Having recently graduated from UCFB’s BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance programme, Alex Stanton has landed the role of International Project Manager at the International Professional Scouting Organisation (IPSO). Here, the UCFB Wembley graduate tells us about the position, his time at UCFB and his plans to continue for a Master’s at Global Institute of Sport (GIS)…

Tell us about your role as International Project Manager at IPSO and how you landed it.

My role as the International Project Manager at IPSO consists of the creation and management of advertisement campaigns through the social media platforms and Google AdSense. As well as the management of the Excel student and client databases, and certificates of achievement relating to students and participants of our courses and workshops, I am also responsible for email communications between IPSO and new and current clients.

I landed the role through an advert at UCFB from the Employability & Enrichment team, which subsequently led to the first contact and a Zoom interview with IPSO Educational Director Colin Chambers.

What have been some of the highlights of the role so far?

The biggest highlight so far has been creating my own limited company, ADSM Ltd, for my colleague Dan and myself as a social media marketing agency who work on behalf of IPSO. Another recent highlight is a graphic that I created announcing the partnership of IPSO and CSE (The Center for Sport Excellence in Malta), which was selected for their website as well as IPSO’s social media platforms. As I haven’t come from a media background this was quite the surprise to me!

How do you think football scouting is changing and developing with time?

With the introduction of more in-depth statistical analysis of players, every aspect of a player is gauged on statistics. As football as a whole is becoming more technologically advanced, so is football scouting. However, this development still sustains old school methods – most prevalent is the ability to analyse a player by eye.

All the statistics and analysis in the world still does not paint the full picture of a player as it’s just not enough. This is why IPSO ensures that they teach their students all the skill sets in both analytical statistics and in person player perception in order to be the most skilled and developed scout they could possibly be.

How are you finding working with another UCFB graduate at the company?

Dan and I have been friends for many years before UCFB, having grown up together, including living together in Manchester whilst at UCFB. However, being able to work with your closest friend is fantastic and part of the whole package for us to work at IPSO. We came as a package and IPSO were great with us and could see the value of us being close friends so they took both of us on to help us gain the experiences we needed whilst working in a happy, comfortable environment.

How has your BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance degree helped with the role?

Studying a BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance degree has helped with my work in more ways than I could have imagined. As a result of my degree, I have been able to suggest and implement various things and tools at IPSO that were not in place beforehand that otherwise might have never been thought of.

Studying a finance degree has also taught me skills such as project management and marketing which has been crucial to my role as the International Project Manager of IPSO. Across the board, studying at UCFB has helped increase a variety of skills that are not necessarily specific to my degree such as public speaking and presentational skills.

How has your time at UCFB been so far?

My past three years at UCFB have exceeded every possible expectation that I had before I started. Lecturers such as Ian Tomlinson have been helpful beyond comparison as he is always willing to take that extra step with you to ensure you are reaching the best of your ability. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UCFB, and I hope to continue my time there by studying MSc Football Business at GIS this year.

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What other work experience have you completed during your time at UCFB and how has this helped advance your career in sports?

Whilst studying at UCFB during my second year, I took part along with a small handful of other UCFB students, volunteering on the 2020 Walking Football World Cup Organisational Committee. I was the Assistant Project Manager until the project was cancelled due to COVID-19 and postponed until the following year.

During my third year I secured work experience with HumanRace, the organisation behind many of the UK’s most popular and highly regarded mass participation events, such as the London and Manchester Run, Windsor Triathlon and Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales by Le Tour de France. My work experience with HumanRace consisted of researching and analysing potential sponsors and getting in touch with employees for the upcoming London Fun Run to secure sponsorship.

What advice would you give to any students looking to study at UCFB?

UCFB is THE institution to be at for any career in sport. The industry knowledge and experience from all of the lecturers and staff at UCFB makes that crucial difference and is what makes UCFB truly the best in the business. The help and support you receive through the Employability & Enrichment team is second to none with the opportunities they provide you. One of the biggest attributes UCFB has is the fantastic guest speakers and industry workshops you are able to attend. Also meeting the IPSO team was another great highlight.