Joey Turnbull, Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Studies, 2008

'I found that both courses I studied gave me a good understanding of the sporting world and helped me to develop ideas of where and what I might like as a job.'
Joey Turnbull

Current role

Self employed as a hockey coach and Kukri sports, shop manager

Career experiences

I decided to study a Masters in sports coaching and worked part time as a hockey coach in a school a few nights a week. I didn't find it challenging enough and so this year I decided to set up a coaching company supplying sports coaches to schools. Initially this was hockey focused but now try and supply all sports coaches. After finding that the majority of the work is in the afternoons and evenings and that this wasn't earning me enough money I got a part time job as a shop assistant in the sports shop on campus. After a month I was promoted to shop manager and have really enjoyed doing it. Its lots more hours and can be challenging at times.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

I like the active side of coaching and really like working with kids (most of the time!!) but I have been surprised how much I like the business side of the jobs I’m doing and never before had considered this as a career pathway for me.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

Friends who had gone here before and the success of the hockey team and the importance placed on sport in general at the uni.

What were the best bits about your time here as a student?

My involvement in the sports clubs and also the independence of living away from home but in a sheltered environment.

What did you think of the learning experience within the University?

I found that both courses I have studied have given me a good understanding of the sporting world and has helped me to develop ideas of where and what I might like as a job. I think that I should have tried to learn more about work outside of the sporting world as well though!

Did you find the degree programme at Birmingham challenging or easy?

I found that my course was something that I could cope with quite easily as I am so passionate about sport and so already have a fairly broad knowledge of the subject however I constantly struggle with the academic nature of a degree programme and I think that my written technique has improved vastly since starting here!

Did you find the University or your degree helpful to you in getting your first job?

I think my degree enabled me to have an understanding of how to get started in the sports industry and gave me ideas of what I could do.

Advice to current students

Get as much varied work experience as possible and not only in the sports industry.