A fond farewell

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Second year is now well underway and the time has come to bid farewell. I’m pleased to say the meeting I had with my course director a couple of weeks back went very well, and despite learning the deadline for submitting the dissertation topic is actually early November (rather than December as I had initially thought), I’m fairly confident with the progress I have managed to make so far. I have not only defined my research topic, but also know how to go about discoursing and analysing the subject and the research methods involved in the process. The programme director offered some invaluable insight as well and was overall very positive about the topic. Good, substantial progress.

Despite some of the shortcomings identified throughout the series of articles I have written over the past year, to date most of the degree has been instigating. Admittedly I have higher hopes for this second year as all of the modules are not only sport-specific, but more importantly, subjects which particularly interest me. Moreover, the prospect of the dissertation hugely motivates me – it is, as I see it and have mentioned before, the ultimate goal of the degree.

Not that this is necessarily a view shared by all.

In one of my earlier articles I questioned the appeal of Sport Management degrees in Britain; a year on, I think I understand the inner workings a bit better. Now that the 2013/14 class has graduated – or at the very least submitted their dissertations – I learned a select few have managed to get jobs in highly coveted football clubs. This is either a statement to the commitment they pledged to their studies, their highly polished networking skills, or correctly identifying their niche market. It is not my place to judge the best – or any one – approach to Postgraduate study, but I will say that selling a degree achievement is as dangerous as marketing a job title – unless you have the knowledge to back-up the initial claim it is likely you will get caught out.

And what of the students who have yet to find employment? The majority of them, I am told, are either leaving or have already returned to their home countries, although anything thereafter I remain unware of. The start of term has seen an influx of new students – the 2014/15 class – whom I am yet to asses in any shape or form. Interestingly, the only factual knowledge I can conclude from the first couple of weeks of sharing a classroom is that they are seemingly as young as my fellow full-time peers from the last academic year, which seems to address another earlier discussion about continuing education and safety nets (something of a pattern perhaps?).

This is my final article as part of the Her MBA series and, a year after I initially started writing these, it is curious how so many topics previously discoursed about are still extremely relevant. It does put something of a question mark over the structure of sport degrees and perhaps the educational system at large, although speaking for myself, I remain highly optimistic about the opportunities within and thereafter.

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