Moray House School of Education and Sport

Carolina (2018) - Communications Support Assistant, LEAP Sports Scotland

'The outside courses and electives that I took while studying Applied Sport Science which really interested me, helped to shape my ideas for the specialised Masters which I chose to follow.'

What path has your career taken since graduation? 

After completing the BSc Applied Sport Science, I stayed at the University of Edinburgh to take the MSc Sport Policy, Management and International Development at Moray House. I decided to stay in Scotland after I finished my Masters, and I worked as a support worker for adults with disabilities whilst volunteering. I was then unemployed for about 6 months which was a choice I made so I could focus on my voluntary roles. Throughout this time I had the opportunity to be involved in UEFA’s Equal Game Conference at Wembley which has been the highlight of my time as a Youth Ambassador for the Scottish FA. This, plus my time as a volunteer with LEAP contributed to me getting the job at LEAP.

What is your current role and what does your work involve? 

As the Communications Support Assistant at LEAP Sports Scotland, I support the Communities and Events Project Officer. My role involves working with communities to develop and set up LGBTI sports groups; helping to run events across the country through existing mechanisms such as Prides and Festival Fortnight; contributing to Erasmus+ projects; delivering training and workshops, and collaborating on the Football v Homophobia Scotland initiative.

What experiences do you feel helped you get to your current position?

  • International Baccalaureate
  • EGP/YES Tanzania Volunteer during 1st year of university
  • Member of Edinburgh University Women’s Football Club
  • LEAP Sports volunteer during Masters
  • Support worker at The Action Group
  • Diversity & Inclusion Youth Ambassador at the Scottish FA
  • Research Assistant at Team United Autism Football

How have you used the skills and/or knowledge developed during your degree in your career?  

My research and presentation skills are needed day to day in my job. Having a wide and confident knowledge and skills base has enabled me to step outside my comfort zone and generate new ideas and approaches. The theoretical, academic knowledge of diversity & inclusion, and sport for social development, underpins my more practical approach in the workplace and aids my professional development. 

What do you think was the most valuable aspect of your time at Edinburgh in preparation for your career?

The outside courses and electives that I took during my undergrad (applied sport science) which really interested me, helped to shape my ideas for the specialised masters which I chose to follow (sport policy, management & international development). The social science courses always appealed much more to me than the scientific ones.

Joining the EGP and Yes! Tanzania project really showed me the power of volunteering and sport as a tool for development. It’s great to have had this opportunity alongside my degree. All the friends I made at EUWAFC (hugely important to find your people) who motivated me along the way, and the soft skills I developed through off-pitch work with the club.

What advice would you give to students who are interested in your area of work?  

Try to volunteer as much as you can during uni in the areas that you’re passionate about because the experiences and skills that you’ll take from this will help you get that first job once you graduate.

Inform yourself and read up about the work that’s going on in your area and identify who the key individuals and organisations are.

Say yes to everything, even if you think they’re situations in which you’ll be forced outside your comfort zone – this will usually help to build your confidence and allow you to expand your professional network.