Case study

Programme development officer — Susan Hearty

Susan has varied work experience, including some time spent overseas and now uses her skills to develop health and physical activity programmes...

How did you get your job?

During university I worked in a number of roles within South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture. Upon graduation I continued to work on a casual basis in a number of roles including girls development coach, assisting the development officer, play worker and gym instructor.

In addition I spent my summers working abroad for an all girl summer camp in New Hampshire where I progressed from working as general activities counsellor to leadership training group supervisor over a four-year period. I also worked in the camp's New York office doing supervisory and admin work for almost a year. When I returned from America there was limited work available in leisure so I took a full-time role in a bank's call centre, however my passion was always in leisure.

During this time I completed my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course and subsequently went to Vietnam to teach for four months. I was fortunate that when I returned from Vietnam I was able to apply for my current role at South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.

The people I work with are all like-minded and want to help others achieve their goals whether it be sporting goals or general physical activity

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My previous work experience, particularly the various roles I had within leisure and culture, meant I had many of the skills and knowledge required for this job. But as my current role is mostly health and physical activity based my degree in sport development also helped to provide the background knowledge required.

What are your main work activities?

My days are always varied in my role. I can be meeting with partner agencies such as the NHS and Paths for All in the morning, putting together resources for an adult weight management programme in the afternoon, followed by a community council meeting in the evening to discuss opportunities for our Active Communities programme.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

I have only been in this role a short time, however it is so varied and different pieces of work are constantly being added. At the moment the role is only temporary so I am hoping to secure a more long-term role in the future.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I really like the way each day can be so varied. It's great that the people I work with are all like-minded and want to help others achieve their goals whether it be sporting goals or general physical activity.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my role is that there is so much going on that it can be difficult to keep on top of all the different projects, although that is part of the fun too.

Any advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

If you are looking to secure a role in sport development be prepared to start at the bottom, get a foot in the door and be willing to help out in whatever area it is required.

Find out more

Discover available opportunities at South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.