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Michael Cooke

BSc (Hons) Sports Studies
Graduated 2007
Coach Education and Club Development Consultant
Sport NI


Ulster University helped me achieve my current career success by...

providing a fantastic experience and helping me fall in love with sports development. The staff were excellent and their support and guidance were essential in my early career stages. Ulster has a rich sporting history and this Inspired me to follow my dream of working in the sports industry. - Michael Cooke

My Journey

  • Activities I was involved in at Ulster to enhance my employability

    During my placement year I was fortunate enough to work in a local authority sports development unit. I immersed myself in the placement and sought to obtain as much experience as I could. In the end they extended my contract and I worked there during my final year too.

    Additionally, making lifelong friends and connections via my course was also massively beneficial.

  • How placement enhanced my employability

    My placement was invaluable. I ended up graduating with two years full time experience under my belt. Learning the skills, knowledge and qualities relevant to sports development and having great mentors gave me a great advantage.

  • Top 3 most significant steps on my career path so far

    1. My placement is the first significant event as that was my first step on the career ladder. It allowed me to see that I would love a career in sports development and that's the path I followed.
    2. Before my current role I worked in community sport. There were all sorts of different challenges in the community and it started to get me thinking what would my ideal sports development role look like.
    3. Finally beginning my current position is the latest significant event on my career journey. I love working with sports coaches. I am a coach myself and I'm really interested in how coaches learn and develop. I'm fortunate that I get to work with coaches and coach educators daily.

What would your advice to students be?

Find an opportunity to get experience and throw yourself into the work. Hopefully you fall in love with your job/ industry. If you don't at least you'll know and you can pursue another pathway. Nowadays there is absolutely no reason to do anything you hate, find something you love!

Find a great mentor! Find someone with great experience that possesses excellent mentoring skills and you are onto a winner. Having someone support you on your career journey is such a great asset.
- Michael Cooke