We advise our undergraduates to gain as much practical experience as possible during the course of their studies.
Lee Marshall embraced this ethos to such an extent he's now secured two jobs after completing his Sports Coaching degree. Before joining UCLan Lee was unsure of which career to pursue, but having previously done some sports volunteering he decided to see where this could take him.
He commented: "If I'm being honest I coasted through my first year and it wasn't until signing up for the UCLan Sport 4U project in year two that things started to fall into place.
"It gave me the opportunity to gain additional coaching qualifications and I began to see my grades improve as I bought into what the degree was offering to me. I also won a Preston Volunteer of Year award which was a great honour."
In addition to working with Sport 4U, Lee gained more experience with Salford Community Leisure and has now progressed into a full-time coaching role there. His commitment to establishing a reputation for himself has reaped its rewards as he has also secured a position in professional rugby league.
"I support Swinton Lions and they invited me down for a chat after hearing about some of my work," said Lee. "I ended up being appointed Community Development Officer which is a brilliant bonus on top of my other role.
"It shows that if you put something into volunteering it can lead somewhere. People might think university is all about socialising, but focusing on what you're really there for is crucial. Don't be content with just doing the minimum – go the extra mile and people do take notice.
"The course and the lecturers were fantastic, and the advice they gave me to get out there and volunteer and gain experience has got me to where I am. Being shown by others how they manage projects, and allowed to help out on them, has allowed me to take that knowledge and secure these roles.
"A degree on its own won't get you a job, but couple it with experience and you give yourself a much better chance."