Chris graduated from the University of Liverpool's Football Industries MBA and then joined Adidas before becoming a sports business consultant at Deloitte Sports
Why did you study for an MBA?
My ambition since leaving school had been to work in the football or the wider sports industry in a business/financial capacity, but I knew it would take time to get there. I identified the Football Industries MBA (FIMBA) as my best chance of entering the field and worked towards gaining a place on the programme. Eight years later I applied, with a Bachelors degree, professional qualification and managerial work experience under my belt. As the only football-specific MBA in the UK, it was an easy choice to make.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
When you study a subject you're passionate about, the whole experience is enjoyable. Studying alongside a diverse group of people was fantastic - my cohort gelled as one big international family. Not only that, but the networking opportunities offered by the programme were invaluable. We were regularly granted access to football and wider sports industry professionals at masterclasses, guest speaker sessions and field trips. Our visits to football clubs, most notably UEFA, are particular stand-out memories of mine.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
As is the nature with any MBA, there are times where you're faced with multiple and conflicting assignment deadlines. Good time management is essential and serves as good preparation for your eventual return to employment.
How has the MBA benefited your career?
The MBA helped me move into my industry of choice and secure the job I've always wanted. Two months after graduation I joined Adidas, where I was told that the Football Industries MBA made me stand out from more experienced candidates. A year later I began my current role with Deloitte Sports, where I work with football and wider sports organisations on a daily basis to assist with their financial and strategic decision making.
So far, I've undertaken a risk management assessment of a Premier League football club, done strategic planning for national governing bodies and financial benchmarking of professional football clubs, both in England and abroad. I also contribute to the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance and Deloitte Football Money League.
What advice would you give to someone considering an MBA?
An MBA, especially this one, can be life changing if you work hard and make the most of all the opportunities offered alongside the programme. If you're thinking about taking the plunge, go for it. My year in Liverpool was one of the best years of my life and the years since speak for themselves.