My Internship at Socios.com
After graduating in 2008, the dream was a career in the football industry. However, with no real network to lean on and a limited knowledge of the industry, that dream slowly started to fade away.
Fast forward a few years, adding some great work experience, navigating a move to a foreign country (from sunny South Africa to a cold Sweden), the onset of Covid, some great targeted advertising from The FBA (after some searching from my side) and the dream of a career in football was suddenly back on.
After a few emails back and forth with the very responsive and helpful FBA Admissions team (shout out to Ruben Figueira), I decided to leave my comfort zone and take the leap and pursue my dream of a career in football.
As I mentioned previously, I had no network and industry knowledge when I left university back in 2008. So, when selecting a Master’s Degree, those were the 2 key aspects I was looking for. That is why for me The FBA was the obvious choice. They offered an extensive network and family one can lean on when needed, great tailored course material (6 months of online classes and 2 months in person learning in Lisbon) to help improve your industry knowledge and best of all they offered a working experience.
After 2 interviews I was accepted into the Master. The journey began in March of 2021. Balancing the online classes with a full-time job was challenging but working towards a dream career made it all worth it. Around the end of April 2021, the internship process began. Kristian and Marcin conducted detailed interviews with all the Candidates to figure out our needs, experiences and preferences. This would help them to source the best opportunities for us. To say this period of waiting was not stressful would be a lie, however they were very good at managing my expectations and setting clear deadlines as to when I would have answers (surely not an easy job considering the Covid issues).
Roll onto August 2021 and Marcin informed me about an opportunity at Socios.com (one of the companies I told them I was interested in back in April) in their Madrid office working in the Ticketing & Hospitality Department. I told Marcin I was interested, and he sent them my CV. The rest as they say is history. My wife and I packed up our stuff and left Sweden for Madrid.
October 18th is the day I will always remember as the day I started my career in football. Working in the Ticketing & Hospitality Department where we manage all our partners’ ticketing, merchandising and fan experience allocations making sure all our fan token holders are rewarded. Working everyday with partners like AC Milan, Inter, PSG, Roma and so many others to reward fans is something I cannot believe I am now doing! Football is now a part of my everyday working life! The team here in Madrid has been so welcoming and supportive! A big thank you to my manager Carola Ferraro and Francesco Lucia (Head of People) for all the great help. I was also fortunate enough to travel to Malta for the first company Global Event in December where I got to meet even more colleagues from around the world.
Thank you also goes to Kristian, Marcin and their team for listening to what I wanted from this internship experience, and I have to say, they really nailed it! I am super blessed and extremely grateful for everyone involved in helping me realize this dream. This is by far the best decision I have ever made.
Ivan is a Candidate The FBA’s Professional Master in Football Business 8th Edition. He can be contacted via LinkedIn.