Victoria Hassett

hassett-victoriaBSc Applied Golf Management Studies (Graduated 2011)

“I certainly wouldn’t have had the career experience I have gained or be in the position I am now without this degree.”

After graduating I turned Professional in Golf. In September 2011 I moved to Yas Links Golf Club in Abu Dhabi, the Number 1 voted golf course in the Middle East as a Tournament Administrator and Teaching Professional. Within one year I was promoted to Golf Operations Supervisor and then Golf Operations Manager. In this role I was responsible for running the golf department and leading a team of 35+ multicultural staff at the number 1 voted golf club in the Middle East. It is difficult to explain just how amazing this experience was. I was very young to be in such a senior pressured position and I rose to the challenge and threw myself into the role. I learnt so much both professionally and personally which I will never forget. 

In December 2014 I re-located back to the UK to join IMG the global leaders in Sports, Events, Media and Fashion as a Licensing Executive. I have since been promoted however to an Account Manager.  My position is within the Licensing Division where I manage the retail merchandise program for The Open on behalf of my client, the R&A. My main duties involve Brand protection, the main retail buy for the Open, host venues and the online shop, event logistics and staff recruitment and training.

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

I studied Applied Golf Management Studies and I certainly wouldn’t have had the career experience I have gained or be in the position I am now without this degree. As part of my course each summer we had to complete a work placement at a golf facility/club. In my first year I worked across two different golf clubs in my home town, Surrey. In my second year I worked at La Cala golf club in Spain as a golf instructor and in my third year I worked at The Belfry, the home of the PGA. These placements were invaluable experiences and provided me with hands on knowledge. Furthermore they enabled me to really network.

The degree is incredibly varied with modules covering finance to psychology to biomechanics. This provides you with a great insight into the potential different fields and industries within golf and allows you to keep options and doors open whilst you explore them further.

On this degree you are also one of 25 students so your voice is heard and you have incredibly good support and time with tutors and lectures. 

How did you find your first year in Birmingham?

It certainly went way too fast! It was the first time I had properly stayed away from home and I settled pretty quickly and tried to be as sociable as possible. It was a great induction to life away from home, learning to cook and managing money. I found Birmingham as a city had a lot more to offer than I originally thought and although it is a reasonably large city there are also specific areas for restaurants or shops or bars.  This made it easier to plan places to go and to travel to and from. 

How did going to University as a whole benefit you?

I matured beyond recognition within my 3 years at University. Naturally when you start and if you do not know anyone you are out of your comfort zone. You are surrounded by like- minded, competitive people who have chosen like you to further their education. I learnt the importance of prioritizing things and about time management from trying to play competitive golf to handing in an assignment to socializing with my peers. I also learnt how to work under pressure and in groups, how to compose and conduct myself in professional environments in work placements and in presentations and how to review literature. University also enabled me to network. You meet so many different people from your class peers to lecturers to employers on work placements. Many of which I am still in contact with now.

How did you find campus life?

The campus has a lot to offer and as I was leaving more and more buildings/shops were being opened and buildings were being modernised such as the Student Union/Guild. There are a number of different libraries to work in which was particularly beneficial when it came to revision time. You are never stuck for choice on places to go to buy a snack and there is a lot of space to walk around the different areas of the campus. I liked being out of the hustle and bustle. It enabled me to compose my thoughts more to and from lectures and feel more relaxed. I always felt safe.

How did you find living in Birmingham?

I was pleasantly surprised. Prior to the open day I had never been to Birmingham and I thought it was a dark industrial city. It is far from it. It is clean, there are large parks, canals, restaurants are in abundance and the bull ring shopping Centre has every shop you could wish for.

Originally from Surrey I wanted to move away from my home town. I liked the feel and layout of Birmingham University and the fact it is red brick and prestigious. I also liked that the University is set in a quieter area and that the main City of Birmingham is not too far away if you wanted more options for nights out or places to go at weekends.

Did you join any student societies during your studies?

Naturally I joined the golf team and I was also part of the fencing club. I was in the ‘Golf Volunteez’ team where I taught golf to partially sighted children. I also taught indoor golf once a week to overseas students and to secondary school children. In my second and third year I took Spanish Evening Classes at the University. I also took my volleyball level 1 coaching qualification which was arranged through the sports center on site.

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

It really is a safe-feeling university with easy access into the main city if you want a bigger night out. Make the most of joining clubs/societies which are all on your door step. If nothing else they help to build your CV and life experience and you meet new people.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To continue in a role which I genuinely enjoy and one that tests and challenges me. Ultimately I would like to be involved In events whether that is through my current company or on the European Tour or Ladies European Tour.