GIS offer several Online and Blended Master’s degrees, which enable you to gain expert knowledge in a specific sector of sport from the comfort of your own home.

Here, Antoine Roex, a graduate of GIS’ MSc Football Business (Online) programme, shares his personal experience of studying online and how it worked around his hectic schedule…

Tell us about how you’ve found being an Online Master’s student.

Taking this Online Master's degree was very rewarding. Indeed, the format of the courses was really well done, with a mix of online courses and live sessions with the teachers. I really had a great year, with very enriching content in the modules for my future career, all in a well-balanced course format.

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What are some of the advantages of studying your degree online?

The main advantage of taking this master's degree online was certainly the flexibility. As someone who is quite busy with multiple activities outside of class, I was happy to be able to take classes at my own pace, with a schedule that I could make up myself. Also, the flexibility of the teachers outside of the live sessions allowed me to be really free, and still be able to get help in case of difficulties in understanding etc.

You also co-founded ‘Buddies’, a digital marketing consultancy. How did you find balancing this role alongside your Master’s?

Once again, taking this online master's degree has given me a lot of flexibility. If I had to miss a class to go to a client or have a meeting with my colleagues, I didn't have to worry about it because I could catch up with my classes later on the Online Hub. Of course, it takes a lot of organization and discipline to catch up, but once you find the right rhythm, it goes by itself.

You now work as a Marketing Assistant for OGC Nice and as a Consultant for Keep expert. How important do you think your Master’s was in landing these roles?

It is clear that taking this Master's degree speeds up the process of understanding specialist areas quite well. Having taken modules such as fan experience in football etc., it is easier to understand the different issues when you are confronted with them in real life, compared to someone who has not necessarily studied the subject. It's quite a separate industry, with its own rules and workings, so having studied them allows me to understand more quickly.

On the other hand, of course, I still have to learn everything because obviously, taking a course and being confronted with the sports industry in reality are quite different things. But to be able to enter this rather closed industry is certainly something very exciting, and I am sure it will be a very rewarding experience.

You also attended the 2022 GIS Miami Summit. Tell us about this experience and what you learnt about the sports industry.

The week in Miami was also very enriching. It allowed me to better understand the “soccer” market in America, where the business model is totally different from what we know in Europe. It puts a lot of things into perspective and I am convinced that the Americans have things to teach us, especially in terms of fan experience and commercial aspects.

On the other hand, it is clear that they have a lot of work to do on the sporting level to be able to compete with the European elite, but they are making progress, and it was once again an enriching experience.

What was your favourite part of the Summit?

The best moment of this week was probably the evening dedicated to networking, where we were able to exchange with different professionals in the industry in a very beautiful setting. Again, we were able to learn a lot about the American system and some of the speakers were able to give us a lot of advice, so it was very interesting.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to study an online degree at GIS?

I was always told that in life you have to do what you love. Football is my passion, and I always wanted to combine passion and work. That's why I wanted to go for it and why I was lucky enough to be able to do this Master’s. Obviously, I advise any student in the same situation as me to go for it if they have the opportunity. I was lucky enough to be able to do this Master's degree and specialise in the field, and I certainly don't regret doing it! We only live once, there is no time to do something that does not excite us!