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Job offer follows from sporty student's degree project

A graduate has gone from playing for the youngest football club in the league to working for the oldest – Notts County FC.

Leighton James, 24, of Northampton, was offered a full-time role as business development assistant and media officer after completing a three-month consultancy role at the club as part of his master’s degree at Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS).

Leighton James Notts County IMG_7478 resized

During his Business Management in Sport MSc, Leighton opted to complete an Executive Company Project (ECP) – when master’s students are asked by a company to help them in a particular area of the business.

He was asked to work on its award-winning Football in the Community (FITC) programme, which helps support grassroots projects and builds links with the local community.

Since its creation in 1989, Notts County has helped 35 projects across Nottinghamshire working with cancer patients, people with mental health issues, children and dementia patients. He helped raise £80,000 for the homeless and did a 10k sponsored walk for cancer patients.

“Without doubt the ECP has been the best part of the course,” said Leighton, who will also be working in match day co-ordination at Nottingham Forest.

Leighton James Football In Community IMG_6482

Leighton James worked on the Football in the Community programme

Leighton opted for the Business Management in Sport MSc after completing his BA in Arts and Festival Management at DMU partly to help his CV stand out, but also to bring a sports focus to his arts background.

“I come from a very creative and sporty family,” he said. “Conventionally, art and sport don’t mix and I have never understood why. I wanted to investigate how I could integrate the two and DMU offered me the opportunity to do so.”

As part of his MSc studies, he travelled to Munich to visit the Olympic stadiums and the Alliance Arena home of Bayern Munich on a visit led by lecturer Heather Dichter. Along with fellow students Thomas Judd and Matt Lilley, he also volunteered at the British Swimming Championships, meeting some of the nation’s top athletes including Adam Peaty.

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Leighton, who played professionally for Milton Keynes Dons before joining DMU, was on DMU Hockey Committee for three years and also played for DMU Rugby. He said being in a sports club was hugely beneficial: “I’ve made friends for life, and it has also opened doors to jobs and internships.”

David Gordon, Associate Professor at LCBS, said the Executive Company Project option offered students the chance to work in a consultancy role for businesses.

“The ECP is not about work shadowing or providing information that can be accessed elsewhere,” David said.

“It’s absolutely about being able to conduct the consultancy-level research that many businesses require. Students engage with the company, learning about its needs and they perform their research and make recommendations.

“In many cases our students have impressed so much they have been offered jobs on the back of their work.”

Posted on Thursday 2nd November 2017

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