Many graduates find employment in sport, and others use graduate skills gained through this degree in a wide variety of sectors.
The Sport Management degree is new for 2022 but we have had a sport management related degree at the University of Edinburgh for many years. Graduates of our previous degree, the Sport and Recreation Management programme have progressed to be successful in a variety of sectors:
- Commercial settings
- Community work
- Third sector organisations
- Further study
See examples of previous graduates and how they progressed after university.
"I'm using my degree quite regularly in my current role as Event Manager for a company called MSL Global ltd; MSL is a hospitality management company with contracts in Formula One, the World Rally Championship, The Open Golf and other such international sporting events. In my role I manage hospitality units for motor sport teams and organising bodies; this year I have spent most of my time following the formula 1 calendar and attending European motorsport events managing the hospitality units for teams like Williams F1, Mercedes F1, Formula One Management, IMG Media and various car manufacturers. The job is extremely rewarding, especially for someone with an interest in motorsport like myself."
Cameron McLay is now working as Communications and Sponsorship Manager at Basketball Scotland. We asked him about his career and why he volunteers to advise current sports students.
What path has your career taken since graduation?
I started my first job shortly after graduation as an Account Control Analyst at JP Morgan (Private Banking). I worked there for 2 years, then decided working for the voluntary sector was the path I wanted to take, because of my personal values and because I wanted to work in a role in which I could make a positive impact onto people’s lives. I resigned from my first job, was unemployed for a while, and worked at the airport as a Customer Service Agent for 3 months over summer 2018 to develop my customer service skills. I believe this helped me in getting my first job in a charity, a mental health charity called Health in Mind, as a receptionist. I worked there for over a year before moving on to my current employer, again a mental health charity called Penumbra. I started there as Area Administrator and got promoted to my current role, Business Support Assistant, last month.
What is your current role and what does your work involve?
My role covers the East area of Scotland, comprising of Edinburgh, East and Midlothian, Fife and the Borders. My main responsibilities include:
- Providing IT expertise as required across the area and taking a lead role in the implementation in any new organisational and local systems.
- Assisting in developing consistent and effective administrative processes
- Working closely with several local and national post and in a close partnership with the other business support and admin teams across Penumbra, sharing best practice across the organisation
- Working with local management and services to develop and implement appropriate admin and IT processes
- Answering the phone and email enquiries as appropriate
- Line management and supervision of the Area Administrator (the post I started in)
- Project work as required
- Develop and maintain positive working relationships with Health & Social Care and partner agencies
- Co-ordinating local events as required
- Taking overall responsibilities for all local admin processes in areas such as: finance, tender submissions, contract monitoring, health and safety, training
I have not been in this job for very long but so far I have been very involved in implementing a new IT system and training all the teams in my area. I will also be the first point of contact for support in the future in my area.
One achievement I am proud of is having organised and implemented the delivery of free sanitary products to all the locations in my area through the Fare Share scheme, which aims at reducing period poverty. Thanks to this, supported people will be able to help themselves to sanitary products and take them home (either for themselves or their partners).
I will be line managing someone for the first time in my career, this is something I am particularly looking forward to.
What experiences do you feel helped you get to your current position?
My experience working in a different mental health charity (receptionist at Health in Mind), as well as being in the role I will be line managing definitely helped because I could demonstrate my understanding of the role which will make it much easier when I do the induction for the new person. As an internal applicant, I also had some knowledge about the organisation. My experience at JP Morgan also was crucial, as I tested and helped with the implementation of new systems there, and this is what I am working on at the moment.
My degree definitely helped as well, because this role is about all aspects around the “business” of the organisation, rather than delivering the services the organisation offers – and my degree was about managing organisations, so it definitely is a huge asset. For example, for event management, I looked into my academic books and when they asked me about it at the interview, even though I don’t have experience organising events, I was able to tell them about all the stages of organising an event, and it worked!
How have you used the skills and/or knowledge developed during your degree in your career?
Definitely – it helped me understand how organisations work which is a huge asset when you join one. I will also be putting into practice what I learned about managing people and performance management in my new role.
What do you think was the most valuable aspect of your time at Edinburgh in preparation for your career?
All the management courses I did during my degree helped.
Group presentations - in almost every job, you need to be able to work as part of a team, so the collaboration and presentation skills developed at university are a great asset.
Self-management skills – many jobs also like people to be able to work under minimal supervision, and university definitely develops these skills, as students have to manage their own time (writing essays, reading ahead of lectures etc.)
I also visited the Career Service a few times during my time at uni and they were always very helpful. I would definitely recommend seeing them as they can help with CVs and cover letters but also help with a specific job application.
What advice would you give to students who are interested in your area of work?
Everything you learn in organisational management, managing events, marketing, communications, managing volunteers, sports policy, strategic management etc. is highly transferable, especially as many sport organisations are part of the third sector.
Charities often look for people with varied backgrounds so you can highlight any experience you have if it is relevant to the role you are applying for, even if it wasn’t gained in a voluntary organisation.
The University of Edinburgh's Careers Service supports all current students (and graduates for up to 2 years) to develop their potential and achieve satisfying and rewarding futures. This is done through individual appointments, group sessions and wider campus-based activity, alongside online services and resources. A diverse programme of face-to-face and online events is delivered throughout the academic year.
Annual Careers Event for Sport Management
The Careers Service and Development and Alumni team organise an annual careers event where we invite graduates to speak about their experiences and give advice to our current students. Graduates of the Sport Management (or previous Sport and Recreation Management) give short talks about their experiences of work since completing their degrees, including how they have used their skills and knowledge developed from the degree, their decision-making in relation to their career progression and other professional development experiences.
This gives you the opportunity to ask questions about how you can progress in your career, and discuss topics such as networking, interviews and getting the most out of their university experience to support your future goals.