Levon D'Souza

  • Current role: Assistant Head Coach, Barcelona Football Academy, Mumbai
  • Year of graduation: 2016
  • Degree course: Sports Studies
'Being an international student, socializing and meeting new people boosted my confidence which made the transition into university life easier.'

We asked Levon...

What is your current role and how did you get to this point in your career?

I am currently working as the assistant head coach at the Barcelona Football academy at one of the 4 existing centres in the city. While in the UK, I gained as much coaching experience as I could in different sports which enhanced my CV and landed me a job at Barca. Initially, I struggled to adapt as it was extremely challenging, but eventually, I found my footing which helped me get a promotion to assistant head coach, 6 months into the job.

How did your studies at the University of Hertfordshire help shape your career?

My time at Herts taught me a lot which helped craft and mould my career into what it is today. Learning about the intricate details about the different fields in sport, helped me adapt and cope with the demands and to perform at a higher level.

What made you decide to study at this University?

Well, the choice was easy as I read the details about the course before joining and decided that this checks all the boxes for me. Being an international student, I was treated very warmly and communication was swift and easy which made the decision even easier.

What was the best or most useful thing about your course?

I believe it was the practical experience attained during the course through the mandatory coaching hours which needed to be completed. I believe this forced me out of my comfort zone and helped improve my confidence to coach in different sports. Moreover, gaining practical knowledge, propelled me to further gain theoretical experience in different fields of different sports.

What is your stand-out memory from your time at the University?

It is hard to place a finger on one as there were numerous good memories from my time at Herts, but I believe my best memories are not related to academic life but the social life I experienced. Being an international student, socializing and meeting new people boosted my confidence which made the transition into university life easier. This in turn, helped me to improve my networking skills which helped me land multiple sports-related jobs at the University.

Are you still in contact with friends you met at the University of Hertfordshire?

Of course. We still talk on Whatsapp regularly, and we always meet up for a pint when I'm in the UK. The people I met eventually helped me a lot during my time at Herts and even became some of my closest friends.

What advice would you give your younger self if you were starting at the University tomorrow?

I would tell myself to take as many opportunities you can. Regardless if it's related to academic or professional life. Students get a lot of opportunities to socialize, network, undertake courses and even undergo new experiences in different aspects. This, I believe, is vital as it can potentially help determine a student's overall success during their time at the University.

Do you have any advice for University of Hertfordshire graduates who are considering a career in your industry?

Yes, please gain as much work experience as you can as the sports industry is booming and competition for jobs is steadily increasing. The more experience you gain and courses you undertake, the more chances you have of landing that dream job.

What are your future career plans/ ambitions?

I aim to become the Head Coach at the academy and eventually want to move into the management side of the sport at the academy as I want to broaden my horizons in terms of work experience and gain vital experience at a higher level in the management side of the sport.