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FIFA/CIES International University Network

Some impressions on the education programmes of the CIES (part two)

In September 2020, five former students of the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sport Management started the 21st edition of the FIFA Master at De Montfort University in Leicester (England). In this series, three of them provide us with their impressions of the education programmes offered by CIES and also their career paths in sport. Today, we meet Rebecca Jardim, a graduate from Federação Getulio Vargas (FGV) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rebecca Jardim is a Carioca and, therefore, a native of the city of Rio de Janeiro. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Law at the Fundação Getulio Vargas and also participated in an exchange programme with the University of Coimbra, which is a prestigious Portuguese academic institution founded more than 700 years ago and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list. After completing her studies, Rebecca worked for the Globo media group before turning her attention to football by joining the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) as a lawyer.

What does it mean to study during a pandemic?

It is obviously not easy to sit behind a computer or laptop all day long. It is not very motivating. Time passes slowly. Concentration is lacking. But the FIFA Master has managed to overcome these obstacles by offering us 'in-class' lessons whenever it was possible and allowed us to stay together with the other students in our class. This is a great advantage in the current context. In terms of content, I can only stress the quality of the courses and the presence of incredible guest speakers. I would like to thank the organisers, the partner universities of the FIFA Master and CIES for their efforts to offer us the best course experience possible.

To participate in the FIFA Master, you have to study abroad for almost eleven months. Was it an easy decision to follow this format of training programme?

It is never easy to change the course of one's life radically in order to dedicate oneself to a new project. For me, as for most of my fellow students, it meant leaving my family and my job. This can sometimes generate doubts and worries. But within the first few weeks of the FIFA Master, I already knew I had made a good decision. My goal was to improve my professional skills in order to make a difference in the world of sport, especially related to women's sport and sustainability. I am in the process of making it happen.

Has the FGV/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme been useful in preparing you for this experience? In what way?

I graduated in 2018. The course helped me to familiarise myself with the general knowledge of sport management. With new skills and knowledge, they also allowed me to transition to the FIFA Master. Not to mention the network that such a programme offers on a national and international level. It has definitely been really useful.

Who will be the sports managers of tomorrow after the pandemic? What qualities will he or she need to have?

There will be no room for routine. The key words will be "multi-skilling" and "flexibility". The manager will have to master different areas of knowledge and deal with an increasingly unpredictable world. In particular, he or she will have to develop sustainable business models, find new sources of income, diversify them, and think of new ways of interacting with supporters to further encouraging their participation. Yes, the world of tomorrow, the post-pandemic world, will be totally different.

Once the FIFA Master is over, what will be the next steps for you?

That is a tricky question. I don't have a clear career path. One of the reasons I wanted to participate in the FIFA Master was to bring to light what I am really attracted to, what I want to work for. So, I hope to find my way once I graduate. However, one thing is certain, I would like to be involved in projects related to women's football development or to sustainability in sports

A favourite sportsperson?

Marta and Lebron James. They are not only exceptional sportsmen and women. They also have an immensely positive impact outside the football and basketball fields.

Where do you see yourself in the next 20 years?

Nothing has been decided yet. At the moment I am enjoying the FIFA Master, the course, my classmates, life in Europe. But whoever I am in 2041, I hope to be making a difference!