Tony Asghar talks about his Masters in Sporting Directorship

Tony is currently Managing Director of a global sports management and tour company, and enrolled on the course for career as well as personal development. His business has grown since he began the course, and he believes that it has been a life changing experience.

I applied for this course for my own personal development and because of the industry I work in, and I knew it would pose challenges for me both personally and professionally. I saw some literature for the course, and came to the University for an interview with two of the academic staff.

I have to admit that I felt a little daunted coming to university, as it’s been 25 years since I took part in any formal education. The course is also full of elite sports players and coaches, which was intimidating! I spent 25 years in the police force, so have a different skill set. I thought that academia was not for me, but this course has changed my mind.

The course has been very fulfilling; I have learned a lot, built up lots of knowledge, made some good friends and have some new business networks. The knowledge I have gained has opened my eyes in my business and the whole process has definitely been life changing.

The content of the course is relevant, and I’ve enjoyed all of it, especially learning more about leadership.  Learning about leaders in business, and how that can transfer to my ultimate career goal of being a sporting director, has been of real benefit to me.

We’ve also studied emotional capital and the use of psychological profiling, which has been enlightening. It’s allowed me to reflect on my own profile, and value my own critical evaluation skills.

I utilise lots of the theory that we learn, as well as framework development, and I have already incorporated these into my business. Adding new business practices, as a direct result of what I am learning on this course, has worked for me and my business has grown over the last year. I’ve learned to look at things differently; you can definitely teach old dog’s new tricks!

There are many networking opportunities through the course, and the University brings in many first class keynote speakers. We’ve heard from Damien Comolli – a respected Director of Football, Dan Ashworth from the FA, Guy Richardson from British and Irish Lions and Kevin Roberts from Saatchi and Saatchi. We have small student groups for these speakers, so one-to-one time is always possible, and their advice has been invaluable. In fact the list of speakers was one of the reasons I enrolled for the course.

The course lecturers have been extremely supportive. They are easy to communicate with, and I have found myself bouncing ideas off them; they have become a sounding board, both professionally and personally.

This course has been a major step for me professionally, and has allowed me to look further afield. I can now see how delegating my business to other people can further my ambitions to become a sporting director. That is definitely something I wouldn’t have imagined as a possibility a year ago.

My advice to anyone thinking about enrolling on this course is to do it, especially if they want to grow professionally and personally. I live in Scotland, and the sacrifice of time and travel has definitely been worth it.