Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
providing an environment in which I enjoyed my studies. After an unsuccessful spell as a professional footballer I was a mature student looking for a career in sport. I was able to study part time, be a semi-professional footballer and work part time in the sports development sector.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
My involvement in various assignments that required me to present to audiences and research into football specific topics like coach education and learning styles really enhanced my ability to look at sport in a more holistic way and not just through an athlete's eyes.
I had an excellent relationship with my course tutors in Tandy Haughey, David Reid and Shane McCullough and I was able to turn to them for support when applying for jobs.
How placement enhanced my employability
The flexibility of completing my studies part time enabled me to continue working in the sports development environment.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- Working for the IFA -my role is to work alongside UEFA's strategic social responsibility plan and the IFA's commitment to football for all. This requires me to present on sensitive issues and communicate our work through our media team our aims and objectives and how we deliver on projects.
- Another significant step has been changing from my role as Youth Development Officer in the Irish FA to Outreach Officer. My work plan changed from club development issues to social issues such as nutrition, ant-racism workshops and work in the line of eradicating stereotyping, discrimination and prejudicial issues.
- Volunteering in football.
What would your advice to students be?
Volunteer as much as you can in any line of work you are interested in, especially sport.
When you are in the working environment you learn a lot about the business and values of each company. In addition to this you become more competent with every day tasks.