I have always had a passion for sports and a flair for sales. I thought I’d do well in life if I found something that would combine these two interests. So I switched lines after my bachelor’s in engineering, which was a tough decision. After a few interesting turn of events, I landed a job with a sports management firm in Bengaluru and headed their sales team. Since then, I have worked in various roles across different business verticals and projects, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, ICC World T20 2016 and the IPL. While I had a great experience working in the sports industry in India, I felt the time was right to hone my craft further and up-skill myself for the global arena.
I had only two choices in mind — AISTS sports school, Switzerland, and Deakin University, Australia. I chose the latter for two reasons — I had a scholarship with Deakin and I had worked closely with an Australian company before. And, of course, I was comfortable with the English-speaking country.
Deakin University’s sports management master’s degree is highly ranked and recognised worldwide and the institute has a strong advisory board with good industry links.
I am pursuing the Master of Business (Sport Management) programme at the university. It has a rich mix of both sports-specific and general management units such as sport marketing, athlete management, facility and event management, financial reporting and analysis, economics for managers and strategic management. The programme has been designed in collaboration with a strong and active advisory board including Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia, AFL, IMG, and VicSport, among others.
Though the level of syllabus and competition is the same, the delivery of education is different. At the master’s level, you are expected to have certain level of writing and research skills, encouraged to pre-read chapters before the lecture and demonstrate ‘out-of-textbook’ learning, thinking and application.
What I enjoy the most is the friendly and helpful faculty and guest lecturers from the industry, as they give us key insights into the challenges that await us as future sports managers. We recently had a tour of the Rod Laver Arena, AAMI park, Hisense arena and the MCG as part of a unit.
The cost of living in Melbourne is high. Having a part-time job definitely helps in paying your rent and other monthly bills. However, getting a part-time job in your field of interest is not easy. Since I am fortunate to have a scholarship, I do casual jobs and unpaid/paid volunteer work in the sports field. There are students who double up working at a restaurant/ supermarket and doing unpaid volunteer work/internship apart from trimester study. However, this is not advised in one’s first trimester of study.
Melbourne is a great city. The first months are exciting and I am personally waiting for the Australian summer to start.
Yes, you will always miss the food and the hospitality you get back home. You will have to cook, clean up, wash dishes and buy groceries all by yourself. Deakin offers cooking classes for international students (but not Indian food). There are not many Indian restaurants here, but one learns to manage.
The writer is pursuing Master of Business
at Deakin University, Australia.