What do the former CEOs of General Motors, IBM, and General Electric have in common? They were all star athletes during their time at university.
It comes as no surprise that many athletes have succeeded in the business landscape. Playing sport equips individuals with key skills that enable them to thrive as business professionals—leadership, competitiveness, and team spirit are emphasized in both worlds.
Named Sports University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, the University of Bath recognizes the commonalities between sporting and business excellence.
The university offers a unique Dual Career program, whereby students demonstrating exceptional potential in their academic and sporting careers receive support from the university tailored to their lifestyles.
BusinessBecause spoke to three MSc in Management students and Dual Career athletes at Bath to find out how the school helps them reach their academic and sporting potential.
Jessie started playing rugby in Hong Kong, where she captained the national under-20 rugby union team. At the age of 16, Jessie moved to boarding school in the UK to further advance her rugby career. She received a scholarship to study sports performance at the University of Bath, and then progressed to undertaking an MSc in Management at the School of Management.
On the support offered at Bath...I have been able to strike the perfect balance between my training and academic study because of the support provided at the university. As a Dual Career athlete, I receive free gym membership, access to a nutritionist, and psychological support when required.
The management team is incredible, I can reach out to the director of studies if I have an injury or will be missing classes due to training, and they ensure that I receive the support necessary to catch-up with my work.
On the future...Moving into business from a sports background was daunting at first, but I have really grown with the course. I never thought I'd be in the position of applying to business roles and excelling in this field.
The skills we are taught are transferable into any position, and our interaction with lecturers has prepared us to move into the business environment with ease. I am now looking into junior account manager roles at big sporting companies, where I'd work in branding, marketing, and sponsorship.
The degree has enabled me to access many more opportunities than I would have been able to with just my undergraduate qualification, and has enabled me to combine my two passions in my professional career.
Pippa started playing tennis at the age of four, went on to become the youngest ever national champion of Great Britain, and competed in Junior Wimbledon. She received a full scholarship to study psychology for her undergraduate degree in the US. Pippa is now doing her MSc in Management at Bath while still playing tennis.
On the support offered at Bath...The university has been extremely accommodating in catering for my academic and tennis ambitions. Firstly, the lecturers have all gone above and beyond to help me out when I have missed lectures. Secondly, they've assisted me in choosing which modules would be most manageable with my tennis commitments, and given me lots of support for managing my schedule.
They've also been accommodating with deadlines and seminar allocations. The school has offered very positive support, rather than expecting me to choose between my academic or sports career. I definitely feel that they want me to succeed in both, which is quite rare in academic institutions.
On the future... I think that I will still play tennis to a reasonable level for enjoyment once I graduate, but I want to capitalize on my experience as a Master's student and aim to get a job in the field of sports management. I feel that the degree was exactly what I needed in order to combine tennis and a career in business.
While studying for his A-levels, George was a rugby apprentice at London Irish Rugby Club as part of the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence program. George proceeded to study sports performace for his undergraduate degree at Bath. He is now completing an MSc in Management at the university, while training and representing Bath United in the A league.
On the support offered at Bath...My timetable has allowed me to commit fully to both my sporting and academic commitments. The university has been very understanding when I've had to miss lectures and seminars due to rugby commitments. My tutors have also been accommodating in offering catch up sessions.
On the future...Bath School of Management has opened new career prospects for me that were not feasible with my sporting undergraduate degree, and has also given me another year to pursue rugby.
After completing my Master's, I hope to pursue a career in finance. I have a particular interest in asset management, private equity, and risk. I plan to continue playing rugby to the highest level possible while pursuing my business career. The degree has given me a great opportunity to drive my career onwards and upwards.