A chance discovery about internship opportunities at the University of Northampton helped a student go on to secure a dream job.
Ashlee Adebayo, who graduated from the Sport and Exercise Science (BSc) course in 2017, has recently been employed as Lead Sport Scientist for Northampton Town Football Club Academy, for budding football stars under the age of 18.
Ashlee’s career trajectory started at the Academy with an internship. He said: “I came to the University with an ‘8-year plan’ that kicked off with starting the Sport and Exercise Science degree.
“I’d done some voluntary work with the University during my first two years, but I never realised I could get an actual internship post with a football team. Following those few months with the Academy, they must have seen the benefits of having me on side. A part-time post followed and then they made it full-time – I’m seriously happy. It’s another box on my plan ticked!”
Ashlee’s day-to-day activities at the Academy see him leading on a number of measurements, observations and advice that aids the players’ performance. He explained: “I still find it funny that everything I learned during my degree is directly applicable to what I’m doing for my day job. I thought going to Uni, involved sitting down for a lecture, have someone talk at you, you make some notes and then go home with the slides and that would be it. But the lectures here were seriously different – literally, I’m using every bit of my education on a daily basis.
“As Lead Sport Scientist, I’m the main man for a lot of ‘behind the match’ work to help the players be the best team possible. This involves not only physical and psychological measures, but also designing their warm-ups and gym routines all tailored toward making the team work better as one, as well as advising on their nutrition.”
Ashlee, originally from East London but who has lived in Northamptonshire since High School, spoke about the benefits his approach has been bringing: “Obviously we have a whole team here at the Academy, so any success is down to all of us working together, but over the past couple of years the team has gone on to win their league. Performance wise, they have been able to compete at a higher level. Even when they are not at their ’best’, they find that they have more gears to go through then they would have before. I like to think I’ve played a part in this great news.”
Of his future plans, Ashlee said: “It’s early days yet, but I’m really happy to be at Northampton FC Academy and don’t myself as moving on anytime soon. The degree with University of Northampton gave me the science and evidence when making decisions to justify what I want to do, so it has set me up for a career in many different sports.”
Find out more about Sport and Exercise Science at University of Northampton.
Find out more about other sport and exercise courses at University of Northampton.