After working as a Sports Reporter at Radio Essex for Euro 2020, UCFB student Jack Fealy is building his knowledge and experience of the industry with a brand new role as Social Media Coordinator for QPR Women. Here, the BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student tells us about both placements and how he’d never have landed them without UCFB…

Congratulations on your new role as Social Media Coordinator at QPR Women! Tell us about the role and how you’ve found it so far.

Thank you! My role at QPR Women involves me being responsible for home and away matchday coverage on Twitter and Instagram, as well as producing insightful match reports and quote pieces for the club’s website. My time at QPR so far has been brilliant. Everyone has been so accommodating and I can’t wait to grow at the football club.

What have you taken into the role from your BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism degree?

I have taken so many things away that I have learnt from my modules in Year One, and what I have learnt so far in Year Two. I have taken the knowledge of how to write a match report correctly, as well as the ability to talk and interview individuals that I may need quotes from. Learning how the media works online as well as in print has also made my role so much easier. I have gathered the knowledge of how to use social media efficiently to expand a social network. My sports degree has for sure shaped me to be successful within this role and for the future.

How are you using social media to grow and promote women’s football?

Social media is a great thing and especially when it comes to exposing and growing the women’s game. In recent years, months even, women’s football has gained huge attention and growth, and a lot of that has come through the use of social media. Posting regular match updates, as well as GIFs and images throughout the fixture, and insightful match reports engages the regular football fan, turning their head to the women’s game. Everyone is on social media these days, making it a brilliant platform to develop the interest in women’s sport in general.

How have you found balancing the work with your studies?

I can’t lie, at some points it has been tough. But, if you want to work within this industry, you need the determination and motivation to get you through the hard times. Having that constant ambition of wanting to be within sports broadcasting, or journalism in general, pushes me that extra mile to not only progress my experience within the industry, but to excel within my studies.

You are also a Sports Reporter at Radio Essex. How have you found this role and what alternative skills have you gained whilst doing it?

My time at Radio Essex has been amazing. It was a dream come true when I made my broadcasting debut for the station covering EURO 2020 and I have gained and developed some many new skills and attributes. I have developed my broadcasting abilities to a professional level, learnt how to stick to a specific deadline, and improved my post-production techniques. My match reporting has also been developed, as well as my communication and creativity, pushing me closer to my ambition and goal of becoming a sports broadcaster.

What have been some of the highlights from your time at UCFB so far?

There have been so many. Working with Hashtag United has to be up there. To be working with such an amazing football club, with so many amazing people, it has to be one of the best experiences in my life so far. Being able to present UCFB’s behind-the-scenes content was also a personal highlight. Interviewing Martin Tyler is also a major achievement of mine. To be able to talk to one of my inspirations was fantastic. It is a moment I will never forget.

Working for Planet Sport as a freelance journalist has also been unbelievable. As well as developing my short and long-form writing to a professional level, the experiences I have gained with them have been unimaginable. I attended my first accredited press conferences and events working for them - MMA 267 - a moment to cherish. And of course, working for Radio Essex and QPR Women are two experiences that have allowed me to grow as a journalist and broadcaster.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to study at UCFB?

UCFB is the place to be if you want a career in sport. It offers so many more experiences and opportunities than your regular institution and this will prepare you for your desired industry. Attending UCFB has been the best decision I have ever made. But I will say this, it is hard work.

It is important that while you study for your degree that you go out and explore the many opportunities within the sporting industry. Go and get placements, part-time jobs, internships, work experience, so that you have the portfolio and CV to achieve your first job within sport when you leave UCFB.