International Centre for
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Mon. 11 June 2018

FIFA Master Alumni – Where are they now? – Philip Zimmermann

Philip Zimmermann

Current Position: Technical Development Services Programme Manager, Technical Development Division, FIFA

Year of graduation: 2015 (15th Edition)

Nationality: German

What does your current role involve?

After having worked in the Member Association & Development Division for my first year at FIFA, working on Grassroots & Youth Football as well as sports infrastructure projects, I have since been working in the Technical Development Division, led by Marco van Basten. For the previous one and a half years my main responsibility was the implementation of the domestic youth league programme in which Member Associations (MAs) are supported by FIFA to run domestic youth competitions in their respective countries.

As of this year, I now have a new role as Technical Development Services Programme Manager within Technical development. In this role I am responsible for all projects where MAs are collaborating with each other to increase the overall technical level in football. For example, this can include implementing international exchange and internship programmes.

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

As I studied sports management in my bachelor degree, I would say that many topics had already been touched upon in my previous studies, but not at Postgraduate level. However, the international outlook and general knowledge of the international sports world, from clubs to national federations and finally to international federations is one area where I learnt a lot during the FIFA Master course, and also from classmates who already had work experience in many of the above mentioned organisations. I was often able to learn as much from my classmates as the course lecturers, from discussions about the concept of nationality, rule changes, the dominance of football, to helping me with job applications. I would say my fellow classmates definitely helped my career the most.

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

To enjoy the crazy year that the FIFA Master is! As everybody can confirm, one day you will wake up on a sunny day in Neuchatel and you realise that it is your graduation day and you will wonder where the year has gone. Absorb all the knowledge you gain from the FIFA Master Professors and students (both inside and outside the classroom) like a sponge. I would say, however, not to approach the exams, research papers and grades with an unhealthy determination or think that only good grades on the Master will translate directly into a good job. Look left and right and do not only think about one organisation that you might want to work for. Even if you do not like networking, be open and make the most of the alumni network. Every one of them has been in the same situation as you and where they needed help of other alumni so they know how you feel. You will find that people will be happy to help you.

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, by the SportBusiness International global rankings.   
Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

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

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