Are you considering a career in Sport?
We spoke to a range of employers at our Meet the Employers: Careers in Sport event on 24th January to find out what skills and experiences they look for in a graduate and some top tips for getting a career in sport.
What skills and experience do you look for in a graduate who is looking to work in Sport?
Sportlobster – “We want candidates who are able to demonstrate their passion about sports. Whether that is through enjoying sports, playing sports or volunteering. Students must have the mind-set and willingness to learn and can accept feedback. Furthermore, they must be able to adapt to new situations quickly as it’s a very fast paced environment and the ability to re-adapt is important.”
Adidas – “Skills are not essential as we value personality more. The candidate must have passion for our brand and the role they are applying for. Students must have the three Cs – Creativity, Collaboration and Confidence. It is equally important to be able to demonstrate these skills during an interview.”
JD – “We look for a combination of passion for sports, passion for our brand and work experience. Someone who is ready for work and not afraid of a fast-paced environment.”
Social Chain – “We analyse both skills and work experience separately. In addition to that, we also look at the right attitude. Someone who is different and passionate.”
Fanatics – “We look for Junior Level candidates. We understand that as a student, you might not know everything and we like to invest on candidates we truly believe in.”
Manchester FA – “Difficult question to ask as it is dependent on the role. However, key values we look for in all of our team (and potential graduates) is professionalism, passion and an ability to inspire. The ability to think outside of the box is also a desirable attribute as is the ability to work flexibly and manage multiple tasks. The world of sport is constantly evolving and changing and so a ‘change mind-set’ is crucial!”
What can students do to prepare themselves for a career in Sport?
Sportlobster – “Specific experience is helpful. Although it depends on what role they are applying for. For example, for finance roles we would ideally want someone who knows the area, but if it is a role which requires transferable skills then we are more open to all types of experience and see what works better.”
Adidas – “Not essential, we don’t expect them to know everything as we will provide training when a graduate is in the role.”
JD – “This largely depends what role they are applying for as we would expect some relevant experience for more specific areas, for example in financial jobs.
Social Chain – “Experience is definitely important but not essential. They need to be aware of our platform. Also, just because they have skills and experience, it does not mean they will be hired, they need to be right for our team and demonstrate their passion.”
Fanatics – “Experience is important but what is even more important is the ability to show that you are passionate. Passion for sport is essential!”
Manchester FA – “Absolutely! Voluntary/paid experience is crucial on a number of levels and I believe it shows a person’s desire, commitment and passion. Furthermore, it can help develop key life skills that are applicable in many roles, regardless of whether they are in sport or not.”
Any top tips for finding work Experience.
Sportlobster – “Be pro-active and try to gain as much experience as possible while you are still at university.”
Adidas – “Try to reflect your passion in your personality, you must be able to identify what motivates you and what doesn’t. Only then, will you be able to enjoy your job and find the right role for you.”
JD – “Our advice to students is to do as much as possible whilst they are at university. Work experience does not just allow you to gain new skills, it helps with your confidence and we want people who have been pro-active with gaining work experience.”
Social Chain – “Our advice to final years is to find themselves a niche and work from there. They need to know themselves as a person, find out what they like and what they do not like. That can be discovered through experiencing different things.”
Fanatics – “We highly encourage students to network via LinkedIn; make sure you have a professional profile picture and not a snapchat profile picture. Make sure you have spent time tailoring your cover letter, as this is your platform to tell us a bit about your personality.”
Manchester FA – “As identified in the response above, gain as much ‘relevant’ experience as you can. Build your network i.e. get to know as many key people within your chosen area of work as possible. A career in sport is competitive and so having advocates in the sector can be hugely beneficial.”
Find out more about these employers below:
Sportlobster – Sportlobster is a social platform dedicated to sports, providing the best second screen experience to fans around the world. Fans can choose to follow up to 32 different sports, which range from football and cricket to Aussie rules and angling. Users customise the content they see depending on their passions.
Adidas – The brands of the Adidas Group complement each other in a unique way to help athletes perform better, play better, feel better. Our products break records, set trends, make history. Every day. All over the world. Welcome to the Adidas Group. It is not only about faster shoes and fashion statements. Just as a shoe is more than padding and foam, there is more to us than just the product. Everything we do is bound by one simple thought: we strive to help you perform at your best. Your success is our ambition. Your defeat spurs us on to be better.
JD – Established in 1981 with a single store in the North West of England, JD Sports Fashion Plc is a leading multichannel retailer of sports fashion and outdoor brands in the UK and Europe.
The Group has over 900 stores across a number of retail fascias and is proud of the fact that it always provides its customers with the latest products from the very best brands. The Group embraces the latest online and instore digital technology providing it with a truly multichannel, international platform for future growth
Social Chain – One of the most influential agencies and media publishers in the world. Social Chain works with some of the largest brands and creators to disrupt traditional marketing with its knowledge, agility, and innovation within the digital/social space. The average age is only 22, with over 60 employees across offices in Manchester (HQ), Berlin, and New York.
Fanatics – Fanatics International is the official e-commerce partner for many of the world’s leading sports clubs and organisations from major football clubs to events and governing bodies. Previously known as Kitbag Ltd. (until the acquisition by Fanatics Inc. in February 2016) the business has grown and flourished with a strong, fast-paced culture where the employees are united by an innovative, forward-thinking work ethic and a strong passion for sport. It is this passion and enthusiasm that means the business continues to live up to its promise of being run “by fans, for fans”!
Manchester FA – Manchester County FA are one of the country’s leading County Football Associations and the home of grassroots football in Greater Manchester. We are responsible for governing and developing the national game across Greater Manchester and we are passionate about providing fun, safe and enjoyable opportunities for everyone to participate through close alignment with The Football Association.
How can your Careers and Employability Service help you to prepare?
- Read our ‘Sports Management careers and opportunities’ guide
- Take part in the Futures Skills Award
- Attend our Careers and Employability workshops
- Learn more about finding valuable work experience and volunteering opportunities on our website
- Find sports volunteering opportunities through The Students’ Union