By Ray Boggiano

Two UCFB students were this month provided with a once in a lifetime opportunity to fly to New York and shadow UCFB academic and consultant to the US Tennis Association (USTA) Deepak Trivedi throughout his work for the USTA during the recent US Open, the world’s largest annual sporting event.

Throughout the placement, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media student Leon Smith and BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Law student Charlie Davies were tasked with creating a video documentary encompassing their meetings and interviews throughout the week. Provided with access to key members and decision makers of the USTA along with other industry influencers such as the Chief Global Diversity Officer at McDonald’s, Pat Harris; the former President and CEO of the USTA, Jon Vegoson and the Executive Committee Member for the Southern California Tennis Association, Robert Shafer, the students were provided with an opportunity for exceptional content capture as well as an unprecedented opportunity to network with some of the most prominent individuals in the industry.

Second year UCFB Wembley student Leon Smith reflected on the unparalleled experience:

“Interviewing these influential people was without doubt the highlight of my experience. The answers that we received gave me real insight into how world sporting organisations go about making decisions that impact themselves, the players and the fans.

“I learned the importance of creating your own brand and building a positive and professional relationship with people within the sports industry. I also learned the importance of being confident and having belief in where you want to be. This experience has massively helped with that.”

Fellow second year student Charlie Davies added:

“It’s very difficult to pinpoint one highlight; it ranged from arriving at Flushing Meadows and seeing the iconic venue, to having the honour of being part of the conference where the delegates were very interested in UCFB and in us as individuals. We were made to feel very welcome and part of this great governing body.

“Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg once said that ‘No place epitomises the American experience and the American spirit more than New York City’, and this spirit was very evident at the USTA conference and this great American Grand Slam tournament.”

UCFB academic Deepak Trivedi commented:

“This really was an amazing opportunity that presented students with a chance to put the theory they learned into practice. But most importantly, this gave students the ability to network with and interview leading industry professionals. It was a test, and they both passed with flying colours. They were both received well and delivered over and above. I am so proud of both of them.”

Both students successfully navigated their way through the intense UCFB interview process to apply for the work experience positions, culminating in a 30 minute interview with marketing expert Deepak. They thanked their Employability & Enrichment training as preparation for their success, and the impact that this will have on their future careers.

Throughout their time at the US Open, Leon and Charlie successfully ran an integrated social media campaign on behalf of UCFB. Posting across various platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, they managed to create interest and engagement from fellow students and both 2015 and 2016 applicants. This provided a 360 degree media and marketing perspective during their placement to complement their daily work experience duties.

Aspiring sports law professional Charlie Davies concluded:

“The opportunity was very challenging but even in the five days we were there, I was able to develop the integral skills of public speaking and networking with leaders in tennis and sport as well as my techniques in camera work. All of these skills and experiences are ones that I will take forward and use during the rest of my time at UCFB and in my career. It was an amazing opportunity and one which I will never forget. We would both like to thank UCFB for this once in a lifetime opportunity, which we would not be able to get anywhere else.”

Read about the unrivalled work experience opportunities at UCFB