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Preparing for an international career in sport marketing: Yuyang’s story

Yuyang talks about her experience studying Sport Management at Bath and how the master’s has helped her career goals.

Yuyang stood in a foyer in a building at the University of Bath.
Having done her undergraduate degree in China, Yuyang studied MSc Sport Management at Bath in 2022/23.

After graduating from the MSc Sport Management in 2023, Yuyang moved back to China to kickstart her career. We spoke to her to find out why she chose to study in the UK, and how the interdisciplinary master’s has helped set her up for a career in the Chinese sporting industry.

Combining sport and business to further my career

Before I moved to the UK, I did my bachelor’s in economics and management in Shanghai, China. I felt that going straight onto my master’s, rather than taking a gap year, was the right way to go, as I wanted to try and finish my studies quickly.

I love sporting events and the atmosphere they create, so when I was looking for master’s programmes, I chose to study sport management. I wanted to see how different countries teach knowledge about the sports industry and gain a broader perspective. As England has more sports professionals than China, I chose to study in the UK.

While I’m not an athlete like some of my peers on the Sport Management course at Bath, I’ve always liked many types of sport. I really liked volleyball when I was in high school, and I also enjoy skiing and water sports. I also participated in sporting events in both China and the UK, so when I started the degree in Bath, it was nice to have athletes on the course with me and to have the opportunity to talk to them about different sports.

From Shanghai to Bath

After living in Shanghai for my bachelor’s degree, I knew I wanted to live a quieter life for my master’s.

One reason that Bath appealed to me was because of its location. Other universities were near London, which is very busy and more expensive. Bath, on the other hand, is quiet and clean, but it’s not in the middle of nowhere as it is near Bristol.

However, the biggest reason I chose Bath over other universities was because of the many resources it provides its students. Often we would have guest lectures, where an expert from the sports industry would be invited to share their knowledge and expertise with us.

The university also has many support services for students, and the Student Union were great at providing opportunities for students to participate in different activities and societies. I also liked that there are facilities like gyms or swimming pools available both on campus and in the city.

‘The knowledge and skills I gained from the Sport Management course will make it easier to look for a job here in China, and I feel like I now have the confidence to seek out that dream job.’
Yuyang MSc Sport Management (2023)

Experiencing the course and the Practice Track

The course was a good mix of sports and management; it was demanding at first, especially with English not being my first language. However, the teachers gave us a lot of guidance, which really helped me. They were very supportive and would check in with how we were getting on, or if we were finding anything difficult. The teachers also offered us out-of-hours meetings if we had something we needed to discuss further – so I definitely felt supported.

A highlight of the course was our trip to Switzerland. We went with Dr Rui Biscaia, a researcher at Bath, who took us to Lausanne to attend the International Olympic Committee. We also visited the Olympics museum, which was huge and had many memorabilia from previous Olympic games. It’s definitely a memory that will stay with me; talking to other students and staff from different places, who had all come here to learn and study with each other, was such a rewarding experience.

Instead of doing a dissertation, I did the Practice Track to complete my degree. I worked for AKQA, who are a digital agency, and did my project on AI training. They were looking to improve their football training app, where players can train with an AI coach to boost their performance and skills. My group and I researched different football players and interviewed them to collect consumer data for the development of the app. It was a valuable project to be a part of as we were able to actively contribute to a real-life scenario.

Living in Bath as an international student

Moving to a new country was a big step, but every person that I talked to was very friendly, especially my teachers and classmates. I remember spending a lot of my time in the Virgil building, in the city centre, studying or finishing assignments. The careers service was also inside, which was very useful.

I really liked living in Bath – Shanghai is too busy for me. The buses in Bath are very convenient, and there was a supermarket and gym near me. The city is also very clean and I enjoyed visiting all of Bath’s historical places like the Abbey. Life in Bath is great!

As strange as it sounds, my favourite place in Bath is Marks & Spencer’s. It’s very convenient and the food is delicious. I would often buy fruit and other foods from there, and I would definitely recommend it to new international students – you can find clothing, stationary, and even chopsticks, which is really useful when you begin living here.

Plans for the future

Having a master’s degree is very helpful for my career. It improved my professional skills, general knowledge and even things like human resources.

The knowledge and skills I gained from the Sport Management course will make it easier to look for a job here in China, and I feel like I now have the confidence to seek out that dream job. In the past I wanted to work in an event or sports agency, but there are so many different companies in this global industry and I’m hoping to kick off a career in sport marketing.

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