Student Profile: Leah Jakeman, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance
By Amy Cutler
Football Business & Finance student Leah embarked on her journey at UCFB having previously studied A Levels in Physical Education, Government and Politics and Sociology at Harrogate Grammar School. As a keen footballer, Leah formerly played for the regional team, Leeds City Vixens; and now currently represents Burnley Ladies’ Football Club and the UCFB ladies’ team as goalkeeper.
Aside from Leah’s sporting interests, she has also gained a number of qualifications, particularly in coaching, where she has worked hard to become an FA licenced coach. As an FA recognised centre, UCFB offers the unique opportunity to gain the Level 1 Award in Coaching, supporting students like Leah on their journey to becoming an FA licenced coach.
Work experience and placements have been in abundance for Leah since her arrival at UCFB which have helped build an extremely strong portfolio. Moreover, Leah has further used her initiative on other occasions which has attributed to her gaining experience from professionals such as in-house Lawyer at Liverpool Football Club, Natalie Wignall, where Leah was able to shadow her role and kick-start her career within the ever expanding industry.
On her most recent internship, Leah worked with an FA and FIFA Licensed Player Agent during the busy transfer window. As one of the UK’s top sports agencies, they negotiate contracts at all levels; ranging from Premier League contracts for England internationals to first contracts for young scholars. The premier sports agency have represented elite players in premier football, looking after their careers right through to retirement.
On a daily basis Leah was responsible for researching the transfer market and the players of interest to the organisation, both domestic and international. Leah was recognised as being responsible to enter this type of confidential environment and to be party to financial and contractual information.
This fantastic opportunity will open some promising doors for Leah while at UCFB and in the near future. The experience she has gained working with a leading sports agent is invaluable and has really provided her with an insight into what the industry entails.
Leah is now working towards pursuing a career in this industry as it is clear to her now that the agent and legal pathway in football is what she most aspires to.
“I am extremely proud of what I have achieved throughout my placement. It was fantastic to work in such an exciting environment where people were negotiating contracts involving huge amounts of money and securing deals. I have no doubt this is the environment I want to work within in the future.”