Women in Sport: Amy O'Connor
I recently travelled to Vicarage Road, where I had the privilege of interviewing one of UCFB’s former BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing students, Amy O’Connor.
Since graduating, Amy has earned herself a job in the football industry as Watford FC’s Sponsorship & Partnership Account Manager.
Discussing whether sports organisations could do more to encourage female participation in the industry, O’Connor said: “There’s always room for improvement, but there also has been a lot of progression.”
She continued: “When I spoke at the recent UCFB (Women in Sport Conference) event, one of the other ladies in the panel, who had worked in the industry for over 30 years, had just heard me talk. She said, ‘I hear you want to be a Chief Executive, if I would have said that when I was starting out in the industry, I would have been laughed out of the door.’ Whereas now, no matter your gender, if you’re willing to put in the work and earn your place to be there then there’s nothing stopping you."
When I asked O’Connor if her passion to work within sport had always been there, she explained: “I was around 13 when I went to my first football match, my dad took to me to a Millwall game. They were about to get relegated, they lost, and it was horrendous, but I got so addicted and said to him let’s go again.
“So, I went again, and after that I said ‘I want a season ticket’, because I had got hooked straight away. My dad says he can remember us being stood outside The Den, and at the time Millwall’s Chief Exec walked past, and I went ‘one day I want their job.’ I knew that was the goal.”
Finally, when reflecting on the proudest moment of her career so far, O’Connor said: “Just being able to say I work in the football industry. Being a girl and saying you’re doing a degree in football, not that I’ve ever faced any sexism, but people do think ‘yeah okay’, so I am happy to be where I am today, working for a Premier League club.”