BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science graduate
Technical Advisor, University of Derby
Graduate Kyle lends his technical expertise to today’s students
Kyle Farley knows all about the benefits of the hands-on, practical approach which helps keep the University of Derby’s Sport courses ahead of the game.
A graduate of our BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, Kyle sees the positive impact every day as he is now a Technical Advisor at the University, helping current students fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions.
“Students here have every chance to put theory into practice, to test the principles they learn in the classroom, and to make their learning applicable to the world of work. It’s a very engaging and inspiring experience,” he says.
Kyle, who graduated in 2014, returned to the University about a year later and now provides technical support for our Sport, Outdoor and Exercise Science teams. It is a job which spans everything from academic enterprise to outreach activities and where he can draw on his specialist knowledge of exercise and respiratory physiology.
He explains: “When I saw the job advertised, I applied straight away: it was just ideal to be advancing my career in the very department where I’d completed my degree.”
Recalling his own undergraduate learning experiences, Kyle says it was refreshing never to face a “dreaded two-hour lecture with someone just talking at you”. Instead, he found the learning environment to be dynamic, with lecturers who invited discussion and questions to instil a more in-depth understanding.
“The support you get from the academic staff and the enthusiasm that they bring to their subjects is second to none. From the first month of my degree, the lecturers sparked my desire to think independently, to question and evaluate theories and to avoid taking everything at face value.”
For Kyle, the focus on applied studies led him to undertake two work placements at the University during his degree – one a physiology based internship which involved research into inspiratory muscle training and the other a role as a technician’s assistant, which turned out to be the perfect preparation for his career path. “It showed me just how much work goes into supporting the students and how vital the technical teams are right across the University.”
He strongly believes that the chance to pursue independent research is one of the best aspects of the University’s Sport degrees. He explains: “This is a brilliant opportunity to focus on an area that you are passionate about and it gives you an insight into what it is like to plan and conduct your own research. Who knows – if the work is of a high calibre, you may even be able to get it published in a scientific journal!”
His main regret is that he didn’t get chance, as a student, to harness all the sophisticated technology and facilities which have been introduced at the University in the years since he graduated. “Because I now work for the department, I have been able to see first-hand the huge difference it makes in aiding students’ learning. The space, equipment, facilities and opportunities are constantly expanding so students have even more ways to enhance their personal development.”
For the future, Kyle aims to continue developing his role as a technical advisor but would also like to explore some research ideas in the field of respiratory physiology.
He urges any prospective student considering joining the University to take part in as many research projects, internships and work placements as they can to boost their employment prospects. “You would find it difficult to get so many experiences anywhere outside the University and they all count towards securing a job. At the same time, these experiences are highly enjoyable and priceless in terms of the skills you gain.”