By Matthew Mountford-Brock

The head of international relations at The Football Association, Jane Bateman, praised the work done in her department during a recent visit to UCFB and advised students what their careers could look like in a similar role.

Speaking to students at UCFB Wembley as part of the Executive Guest Speaker Series, Bateman said the key role of the international relations team was to look at building strategic relationships with fellow national associations, whilst also looking at the role football can play socially around the world.

One of the strategies The FA deploys is working with high profile names to deliver social messages.

Bateman said: “In the past we’ve worked with Rio Ferdinand in Malawi on HIV and AIDS in delivering that message. But people aren’t interested in the message, they’re interested in the player.”

She added: “However, because they’re interested in the player, they start to listen to the message, and I think that’s a really important role that international relations can play.”

Bateman also touched on her own personal story, and suggested that the transferable skills picked up in the football industry will open doors for UCFB students.

Using her degree qualification as an example, Bateman said: “My degree is in Modern Languages, I had no intention of coming into sport particularly. I wanted to travel, and as you can see, international relations actually encapsulates travel, other cultures, and languages.

“So having an understanding of the football industry and where your other transferable skills might be applied I think is of great benefit. For a UCFB student to have that broader knowledge also gives them more ideas of where they might find their mark in the football industry.”