Matthew Davies, Applied Golf Management Studies 2010

Matthew Davies
'Putting it boldly, I wouldn’t have got the job I have now if I hadn’t completed the AGMS course.'
Matthew Davies

Current role

I currently work as the Manager of International Development in China for the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). I am based in Shenzhen, China. I started to work for the PGA in April 2004 which was a couple of months prior to finishing my final exams. During 2010 I had the privilege of working on the 2010 Ryder Cup PGA VIP guest programme. After graduating I then transfereed to the PGA training academy where I spent 2 years developing new e-learning resources for both the FdSc and PGA member education programme. In 2012 I was again involved in the VIP guest programme for the 2012 Ryder Cup match in Medinah, Chicago.

May 2013 saw a big step forward in my career. I accepted a role which saw me move to Shenzhen, China. To me this move has given me the opportunity to earn vital international experience working across different cultures. I am currently on secondment from the PGA to the China Britain Business Council to open up a PGA representative office in Shenzhen, China. I am working on behalf of the PGA members in China and the greater Asia region to provide greater support in terms of education, playing opportunities, and employment. I also provide support to the PGA’s three existing brand license agreements (PGA Golf Academies) in China.

Outline the course you studied at the University of Birmingham and how it benefited you?

I studied the Applied Golf Management Studies Programme (2007-2010) and graduated with a 1st Class honors. The course benefitted me because I got to make contact with a lot of people at the PGA where I currently work through having 50% of my lectures at the PGA National Training Academy. 

How did you find your first year in Birmingham?

I got to meet a lot of new friends in my first year. I expected the work to be a step up in academic terms from the BTEC which I had previously completed at Solihull College, and it was. On the course I studied, there were only 25 people in the year group so I soon got to know everyone very well. 

How did going to University as a whole benefit you?

Putting it boldly, I wouldn’t have got the job I have now if I hadn’t completed the AGMS course. That is a huge benefit. However, these opportunities don’t just fall into your lap…you have to make the most of your time, develop your skills, speak to people, utilize the Universities resources in any way you can to your advantage. 

How did you find campus life?

Coming from a rural background, to me Edgbaston could be considered a City Centre location! Edgbaston is a nice area to study and there are great transport links into the City Centre, especially with having the University train station on site. I really enjoyed studying in the main library…you could find information in there on about any subject you can think of. 

How did you find living in Birmingham?

I really like Birmingham as a city. It is very diverse and there was lots to do. I had moved to the area a few years before starting the course so I had an understanding of what to expect. 

Did you join any student societies during your studies?

For the first 2 years I was part of the University golf team. However, in my final year this fell by the wayside as I had so many other activities and work commitments. For example, I started to learn Mandarin, I worked part time at Solihull College and also spent time golf coaching for the active lifestyle programme. 

Any tips to pass on to students thinking of coming here?

Meet as many people as you can, utilize the support available as much as possible, and get involved in as many projects/activities as feasibly possible given your time/finances. University is not all about the course you have signed up to study, it is about building other key skills and experience which can make you more attractive to future employers.

What are your aspirations for the future?

My aspirations are to play a lead role in the development of golf at a global level. I take time to learn about how golf in developing in different areas of the world and the benefits, both social and moral, the sport brings to many individuals.

In the future I would also like to return to the academic environment to research at Masters level.