The GWS Giants and International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) are currently enjoying a mutually beneficial relationship that’s a win-win for both students completing industry training and for the club.
The Greater Western Sydney Giants, nicknamed the GWS Giants or “Giants”, is a professional Australian Rules football club that plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). For the past two years they have partnered with ICMS and students undertaking their industry training at the club, located at the Tom Wills Oval in Sydney Olympic Park.
“This (program) is so important to the club,” Tom Welch of the Giants said. He is part of the match day and events logistics and operations team and he coordinates the ICMS intern program. Industry training is a part of every ICMS degree, and the Sports Management degree is no exception. Practical training is seen as an integral part of the career-focused approach of the higher education institution based in Northern Beaches, NSW, Sydney, where almost 90% of students are employed after graduation, according to an internal survey.
Welch explained that out of the internship program implemented last year, three of the eight interns who took part are currently employed by the club.
“The age of many of the staff is very young so it’s all about creating that pathway from education to career to a business. It’s something that I’m very passionate about personally and I know it’s very important to the club,” Welch said.
Internships are centred on match days and events. Current and past ICMS students have impressed Welch.
“ICMS students are definitely set apart from others. Their professionalism already is startling. The punctuality, the attitude, the communication from all the students has been second to none. It makes my job easy… They come with great attitudes. They are really ready for the workplace environment, in my eyes,” he said.
“There’s a lot of work to do and without a lot of training you can make a big difference here. The great thing about the club is that it’s familial and flexible, where internships can be tailored around individual students and their interests… if they have interests in a certain area we will do our utmost to get them in that area.”
ICMS students currently completing their industry training at the club have learned valuable lessons along the way.
For ICMS Sports Management student Charlie Sennet, the opportunity to work at the Giants is a window into the sports industry in which he wants to make a mark.
“It’s exciting to see where we can end up in the future… (this internship is) better than what most kids our age would have so thank you to ICMS for providing us with this opportunity and also to the Giants for taking us in… Getting your foot in the door early is just a great opportunity,” Sennet said.
Sennet described the ICMS Bachelor of Sports Management degree as “the best of both worlds” in how it combines sport and management.
“Every kid’s dream is to be a professional athlete, but the next best thing is to be able to go into the industry of sport… furthering your career in something you’re really passionate about,” Sennet said.
Fellow ICMS Sports Management student Max Warn echoed these sentiments, and was delighted to find a degree where the primary focus was on sport.
“It was a dream come true for me where you get a degree in sport at ICMS. At most unis you can get a degree and get an insight into sport, but to have it totally tailored to sport and your passions is ideal.”
ICMS Sports Management student Alec Morgan agreed, and urged others hoping to forge a career in the sports industry to take advantage of opportunities such as the Giants internship.
“The sports industry is all about connections so get in there… if you can get a job where your passion lies it’s where you want to stay. I can’t say where I’ll be in ten years’ time but definitely being here is probably the best place where you can put your best foot forward and step into the industry. From there you grow and new opportunities arise and from there your career grows,” Morgan said.
“So many people I’ve talked to that work here (at the Giants) started off at a low level and they didn’t even know where they were going to end up but they just worked hard and did what they had to do and have now ended up in great job positions.”
The Giants internship program includes ICMS students from degree programs other than sports management. Amelia Nemeth, an ICMS Events Management student, is completing her industry training with the Giants events team, assisting with pre- and post-match events.
“I want to give it my all, that’s what it’s all about. As long as you go with an open mind, ready to work and with an excellent attitude, you’ll make it far in this business,” she said.
For more information on ICMS Bachelor of Sports Management, click here: https://www.icms.edu.au/course/bachelor-sports-management-0
For more information on ICMS industry training, click here: https://www.icms.edu.au/why-study-icms/industry-training
For more information on the Giants, click here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Western_Sydney_Giants