The National Basketball League (NBA) is one of the biggest sports businesses in the world, with a fanbase far beyond it's North American borders. We spoke with Mihir Pandya, a MSc International Sport Management (Online) graduate, who works at the NBA in Media Monitoring and Response Management, about his experiences in the industry, his previous role at the MLS and the benefits of studying an online programme at UCFB...

Hi Mihir. Tell us about your online degree. How is it benefitting your career and broadening your understanding of the industry?

The degree has been a great experience thus far. I am currently enrolled in the MSc International Sport Management program, and since UCFB encourages online students to visit the Wembley and Etihad Campus, I’ve been able to meet and network with faculty and students while also attending some of the Employability & Enrichment events. After having concluded five modules, I genuinely feel that I have a different outlook on the overall sports industry.

Item 2
Mihir worked in the Press Office at US Soccer before taking up his Media Monitoring and Response Management role at the MLS

Two of the modules I’ve undertaken have focused on sustainability and the globalization of sport. As a PR professional, I had no experience in these fields yet the informational lectures make me feel like I could switch professions.

Why did you choose to study an online programme at UCFB?

I chose to study the degree online because it gives me the chance to continue working at my current job in the United States. It also gives me the opportunity to be mentored by the UCFB program leaders and network with sports professionals around the world. UCFB’s partnership with the Real Madrid graduate school was another reason I chose the program and I’m looking forward to heading to the Spanish capital in May to start this part of the programme.

Tell us about your role at the MLS. It sounds like a fascinating job at a very dynamic, growing organisation.

I was a Public Relations professional working in the US for Major League Soccer (MLS) and U.S. Soccer Federations (USSF). As a Response Management consultant for MLS, I was able to help alongside an off-site satellite team of media monitors and help provide insights and data measuring the success of the communications department.

The role also consisted of helping to lead the effort on keeping the executive staff informed regarding the latest MLS news (internal and external). As a Media Operations professional, I helped lead all venue-related media operations for USSF at least 3-4 times (matches) a year.

Item 4
Mihir: “The ability to work on the coursework online at any time of the day or week is a great benefit for working professionals like myself.”

How is the degree impacting your professional activities and career?

The ability to use UCFB’s network is great for any professional as so many of the staff members and alumni are interconnected to the sporting industry all around the world. I currently have some football industry experience but I believe that UCFB and this online degree can take me to the next level. The best part is, that I can continue to work in the industry while I earn my degree. I hope to one day soon work alongside some of the industry legends that I look up to.

What are the main benefits of studying an online programme?

The ability to work on the coursework online at any time of the day or week is a great benefit for working professionals like myself. It also gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family in the United States.

Find out more