The Power of Sport: Unlocking Transferable Skills for Every Workplace

In today's fast-paced work environment, employers are increasingly seeking individuals with not just technical expertise but also a diverse range of transferable skills that can adapt to various challenges and environments. One of the most powerful sources of these skills is not within the limits of the office, but on the fields, courts, and tracks where sports are played. 

Image of Hannah Adams playing netball

Beyond the physical benefits, participation in sport fosters many skills and qualities that are invaluable in shaping successful careers. We spoke with alumni who shared how participating in sport has benefited their career development since graduating.


Dedication and commitment driven by common goals, in sport, in work and in life, I have found to be hugely valuable.  I am forever grateful to the many people who make Edinburgh University for the opportunities and inspiration. 

Ewan Malcolm

Sport and volunteering has influenced all parts of my professional life. It was essential in developing skills like: communication; leadership; motivating; organisation; planning; resilience; patience; empathy; understanding people. There is a reason that so many employers value graduates who have been involved in sport at university.

Ally Kerr

My time in sport has defined my working attitude. Being part of so many teams taught me invaluable lessons about the importance of communication, discipline, and perseverance. I also think the competitive element of sport has had a positive impact on my working attitude - you always want to do better than before & achieve more.

Julia Stenhouse


As a medicine graduate, Hannah credits her involvement in sports clubs and volunteering programs for developing transferable skills like teamwork, leadership, and communication, which she applies in her career as a junior doctor. 

Through completing the Edinburgh Award Volunteers and Edinburgh Award Leadership Edition I was able reflect and develop invaluable, transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication which I used in all the roles I held, as well as my current career.

Hannah Adams


From leading sports clubs to assuming executive roles within the Sports Union, alumni have seamlessly translated their leadership experiences from sports into successful careers.  

A key part of sport is sportsmanship, it is essential for maintaining the integrity of sports, building camaraderie among athletes, setting a positive example, and enhancing the overall enjoyment of sporting events for participants and spectators alike. 

I feel that good sportsmanship emphasizes respect, and this translates to the workplace by ensuring everyone always respects & encourages the contributions of others, regardless of their position or background. This creates a more inclusive and supportive work environment. I also feel trust & honesty are also pillars of good sportsmanship. Upholding these values in the workplace builds trust among colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, ultimately contributing to the reputation of you as a person, as well as your organisation.

Julia Stenhouse


With a wide range of opportunities to participate and volunteer in sport at The University of Edinburgh, the transferable skills acquired through sports are a powerful asset that can propel individuals to success in any workplace. From teamwork and leadership to communication and resilience, the lessons learned on the field are invaluable in shaping individuals into effective collaborators, leaders, and problem solvers. 

Career Services

Whatever stage you are at, the Careers Service is here for you. Check out the careers services website for the full range of resources available for you to use no matter your subject or year group. Find out what we have planned for the rest of this semester by reading our Career Essentials Guide so you can plan in advance.

If you are a final year student, remember that you have access to our services for up to two years after you graduate. Take advantage of the graduate resources on offer on our website tailored specifically for you.

Career Services

Career Essentials Guide 

Graduate Resources

About our Alumni