Gavin Beard

  • Current role: Head of Marketing at Norwich City Football Club
  • Year of graduation: 2013
  • Degree course: Sports Studies

Gavin BeardEmbrace everything about University life. Try to immerse yourself in the whole experience; live on site, join a Sports team, go on nights out. It flys by!

We asked Gavin...

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

I currently lead the Marketing team at recently promoted Championship winners Norwich City Football Club. It's an incredibly varied role; one day I could be leading the campaign to promote the new kit, the next it'll be marketing the Take That gig at Carrow Road! I started my career in marketing at Coral, then moved to BT Sport, looking after marketing activity to all BT Sport customers. I then relocated and took the opportunity to join Norwich City.

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

It gave me a clear insight into what I wanted to do with my career. I chose Sports Studies as it allows you to study various disciplines, including coaching, science and business. Having exposure to these different areas helped me understand what I favoured, and it was clear that business (and in particular, marketing) was an area I felt I could forge a career in.

What made you decide to study at this University?

I visited various Universities but Herts felt like the best fit. Having the two self contained campuses was a bonus, as it felt like you were truly immersed in the university experience. The sporting facilities were excellent, the Forum was great for a night out and nearby towns like St Albans provided a weekend retreat when needed!

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

The variety of modules and the exposure to different disciplines; this was crucial in helping me determine my path. After year 1, I knew I liked marketing, so I worked with the ERASMUS team to find a pathway to help me study this abroad. This wasn't an option with my course previously, but I knew the Business School had links to the Universitat de Valencia, and I wanted to be a part of that. I then studied business in Valencia for a year, an experience I'll never forget.

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

Completing my dissertation on Cause Related Marketing within Sport. I felt a huge sense of pride when I saw the ring-binded final product, knowing how many hours had gone into it.

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

I am, some are still great friends to this day. We often get back in touch when a Facebook memory reminds us of a particularly terrible outfit we wore at the Forum (camo night being a stand out).

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

Embrace everything about university life. Try to immerse yourself in the whole experience; live on site, join a Sports team, go on nights out. It fly's by.

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

Be willing to work your way up. University develops life skills and gives you an incredible experience, but don't assume your career path will be ready and waiting for you. Know your value but be willing to put in extra hours to get your foot in the door of an organisation. Use LinkedIn to network in industries you like the look of; it's an invaluable tool.

What are your future career plans/ ambitions?

Given my experience, it'll continue to be in marketing, hopefully helping Norwich to become an established Premier League team. Then who knows!

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