Business and Management PhD student at Loughborough University
Olga Luisa Parente Correia
Olga Luisa Parente Correia, from Brasilia, was working at the Brazillian Ministry of Sports before she was one of two students awarded the prestigious Brazil Olympic legacy Chevening scholarship in 2015 to study at Loughborough University.
The Chevening programme brings outstanding scholars from around the world, who have the potential to become leaders, decision-makers and opinion-formers, to study postgraduate courses in the UK.
Olga chose to study MSc. Sports Management and here she shares a little bit more about her experiences, why she chose Loughborough University and gives her advice to future students.
Why did you choose to study at Loughborough University?
Because it is the best University to study in sport-related courses in the UK.
What did you enjoy the most about the programme you studied at Loughborough?
The diversity. My colleagues were from 22 different nationalities and different backgrounds. I have learned a lot with their experiences. Now I have contacts in many parts of the world which is very important when working in such an internationalised field as sport business. The sporting infrastructure at the Loughborough Campus is also fantastic and offered me the opportunity to be involved in sports during the whole course, even during the breaks.
Describe what it was like to be a postgraduate, and how this differs from undergraduate studies.
It was great to be a postgraduate and have access to books and magazines I have always wanted to read. Loughborough University has an amazing library with services that enabled me to be independent as a mature student and point my studies to the direction I have chosen.
A master’s degree course offers you many opportunities, but you have only 12 months to take advantage of them. Everything happens very fast, so the student needs to be focused to make the most out of the course. The oriented discussions’ level is also higher in a master’s when compared to an undergraduate course. In a postgraduate course, you learn not only from the professors but also from your colleagues.
Describe a day in the life of a Sports Management student
You wake up and check the main media channels for sports news, it is very important to be updated on what is happening in the market. You go to your classes and will be asked to present your point of view in several matters, you will be encouraged to develop your own way of thinking. You will finish your day either watching sports live on Campus or practicing sports yourself in one of the dozens of sport activities the university offers.
What are you doing now you have graduated?
I am working as Executive Assistant to the International Association of Event Hosts.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I want to stay involved with international organisations that manage major sporting events but in a more strategic position.
If you could give one piece of advice to a future Sports Management student, what would it be?
Make the most out of your time, it passes really fast. Do it by getting involved in the different activities the university has to offer, using your free time wisely, getting in touch with international people and getting acquainted with your professors.
Ygor Ferreira Rodrigues
What course are you studying?
Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, as part of the Science Without Borders Scheme
What was your first experience at Loughborough?
My first academic experience in England was the pre-sessional course, which was a 10-week English course taken during the summer. It was a good opportunity for me to get to know the English academic culture, vocabulary, different accents, writing style, examination types, and to improve my overall communication skills. It prepares international students in advance helping them to achieve better marks during the academic year.
During the pre-sessional, I also had the opportunity to visit many famous touristic places/towns/cities around England on the weekly trips offered. I made many good friends (foreign and natives) who I am still in touch with.
How have you found your academic life at Loughborough?
When the term began I had all of the support from my department staff to make the most of my year. They gave me the chance to choose the modules and a final year project title specific and suitable to my exchange programme and area of interest.
In particular, the Aeronautical Engineering department offered me the best in terms of technical knowledge. I had contact with wind tunnels, high-speed nozzles and many engineering specific software. I also had the opportunity to perform a flight test on board a real aircraft, which I consider to be the best experience I have had as an Aeronautical Engineering student so far.
How has the student support been during your time?
During the year I also attended English Language Workshops and a Certificated Course in General English offered by the Student Support Centre on campus. That helped me to improve my fluency and to develop my confidence responding to unfamiliar situations. They also advised me on writing my CV and on finding a suitable summer placement.
None of the activities mentioned above would be possible without the support of the Loughborough University International Office. They provided all the documentation and administration needed for this whole process. They really care about the international students and they do everything to ensure we make the most of our experience at Loughborough.
Now, at the end of the year I am really grateful for the amazing experience I had at Loughborough University and for the significance it had in my academic and personal life. I am looking forward to coming back if a Masters or PhD opportunity might exist in the future.
What course are you studying?
Master in Sport Business and Leadership.
Where are you from?
Rio de Janeiro
What were you doing before you started at Loughborough?
Before joined Loughborough University London I was working for the last 5 years for the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro in the preparation of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. I was the Institutional Relations Coordinator for the Project Management Office. During this time I had the chance to acquire an extensive knowledge in the organisation of a major sport event; I gained a deep understanding of the Government's projects (e.g. sport venues, transport and environment) and I dealt with high level authorities and leaders. I am really proud to have been participated in this Rio 2016 Games project.
Why Loughborough University/Loughborough University London?
There are so many reasons why I have chosen Loughborough University London. Firstly, I wanted to study in a pioneer institution with a strong academic reputation in sport. Secondly, I wished to live the vibrant atmosphere of the campus in the Queen Elizabeth Park which represents a great legacy of the 2012 Games; Thirdly, I wanted to learn more about sports; and Finally, the partnership with Chevening Scholarship allowed me to choose this option as a prestigious university in the UK.
How did you fund your studies (include links to external scholarships/funding if applicable)
I am a Chevening Scholar which is a UK’s International Scholarship for students around the world. www.chevening.org
What do you enjoy the most about your programme?
I enjoy the pluralistic approaches towards the core study areas of the programme, particularly its innovative approach to leadership strategies and practices. The modules have perfect balance regarding classes, site visits and lecturers, making it so dynamic and enjoyable. The diversity of backgrounds of the local and international students is a great opportunity to improve my knowledge in the sports field and at the same time share my experience in sport governance and management gained during the last years planning the Rio 2016 Games.
Describe what it is like to be a postgraduate, and how this differs from undergraduate studies.
In my opinion an undergraduate study is more generic and less individualized. The undergraduate study opens your mind to start thinking about your future career. On the other hand a postgraduate study is more focused in a specific topic. I think that a postgraduate will be more useful and enjoyable if you have some previous work experience to enhance theoretical studies with practical examples.
Describe a day in your life!
A day in the life of a Sport Business and Leadership Master’s student is really interesting, as it is a mix of regular classes, site visits and lectures with invited speakers. There is a good mix of approaches and modern way of learning, for example: one day we have classes in the morning in the campus and in the afternoon we have a site visit to a place which is a reference in sport (e.g. UK Sport or Wimbledon). These site visits give us the chance to meet leaders in sport and exchange experiences. Other good examples of visits are Sandhurst Military Academy, Rugby Football Union and UK Hockey.
Why did you decide to study your course?
I decided to study the Masters in Sport Business and Leadership because I wanted to continue in sport field after working for Rio 2016 Games. This work experience played an important role in my decision to study a Masters in sport. I wanted to learn more about leadership in sport context and exchange experiences in the UK as reference in sport. This Master’s will be important for my future career in the sport context.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself working in a sport organisation in the international relations department building new relations and agreements between institutions. My interest is to develop my career in Brazil or any country where I could liaise with Brazil.
If you could give one piece of advice to a future [course name] student, what would it be?
My advice to a future Sport Business and Leadership Master’s student is that if you a have a previous work experience in sport field to share experiences will be more productive and useful. But if you do not have a work experience I encourage you to start in this amazing and inspiring journey in the sport context in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.