Profile picture of Conor Meese.

England Programmes Operations Manager at the Rugby Football League (RFL)

The wide range of knowledge I gained on the Sport Management course at Leeds Trinity was invaluable to working in Business Support for England Rugby League.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity

I chose Leeds Trinity as it came across as a great environment to study in. The university is relatively small, and the lecturers get to know you really well. I am originally from Leeds and it's a great city, therefore I was happy to stick about.

My most memorable student experiences

The best decision I made at Leeds Trinity was to do a masters. The MA in Sport Management provided me with all the skills I needed to gain my first full-time role in my desired career path. Without doing further education, I’m not sure I'd be in the role I am today. An extra year of study also meant another year of Student Rugby League for the Leeds Trinity Titans! As well as representing the university, I was also lucky enough to be selected to participate in the Student Rugby League World Cup in Sydney, which was an unbelievable experience.

Conor Meese World Cup.

Overcoming challenges

The main challenges that I faced was juggling; education, employment, volunteering work, sport and a social life, all of which were massively important to me. The only way to combine them all is to try and plan your week as best you can. For example, I always ensured I had my assignments completed ahead of deadlines, this was because I worked most weekends and played sport on Wednesday's which ruled out any productivity on these days. In addition to this, living in a house full of lads is a regular day to day challenge!

Career preparation

The wide range of knowledge I gained on the Sport Management course at Leeds Trinity was invaluable to working in Business Support for England Rugby League. There are very high standards set in the Performance Department, so I had to make sure I hit the ground running as soon as I started. Whilst at University I was always encouraged to engage in as much volunteering as possible, this definitely benefited my employability. Volunteering and placement experiences are something that makes you stand out from the crowd when applying for full time roles, both of which are tremendously encouraged by the University. 

Conor Meese shirt presentation.

Receiving a thank you gift from the Australian schoolboys for being the Team Liaison Officer for their tour of England in 2018.

Career summary

The first job I obtained after graduating was with Try Tag Rugby Yorkshire, which was a perfect graduate role and one that gave me great skills to develop my career further. This led to employment at the RFL, for which I have already had more experiences than I would have ever imagined. On my first day, my working environment included 3 former England Rugby League Internationals, which as a follower of the game was pretty surreal.

I have managed numerous match days for the England Academy and England Youth teams and have been the main point of contact for all opposing teams. I have organised England Rugby League tour's to Australia, France and Wales. I have even worked as kit man for the England Academy for their camp in Wales, something I'd never thought I'd be doing, but something that I have embraced.

I’ve made several brilliant connections from working at the RFL which has aided me to develop myself. Being in and around a performance environment has provided me with many great ideas and skills. This led me to being appointed coach of the England Women’s Student Team, something which I am very excited about, building towards the 2021 Student World Cup.

Conor Meese in action Rugby.

My advice for a prospective student considering a course at Leeds Trinity

As long as you perform all your work to a high standard, there will always be doors that open. Leeds Trinity offers you the chance to succeed at the highest level. The relatively small course sizes allow you to get to know your lecturers fairly quickly.

Ensure you always participate in extracurricular activities both in and outside of university, this will make you stand out from the crowd. It may leave you tired and out of pocket financially, but ultimately, it’s going to benefit your future. I was never the brightest kid in the room, but I always ensured I had many strings to my bow. I would also encourage you to join a club or society, this is how I've met a lot of my friends to date and it made my time at university memorable.