Students told that being a little different can get you a long way


By  Louis England-Crowder

Former Leeds Trinity student James Mason who is now in his “dream job” as Chief Operating Officer for Bradford City Football Club had some special advice for aspiring journalists today: be different.

He stressed the importance of standing out, saying: “To get there you’ll have to be a little different to the person next to you, to the people behind you.”

Mentioning what he believes to be the key ingredients to success – persistence, passion and determination – James is a reflection of all three, having followed an unusual path into journalism.

He studied philosophy at Newcastle University, and had no qualifications in the industry when he decided to embark on a postgraduate bi-media course at Leeds Trinity University.

It proved to be a turning point in his career, because as he explained: “having a media background will open many doors for you.”

After working as a sports journalist for the BBC for several years on the Saturday show Final Score he was offered a very different opportunity at his beloved football club Bradford City but as a Chief Operating Officer, but still a position he felt he couldn’t turn down.

He explained that his job involves looking over all the operations of the club and was recently involved in a social media campaign trying to recruit as many season ticket holders as he could to bring some atmosphere back to the Bantams using the basic skills he had learnt on his journalism course. 

He said: “If we could just create a story around where we’ve come from, where we’ve been and where we want to go and ask them to buy into the next step in our future that could be more powerful than any marketing campaign that we could come up with.”

James finished by talking about Bradford City’s aspirations for the future and where he sees the club in five years’ time.

He said: “Championship for definite, maybe even the Premier League. I think we have grounds to be optimistic.

“At the beginning of the 2002/03 season we were rock bottom of League two and we were going out of business. Fast forward ten years and we’ve been to Wembley twice and had that amazing cup run last season”

Watch this space!





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