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Internship Blog STVV FBA

My FBA Internship at STVV by Teagyn Gracey

From South Africa to Sint-Truiden

Embarking on an internship with STVV, the heart of Belgian football, has been an exhilarating journey. As part of my master’s degree with The Football Business Academy (FBA), the prospect of spending three months with this dynamic club filled me with excitement and anticipation. Having never been to Belgium, the chance to explore a new country while working with a professional football team was incredibly appealing.

In recent years, STVV has undergone a financial metamorphosis. Acquired by the Japanese internet giant in 2017, the club has benefited from increased investments that have stabilised its finances and upgraded its infrastructure. This backing has empowered STVV to pursue strategic initiatives and long-term growth, transforming it into a formidable force in Belgian football.

During my internship, I have delved into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), communications, marketing, and fan engagement strategies. My role, primarily remote from London, has presented unique challenges but also invaluable learning opportunities. I have spent my time developing strategic plans and ideas, each undergoing careful scrutiny with regular feedback and revision sessions, ensuring my work has met the club’s, and my own, high standards.

Despite the remote nature of my tasks, the work was profoundly stimulating. Strategic planning allowed me to harness my creativity, making me feel that I was contributing meaningfully to the club’s initiatives. Regular feedback sessions with the internal communications team has offered a deep dive into the professional expectations and standards within the industry, which was particularly enlightening.

A standout moment of my internship was the ten days I spent in Sint-Truiden. Immersing myself in the local culture, meeting the team, and gaining diverse perspectives on the sport provided great insights. Hearing the personal stories and passions of those involved with the club reinforced the idea that football holds different meanings and weight for different people, which I cherished and integrated into my work. Football, as a global phenomenon, thrives on diversity. The game is played and loved in every corner of the world, and each culture adds its own flavour to how football is experienced and celebrated. Embracing these differences allows for a more inclusive and expansive view of the sport, fostering unity and collaboration. During my time in Sint-Truiden, I learned first-hand the value of these diverse perspectives. Engaging with the team and the local community opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about football. For instance, I saw how local traditions and the town’s history influenced the fans’ passion and dedication. These insights not only enriched my understanding but also enabled me to contribute more effectively to STVV’s initiatives.

Coming from South Africa, I brought my unique perspective on the sport as a unifying force in our culture, bridging diverse backgrounds and fostering a sense of community and pride.

My time with STVV has been a remarkable exchange of ideas, learning from individuals with different backgrounds and viewpoints, reinforcing the universal appeal of football and its ability to transcend cultural barriers. Differences are not just important—they are essential. They challenge our assumptions, push us out of our comfort zones, and drive us to consider alternative approaches. In football, these differences can lead to greater creativity and innovation. By welcoming and valuing diverse perspectives, we can build stronger, more resilient teams and communities.

My advice to future interns is simple: embrace the journey with hard work and an open mind. Trust in your abilities, let your creativity shine through your tasks, and don’t shy away from mistakes. View them as learning opportunities. Be inquisitive, ask questions, and relish the chance to meet and learn from new people. Show passion and confidence in what you love and believe in. This enthusiasm will resonate with others and open doors to meaningful connections and growth.

Reflecting on my internship with STVV, I am immensely grateful to the club and The FBA. The experience has been enriching, honing my professional skills and broadening my understanding of football from a global perspective. Looking ahead, I am eager to apply the knowledge and insights gained from this internship to my future career in the football industry. This journey has been deeply enriching, and I am excited to continue growing and contributing to the world of football.

Teagyn is a 13th Edition Candidate of our Professional Master in Football Business. STVV have become an esteemed FBA Partner since February 2024.

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