We recommend all our students gain relevant work experience as part of their studies.
Luke Ellis recently graduated from our Sports Coaching programme with First Class Honours and is a great example of someone who took this advice on board.
Luke undertook a variety of posts during his time at UCLan, including with M & M Mentoring and as a course representative.
However, it was his role as a Tennis Ambassador which was the catalyst for Luke's progression into full-time employment at Brunel University.
"For several years I've been involved in tennis coaching at Hylands CASC, Essex," said Luke. "It's a club which has worked hard to ensure it has a friendly, inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, where any level of player would feel at home. During my final year at university I had the opportunity to bring this ethos to the UCLan Tennis Club after securing a position on the committee.
"We worked hard to establish new regular sessions, such as cardio tennis and touch tennis. Due to the club’s commitment to positive change, Robert Henson (Tennis Chairman and recent graduate) and I were appointed Tennis Ambassadors.
"The position is funded by the Tennis Foundation, the charitable arm of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), whereby the prime objective is to get more students to engage in the sport. This allowed us to add even more to the tennis offering with the addition of Timed Tennis Leagues, thanks to the provision of an excellent resource pack from the LTA."
The club attracted its highest member numbers in several years during 2013/14. UCLan Sports Development Officer Darren Waldron was so impressed with the scheme he is looking to continue it this year and beyond.
Since graduating, Luke has been appointed as Tennis Coordinator at Brunel University. The role offers him the opportunity to work closely with the LTA and Tennis Federation, and is a potential stepping stone into either. Luke is also furthering his studies with a part-time Master's in Education.
He has this advice for current students: "My top tip would be to do more than you're expected and grab opportunities with both hands.
"I've done this and as a result I've been on a leadership course in Cyprus, had my work published and operated on behalf of 12 Pacific Oceania nations at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
"I've also set up Supernova Sports Coaching alongside another UCLan graduate, Sam Yates. I'm doing something I love doing and I'm passionate about - life is what you make it, so you might as well make it good."