I had a lot of support from the University so I could keep studying hard for my dream. My fondest memory of Middlesex is the kindness I received.
International research student and dedicated football fan Jongwon Kim is studying for a PhD in Sports Performance Analysis at Middlesex. He's also landed his dream job as a performance analyst at a Premier League football club – a goal he's been working towards since he first visited London 10 years ago.
"I feel like I'm living a dream, every day. I'm crazy for football and now I'm working at Crystal Palace FC as a performance analyst – I've achieved my ultimate goal.
"Truth be told, it was very difficult for me as a foreigner to get to work in the Premier League. However, during my MSc course at Middlesex, my lecturer gave us many opportunities and information about work experience. Basically, at Middlesex I've learnt all the skills a football club wants: statistics, analysis software, video editing, writing and so on. Studying at Middlesex was a massive help to get a job."
"As well as doing my PhD research (into an alternative approach to football performance analysis), I now also work as a football editor for Goal.com. I write analysis articles about Premier League matches and interview Korean players – like Son Heung-min at Tottenham and Lee Chung-yong at Crystal Palace. So I'm getting to meet players who I used to watch on TV back in Korea.
"I think the highlight of my career so far is when I first filmed an under-23s match at Crystal Palace's Selhurst Park stadium. It was a priceless moment.
There's no downside to my work, it's one of my long-cherished dreams. That's the reason I keep studying and working in football – I really love it."
"I knew England was the pioneer for performance analysis and I decided to study at Middlesex University because of Dr Nic James. He's a Professor of Sports and Exercise Science and the Chair of the International Society of Performance Analysis of Sport. I really wanted to learn from him.
"When I first came to Middlesex I struggled to understand English and get used to the British style of study. However, Nic James, who became my supervisor, kindly helped me a lot, as did my academic writing assistant. I had a lot of support from the University to help me adapt to my new circumstances so I could keep studying hard for my dream. My fondest memory of Middlesex is the kindness I received."
"In the future, I plan to go back to South Korea. Although football is the most popular sport, performance analysis is not a well-developed field there yet. I would like to give some of my knowledge and experience and hope I am able to help Korean football one day.
The advice I'd like to give to international students is not to worry about a new language and situation, just think about what you want and go for it. I think Middlesex is a good place to prepare for and follow your dream. If you make a sincere effort you will achieve it."
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