Strategic Partnerships Executive, IMG, London
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Management
Sport is a multi-billion-dollar industry in New Zealand, says Bachelor of Sport and Recreation alumnus Henry Watt.
“What was once seen as a hobby by many New Zealanders is now a serious and highly valuable industry. When I was in secondary school, I was at a cross-roads between the Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Sport and Recreation. I decided to study sport and recreation as sport is a huge passion of mine, and it’s an industry I could really see myself being successful in.”
Choosing where to study was easy, Henry says.
“Other universities seemed quite traditional and out-dated, and I liked that AUT was going down a different avenue and promoting a faster-paced society. AUT’s School of Sport and Recreation is often talked about as the best in the country, and is closely linked to AUT Millennium. I also liked that my second and third year at AUT included workplace experience.”
Valuable international experience
Having always wanted to work abroad, Henry loved being able to intern in New York right after graduating from AUT.
“Through the AUT Internz International Scholarship Programme I worked with non-profit organisation Play Rugby USA, who are based in New York’s Times Square. They gave me a huge amount of freedom with the work I was doing in their communications team, and gave me the opportunity to coach local youth. It was an amazing experience and being able to base myself in New York was pretty special.
“I remained in New York after my internship finished, and also got to join the team at adidas. I worked in the adidas PR team, focusing on their fashion collaborations and dealing with local media like Vogue, GQ and Harper's Baazar on a daily basis.”
Henry didn’t have to wait long for his next international adventure, and is now living in London.
“I now work for IMG, a global sports management powerhouse that owns and operates events like the UFC, FA Cup and EuroLeague Basketball, alongside athlete management of Novak Djokovic and Conor McGregor to name a few. ”
Advice for other students
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people if you think they can benefit your career pathway, Henry advises.
“The worst thing you can do is nothing. There’s is no harm in reaching out to your dream organisation to ask about jobs or internships, or simply reaching out to an employee of one of those companies via LinkedIn. Americans appreciate people reaching out to them, whether by email or LinkedIn – it pays off!
“There’s also no harm in applying for a scholarship or programme. The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t get it, but if you don’t apply you’ll have no idea what could have been.”