Jack McMullen is completing his Masters degree and progressing his career in America

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Jack McMullen is currently completing his final year of the MA Leadership in Sport postgraduate degree at USW. So far in his career, he has been very successful and is the Assistant Regional Director at UK International Soccer and Director of Coaching at OV Toros FC in California.

Below, he talks about his reasons for returning to education to complete a Master’s degree and how this has helped him progress his career in sport in the USA.

I wanted to develop my sports career in the USA.

"When I had finished my undergraduate degree at another university in Wales, I had looked at pursuing a master’s degree but I never found the right course or one that I felt would appropriately aid my career in sport. I took three years out of education and worked for a sports management company. Through this work, I came in close contact with UK International Soccer and I started to explore the master’s degree they had on offer. I spoke to university lecturers at USW and the UK International Soccer recruitment directors about the opportunities to develop a sports career through the course and in the USA and I really warmed to the idea of not having to be physically at the university for 9 months of the year, likewise to most students. I have a very strong heart for Cardiff from when I previously studied and lived there, so it was a no brainer for me to apply for the course, which enabled me to further develop a strong sports career, further knowledge through the university education and visit Cardiff and friends each year."

I had the ability to learn online and balance my education with my career.

"The online learning experience has been a great experience for me. I have been able to manage my time accordingly for work and education to meet deadlines and my mind is at rest knowing that the lecture slides and presentation are on blackboard and can be watched at any time. I believe the course has helped me develop maturity and time management skills."

Engagement with tutors and access to learning resources was amazing, despite the distance.

"Throughout the course, I have been provided good engagement by the tutors at the university. Although I have done 90% of my studying on the other side of the world in the USA, I have always had quick replies on email to my queries and we have been provided with strong communication by lecturers when new presentation or information is available. My research project tutor has been outstanding throughout the project and he has been easily accessible every time I have required a meeting or quick chat. Additionally, the tutors do not constantly chase you and they provide you with enough space to get your work completed in your own time and to your own set deadlines, within the university module deadlines."

This course has given me the skills I needed to progress in my career.

'"The main reason I enrolled on this course was to further pursue a sports career. With just an undergraduate degree in Sports Management and with so many students each year graduating with the same or similar undergraduate degrees, it makes it increasingly hard to find a strong sports career which has clear pathways to develop within the UK and further abroad. From the research I had completed prior to the course, gaining a masters within the sports industry provided me with a real opportunity to progress quickly and develop my career. I am completing my final year of the master's degree and I have been with UK International Soccer for just over a year. 

Within my time out in the USA and at USW, I have gone from a coach of a recreational league to Assistant Regional Director for the Northern California region of UK International Soccer. Additionally, I have recently taken over as Director of Coaching at a club in Northern California called OV Toros FC. I have been able to use the skills and education I have developed at USW through the modules I have completed directly to work I have completed in the USA. For example, I completed the Enterprise and Innovation in Sport module last year where I created my own soccer club which would be in competition to teams in Northern California. I used this resource that I created as a document to show what value I could add to the club at OV Toros FC if I were to become the Director of Coaching."

Learn more about studying Sport at USW.