A recent UCFB/GIS summit in the United States highlighted the importance of networking for students, alumni and even professionals with years of experience in the sports industry.

The Atlanta Summit brought many UCFB/GIS representatives together, along with people from sports clubs, groups and organisations in Georgia and further afield.

Many of the people at the summit spoke about how vital networking can be to people in the sports industry, and what opportunities it can bring.

Luke Morton, BA (Hons) Sports Business and Broadcasting graduate, said: “Networking is so important, especially as a university student, because I personally believe who you surround yourself with, you become.

“If you surround yourself with top-quality people, you’ll become a top-quality person.

“Some of the people here are so friendly, so professional. To be around some of the best people in the industry. It just shows that if you mix around with the right people, that can lead to things that you might never have dreamed of.”

The students got familiar with multiple people from Atlanta United, all of whom shared the same sentiment.

Thomas Videki, director of operations at Atlanta United FC, said: “Sports is really a community, and I believe when you build your community and build your network, you also help personal growth and the business as well.

Carlos Bocanegra, vice president and technical director, added: “It’s good to have relationships. That’s the biggest thing.

“If you can build relationships in the industry, that’s how people can count on you and trust you.”

Alex DeJohn, a defender at the club, said: “Putting yourself out there will hopefully benefit you in the long-term, because you’re going to have to do that on a day-to-day basis.

One of the guests at the conference was Bria Washington, sports marketing manager at Coca Cola. She said:

“Networking is probably the number one thing that got me to where I am today.

“Just talking to people and learning from people with different experiences and backgrounds, interests.

“I get to experience that with them and understand different industries, and that’s what I love about the whole networking component, especially in the sports industry.”

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