It was through sport that Matt Williamson found his trade. But after almost 10 years as an electrician, he’s changing careers to pursue his first passion.
“I left school after Year 10 and ended up in an electrical apprenticeship through mates in rugby league. I don’t regret the apprenticeship and I recommend the trade, but I’m ready for a new challenge.”
Matt has certainly found his challenge. He is completing a Bachelor of Sports Business at ACPE and a summer internship with the Sydney Thunder. He also continues to work as an electrician on a casual basis while he is studying.
“I’ve been heavily involved in junior rugby league for years and I just love working with the players, helping to manage teams or organise a few sponsors,” Matt said. “I’ve seen how sport can make a difference in people’s lives – it crosses all boundaries of culture, finance and life circumstance.”
“During my internship I’ve experienced how a match day brings everyone together. They lose all their worries for a day and just enjoy the game. I love contributing to these events,” he said.
“I’m inspired by how the senior managers coordinate everything at once and how they deal with so many different people,” Matt said.
In this role, Matt has been sorting out tickets, parking and event day packages for members, fans and players’ guests. He’s also had the opportunity to experience a practice match and a fan day at Rouse Hill.
“It’s so exciting to see how much the fans, especially the children, enjoy interacting with the players. It really makes their day,” Matt said. “It feels so good to be a part of making that possible.”
At ACPE, Matt found himself in classes with younger students who were straight out of school and older students, like himself, aiming for a career change.
“I formed good relationships quickly with the older students. With a bit of experience behind us, we understand the value of supporting each other,” Matt also spoke with the ACPE Career Development Services early on. “They were really encouraging and helped me to line up different internships so I can work out what I like,” Matt said.
In his own network, some people supported his career change and others did not. “It was the successful people who said ‘go for it – you can do it.’ Others thought it was too ambitious. That’s just extra motivation for me to prove them wrong,” Matt said with a chuckle.
“I know that sport is not all glitz and glam, but it’s rewarding, and having a passion really helps you succeed.”
When asked why he thought internship was important, Matt had this to say.
“You’ve got to get out there, get involved and meet people. Good marks help, but it’s the networks you create that really help your career.”