Over the summer, UCFB students gained valuable work experience at football clubs across the US as part of a multi-year partnership with the USL, working in a range of areas including marketing, media, coaching and events.

The developmental leader in North American soccer’s evolving tiered structure, USL League Two features 72 teams within four conferences that serve their communities throughout the United States and Canada.

With placements hosted at clubs in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia, UCFB students enjoyed a range of unique experiences and had the chance to develop their skills in key areas right in the heart of the US sports industry. We caught up with a number of students to hear about their highlights…

Ellie ReynoldsBA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing at UCFB Etihad Campus - Brazos Valley Cavalry in Bryan, Texas:

"My favourite day of the placement was definitely when the media team travelled down to Houston Dynamo’s/Dash’s training facility. As the Brazos Valley Cavalry were affiliates of Houston Dynamo (their players make up Dynamo’s under-23 team) it meant that the media team were able to spend the day at Houston Sports Park, in order to create content for the club. It was great to be able to network while I was down there, for example, I got the chance to talk to James Clarkson - Head Coach of Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League. To make the day even better, Mexico’s National Team came down to practise for their quarter-final match in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, so I got to watch them play a private match against the Dynamo youth team.

I also met some amazing people while I was over there, people who I worked with and the team's players, who all contributed to making the experience even more memorable and I hope we stay in touch."

AJ ChatfieldBA (Hons) Sport Business & Sports Broadcasting at UCFB Wembley - Wake FC in Holly Springs, North Carolina:

"It’s cliché but the people were by far the best bit, everyone was welcoming, and you got to know everyone at the club from the owners to the operations team. Being a part of a club with people you get along with lets you develop yourself while helping the club achieve their main goal with no real issues. They all understood why I was there and did everything they could to help me achieve what I needed to do."

Grant McQuillanBA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism at UCFB Etihad Campus - Corpus Christi FC in Corpus Christi, Texas:

"There were so many highlights. It truly was the best summer I could have asked for, not just from a career standpoint, but life in general. Each week we would travel with the team across Texas so we could run the media and work as the club liaison. Because of this, we got to see places such as Houston, Austin, Dallas, and much more. We would see some spectacular places whilst we were working away with the team and it really was a dream to do this job and travel at the same time.

Matchdays back in Corpus Christi were also special. You get such an incredible feeling when the team wins and you do a great job of ensuring the fans had a magnificent experience."

Ethan JamesBA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism at UCFB Etihad Campus - Cincinnati Dutch Lions in Cincinnati, Ohio:

"We did a lot of community work which I’m proud of – it was always more than just a ‘media internship’. We worked with the likes of Refugee Connect, St. Pius X, Boone County Library, Scott Christian Memorial Golf Scramble, Cincinnati Soccer League’s adult training sessions and more. It allowed us to meet and help some brilliant people and make a positive impact in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Volunteering with Refugee Connect to help run the World Refugee Day Cup – a soccer tournament in Cincinnati – was the most memorable though. There were probably over 600 refugees who took part from all over the world, and this diversity was celebrated through an incredible flag parade. The whole thing was quite emotional, really. I’ll send you the video I made to capture the event."

Dan Wiseman and Vinny Ray, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism at UCFB Wembley, Albion Hurricanes in Houston, Texas:

DW: "We were in Texas for Independence Day on 4th July, which was just perfect. It gave me my favourite memory from the entire trip - when the men’s side came back from 1-0 down away at local rivals Houston FC, on the 4th, with the winning goal (which actually won our Goal of the Season award) coming in the 86th minute.

Driving back on the Houston highways, the sky illuminated by the Independence Day fireworks, Bruce Springsteen on the radio - I don’t think it gets any more American than that. The celebrations afterwards were so, so good."

VR: "Team spirit. We had a hashtag the whole of the time that we were there: the #RoyalFamily. It really did feel like a family, and the players included Dan and me throughout our time at the club. The most memorable moments were the wins. The men’s team managed to fin five games out of the final seven- the team spirit was incredible. The women had a fantastic season throughout. We felt like part of the team."

Nathan Lucas, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media at UCFB Wembley - Charlotte Eagles in Charlotte, North Carolina:

"The best memories that I will take away from this opportunity was a lot of the quality time I got to spend with the community I lived in. I got to work very closely with the players so I have developed my network a lot more than just interacting with the staff. The players were all college students from various states and countries so it created a very diverse atmosphere within the club.

In addition to the media responsibilities during the season, I was also able to coach at three different youth camps and travel with the team to three other states for away matches so I got to experience a variety of different aspects of the Charlotte Eagles as a soccer club."

Joan Sospedra, MSc Sport Management at UCFB Wembley - South Georgia Tormenta FC in Statesboro, Georgia:

"If there's one thing I have to highlight about these months, it's the home match days. The club is one of the main features of the city and when you play at home, much of Statesboro comes to support your club. We organised everything perfectly and the club's 20 workers performed our role to a really high level - an awesome experience not only for the fans but also for all the staff.

On a personal level, the tasks I did during the match were to update and publish the main facts of the match on social networks in Spanish."