Step Day: Johan Cruyff Institute opens the doors of sports companies to its master’s and postgraduate students

Johan Cruyff Institute opens the doors of sports companies to its master’s and postgraduate students

The second edition of Johan Cruyff Institute’s Step Day, an interview day organized in Barcelona to connect sports companies with master’s and postgraduate students, was a big success

Just one month after the start of the new academic year at Johan Cruyff Institute, the master’s and postgraduate students have already had the opportunity to connect with companies in the sports industry to access the labor market.

The second edition of Step Day, an exclusive day of interviews organized in Barcelona by Johan Cruyff Institute, brought together more than 50 students from the Official Master’s Degree in Sport Management Barcelona, the Offical Master’s Degree in Sport Management Online, the Master in Sport Management Blended, the Master in Sport Management Online, the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona, the Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Marketing Online, the Postgraduate Diploma in Sport Management Blended, the Postgraduate in Sport Management Online and the Master in Sport Marketing and Sponsorship Online. A total of 26 companies from the sports sector participated in the event at Casa Convalescencia, facilities managed by our partner, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and tried to select the best candidates after a brief interview with the students.

“It is a great opportunity for all of us who, in the same room, can make contact with leading companies in all different sectors, and it is a very good opportunity for us to make ourselves known, and also for them to make themselves known and, hopefully, to be able to obtain an internship,” says Aina Mondragón, a student of the Official Master’s Degree in Sport Management Barcelona.

Johan Cruyff Institute had previously facilitated the selection process in which representatives of clubs, federations and sports entities from the public and private sectors published a description of their internship vacancies on our virtual platform, so that interested students could send their applications.

The interviews help them to then decide the type of company they would like to collaborate with. “In my case, I am still not completely clear, since there are two areas that attract me—the organization of sporting events and also the area of consulting. And precisely this type of activity can help me end up being captivated by one of the two, and some of the interviews that I have done have really been very useful and informative,” says Norbert Ferrer, a student of the Official Master’s Degree in Sport Management.

His companion, Guido Scioli, is aiming “toward event organization and management. I have had interviews with four companies in the sector, although there were more, and it is really very enriching to know what the market is looking for and what you can contribute to the market.”

Ricardo García, a representative of Beach Soccer, the International Beach Soccer Federation, considers it “a very interesting format whereby every 10 minutes a student comes to you and explains their profile a little, what their interests are, what experience they have related to what you are you looking for. And especially for us at the International Beach Soccer Federation, as we are a company that is dedicated to events, what we are looking for are people who have a big work capacity, but who are also proactive, who try to identify where there may be problems with an event, and who always try to see what they have to do to avoid this kind of problem; people who read the situation a little.”

In the case of RPM, a company that organizes sports events, among which the Barcelona Marathon, the Titan Desert and the Barcelona SuperCross stand out, they go to Step Day in search of profiles “that have one thing in common, that they like any sport,” says Nuria Artigas.Many of them are even athletes and that is a plus because they already know the sport environment, they know brands and people related to sport, and that also helps them know how to move, depending on which area of the company it is.”

The international profile of the students of Johan Cruyff Institute also attracts the attention of many international companies. This is the case of Esportter, a platform dedicated to optimizing the management of sports clubs through technology. Their representative at Step Day, Adrián Carrero, considers that “it is a day that helps to find high-quality profiles that are very interested in the world of sport. We are really looking for a profile with great desire, with knowledge of the sports world, and also a very interesting profile that we have found here from Latin America, to help us get to know the sports world and the market there.”

Other entities such as CA Sports Marketing, Iberia Sports and European Sports Events, dedicated to the organization of sporting events; clubs such as Girona FC, CN Granollers, CN Sant Feliu and Club de Tennis Sant Cugat; the Catalan Basketball Federation, together with representatives of foundations such as the Cruyff Foundation or the Step by Step Foundation, among others, are confident about incorporating the talent of Johan Cruyff Institute students who, in turn, need to start to apply their knowledge in real projects with the help of active professionals.

Nuria Juan, associate academic manager at Johan Cruyff Institute, tells us where the idea to organize an event like Step Day came from. “At Johan Cruyff Institute, we have always been committed to promoting networking among our students and companies in the sports industry. Several editions ago we started to invite speakers from the sector to explain their experience in the classroom, we created round tables to discuss current issues in the sports industry, we made visits to sports companies, etc. However, we lacked a more focused format to facilitate an encounter between the sports industry and the current students, at a more individual level, where the focus was on talent acquisition. From this need, the Step Day format emerged.”

According to Nuria Juan, the response of the companies has been very positive from the first moment. “Companies find it very interesting to have a format where they can interview many profiles during an afternoon, and also meet other companies in the sector. Likewise, they value the previous filtering of the profiles they want to interview and the spontaneous applications that take place on the same day of the event. You can agree on an internship or a job position, you can start a professional relationship or you can simply learn what companies are looking for and what channels they use.”

The most sought after student profiles are “those who speak several languages, who have previous experience in the field that the company works in, and who show proactivity and commitment to what they do,” says Nuria Juan. And, in general, the most sought after vacancies are those related to sport marketing and sponsorship, and also to the area of sports events.”

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Sport Management Online

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