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Finding a new career path in the sports industry with a Bath master’s

MSc Sport Management graduate Rachael talks about how she moved from a career in FMCG marketing to working in the sports industry.

Rachael graduated from MSc Sport Management in 2022 after returning to university to combine her interests in marketing and sports.

She's since gone on to work for the Royal Yachting Association as a Digital Project Manager. We caught up with her to find out more about her career and how what she learnt during her master's at Bath has helped.

My journey to sports management

At undergraduate level, I did a business management apprenticeship degree with Nestlé, which involved learning while working. I did this over three years, then worked for them for a further two years in marketing and sales roles.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns in the UK, I started to really think about what I wanted to do next. I thought it was time to change; I wanted a broader set of options.

I have always been interested in sport and fitness, so a move into a career that combined this with my business and marketing skills felt right.

At Nestlé, I’d been working in the pet food industry, so it was a big change!

Discovering the course at Bath

After researching courses, I found MSc Sport Management at Bath. I felt that it would be a really interesting way of taking my business skills and applying them to the world of sport.

I’m not an athlete, so I was looking for something that focused on the sport policy and business side. I studied topics like how the sports industry and sport development impact on communities and individuals, which was fascinating.

Overall, the course combined the business and the sports side really well.

‘My master’s degree gave real legitimacy to my application. That, combined with my other experience, gave me a bit of an edge over other applicants.’
Rachael Rhodes Digital Product Manager at the Royal Yachting Association and MSc Sport Management graduate

Making the course my own

It was a bit of a learning curve when I started the course.

I had a lot of practical knowledge from my time in my previous role and during my apprenticeship degree, but I was missing the theoretical and academic skills. I had an interest in sport from a personal viewpoint, but not as something I’d done in a job or through studying.

When I was studying, the course had quite a small cohort. This meant that there were lots of opportunities to have regular contact with the academics and learn more about their areas of expertise.

I enjoyed the modules on sports development the most during the course. I developed a real interest in the theory behind this topic and about how sport can help people to learn something new about themselves. Sport is a powerful tool for socialising and building communities.

Setting sail on my new career

I am now working for the Royal Yachting Association as their Digital Product Manager.

I think that my master’s degree gave real legitimacy to my application. That, combined with my other experience, gave me a bit of an edge over other applicants.

I’ve now been in my job since August 2022 and am learning a massive amount about the industry. I am hoping to do a project management course in the future to further build on my skills.

My advice for future students

Doing a master’s is a massive investment in yourself, so it’s really important to take every opportunity you can.

There is a huge amount of expertise and knowledge at Bath. Take advantage of this and learn from people who have such amazing industry experience.

More student stories

Read more about the experiences of our students on this course.

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