International Centre for
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Tue. 10 October 2017

FIFA Master Alumni – Where are they now? – Sarah O’Shea

Sarah O’Shea

Current Position: Secretary General at OCI - Olympic Counsel of Ireland & Director at SOS Sports Consulting

Year of graduation: 2006 (6th Edition)

Nationality: Irish


What does your current role involve? 

With my consulting business, I offer a range of services within business and sport so there is a lot of variety. By way of example, I am still company secretary for the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), have recently completed the Strategic Plan for Irish Boxing and have completed a number of Rule Books and organisational restructures for other sports organisations. I also do a lot of work around governance and large strategic projects which require consultancy services including in the area of sports facility development. One of the reasons I started my own business was to bring more of a work/life balance and I am very focused now on ensuring I stick to this plan.

My new role as Secretary General at the Olympic Counsel of Ireland is Honorary so it’s voluntary although it’s a busy role as currently we are working through some of the Rio matters which are still outstanding. I will be working with the new President and the members of the new Executive Committee to provide an Olympic Council to meet the expected standards of governance, image, and representation of athletes needs at both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.


Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

At the time, there were no in-house lawyers in sport in Ireland and I saw undertaking the FIFA Master as an opportunity to change my career. I could not have achieved anything in my sports career without the FIFA Master which kick started everything so it was absolutely worthwhile. I think the people and the course alumni really are my fondest memory, combined with building a worldwide network of contacts that can be drawn upon at any time. I remember we also went to the Torino 2006 Winter Olympic Games and it’s funny that this trip proved important in my recent election campaign when speaking to the Irish Winter Sports Federations. So, you never know when your past experiences can come back to assist you.


hat advice would you give to future students on the course?

Please enjoy your time as you will work hard once it’s all over. So, do have some fun! Keep in contact with each other, as this will prove invaluable. Always stay professional but kind in your career and remember that life is about people. I believe in being open to sharing knowledge and experience with others, and in particular in helping younger people who are coming through. The best advice I could give is not to hold on to power too much and never be fearful of passing on your skills and knowledge. Those who come behind us will naturally someday pass you in their own careers, but they will never forget how you treated them and the help you provided. 



The FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport is organized by the CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (Leicester, UK), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Milan, Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel. In 2017 the FIFA Master was ranked as the No.1 course in Europe for the fifth time by the SportBusiness International global rankings.

Discover more examples of inspiring FIFA Master alumni career paths by clicking here.

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