Football fan and UCFB Wembley student Robert Quigley recently returned from a month in Brazil with first division club Coritiba FC and is already plotting his next trip back.

The BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student joined the club’s marketing department in June, with one of his main tasks for the month helping to implement the new Coritiba megastore, following the club’s new sponsorship deal with sportswear giant Adidas.

During his month at the South American club, as well as helping design the layout of the new store and recommend what else it could stock to increase brand awareness, Robert successfully pitched the idea of the club implementing a matchday programme similar to that seen at English games. Following his pitch, the club met with publishers with a view of moving forward on the project. Robert’s work with the club also stretched to the matchday by assisting the mascots and their families.

Away from his unique month’s work experience, Robert was lucky enough to soak up the world famous atmosphere of Brazilian league football, and explore the city of Coritiba with its mix of urban developments and the beach, as well as Parque Barigui – a picturesque park with lots of wildlife.

He learnt enough Portuguese to get him through the month, and has vowed to continue learning the language in the hope of returning to Brazil soon.

One bit of Brazilian culture he took to straight away was the food, in particular the coxinha – a traditional Brazilian dish similar to a croquette. His colleagues at Coritiba joked he should open his own coxinha restaurant as he ate so many!

Speaking on his experience, a delighted Robert said: “The opportunity provided by UCFB to spend a month at Coritiba FC in Brazil has proved to be a defining experience career-wise, and on a personal level I have made what I’m sure will be a lot of long term friendships. I have gained so much knowledge and had first-hand experience of working at a football club in a football obsessed country and one that is, I am sure, different to how football organisations in England work.

“The culture in Brazil was exciting and vibrant and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing it. The food was incredible and very much part of the way of life. I was extremely well looked after by everyone I met and spent time with, and I could only wish to give them the same type of hospitality if they ever come to England.

“I would relish a return to Coritiba FC and will continue learning Portuguese in anticipation of this. Thank you to all involved in this wonderful experience I enjoyed.”