22-year-old Zack Ellis from Aberdeen joined RGU after successfully completing an HND in Coaching and Developing Sport at North East Scotland College (NESCol).
His transition into university benefited from RGU and NESCol's longstanding partnership, allowing him direct access to the third year through Degree Link, helping him complete a degree without losing any time.
“After ups and downs towards the latter part of my school life and youth career in football, university was an afterthought. I never intended to attend, but my family and lecturers advised me to do so, and I'm glad I listened.
“I am passionate about football, and since shifting to a part-time playing career, I have held an avid interest in coaching. I had been working for Aberdeen FC community and youth academy and had always wanted to venture up the coaching ladder. Rather than attending coaching courses, I felt that a more in-depth look into sports coaching in an academic sense would help build my knowledge & ability as a coach to stand me in good stead for the future.”
Like all students in his cohort, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted Zack’s studies, and he struggled with being away from campus while conducting research. Despite the hard times, he secured a placement with Aberdeen FC Community Trust and was thrilled to be back to face-to-face coaching.
“The most enjoyable aspect of the degree was the range of placement opportunities. After the strict pandemic restrictions, being able to get out and physically coach was a personal highlight. I coached students at the SFA School of Football, predominantly at St Machar Academy, and the experience allowed me to reflect upon my learning and develop my self-analysing skills.”
With his new degree, Zack will kick his dream career forward by returning to NESCol, this time, as an External Engagement Coordinator for Sports. About his time at RGU, he added: “My two years at Robert Gordon University have given me the confidence to communicate effectively with peers and use research skills to independently develop my knowledge on an array of subjects in the sports industry. I am very satisfied with my achievement.
"I'm very excited to start this role next term. I also plan on continuing my coaching career with Aberdeen FC and the Scottish Football Association using the knowledge I have obtained during my course. I've found it very interesting to learn the theoretical aspect of sports coaching, and I look forward to applying this to my coaching philosophy."