As a second year BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student, Catherine Micallef has secured a role as Supporter Liaison Officer at West Ham United, and another as Content Writer at Edgware FC, all while writing her own blog and, of course, studying for her degree. Here, the UCFB Wembley student shares what it’s like working behind the scenes at a Premier League club and how she stays on top of all her commitments…

Tell us about your role as Supporter Liaison Officer at West Ham and how you landed it.

At West Ham I engage with fans and family members that come over to watch their club play and get them excited for the match. I found the job while I was trying to find opportunities at football clubs through UCFB’s Employability and Enrichment scheme during the summer. I then had an interview which went very well and got the job.

What are some of your personal highlights in what has been a promising start to the season in all competitions?

My personal highlight so far was the Europa League match. It was so exciting to see Rapid Vienna's fans' enthusiasm despite the fact that some fans caused a bit of trouble at the end of the match.
So far it has been a great experience and I look forward to many more shifts at West Ham.

What have you taken into the role from your time at UCFB?

I think UCFB has really helped in building my confidence for when it comes to putting my name out there. Be confident and talk to people because you never really know what doors a certain role can open for you. I’m going to be talking to a lot of people at the stadium, and I never know who I might end up meeting or talking to.

You also work as Social Media Assistant and Content Writer at Edgware Town FC. What does this involve and how do you balance it with your job at West Ham, as well as your studies?

The good thing about West Ham is that it is a flexible job, so if I cannot make it to a match, I will not be forced to go in. This helps me to balance my time and prioritise studies, my role at Edgware and other commitments that I have going on, such as working at Wembley Stadium with the Tours team and writing on my own blog.

At Edgware I am currently creating content for their match day programmes. COVID-19 has not made it easy for the club to go all out with ideas and reach their audience, but now that football is back on and that I also have the opportunity to go see them play live, the club and I are very excited about engaging with our fans and getting them excited about the new squad which is pulling off some great results.

How has your BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism programme helped you in the role?

During my first year, I learnt a lot about social media and writing for different platforms. Living in England also exposed me to more English, hence improving both my writing and speaking. This has really helped me in my role at Edgware and at West Ham.

How have you found being an international student living and working in London?

As I moved during the pandemic, I found it quite difficult at first. However, the second semester was much better on a social level, and I managed to find a group that I clicked with very well. Coming from a completely different culture was very difficult for me and it sometimes still is. But overall it is a great experience. It is a very different place compared to Malta, even in size, in fact it’s bigger, and I love the fact that every day I get the opportunity to discover something new about it and the people here. The easing of restrictions has helped too and securing these jobs has made my life easier because it has enabled me to do more in the brilliant city that is London.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to study at UCFB?

If you are ready to work hard go for it. What I really like about UCFB is that despite the fact that the lecturers leave us to be independent and give us a lot of independent study, if they see that you really want to get good grades, a good career and you work really hard for it, they will help you. They’ll give you advice, help you find opportunities and even find them there for you. Just believe in yourself and don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something just because maybe you’re not an expert in it.

Compared to everyone else, I feel like I do not know enough about English football, but because everyone loves sports here at UCFB, people will help you and include you. They give me knowledge about English football and in return I give them knowledge about Italian football for example, which I basically know and follow by heart because I grew up watching it. If you really believe and want something, you will find a way to do it, no excuses, just obstacles that you need to overcome because nothing comes easy.