And I certainly agree with our Journalism graduate and current ICZ Journalism Officer, Will Moorcroft. Will started on his journey at the University in 2012 and believes the University has had a significant impact on his professional career. I have known Will for a few years now as we used to work together for Quays TV News. Will has put a lot of effort and hard work in achieving his aim but as he describes further below the University has also played a key role in providing him with a stable baseline in his career progress.

Nowadays many students struggle to secure an industry placement to support them growing their careers. And Will has experienced this first hand before he received the unique opportunity to work for Salford City Football Club as a student in his final year. ‘It really helped me because I was practising in the Journalism industry – writing match reports and doing match interviews which is something I’ve always wanted to do’ says Will and I can undoubtedly see the smile on his face. This is one of the many examples of our single strategic priority – the Industry Collaboration Zones – and the benefits of it. Will expands on this by saying that the ICZs have played a crucial role in his further development as a Sport Journalist providing him with the chance to work with various partners across the board and widen his skills and practices. What a fabulous opportunity this is!

‘I am now working with a number of sports partners and helping to grow and develop the Sport ICZ and get students into real-world industry placements – something that will be extremely beneficial for defining their future professional pathways’. Isn’t this incredible? It is like a dream come true. You have a dream and you come to Salford and we help you make it happen. Once again the University of Salford has proven that we are dedicated to ensure that our students love their Salford experience.

It is due to the exceptional partnerships that the University have developed that Will now manages a group of students who have the same desire to become sports journalists. Seeing the enjoyment in the eyes of the students is something that gives Will a certain satisfaction as the person who has supported them in working for their dreams. ‘The more partnerships that we can find, the more students that we can do this for’ adds Will who is certain that this will increase students’ satisfaction.

The Industry Collaboration Zones as a driver of growth and development will allow mutual transfers of knowledge and share best practices to ensure our students are better equipped and our reputation is further enhanced. Will supports this by saying that his role has helped him grow from writing the match reports and interviews to doing the lead commentary at Salford and preparing the match day programmes which helps Will improve his writing and design skills.

What a splendid circle of education, work experience and personal satisfaction we have created here. Not only has the University provided Will with an excellent degree but also with the fantastic chance to grow and develop professionally. And this is what the ICZs will do – they will create opportunities for our students to equip them with the right skills and confidence to thrive into the big ocean of fights and success. Moreover, we must recognise the importance of the University as its own partner where students will be able to contribute back to our community and at the same time arm themselves with the right knowledge, skills and experience for their future careers.