Katie Loeffelholz: USA

Before the Football Industries MBA, Katie was working in the Player Marketing team at Major League Baseball in New York City.

Katie Loeffelholz

Why did you decide to study for an MBA?

I’ve only ever studied and worked in sports marketing, so I wanted to learn about other aspects of the sports business.

I also wanted to grow my network with relative people and gain another qualification.

Why did you choose the Management School?

Liverpool is one of my favourite cities, and the reputation of the Management School and the university overall is really good.

The modules looked interesting and I also know some people who did the FIMBA programme in past years and spoke highly of it.

What have you learnt from guest speakers so far?

I’ve taken something different from each one, to be honest. Some are very uplifting and optimistic, talking about great projects they’ve worked on and sharing success stories.

Others are very realistic, telling us about times they’ve really struggled and how they overcame it. But it’s been interesting to see lots of different aspects and perspectives of the industry from people who are currently in it.

What skills and knowledge do you feel you have developed?

It’s still early days, but I’ve learned a lot more about business structure and economics than I ever knew before.

I’ve also grown my professional network and I’m learning how to make the most of those relationships.

What aspects of the programme have you enjoyed most?

The guest speaker series, especially for FIMBA, has been really good. We’ve had such a variety of people in a variety of roles.

Also, the mentor programme has been great, I’m really enjoying getting to know my mentor and learning from his experiences.

It all makes it feel much more practical, instead of just a textbook and lecture slides.

What impact has receiving a scholarship had on you?

It’s certainly made the financial burden a lot easier! It’s also nice to know that the university and Management School really wanted me to come here and used this as a way to show me that.

My parents are assisting me with funding, and I know this took some of that weight off of them as well, which is one of the biggest plusses.

What are you enjoying most about living in Liverpool?

It’s a beautiful city with lovely people. Liverpool has been one of my favourite cities to visit for a long time, so it’s great to call it home now.

What do you think are the main challenges women face in the football industry?

Stereotypes and lack of representation, although it is better than they used to be. The notion that a woman in the industry is ‘just in it to meet fit athletes’ and all the questions that get asked when a woman is announced in a high-ranking role.

Sometimes you’re the only woman in a meeting and you can start to wonder if you were hired to tick a box.

Being told that you wouldn’t have the job you have if it wasn’t for your looks, and being quizzed on your sports knowledge by men as soon as you say what your job is.

All that said – I know it is changing for the better. I can see an improvement from even 5-10 years ago.

Iknew all these challenges when I went into the industry and I’m hopeful that I can help change it for the next generation.

What advice would you give to women thinking of a career in football?

Be tough, stand up for yourself and know your worth (both professionally and personally!). I try not to think of myself as a woman in football vs. men in football – we’re all just people here to do a job.

Work hard and know that it won’t always be fair, but surrounding yourself with the right network will make it easier.