Having graduated from UCFB’s BA (Hons) International Football Business programme two years ago, Jake Cook is now leading Leyton Orient’s marketing department. After being promoted from Marketing Executive at the League Two club, he shares how his role has expanded and why the experience he gained while studying proved vital in his job search…

Tell us about your new role as Marketing Manager at Leyton Orient FC and how it’s changed as a result of your promotion.

The promotion has allowed me to be more involved in many more areas of marketing, including budgets and data. The main difference for me is I’m now leading with projects, which I really enjoy. The new role has also allowed me to work closely with other departments within the club and understand their needs.

Having worked at the club for nearly two years, what have been some of your personal highlights at Leyton Orient?

This will be an answer I’m sure you’ve heard before, but the first matches having fans back in the stadium were special. After a tough year for so many people in the Orient family, it was great to be back enjoying what brought everyone together in the first place.  

What have you taken into the role from your BA (Hons) International Football Business degree?

The range of modules covered in the International Football Business course were key to me initially understanding the different business needs at Orient. The fundamental understanding of sporting events, sport finance, fan engagement and football governance has provided me with a balanced mind-set when considering the stakeholders of the projects I am involved in.

You also completed a year-long placement in marketing at Stevenage FC during your degree. How important do you think it was you had relevant experience to land your initial role at Leyton Orient FC?

A placement in the industry allows you to put what you learn in your lectures into practice. The experience I gained at Stevenage was invaluable to my job search when I left UCFB and my internship came to an end. Football is the biggest sport in the world and every day I feel privileged to be a part of it and grateful for my placement with Stevenage.

How did you find your time at UCFB?

There were so many highlights of my time at UCFB. I learned from some of the best in the industry, I listened to guest speakers who are influential figures in the world of football, and I enjoyed some incredible extracurricular experiences. Most of all, I made some friends that I will take with me no matter where life takes me!

What are your aspirations in the football and sports industry?

I have plenty of exciting projects at Orient that I’m really excited to complete in the short to medium term. I’d love to be able to be involved in a major international tournament but who knows what the future holds! I suppose a lot of people in the industry, like myself, would just like to make a positive impact and make the sport more accessible and welcoming to everyone.

What advice would you pass on to anyone looking to study at UCFB?

Being a UCFB student presents you with opportunities you won’t get elsewhere. Make the most of these opportunities and gain invaluable industry experience.