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Rob Hartley

BA History and Politics, MPA Public Administration

  • Investment Manager at Sport England
  • Responsible for assessing funding applications and managing live projects
  • Was previously Sports Officer at the University of Bradford Students' Union
Rob Hartley, BA History and Politics & MPA Public Administration

My current role

"I am responsible for assessing funding applications from community clubs and associations, as well as local and national partners. I also manage live projects across a range of funding programmes and act as a point of contact for specific awardees.

"The best part of my job is seeing first-hand the impact our funding is having on both communities and individual lives. The worst part is providing feedback to applicants who we were unable to fund.

"The requirements for the job were to have experience within the sport and physical activity sector and to have a knowledge of sector partners such as educational institutions, active partnerships and local authorities."

Choosing my sector 

"My excellent experience taking part in and leading the sport provision at the University of Bradford made me consider a career in the sport for development sector.

"Without the knowledge and contacts I gained in the Athletic Union and during my year as a sabbatical Sports Officer, I would not be where I am today. 

"The Peace Studies lecturers who led many of the modules for my first degree encouraged students to make a positive difference however they can. I decided that for me, this difference would be supporting physical wellbeing at a national level and trying to ensure that future generations are more healthy and active.

"Sport England is currently managing a £210m grant support package for the sport and physical activity sector, to support as many organisations as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic. My role is currently focused on enabling all awarded organisations to be notified of their award and receive payment."

My experience studying at Bradford has shaped me into the person I am today. It undoubtedly helped me achieve my career goals.

Experience at Bradford

"I initially chose to come to Bradford because the Peace Studies and International Relations offers were well regarded.

"I was always interested in studying at postgraduate level.

"My postgraduate qualification helped me to understand and contextualise more strategic concepts and I knew it would help me to progress my career further and more quickly than counterparts with just undergraduate degrees.

"Although the course content I studied was fascinating, it's the interpersonal and life skills I developed which have helped me the most.

"Amongst the most important skills for me personally are emotional intelligence, the ability to network effectively and how to collectively achieve goals."

Rob Hartley, BA History and Politics & MPA Public Administration

Finding work

"Once I graduated, I looked for roles working within a physical activity related organisation.

"I applied for multiple roles whilst I was still a sabbatical officer and shortlisted all possible roles based on whether I felt it would help me move closer to my career goals.

"I applied for seven roles and achieved interviews for four of them. I was unsuccessful with one and two were scheduled for the same day in different areas within the East Midlands, so I attended them both - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I was offered both and accepted a role working as maternity cover as an Events Officer.

"I would advise other students to be prepared to start at a lower level than they would like and be prepared to put in the hard work to progress quickly. Where possible, be open to travelling for interviews and relocating for roles if successful."

At the moment, a further degree is not an immediate priority but I am constantly undertaking CPD opportunities to improve my skillset and knowledge base. In the future, I think it's likely that I will undertake a further qualification.

Pursue postgraduate

"I would advise current students to seriously consider postgraduate study. Although entirely possible, further study becomes more challenging once you start working. 

"A postgraduate qualification gives you a definite advantage and helps to develop you into a more well-rounded individual.

"It is important to decide where you want to be in 5-10 years and work out all the possible paths to get there. You should be prepared that not everything will go your way so be uncompromising about your vision but be willing to get there another way if necessary."