Working in the media and communications department of a professional football club comes with its challenges, especially if the club’s manager is as outspoken and well known as Southend United’s Phil Brown.

For UCFB graduate Tom Jarvis, communicating and dealing with Brown on a daily basis is the perfect grounding for what promises to be a long and illustrious career for the BA (Hons) Football Business & Media student.

Tom took on the role as the Essex clubs sole Media and Communication Executive in December 2015, just months after graduating from UCFB’s historic Turf Moor campus in Burnley. He highlighted skills he picked up during his time at UCFB as vital in securing his job at the League One club, as well as a seven-month work placement at Burnley FC during his time in Lancashire.

His role at the Shrimpers involves maintaining the club’s website, managing the social media feeds, creating and editing content for the match day programme, interviewing players for the online video channel and liaising with national and regional press throughout the week and on match day.

Tom said: “During my degree at UCFB we did a course in events management which is very important – I work with the commercial team here quite regularly. For instance, we’ve just held our Meet the Blues day where fans come to the training ground and watch the players train. We did a module very similar to that in my second year at UCFB.

“There’s various things that I’ve taken from my time at UCFB and managed to use and put to good use in a practical sense. Some of the work experience I got through UCFB was perfect and was one of the reasons why I got into where I am now.”

The fast paced nature of the football industry keeps him on his toes, Tom said, especially in his media role. The nature of 24-hour rolling sports news means his phone is always on and he must be prepared for anything at all times.

He cites his previous experience of working at a football club, being a good communicator, accessible and approachable as other key skills that helped him to get the job at Roots Hall.

What advice would he give to those looking to break into the industry via a degree at UCFB?

“Take advantage of as many of the opportunities that UCFB gives you. I took the opportunity to work at Burnley FC for seven months and that was a massive thing for me. Make the most of the experiences and take as much as you can from the modules and you can get to wherever you want to be.”

Tom finished: “The reputation of UCFB is growing, it’s massive now and everybody knows where UCFB is and what it is. There’s no limit to how far you can go with this institution.”