Understanding the opportunities around us and what we have to do in order to succeed is a very important skill we need to develop.
Today we will betraveling to China to share Yu Qianyi story. Thinking 5 years ahead, he saw the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic as an incredible career opportunity and moved to Norway to pursue his master degree in sport management and gain experience in the industry.
About his experience in Norway, at Molde University College, he said “I call Norway a “niche market” which is less competitive and yet so strong in sports education and dominating in winter sports (considering the coming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic is an opportunity for me).”
Thank you, Yu Qianyi!
Yu Qianyi, can you share with us your professional and academic background and why you choose to work with Sports?
I’m a crazy sports fan, but honestly, I’ve had no professional and academic background with sports before I started the MSc in Sport Management in Molde. I used to be a college student major in English, an auditor, and a marketer, but never have I thought I was truly any one of these roles. People get lazy and timid when they always drift with the crowd and do not challenge themselves, and I have been that way since I graduated from college. “I must change”, that was the voice in my mind back then. To be honest, I didn’t know what I’m going to do exactly in the future, but I did know that I love sports and it is getting late for me to make a change, so I quit my job and went for sports. Just to be clear, my friend, I was not a gambler, I was rational, I knew the sports businesses are roaring fast in China. The business sense and expertise from my professional and academic background of being an auditor and marketer did help me a lot in making the decision.
Luckily, here I’m studying sports and it is not too late.
In 2017 you made a bold move moving to Molde — Norway, to pursue an MSc in Sport Management. What motivated you to leave China and come to Norway? What challenges did you face? What was the best thing that happened to you during this period abroad?
As I mentioned before, change. I had been in my “comfort zone” for too long, I needed to make a change. I tried to look for a sports management course abroad and then Norway came into my eyes. When thinking about studying abroad, many people tend to consider the UK, USA, and other English speaking countries, but the fact is that countries like Sweden, Netherland, and Norway are often ignored. I call Norway a “niche market” which is less competitive and yet so strong in sports education and dominating in winter sports (considering the coming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic is an opportunity for me).
One challenge was that I had to give up what I had in China, and spend two years abroad. Another one was the crazy time of day and night here in Norway, 20 hours of sunlight or 20 hours of complete darkness, I’ve had serious sleeping problems with that… Just kidding, once the decision is made, then do not think too much about the challenges, just be positive and overcome them.
One of the best things was the Seminars led by experts from many different sports business areas. The courses were so tight, tons of information was provided, and gave us a great opportunity to practice in real sports situations. Another one was the excursion to Germany. Great lectures and presentations were given by professors, government officials, and sports businessmen. Lovely German friends from Mainz University. Opportunities to work with real sports business. It was a wonderful memory.
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Study abroad is a great experience, however, many students need a motivation to do it. What is the advice you can give for those looking for that motivation and leave the comfort zone?
Yes, just as you said, study abroad is a great experience, so don’t be afraid. Comfort zone can never be comfortable, it is like a marsh that sucks you down slowly and slowly. Sometimes I compare the comfort zone to sunk cost which is already paid and can not be regained. If you choose to move forward, then the sunk cost is nothing to you, please just let go of it.
You had the opportunity to do an internship at IMG, a major sport, and entertainment company. How was this experience as an intern?
IMG has everything a sports student is interested in: event management, sponsorship, licensing, content producing, representing athletes, advisory, marketing, and so on. It was a great experience for me. I was involved in a sports science project working together with the government department, more specifically, a sports wind tunnel project, which was planned to improve Chinese sports science research ability as well as to improve athletes training and performance. I have been in the MSc in Sport Management program for two years, but this internship has taken my knowledge to a whole new level.
How do you see the sports industry in China?
I believe China’s sports industry will continue robust expansion in the future, with a growth pace much faster than the global average. Besides, China is the largest single market of 1.4 billion consumers. Imagine when you are doing sports business in Norway, you are dealing with a market of 5 million people and if you want to expand your business to other countries you must face many challenges like language, culture, law and other things. But here in China, be prepared that your business will rapidly reach 1.4 billion people, among which 300 million may be middle class who are the core consumers of sports-related businesses. Another important thing is e-sports. E-sports will embrace an enormous growth opportunity in the years to come globally, and China is leading the game. It is full of opportunities in China.
You just got your degree from Molde University College. Congratulations. How is that feeling to be an MSc in Sports Management? What is your game plan for the future?
Thank you. Finally, I’m a master, so excited, hahaha. Time flies, we have had beautiful memories here in Molde,
I will miss them. After graduation, I’m going back to China and continue working in IMG. I hope I could get involved in the coming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic where my experience in Norway can be used.