According to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 76% of alumni agree that pursuing a business degree such as an MBA helped develop their professional network successfully.
Numerous career opportunities stem from networking, particularly in a competitive industry like football. Felipe Norambuena and Karina Barriga Albring, used the connections they gained during their specialist football MBA at University of Liverpool to launch exciting careers with FIFA and Eleven Sport.
Finding the right MBA
Considering 22% of the world's CEOs have an MBA, the degree is a prime opportunity to gain a top-level education while networking with influential people in your field.
In Liverpool's unique, specialized Football Industries MBA (FIMBA), students are introduced to influential people throughout the industry, from high-level managers to alumni working in football-focused startups.
Both Felipe and Karina came from non-sporting backgrounds and used the opportunities they gained during the MBA to fulfill their passions and launch their careers.
A Chilean native, Felipe (pictured) has always been an avid follower of sports: “I've been a football fan since I was three years old.”
After working in a travel agency in Chile, Felipe decided he wanted to turn his passion into a career. A connection from the FIMBA progam put him in touch with Rory Miller, one of the program directors.
"He came to Chile and completely sold me the idea of going to Liverpool," Felipe says.
Karina, originally from Ecuador, was working in public relations and communications in the US when she got her first job with Major League Soccer.
"That's when I realized that I wanted sports to not only be a part of my life but also my career," she says.
Aiming to study in Europe, Karina opted for England as a study destination over other options in Spain and Germany.
"I think what drove me ultimately to England was how developed the football industry is. When I sat down to compare the programs, Liverpool was the best fit for me."
Networking on the Liverpool Football Industries MBA
Both Felipe and Karina found the networking opportunities at Liverpool one of the highlights of their time.
"The program was excellent in many aspects. But the best thing was the speakers from alumni, clubs, agencies, media or FIFA and UEFA,” Karina explains.
"I think a handful of people or situations that happened while I was studying in Liverpool changed my life."
One was an alum who made it clear just how vital networking was in the football industry.
"He shared his experience when he was there, how he would take the bus to London and have coffee with people and just speak about the industry."
Karina (pictured) took his advice and worked to connect with industry speakers. When Paul Barber, the CEO of Brighton and Hove Football Club, delivered his annual speaker session, Karina made sure to get in touch.
"He hosted me at the club, connected me with others, and shared my CV with some of his contacts. I was impressed by how generous someone so high up in the industry could be."
Felipe had a similar experience with Harold Mayne-Nicholls', Chilean president of the National Professional Football Association (ANFP) and of the Chilean Football Federation (FFCh).
"He's a big fish here in Chile. So getting to know him face-to-face and chatting with him was really big for me. We're still in contact."
After engaging with influential figures at City Football Group, Felipe also secured a job interview with Manchester City.
"I learned everything about networking at Liverpool. It was a nice experience because I hadn't practiced it much Chile,” he says.
“I have a network all around Europe now."
Building a transferable skillset at the Liverpool Football Industries MBA
Along with networking opportunities, the Liverpool FIMBA focuses on core elements like leadership, strategic management of the environment, and managing financial resources. The curriculum emphasizes building transferable professional skills including analysis, problem solving, creativity and decision-making.
The specialist football modules apply business concepts to modern football, which prepares students for the demanding and complex industry. In the Becoming a Football Executive module and a Sports Operations Management modules students receive vocational training for the industry.
The Becoming a Football Executive module aims to strengthen students' interpersonal, communication and leadership abilities.
Launching an international football career through connections
Karina graduated from Liverpool remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, this forced her to rely heavily on connecting with people via LinkedIn to find job opportunities.
At that time, FIFA was hiring freelance consultants for a project with the High-Performance team in the development division.
"They reached out to me because one of my contacts had passed my CV on to them."
After finishing that project, one of the coordinators contacted Karina to work on another project working within a core analysis team. The opportunity led to her current role as a football analysis manager at FIFA.
"He is now my team leader, so it was networking that led to a freelance consultancy project that then led to my job."
Felipe worked his way up through the industry to land his role as the Americas Account Manager at Eleven Sport.
After the MBA, he contacted an alum, Jelle Beuker, who founded Soccer Camps United, a collection of football schools for kids, which Felipe helped launch in Chile.
While the project ultimately suffered due to the fees, it required Felipe to demonstrate his organization skills and ability to bring in the best coaches and talent. He later applied for a job at Eleven Sport after learning about it from another FIMBA graduate.
"My boss specifically said the MBA was a big factor," he says.
Reflecting on their journeys, both Felipe and Karina say the number one piece of advice is to take advantage of the opportunities given to you.
"During the MBA, it's crucial to take advantage of these great opportunities of being in a room with some of the top industry experts that the university gives you," Karina says.
University of Liverpool School of Management
My experience in UOL
Well I won't tell you about all the great things about this university. But I'll just tell you my honest experience about it. I have visited almost all the places here. This university knows how take care of their students. Be it any aspect, be it career and placement department, be it societies, be it organising committees, they know what all issues a student can face and they are ready with the solutions already. Professors here are so welcoming. You can literarily bother them ample number of times but they will still be so nice with you. They actually put a lot of efforts to make letures more fun. They try their best to focus on each and every student and check if they are comfortable or now. Coming to the offerings. They know that there will be a lot of international students and there will be a lot of issues they will face in adjustment over here. So they organised a lot of events, distributed a lot of free vouchers just to make students feel welcomed over here. Trust me if you are looking for a Uni for yourself or for someone, do add this one on your priority list.
The lecturers are incredibly experienced in their field of study, and it shows when they teach. They know what they are talking about, and that instills a level of trust that you have made the right choice coming to this university. They are supportive and charismatic - exactly how lecturers should be! The accommodation is all fantastic too. Homely, comfortable, so close to campus. Even Greenbank, which is a 15 minute bus journey from campus, has its perks (heavily discounted bus pass - from £400 to £60 and free gym membership). There are so many societies too! Literally one for everything. During the society fair, they were all so welcoming which is so great to see. The lecture theatres are all top-notch too. It feels so modernistic. It really feels like I have had a big step up from sixth form to university. I made the right choice by coming to UoL!
Original RedBrick Review!!
The Marketing Course at this uni a great course with exceptional industry connections - for example a brand assessment centre from The Hut Group and an assessment centre at Anfield Football Stadium! The campus is great as it is all connected and everything can be found there - so whether you are a Starbucks or Cafe Nero kind of person the campus has everything. Freshers is great with campus tours, city walks and course talks to connect you with fellow coursemates. Halls was also a great experience - I loved the halls packs where you can get free tshirts, baking kits and we even got free dominoes pizzas!!
Enjoyed every aspect of it!
My experience studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool has been amazing! All the lecturers and students have been so lovely and helpful. The management school building is my favourite place to study. I would recommend studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool because the content is so engaging and the assignments are creative.
Perfect learning methodologies and curriculums, the most i liked about my learning experience with University of Liverpool is the professionalism, in delivering the subjects and helping the students gaining more knowledge.
The marketing course at UOL is great the lecturers are helpful and provide in-person and online resources to succeed in assignments, and the careers department is extremely helpful. The modules are all relevant and have expanded my understanding of the marketing industry and consumer behaviour, social media and so on
The Best Experience
Currently in my Second Year studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Due to the big student culture in Liverpool, you soon feel completely at ease and at home. Staff are extremely helpful - there is always opportunities to ask for additional support/guidance. Each module is clear and well organised - this definitely helps in first year when it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the new workload. It’s very easy to find your way around due to it being a campus university as everything is in close proximity. I lived at Greenbank accommodation in my first year and the staff are so helpful and make you feel very well settled. There is a huge community feel and the modules are interactive meaning making friends is much easier and a lot less intimidating. If you’re considering attending this university and I honestly couldn’t recommend more - you’ll have the best experience!
One of my favourite things about this university is the diversity of its people. I met so many different people during my time here, from all different backgrounds and experiences. Not only did these people provide me with insight and knowledge into their own cultures and beliefs, they also allowed me to learn about and understand different ways of life that I would have otherwise never been exposed to. The tutors were also incredibly supportive on this course and allowed me to excel.
I did my undergrad in film studies at LJMU and I honestly could not recommend it enough. It has the perfect mix of practical and theory work that prepares you for any job possible in the film industry, from lighting tech to AD. The university lecturers were also very attentive, and I felt comfortable enough with them to seek their help if I ever had an issue or concern, academic or personal. LJMU gave me experiences I would not have got anywhere else, offering summer placements completely free that broadened my horizons. The fact the campus is interspersed around the city also makes it very convenient.