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Viv Long

Premier League ambitions for Bedfordshire graduate

“My long term career goal is to work as Commercial Director for a Premier League club. Working in a football club is an atmosphere I ultimately can’t explain, other than that it’s like being part of a family unit. Once you’re in, you never want to work anywhere else.”

Viv Long, Commercial Assistant, Luton Town Football Club, graduated 2013, First Class, BA (Hons) Public Relations – 4 year sandwich course

Viv Long

“I am currently working at Luton Town Football Club as its Commercial Assistant. My key responsibility is attracting investment to the club through different commercial activities. This can be by way of sponsorship, website advertising, programme advertisements and match sponsorships, together with increasing membership of the club’s executive lounges and other actions.

“My experiences at the University of Bedfordshire and the skills I learnt there definitely helped me to get my job and adapt to the world of work. Thanks to my time at the University, I can speak to different stakeholders within and outside of my organisation and its different commercial departments. My Public Relations Practice module helped me improve my approach to different audiences, and the Strategic Management aspect of the course showed me how to analyse situations and work out the best tactical approach.

“But the main thing my studies did was give me confidence! I was quite a reserved person, but the course, University and its staff helped to bring me out of my shell. There was never any pressure, but through the way the course was structured I was able to build up my self-esteem. Without this, I would struggle in any working environment to be heard, offer assistance or be noticed for good work.

“I originally began working for Luton Town for my placement year as part of my degree. It was that internship in the Commercial Department that lead to my current role. During that year I built lots of connections at the football club, not just with the Commercial Team, but other teams around the ground as well businesses in the local area.

“I love my job and working at Luton Town, but my long term career goal is to work as Commercial Director for a Premier League club. Working at football club is an atmosphere I ultimately can’t explain, other than it’s like being part of a family unit. Once you’re in, you never want to work anywhere else!

“However, I wasn’t always that focussed on my career aspirations. During my A levels I wasn’t even sure that university was for me; I was seeing friends who had taken the route to get jobs and was envious that they were earning money. I still decided to go to a couple of open days at different institutions, but, initially, I wasn’t impressed. It was only by chance that I went to an open day at University of Bedfordshire, but after looking round their facilities and meeting the staff I knew right away it was the place I wanted to study.

“What stood out for me was the University’s innovative approach to business and practice-based learning. The course teaches you through real life experiences rather than being dictated to from the smart board. The teaching techniques and experience of the staff were second to none, and they were extremely approachable. I was always confident I could speak to them about any issue.

“Thanks to my time at Beds, I’m now working in the crazy world of football. So whether its the opportunity to meet players from the 70s and 80s who you have heard so much about or seeing a mascot’s face as they come face-to-face with their heroes, it’s priceless.”

Bedfordshire University

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