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The Football Industry Uncovered: How to Make a Career in Sports

Birkbeck Careers and Employability’s Upscale Programme welcomed sports industry professionals working in a range of roles to deliver an inspiring panel event on following a career in this field. From the player side to the club side, attendees gained an invaluable insight into the world of sport and what it takes to get to where the panellists are today.

Hugo Scheckter, Player Liaison Officer at Southampton FC, honed in on the importance of having the right motivation to succeed. Hugo says it’s not about being a super fan of the club you want to work for, as that will often result in an automatic rejection for the job; it’s about being passionate and showing your professionalism and commitment. Hugo studied and worked overseas before returning to the UK with his current role, advising students to consider working internationally or out of London where a host of opportunities will exist.

Confidence was a key theme throughout the event, with every panellist referring back to the importance of being confident in yourself and what you have to offer; purely having strong knowledge in your field won’t get you through the door or progress you in the industry. Ehsen Shah, a director at digital and commercial agency The Integrity Club, develops player profiles in order to provide strategic partnership opportunities. Hard work and absolute dedication to his career propelled Ehsen to where he is today, and his advice to students was smart networking and going out to find opportunities.

Leon Anderson, a football executive with Wasserman Media Group, rated Jerry Maguire among his pool of inspirational moments and it’s clear he’s an exceptionally professional and devoted agent to the players he represents.  Bouncing back from a number of setbacks throughout his career to date, Leon highlighted the importance of staying focussed on your goal and pushing through the obstacles to make a success of your career in sport.

Every panellist exuded positivity around their demanding roles and intense work schedules and Daniel Geey, a partner and sports lawyer at Sheridan’s, summarised the discussions about the secret to their successes: that there is no secret. Perseverance, positivity, hard work and, ultimately, building connections led to their success today. Given the response from students, who queued to have a further chat with the guys at the end of the evening, it seems the advice was well received and ready to be put into action.

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