Now Reading: How Industry Connections are Essential to Getting Work


How Industry Connections are Essential to Getting Work

Heath’s story of Sports Management success, fresh from his MBA

When Heath Pocock started his MBA in Sports Management at Torrens University, he knew exactly where he wanted to take his career.

Since he was a child, he had spent much of his spare time playing or watching Australian Rules football. After seven years working as a Chartered Accountant, he made the big decision to change his career direction.

He decided it was time to combine his skills in business with his passion for sports.

“I realised that after years in the accounting industry I wanted to begin studying a course that would assist me in transitioning to the sporting industry.”

The next step for him was choosing a course that would allow him the flexibility to balance a family, work and study.

“Having a one-year-old daughter, working full time and playing local football for Port District’s means that balancing so many competing demands is often quite difficult.”

It was essential for him to find a course that allowed flexible, online study options.

“I have found that the flexibility of online study has allowed me to allocate sufficient time to my study without having to attend classes during working hours.”

Another important factor in his choice of schools was the industry connections on offer.

Although he didn’t know it when he enrolled, these connections would turn out to have a huge impact on his career.

The MBA in Sports Management at Torrens University provided fantastic connections through partnerships such as South Australian National Football League (SANFL), and the ability to gain real-world experience with a trip to Spain to visit Real Madrid FC.

I have been very fortunate that in a short period of time studying at Torrens that I have met key contacts that have been of great assistance and guidance.”

Luckily for Heath, two of the people he met through Torrens would become instrumental in securing him his dream job.

“Attending the Universities Open Day, I was lucky to hear from guest speaker Adam Kelly, (General Manager of SANFL) whose personal journey certainly resonated with me and played a critical role in my decision to study at Torrens.

In addition, one of my first subjects at Torrens I studied with John Kernahan (CEO of Adelaide Football League), which was of great benefit as we met to discuss the course content and assessments.”

Two years into his studies, SANFL began putting the call out among their networks for a new Finance Manager.

Because they have a strong partnership with Torrens, this was one of the first places they advertised.


“When the Finance Manager position was advertised by the SANFL, I was very excited to apply knowing this position was exactly what I was seeking.

Before submitting my application, I contacted Adam Kelly to inform him of my desire to apply, and he encouraged me to do so. He also provided me with some advice for the application. Adam Kelly and John Kernahan were both references in my application, so I have been very fortunate to have met them through Torrens University.”

Heath is now a month into his new role as Finance Manager at SANFL, while still completing the final year of his MBA.

“I’m settling in well and very much enjoying learning the financial aspect of football clubs. Everyone at the SANFL has made me feel welcome and the strong team culture has been very evident.

I’m looking forward to completing my Master’s Degree over the next year and especially the trip to Spain to visit Real Madrid FC.”

What advice does Heath have to offer to anyone who may be thinking of following in his footsteps?

“For any potential students thinking of starting an MBA in Sports Management at Torrens University, I would say that the possibilities to further your career are endless with the partnerships the University has with sporting organizations, and the professional contacts you will make.

Don’t hesitate to begin, because the flexibility of the course allows you to study at your own pace and removes that daunting aspect of getting back into studying.”

Torrens University has an extensive network of industry partners. See here for more information on the connections that Torrens has to offer, or read about our Business courses here.

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