19th March 2021
As part of the ‘Your Careers Future…’ series hosted by our Careers Department, Jason Thomas, Regional Recruitment Manager at UCFB, talked to Elite Performance Pathway 3rd to Sixth Form pupils about his careers journey, and careers in sports more generally.
Jason grew up in Fulham, London and explained how he struggled in school, only excelling in sport and science, and wanted to go straight into work after leaving school. At the advice of his Careers Department and his parents, he took a year out of education before going to study Sports Studies at Richmond upon Thames College. After working a number of jobs at gyms, and completing various qualifications, Jason was encouraged to go to university and found the UCFB (University Campus of Football Business), where he got his degree in International Football Business. Since graduating, Jason has returned to work as Regional Recruitment Manager at UCFB, working as part of the undergraduate recruitment team.
The UCFB is a university that specialises in football, sport and events, with its campus set at either Wembley Stadium or at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. It offers business courses in areas such as business, law, marketing, events and journalism as well as management, coaching and development, either in football or general sport. UCFB hosts with industry specialists talks every Wednesday to the university students, including Harry Redknapp, Gabby Logan and Gareth Southgate and students have worked industry placements with the Olympics, Wimbledon and BBC Sport.
Some of the advice Jason shared during his session included how Year 11s must think ‘ahead of the game’ and start preparing for their future early on. He said, “even if you don’t want to go to university straight away you should still do something, for example get a job, because that can still teach you useful skills”.
The conclusion from the session is that professional playing is not the only career available in sport. If sports are your thing, but you want more options for a career, or potentially a back up plan, universities like UCFB offers courses that allow you to combine your passion with a transferrable skills set.
Thank you to Mrs Moira Davies, Head of Careers and Higher Education, as well as Mr Phil Miller, Director of Sport, for organising this interesting event.
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