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Sport Development students hone employability skills for the graduate job market

Released: 11.06.20

Final year students at Plymouth Marjon University have gained experience to help them secure their future careers by having online job interviews at home.

The Graduate Employability in Sport module is carried out by students on both the Sport Development and Football Development and Coaching courses. The module teaches students how to take everything they have learned during their degree and effectively communicate all they have achieved to potential employers.

These employers are local, national, public and private sector organisations, that provide careers in the student’s areas of study. Students were interviewed by staff from Saints Southwest, Premier Education, Active Devon, Plymouth Argyle Community Trust and Plymouth School Sports Partnership.

The module focuses on the partners giving guest lectures, where they teach about a job that would be suitable for a graduate and encourage the students to prepare for an interview for that job.

Students on the course will also work closely alongside Marjon’s employability department, Marjon Futures. This team help the final year group with their application, CV and how to apply their degree knowledge in the interview.

When discussing the module, Programme Area Leader, Phil Brown said: “This module has been running for several years and has brought our students great success. Our graduates are now industry professionals, working as regional sports officers and coaches in Devon and Cornwall and many have gone on to Plymouth Argyle Community Trust.

“This year we moved the module to online learning and the benefits have not been lost. Our students have continued to be successful in their interviews and many are having further discussions with our partnering organisations and job offers have been made."

The module was taught through online learning with both lecturers and students at home. The video interviews were an innovation to support the students in honing their employability skills during the time of lockdown.

Representatives from Saints Southwest and Premier Education, along with the other organisations, took part in the online interviews and were delighted by the performance of the students.

Saints Southwest General Manager, Tom Shwenn said: “The module is a great way for us as a community interest company to engage with students that will soon be looking for opportunities within the industry and we are often in a position to offer roles to exceptional individuals met through the module.

“I have offered two students the opportunity to interview for actual roles within Saints Southwest as I was particularly impressed with their conduct within the module interviews.”

Premier Education Area Director, Alistair Hudson commented: “Working online together helped support the student's completion of the course. Using software, students were able to present their work and carry out virtual interviews with ease.

“From the group who had their assessment with Premier Education, there were a number of students who have had further conversations regarding moving into the world of work with us. We really appreciate working alongside Marjon.”

The success students have had in the module has been expressed by third year Sport Development student, Dionne Igalawuye, who was interviewed by Premier Education. She said:

“The benefit of interviewing for a job, regardless of the outcome, is that I gained vital experience in being in a professional setting. It felt like any other interview, I dressed appropriately and remained professional despite the circumstances. 

“I chose to be interviewed by Premier Education, because I like the way the company approaches its employees and the work they do within schools. After completing my degree, working for Premier Education would be an exciting next step in my career.”

To find out more about Sport Development courses at Marjon:

BA Sport Development and Coaching

BA (Hons) Football Development and Coaching 

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