as a backdrop is unbelievable actually.
What the biggest difference you’ve seen in the sport industry from you started up until now?
The sport industry is a trillion-dollar industry. Across the whole sporting spectrum, the amount of money that is poured into sport now is remarkable in many facets – legal, marketing, media, talent representation, event organisation. There’s any number of facets to a professional sporting organisation or body and that has moved remarkably over the last 25 or 30 years.
What advice would you give to prospective students looking to come to UCFB as a pathway into the sport industry?
It’s a great opportunity for a prospective UCFB student. They have to have an interest in sport. They have to have a real desire to learn from market leaders and industry chiefs which in itself is a remarkable privilege. And they want to have that desire at the end of it to decide what they want to do. They may take away this experience and go into sport or football, they may choose to do something else, but they are university degrees in the first instance so you do your core modules. The reality of it, built around it, is living and breathing football, sport and events industries, so you come out of it a pretty accomplished future professional.