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STUDENT SPECIAL


result in students gaining new and highly- valuable certifi ed qualifi cations. At the other end of the spectrum, large


organisations are oſt en keen to make use of graduates with a well-rounded knowl- edge of the leisure industry and therefore provide management schemes for those with a degree to develop leading positions within their businesses. T ese schemes are available across diff erent leisure sectors, ranging from health and fi tness, right the way through to the hospitality and attrac- tions sectors. Some of the most popular gradu-


ate management schemes include those offered by Merlin Entertainment for attractions and Parkwood Leisure for health and fitness, while most large hotel management companies also offer numer- ous opportunities for graduates to develop managerial roles.


The extra mile But as with most industries, qualifi cations can only get prospective employees so far and the same goes for leisure. T ose look- ing for a job in the fi eld will also need to be able to demonstrate other qualities, as well as a genuine interest in the area of work that they’re applying to do. Employers will also be looking for practi- cal examples of interest in the industry and


Cal Roberts, 24


Where are you working and what is your position? I work for a city rehabilitation team as an occu- pational therapy assistant. What does your day-to-day role include? I assess ‘service users’ requiring occupational therapy intervention. T is involves self-allo- cating cases, learning their medical and social history, then going out to complete an assessment and making recommendations. What attracted you to the leisure industry? A desire to help people and actively support in health and wellbeing. What attracted you to this particular sector? My aim is actually to become a physiotherapist and I took my current position with a view to gaining experience, as it’s diffi - cult to get a role in physiotherapy. Physical wellbeing is crucial in almost everything we do in life, ties in closely with psychological wellbeing and therefore is important to health in general. How easy was it to fi nd a job? It was hard to fi nd the exact role I wanted, so I jumped at my cur- rent job as a springboard towards physiotherapy. While not in the exact fi eld I intended to work in there is a lot of relevance. What training course did you do before your fi rst job? My degree is BSc Sports T erapy and having worked with various


20 Newly-qualifi ed students will oſt en look for work in entry level positions such as personal training


many young people choose to undergo work experience or volunteering to prove they’re keen on building a life in leisure. With that in mind, we take a look at three


young people working in an around the lei- sure industry to fi nd out how they got to


where they are and the recommendations that they would make to people beginning to plan their future career. And to keep up to date with the


latest leisure news and jobs, log on to www.leisureopportunities.co.uk


sports clubs realised that I would prefer to work within physiotherapy. How well do you think your training pre- pared you for a career in leisure? Reasonably well, it covered a lot of key areas relevant to my current role and I believe the same will be true to physiotherapy. But as with any job, there is a lot you still need to learn on the job and experience is the only way to this. What advice would you have for school leav-


ers looking to get into the industry? Study hard in college to get on the exact course you want to avoid having to take the long winded route that I have. Also, look to gain experience in related areas, it’s good to know what else there is out there that is complimentary to what you want to do. Is there anything you would do diff erently if given the chance? I would have worked harder in college to obtain the grades required to enter on a BSc Physiotherapy degree. Is working in the leisure industry what you expected? For me it was. I’d read up on the challenges faced in my role so you go in with an awareness of these issues. What are the best aspects of the leisure industry? Meeting new people and making a positive change to their lives. And the worst? I work outdoors a lot travelling to clients’ homes for assessments and it isn’t much fun trekking out in the winter!


Read Leisure Opportunities online: www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/digital Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2014


Graduates in the industry must be fl exible and willing to work in a variety of roles such as sales and aquatics


CASE STUDY


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