Nick Masson (Education & Physical Education, 1985)

Volunteer in the Spotlight: Nick Masson (Education & Physical Education, 1985)

This month for our volunteer in the spotlight we caught up with Nick Masson (Education & Physical Education, 1985).

Nick Masson (Education & Physical Education 1985) is a Sales Director at Big Wave Media; he tells us about his career since leaving University and his role as a volunteer helping students in the ‘Professional Pathways’ careers programme. This provides an opportunity for students to find out about an industry or career from professionals in that area and take an internship to gain practical work experience. 

If you would like to help students on one next year’s Pathways, either with an internship or as a speaker, please let us know.

Tell us about your career journey since graduation from the University of Exeter
I graduated from Exeter University in 1985 as a Physical Education Teacher with a real passion for all sport and physical activity. Having taught for two years I decided to change direction into the management of sport and sports facilities. During this time I worked with one of the best operational management companies in the country DC Leisure (now Places for People) ending up as National Partnership Manager.

This work then led into marketing and the commercial development of sport businesses with another change of direction moving to Bigwave media Ltd based in Exeter. Bigwave media is the number one business growth organisation supporting the operational leisure trust market.

As Sales Director we work with over 75 clients across the UK and over 400 facilities helping them to grow their businesses by getting more people more active every day. It has been a highlight of my career seeing the business grow from 15 to now over 40 team members and more recently asked to join the board of CIMSPA (the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity).

What are your best memories of your time at Exeter?
Other than having daily access to what I consider is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK it was the deep passion and enthusiasm for physical activity and sport that the lecturers at the time exuded and fostered in the students. Their knowledge and experience certainly supported my interest from an early age in this area. I was already coaching as a volunteer and giving back to badminton the sport I was most passionate about. On my return to the Exeter area I was involved in setting up a Badminton England Premier Club (Queens Badminton Club, Crediton) and then the Exeter Performance Centre based at the University; I acted as Chairman for both organisations. We now have over 80 players per week at the club and over 30 performance players training every week from across Devon.

What attracted you to volunteering in the Pathways Programme?
At one level Bigwave media wanted students to have their thoughts challenged and expanded as to what might be possible in the area of sport and leisure. Equally we are keen to identify students who have an interest in the area of digital marketing and to give them an opportunity to expand their ideas of what might be possible in the future working for a company such as Bigwave.

What did you enjoy most about volunteering?
There is little doubt that it’s a win-win relationship at its best. It takes time and effort on both sides for it to work but where that occurs there is no doubt that everyone benefits.

Volunteering as many people know, also satisfies that deep-seated belief that helping someone on their journey in life and in our case along the marketing pathway, is what we all would hope for ourselves. It’s great to give a helping hand on that journey both in marketing and badminton.

What advice would you give to other alumni interested in volunteering?
Think about the reasons for getting involved and make sure that both sides will benefit from the opportunity. Once the decision is made give 100% commitment to making it work. My personal experience both with the Pathway Programme and through badminton is that every moment spent inputting is rewarded further down the line with amazing feedback and generosity.

Date: 5 September 2018

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