BA Sport and Leisure Studies with Diploma in Industrial Studies & MSc in Sport, Exercise and Leisure
Graduated 1998 & 1999
Regional Rugby Lead
Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
supporting my learning and development through their committed staff and the availability of first class facilities and resources. My time at Ulster University gave me invaluable work and life related skills which I use on a day to day basis.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
During my undergraduate degree Ulster University encouraged and assisted me to undertake a placement year.
Through their sporting links with Governing Bodies I worked as a Youth Development Officer (Rugby) with the North Down and Ards Borough Councils.
How placement enhanced my employability
Work placement helped in many ways. For example I developed as a coach, got experience in project management, gained the ability to develop and sustain working partnerships with multiple sporting organisations, all skills that I still use. Vitally it helped me develop as an employee and understand what is required.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- After graduating I continued to work within Rugby Development at Larne RFC. Within this role I had a remit for commercial management which required me to be adaptable and attain many new skills. It also focused me on the importance that sports clubs must be financially sustainable.
- I was then employed by the Sports Development Unit at Ulster University, with a remit for Rugby Development. In partnership with Ulster Rugby I gained formal qualifications and practical experience in coach education. Due to this I then moved to the Ulster Sports Academy as a Coach Education Officer.
- Being employed at Ulster Rugby, initially as a Coach Development Officer and currently as a Regional Rugby Lead. During my current role I oversee coach development, participation programmes, aspects of player development, female rugby and refereeing within my region.
What would your advice to students be?
Get as much practical work experience as possible throughout your time as a student through work based placements or volunteering.
The job market is extremely competitive and employers not only need to see a good educational background but vitally that this is backed up by excellent practical experience!