Having graduated from the BA (Hons) Sports Business and Coaching programme last year, Elliot Lewis decided to stay on to study GIS’ MSc Football Business (Online) degree. But working from the comfort of his own home didn’t stop him from securing an in-demand internship at West Ham United, in what proved to be one of the club’s most successful seasons of all time. Here, Elliot tells us about the role and his time at both UCFB and GIS…

Tell us about your role as a Marketing Intern at West Ham and what it involves?

My role at West Ham consists of a range of different tasks but mainly researching different topics and areas that they would like to develop. For example, prior to achieving European football and to prepare for this possibility, we were set a task to research and develop our own thoughts about the club’s European content and how they should deliver it. At the end of the week we would then present back our findings and ideas to the team. It has also been brilliant liaising with West Ham staff and three other UCFB students who were all very welcoming and taught me a lot.

What was it like working at the club during one of their best ever seasons?

It really was an amazing experience and something I will never forget. The buzz around the club last season has been unbelievable and to think that I will have contributed to the club in areas of marketing is something I am very proud of. As I said previously, it was nice that everyone was so welcoming and up for a laugh and joke whilst still developing work to a high standard.

How has your MSc Football Business (Online) degree helped you in your role?

It has helped hugely and I wouldn’t have been able to produce the high standard of work for West Ham without it. One of my modules was fan engagement which taught me all about the importance of engaging and maintaining fans attention. A few times I used examples when presenting to West Ham that were discussed in lectures.

Why did you choose to study online and what have you found the main benefits to be?

When applying for the course, I decided that studying online better suited my current situation of living at home. I was able to try a free session of an online lecture prior to making my decision and being able to see how everything worked online, which was brilliant. 

I think the main benefit for me is that it is really flexible. You still have set lectures to attend each week but if you miss them, a video recording is uploaded within 24 hours so you can complete the lecture. Also, you still get the social side of things as you are encouraged to make a course group chat where everyone speaks if they want.

You also studied a BA (Hons) Sports Business and Coaching degree at UCFB. How did you find this and why did you choose to stay on for a Master’s?

I loved my undergraduate time at UCFB as it has allowed me to make memories and gain knowledge for life. I decided to stay on because of the amazing opportunities offered to the students and this turned out to be a great decision as my internship with West Ham was sourced through UCFB’s Global Institute of Sport (GIS).

Tell us about the other work experience you’ve completed during your time at UCFB and GIS?

In the first and second year of my undergraduate degree, I worked for a company called Beyond90 who were a fan engagement company for Manchester City and Manchester United. This gave me a great opportunity to experience on the ground fan engagement initiatives at all their home games. I have also completed an internship with Bradford (Park Avenue) AFC where I was part of their media team which again taught me considerable amounts.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to study at UCFB or GIS?

Do it! Put as much effort as possible into your journey as the more you do, the more you get out of it in terms of knowledge and experiences.