"That was one of my favourite aspects of the whole experience."
Like many postgraduate students, Meghan Albert had reached a point in career where she needed to clearly define her goals.
Working in operations for sports organisations, Meghan had a raft of responsibilities but felt she needed to specialise her skills and expand her networks.
Now the General Manager of Vicsport – a not-for-profit organisation that provides advice, assistance and support to Victoria’s sport and recreation sector – Meghan says Deakin was a natural choice for her master’s degree in business and sport management.
‘I’d completed my undergraduate degree at Deakin – a Bachelor of Applied Science-Sport Coaching and Administration – and loved my time there. The teaching staff, campus and the friends I had made ensured it was a comfortable environment. It also helped that Deakin is well regarded within the industry in sports management.’
Before her 2015 appointment with Vicsport, Meghan’s career had been in sports administration which included governance, HR and policy development.
For eight years she worked with Bowls Australia where she was involved with major projects including implementing the Bowls Good Governance Project, the Bowls Connect IT project, coordinating a national awards event and developing a strategic plan for the sport of bowls in Australia.
As General Manager of Vicsport, her role now incorporates a wide range of high-level organisational responsibilities.
‘This includes developing and maintaining strong and positive relationships with members, funding partners, state government and other stakeholders along with developing operational plans, monitoring and evaluating all initiatives and overseeing Vicsport’s reporting requirements,’ she explains.
Meghan says the stand-out highlight of her master’s course is an easy pick. Her high achievement led to her being selected as one of Deakin’s representative at the San Diego Sports Consulting Program and she credits this as an outstanding experience.
It was an opportunity that led her to co-project manage an initiative for the San Diego Padres Baseball Club on ways to leverage hosting the 2016 MLB All-Star Event.
‘We worked on ways to leverage the club’s opportunity of hosting the 2016 MLB All-Star Event. Working with the San Diego Padres and providing concepts that will be implemented in this upcoming event – which is only hosted by each club roughly every 30 years – was incredible,’ she says.
The experience gave Meghan the opportunity to meet the San Diego Padres Baseball Club’s Vice President VPs and senior managers and pitch ideas for them to use in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
‘That was one of my favourite aspects of the whole experience. But it also gave me the chance to experience a very different structure of the sporting industry in the US. Meeting and learning more about a different culture was an absolute highlight. During my undergrad degree, I’d regretted not living on campus and studying abroad, and although this was only two weeks, I feel now that I can tick that box!’ she says.
As the general manager of an organisation that’s dedicated to building capacity and capability into Victoria’s sports sector, Meghan says postgraduate study has boosted her knowledge, skills and connections.
‘As well as expanding my networks, it’s provided me with experiences, theory and practice to help develop my skills as a sports administrator.’
While Meghan’s role comes with the usual challenges faced by many non-profit organisations, she says it is a privilege to be part of the ‘amazing team’ at Vicsport.
‘I work with fantastic people – Vicsport staff, members, funding partners and stakeholders – in sport who want to make a positive impact. My goal is to work in roles that challenge my skills and to make a positive impact on participation in sport.’