The inaugural Postgrad Awards was launched this summer to reward exceptional students from across the UK whose dedication, determination and passion for their work has set them apart. Organised by FindAMasters and FindAPhD, the Awards recognises students for inspirational work that sets news standard in postgraduate education. 

We caught up with MSc International Sport Management student Callum Noad who was nominated for Masters Student of the Year...

Congratulations on your nomination! Tell us about the Awards and how you get nominated.

Thank you! There are four categories: Masters Student of the Year, PhD Student of the Year, Masters Teacher of the Year and PhD Supervisor of the year. Each of the winners receives a trophy and the student winners win £500. I’m very grateful to the academic staff at UCFB who nominated me for this year’s Postgrad Awards.

Callum studies MSc International Sport Management at UCFB Wembley

Tell us about the highlights of your time as a postgraduate student at UCFB. What have you enjoyed the most?

It’s been great to study at the iconic Wembley Stadium as part of the MSc International Sport Management programme. To be able to walk the halls of such a historic and important place for sport is a gift. It’s a constant reminder of the top level of sport and somewhere I hope to return to one day in the future.

The course itself has been very insightful and useful. I’ve particularly enjoyed the wide array of modules that you study especially the leadership module studied in semester one. It was unlike anything I had learned before and contained many challenging concepts to get your head around.

Alongside the lectures, the guest lecturers that visit UCFB have been interesting to listen to. Gaining insight from those who have been there and achieved at a high level is a valuable tool moving forward. Having the chance to visit the Olympic Park and St George’s Park are great opportunities as we are able to apply the lessons we have learnt at Wembley and see them in real-world scenarios.

You've recently been in Madrid for the Real Madrid Graduate School experience. How is it a unique experience for PG students and what have you gained from it?

Madrid has been an extremely beneficial and enjoyable three months. If like me, you’d never lived outside of the UK, then living and studying in a foreign country forces you into challenging scenarios that make you think on your feet. My Spanish was at a decent level before I arrived but having the opportunity to speak with the locals really improves your ability and that can only be helpful moving forwards in this global industry.

While studying in Madrid, we met so many interesting people and had the chance to connect with them. It’s very helpful to be able to ask questions and gain insight into their careers. Above all, living in the sun for three months with your friends is a lot of fun and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

You’ve enjoyed success as an author – tell us about that journey and the advice you would give to any aspiring writers/authors.

I decided I’d like to write a book when I took a gap year between finishing sixth form and my undergraduate degree. I’ve always been a creative person and enjoy challenging myself. I started writing it when I was 18 but finished the bulk of it when I had a long summer after my 2nd year at Cardiff. I had no intention of becoming a writer so I just proofread it and self-published via Amazon. It started off well and gained some traction over the last 2 years and I’m very proud of selling over 20,000 copies around the world. Receiving some nice reviews motivated me into starting a second novel although I’m not too far into it.

My advice would be to not rush your writing. It can be tempting to speed through the last few chapters as you’re excited to finish but pausing and taking stock is the best thing to do. I regret rushing it and now I cringe reading back some of the chapters. Nothing is perfect the first time around so don’t forget to edit what you’ve written. If you like being creative, I’d recommend giving it a go. Even though some of my friends take the mickey, it’s a great ice breaker and can really make you stand out on applications.

And what are your plans and aspirations in the industry now you’re set to graduate?

While at UCFB, I interned at a commercial agency in London through the Employability & Enrichment team. It was a really enjoyable few months and it sparked my interest in the commercial side of sport. I’m hoping to work in that field relatively soon!

My aspirational goal is to become the CEO of my team, Cardiff City. I’m not quite sure how I’ll get there but I’m determined to one day.

And finally, what would your advice be for any students about to start a Masters course here?

Make the most of your time. The year goes by so quickly and all of sudden, you’re in the big, wide world. While your timetable might be different, we had plenty of time to intern, volunteer and work with partner clubs. Adding experience to your CV will really help you in the job market once you graduate. If people start to hear your name, then you’ve got a footing in this competitive industry. Hundreds of people will graduate this year with the same aspirations so think how you’re going to be better than them.