Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Tim Desmond

Chief Executive Officer: The National Football Museum

Tim Desmond graduated from Loughborough with a degree in English & Drama in 1988. Having had a career working in theatre companies and then as a teacher, Tim moved to working in museums and is now the CEO of The National Football Museum.

Why did you choose to study English and Drama at Loughborough University?

At that time it was one of the few universities to offer English and Drama as a joint honours degree. I had no idea where Loughborough was, but it was nearer to my home in London than Hull which was my second choice. Sometimes these important decisions in life are quite random.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

The key thing probably was to give me a liberal outlook which has shaped my view on social good and making a difference. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and worked hard. I also made lifelong relationships, but post-Loughborough work experiences have shaped my career.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?

Enjoy it as they are probably the best years of your life. Don’t worry about diving into a career as you have plenty of time.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

Mainly socialising and enjoying university life and taking part in theatre projects which gave me presentation skills and confidence which have stayed with me.

Can you tell us more about the company/organisation you are working for currently?

The National Football Museum is based in Manchester and has the largest collection of its kind in the world and receives over 500,000 visitors a year. It has a strong social function to increase well-being and promote equality.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

Immediately after leaving I worked with theatre companies around the UK and Ireland and I then went onto train as an English and Drama teacher and then moved into museums. I was Chief Executive of the National Justice Museum for 12 years and developed learning programmes at courts across the UK.

I have had a number of non-executive roles including the Arts Council, the Speakers’ Corner Trust and I am currently a Visiting Professor in Heritage Management at Nottingham Trent University.

What do you love the most about your job?

The combination between culture and football is unique and to be the Chief Executive and drive decision making is unbeatable.

What does the future hold for you?

Championing diversity in the football world and attracting a wide diversity of visitors to the museum.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Winning the world’s biggest Arts Prize (the Gulbenkian Best Museum award) has to be right up there.

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