Twelve months ago, I was sitting in my backyard in Canberra, soaking up the last of the afternoon sun. I opened my laptop, logged into Zoom, and in the information session that followed I heard enough about the Richmond Institute to make up my mind. I decided to apply.
I grew up and went to university in Canberra, studying English, History, and Sociology in a Bachelor of Arts before dropping out in early 2021. I gained a lot of life experience and lessons from my time at university, but I also struggled in that environment. At university, you’re all on your own – you have to manage your own study and work timetable, and your subjects are all with different classmates and instructors. It can be quite isolating at times, and it was especially so for me in the years affected by Covid.
Another hallmark of my university study was a lack of hands-on learning. New information and concepts are introduced in lectures and readings, and consolidated by more research, essay writing, and revision for exams. I spent a lot of long nights at the library under fluorescent lights before I finally decided I needed a change.
I explored a few different options before finding out about the Richmond Institute, but once I’d heard a bit about the course it became a no-brainer. I was hungry for a new challenge and could see that the emphasis on practical learning and industry placement would be able to fast-track my pathway into the sports industry. The Richmond Institute is set up to give us students the best chance possible – each class group has a Student Success Officer, a past student of RISL who mentors us through the entire year, maintaining a constant connection and base of support to draw on.
Coming to Melbourne was a big but exciting challenge, and I’ve loved immersing myself in the unique opportunities provided by the Richmond Institute. There have been plenty of highlights, including helping to run a Richmond Rookies clinic at the MCG, chaperoning the Richmond mascots on game day, and hearing directly from guest speakers like list manager Blair Hartley, and Head of Women’s Football Kate Sheahan.
In addition to our work in the classroom, Richmond Institute students complete a minimum of 80 hours of industry placement, which gives us valuable experience and the opportunity to out our learnings into practice. Undertaking placement as a Match Day Officer with the Richmond Football Club throughout the year has given me the chance to work across club functions, fan engagement, memberships, and the Roar Store, which has allowed me to apply the skills and knowledge developed in the classroom in real-world situations.
If I could give future students some advice it would be to approach your time at Richmond Institute with energy, curiosity, and initiative. Seize each opportunity, ask questions, and take chances. There is always someone who is willing to help you grow your skills, knowledge, and experience, so make the most of the time you have here because it’ll be over before you know it!
This article was written by John Dove, a current Diploma of Sport/Diploma of Leadership and Management (SIS50321/BSB50420) student studying in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology and the Richmond Football Club.