Get a sporting start in marketing

One of the most frequently asked questions from job seekers looking to secure a role in marketing is often ‘what kind of degree is best to have?’ and with so many choices available now it’s hard to know what to go for to future proof yourself for the work place.

At USG our staff have a really broad range of educational backgrounds and whilst many do have a university degree under their belts, we have a growing number of people who joined the business having undertaken an apprenticeship instead. So, the first answer to the questions is always don’t discount a career in marketing if you haven’t taken the university route. Beyond that, the advice is simply to do what you enjoy in order to do well and let your skills shine.

From Law to Festival Management and Animal Management to Sports Marketing, our experience is broad and diverse and we believe this makes for the best kind of employees – ready to tackle anything! There are some common themes though, writing ability, creative thought, independent working, problem solving and accuracy to name a few.

Two of our sports marketeers had this to say about how their degree helped prepare them for their current roles:

Tom Roalfe, Senior Account Executive
Sport Marketing, Leeds Beckett University

“Throughout my course I developed a host of skills, including teamwork, communication and leadership, all of which are fundamental for my role at Unsworth Sugden.

“Many of these skills were developed during my placement in Phoenix, Arizona. This experience helped me to develop my confidence – moving to a new country for seven months on my own was overwhelming to begin with but day by day my confidence grew.

“Confidence is a necessity for a career in marketing. Having belief in yourself and assurance in the work you are presenting is pivotal.

“My study time abroad also helped to improve my communication skills. As an account handler you are in constant communication with people; whether that is liaising with client on projects or briefing our studio on the artwork. One of the most important roles in my job is to ensure client satisfaction and communication is essential to this.”

Grace Lawton, PR Account Executive
Sport Marketing, Coventry University

“Initially I had no idea what I wanted to do at university, but I knew I wanted to go! I have always been in to sports, but after tackling sciences at GCSE level I realised that anything sporty involving science was not for me. After taking business studies for A’Level and participating in marketing work experience, I decided I wanted to be more specific and go down the marketing route.

“My course offered various volunteering opportunities/trips. I volunteered at the Rugby World Cup and was an administrator for the Warwickshire Cricket Board. I interviewed candidates for the ICC Women’s World Cup stewards and more! I also had the opportunity to go and work with the British Council in Cape Town – which was amazing!

“Coventry also offer a scheme called ‘Add+Vantage’, which means that each students degree is the degree modules themselves, plus two additional modules from the add+vantage scheme (10 credits each). I decided to take ‘Social Media for Business’ and a ‘Women in Business’ course. The ‘Women in Business’ course particularly was great for helping me improve my confidence, as well as my mind-set for a career and determination.”

Whilst it might feel like it at the time a degree isn’t the be all and end all. What’s more important to us is attitude and a willingness to learn and get on in life. If university is your preferred choice and you think that marketing might be for you then perhaps err towards a course that allows you to demonstrate your ability to communicate and try to expand your horizons with extra curricular groups and activities. This will really enhance your CV and help you stand out from the crowd.

Better still, bag yourself some work experience. Take the initiative to write to companies asking for a week or two whenever you can fit it in. This will show future employers that you are hungry and willing to go the extra mile.