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Undergraduate study

Our students

James McDonald

James has taken advantage of some great volunteering opportunties while studying for his degree.

James McDonald

BA (Hons) Sports Management and Marketing

It’s very clear that Teesside wants the best for its students.

What made you decide to study your course at Teesside University?

After deciding that I wanted to pursue a career in sports marketing I visited the University and met with the course leader of my programme. I learnt more about what the course entailed and the opportunities available at Teesside University. I knew then that I wanted to study here.

I was already studying in the North East at another institution, but the course I’d chosen wasn’t right for me. I used resources on the UCAS website to search for courses that were better suited to my ideal career.
I chose my course because it offered me a route to my career goals.

What’s the best thing about your course?

The support and effort put in by the lecturers is probably the best thing about my course. I’ve had so much support to find volunteering opportunities, this has led to me gaining first-hand experience at Middlesbrough Football Club – a partner of the University. I’ve also been able to seek out opportunities with other clubs.

My favourite modules have been Digital Marketing and Sports Events Management – both have offered excellent insights into the career I aspire to enter in the future.

What do you think about the campus?

The campus is always lively and there are plenty of places to relax as well as work. There are so many opportunities for students to engage and get involved with extra-curricular activities – and these opportunities are promoted all over campus. The library is brilliant and up-to-date.

I don’t live in University student accommodation but I have friends who do who highly recommend it. They’ve met lots of new people by living in student accommodation. The prices aren’t too demanding and it’s a relaxed and comfortable living area.

What has your social life been like? And have you completed any extra-curricular activities?

My social life has been brilliant during my studies at Teesside. Having great places to drink and eat so close to the University has helped me to find the right balance between work and social life.

During my studies I’ve spent a considerable amount of my free time volunteering so that I have plenty of extra-curricular experiences once I graduate. I’ve volunteered a lot with Whitby Town Football Club. Here I’ve worked within the marketing department and have had chance to meet with local businesses to discuss sponsorship packages. I’ve also promoted events associated with the club around Whitby. It’s given me a great insight into various elements of affiliate marketing and it’s been a unique experience which I’ve really benefited from.

Volunteering with the club has given me a good understanding of what’s required to achieve goals in sports marketing. Although I wasn’t paid I was lucky enough to receive some free tickets to some games.

As well as my work with Whitby Town I’ve had the chance to go to Wales and volunteer at the UEFA Champions League where I worked with spectator services and VIP. The experience involved me engaging with fans face-to-face and using social media to promote the event.
I also currently mentor first year students who study the same course as me. I have regular one-to-one sessions with the student I am mentoring to see how they are progressing and if there’s anything I can help with.

What’s next for you? Would you recommend Teesside University?

I’d recommend Teesside University because of the opportunities and support it provides. It’s very clear that Teesside wants the best for its students and there’s a feeling that you can do well here as long as you put the effort in.

I’ve not yet graduated but when I do I’ll be looking to start a career in marketing with a professional football club.
I think my course alone will help towards my career ambitions. I also think my volunteering experiences that I’m gaining alongside my degree will really complement my learning and will be really influential in my future goals.