As a University Sport department, it is key that we are sharing our successes – whether it be a BUCS match result, a new facility offering, an upcoming event – so that people know what we are up to. Sharing our news is instrumental to recruitment, creating a community on campus, and getting people – staff, non-sport students, the local community – engaged in sport and fitness. Therefore, each year UBSport finds a media volunteer to dedicate a few hours a week to writing up reports, going to games, helping out at events and getting involved in shouting about what we do as a Sport department. This year, Bonnie was that person, and following a year of doing just this, we wanted to find out what she thought about the role and any advice she might have for her successor.
This was a position that I applied for on a bit of a whim going into my 4th year at Birmingham. I was aware that I would have a lot more spare time on my hands having come to the end of an intense rowing training programme as well as a position on the committee, and being a person who thrives off being busy I was looking for something new to throw myself into.
Sport has always been a huge part of my life both recreationally and academically, as my chosen degree discipline was Sport and Exercise Sciences. Additionally, I have always had an interest in Sports Media and considered it a potential career avenue after University. Therefore, when I read about the Sports Media Volunteer opportunity on the Sport & Fitness website I thought it sounded right up my street. I applied and luckily enough I got the job!
Whilst this was a demanding role, it also did not detract from my academic work and other extra-curricular activities, so have no fear that it is manageable alongside the other aspects of your life! A typical week in this role would be something like this…
Monday (about half an hour):
Thursday (roughly 2h):
These are the core responsibilities of the Sports Media Volunteer role and throughout term time, these jobs would constitute a typical week. In addition, occasionally there are some exciting opportunities to get involved in other activities going on in the marketing department. Some examples from this year include a photo call with the Women’s Hockey 1st team, Great Run 10K promo material with the Birmingham Mail and working on live coverage of BUCS Nationals. There’s lots of opportunities to get some great experience outside of your typical role.
There are so many positives to gain from taking on this role. It’s given me so much experience in the sports media sector that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to acquire and was a no-brainer in enhancing my CV and employment prospects. It has also helped me massively to improve my written and verbal communication skills as well as helping me to keep on top of my time management each week.
Additionally, this role has been instrumental in keeping me sane throughout my Masters degree! It has been refreshing to have responsibilities that don’t require me to be sat in the library for hours on end reading papers and writing endless words of a thesis. Instead I have been able to spend time doing something that I love, being outdoors and watching sport as well as writing about topics that I have a genuine interest in.
Not only has the role helped me to develop various skills, it has also been something that I have really enjoyed this year. Being so involved in Sport at Birmingham has been exciting and has given me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of sports that I had never come into contact with before. It has been a privilege to be able to work alongside the UBSport team and I am very grateful for all of the opportunities it has given me. I will definitely miss this role next year, but I hope that whoever takes this role on next enjoys it as much as I did!
Applications for 2018/19 have now closed, but if you’re interested in the Sport Media Volunteer role, or to get a bit of media volunteer experience for one-off events, get in touch with the UBSport Marketing team on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more – or see the 2018-19 job spec here.