Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
providing a broad but challenging learning environment that enabled me to develop my skills, particularly through the practical application of theory in sports development. The support and guidance provided by lecturers was also a key factor in my personal development and has contributed significantly to my career success today.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
Practical work experience opportunities through placements were invaluable giving me greater insight into what is required to work within the sport sector.
Team learning opportunities also helped to develop skills for working with and building relationships with others.
Volunteer opportunities were also extremely beneficial for my practical student learning experience.
How placement enhanced my employability
Work experience provided greater practical insight for a range of roles within the sports sector. These opportunities enabled me to put theory into practice and learn on the job away from the classroom. Learning from experts in specific roles within the sports sector and be mentored was valuable.
How study abroad enhanced my employability
Studying in America for one year enabled me to broaden my learning experience and see at first hand how sport is developed within another country. A valuable opportunity to sample another culture, grow as a person and engage in building relationships with key personnel for returning to NI.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- Ulster Outreach Programme - my first full-time role after University was an excellent learning opportunity for a future career in sport. It was also an inspiring journey with my role designed to engage young people in sport and change their lives for the better. A fantastic programme!
- Changing Jobs - my transition from working in local authorities to working in a Governing Body was a significant step as I progressed into a leadership role. The role has been a steep learning curve with many set backs but I have developed my resilience and my strategic thinking.
- UK Sport Leading Edge Programme - this has been the best learning experience I have had along with a range of CEO's throughout the UK. A personal learning journey that requires constant challenges has developed my leadership skills and prepared me for the next step in my career pathway
What would your advice to students be?
Gain as much practical work/learning experience as possible as this gives you greater insight into the “working world”. This can be through voluntary or through paid roles but employers want to see what additional skills you can bring to a role rather than just your qualifications and achievements.
Remain open minded in relation to your own learning and seek out opportunities to be challenged by others around you. It is important to never stop learning regardless of how many steps along the career ladder you go.