BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
Strength & Conditioning Coach & PhD researcher at Ulster University
Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI)
Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...
providing me with the education, skills and opportunities to work in high performance sport especially my placement year within SINI. Ulster is an excellent place for anyone looking to start their career in sport. With fantastic lecturers and choice of modules they open up a multitude of career pathways.
Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability
During my time in first and second year I tried to gain as much coaching experience as possible.
Volunteering at many sporting events including S& C coaching, Belfast marathon and World Fencing Championships. This helped put myself in the best position when looking for my placement.
How placement enhanced my employability
Placement helped me gain experience in a high performance sporting setting and allowed me to develop the skills required to work with elite athletes while applying the education I had learnt throughout university. My placement opened many doors and I am still employed here today.
Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far
- Studying at Ulster gave me the skills needed to start my career in sport and specifically in S& C. After placement, I continued to work full time in SINI alongside final year and gained a 1st Class Honours all which enhanced my employability.
- My placement in SINI was invaluable, learning alongside some of the best practitioners in the UK. This meant I was constantly striving to improve while gaining experience in the High Performance Environment.
- Starting a PhD in SINI through Ulster has also allowed me to develop my research skills whilst still working in the applied setting.
What would your advice to students be?
Find a mentor and don’t be afraid to ask for advice – this was the most important for me. Michael Johnston was Head of Strength and Conditioning in SINI and his help has been invaluable throughout my career! Use every opportunity you can to network and get to know people.
Know what you want, find out how to get there, what you need to do and then get on that path! Find experience as this will most likely be unpaid to begin with but that’s what you will need to do.