Wesley studies our MSc Sport Analytics and Technologies programme.
Wesley is from South Africa and studies within our Institute for Sport Business.
Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University London?
I chose to study at Loughborough University London because Loughborough is globally renowned as the best sport University in the world for aspiring professionals. The United Kingdom and South Africa have similar cultures and sports codes, and therefore my understanding of the dynamic world of sports culture made the transistion that much easier. Furthermore, having access to potentially collaborate with some of the finest academic and sport minds within the industry was an opportunity that I thoroughly welcomed.
What attracted you to your programme?
Having just over 10 years of work experience within the sports industry, I felt that this was time (in 2020) to pivot and expand my current skill set. Considering the current market trends are focussing heavily on data analytical principles and practices, I believe this course will provide me with a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself in a new discipline, but also allow me to apply practical work experience with data and analytical theory. Furthermore, I welcomed the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and continue building and expanding on my current, global, sport professionals network.
What do you enjoy the most about your course/ Loughborough University London?
What I have really enjoyed most about the course thus far is the engagement with my academic cohort. We are all from diverse backgrounds - geographically, but also from an academic and professional background too, which makes class dialogue very insightful and rich. With the current restrictions implemented in the UK, I haven't been able to head to the London campus as much as I would have liked. However, I'm looking forward to working closer with everyone in the second semester. Lastly, I have thoroughly enjoyed the quality and calibre of the guest lectures. They have shared some incredible insights and stories that make the link between theory and practical application that much stronger.
How do you think studying a master's degree is helping you to reach your future career goals?
My master's degree is 100% helping me to reach my career goals - not only am I challenging myself by expanding my current skill set, but it has allowed me to apply my experience from the past 10 years of working within the industry. Studying a master's degree has also challenged me to shape new ways of thinking and approaching challenges with a curious mindset.
How do you like to spend your time away from your studies?
Running is a big part of my life. My wife and I love getting suited and booted for a run in the chilly mornings or afternoons. Here, we can unwind after a long day behind the computer and just let our minds wonder. I've also taken up photography to keep my creative mind ticking over and I love testing and exploring new art forms of photography. I also enjoy listening to a good podcast and/or reading a book.
Do you have any advice for students moving to London?
Pack light would be first tip on my list! I made the mistake of trying to bring all my worldly possessions with me and I soon realised that everything is just "stuff" and can be replaced. Coming from South Africa, I thought that my winter clothing would suffice, however, I got a rude awakening after being introduced to my first UK winter!
I would also suggest using existing friends and family networks to help you get set up with some of the admin tasks, such as opening up a bank account, cell phone etc. The International Team at Loughborough University London helped tremendously with providing a comprehensive arrival guide.