Many wish they’d followed their dreams when younger and walked down a career path of something they were passionate about.
For Amy O’Connor, a University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) graduate in Football Business and Marketing BA (Hons) there will be no such regrets – just months after leaving UCFB she landed herself a job at Premier League Watford as a business development executive.
Despite never having had an interest in playing the game, O’Connor says her biggest passion is soccer. So when she discovered UCFB, Amy’s pathway into the sport became clear. Based at the club’s Vicarage Road stadium, O’Connor’s role is to make new key contacts with local and national businesses.
O’Connor, who has ambitions on becoming chief executive of a soccer club in her future career, backed up her UCFB degree with a CV full of brilliant work placements at clubs and institutions like Millwall and the Football Association (FA).
Also on her CV was a match day hospitality role at Vicarage Road, where O’Connor impressed so much Watford created the business development position at the club especially for her so they didn’t lose her skills and ability.
Amy said: “I was able to achieve things beyond my imagination whilst at UCFB because I was learning about something I cared about and had lecturers around me who had both knowledge and experience in the industry. The support I received throughout developed me as an individual in terms of confidence and communication.”
A female working in a male-dominated indusry presents certain challenges but O'Connor does not think that should put off other women interested in pursuing a career in soccer.
"Don’t see yourself as a female in the football industry," she added. "Would you think of yourself as a woman in an alternate industry? Don’t treat it any different to an industry that your friends may be working in. If you work hard people won’t see you as a ‘female working in football’, they will just see you as their colleague and a fellow professional."
UCFB is a world-first in football and sports education, delivering undergraduate and postgraduate university degrees in the football and sports industry. For more information, go to www.ucfb.com/sportspro.