Describe your career in 5 words.

Young, Promising, Exciting, Challenging, Impactful.

You have a pretty unique story in terms of how you started your career at CSM. Would you mind taking us through how it all came about?

Of course! Prior to Joining CSM, I was a student at Bournemouth University studying MSc. Sport Management. In addition, I had a part-time job as a waiter at PizzaExpress in Bournemouth. My university course offered a student placement option which aligned well with my ambitions as an international student to work in the UK. To help achieve this goal, during my placement search, I strategically searched for organisations that would be rightfully positioned to facilitate my career beyond the student placement opportunity. I remember vividly my excitement when I came across CSM. It was interesting to see the company’s diverse operations, brilliant project case studies and client portfolio.

In September 2019, during one of my shifts at PizzaExpress, I had the opportunity to serve two lovely diners – a father and daughter duo who I later found out were Kevin Vandrau, CSM’s Group Commercial Director, and his daughter. While exchanging pleasantries, we discovered that we shared a common interest in sports. Kevin mentioned that he worked within the sport industry, and I didn’t hesitate to ask if they offered student placements. He kindly offered to help and shared his work email. I was stunned when I discovered that he worked at CSM and couldn’t hide my excitement as I spelled out my interest to join and work at the company. True to his promise, Kevin shared my interest with the talent team who were greatly helpful throughout the whole process. I joined CSM in March 2020 on a student internship as part of the Grassroots scheme. Recently, CSM helped me realise my goal to work in the UK through a full-time role as a Research Coordinator across our Strategy and Consulting team. It has been a fulfilling journey both personally and professionally and I am very honoured and humbled for all the support that I have received all through.

Samson Wambui

You joined as part of our Grassroots programme. Can you tell us what you did as part of the programme, and how it has helped you progress your career?

I joined CSM through an internship programme which is one of the four pillars of our Grassroots scheme. As an intern, I had the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience within the industry while also receiving outstanding mentorship. Sitting across our Strategy and Consulting team, I supported in the delivery of over 50 different projects carrying out varied tasks including and not limited to conducting research and analysis, presentation building and collating new business materials. Additionally, I was granted the opportunity to lead a three-month research project for one of our key clients in the banking and financial sector. I was also privileged to learn from CSM’s highly experienced and skilled team through mentorship. This included job shadowing, project guidance, show-and-tell sessions, and invitations to join client & wider team meetings. From this, I managed to work, learn, and build connections across different parts of the business. In addition, I had access to our learning and development platform, ‘Stretch’ where through different courses and resources I learnt the best practices for going about my role.

Without doubt, the significant experience and knowledge gained helped in the progression of my career. Firstly, I was able to establish my desired career path within the sports industry. I grew an interest working in sports marketing, specifically within an agency as this provides an opportunity to work across different sports as well as across a wide range of roles. Secondly, the support received, the skills developed, and the confidence that the team showed in me played a huge role in setting me up for success. Towards the end of my internship, I received an extension offer which was later followed by a full-time role upon completion of my studies. I consider myself lucky as I was able to achieve all of this amidst working remotely.

Samson Wambui

You work in our Strategy and Consulting team, as a Research Coordinator. Could you tell us a bit more about what that job entails, and what projects you have been working on in the past few months?

As a Research Coordinator, my job entails supporting the development and delivery of different projects for both our Brands and Rights clients. By utilising various data sources and tools such as Global Web Index and Sport Business, I provide market intelligence and analysis across all relevant categories, audiences, and properties. Over the past few months, I have had a chance to support on some exciting projects including Automotive Industry category research, building technology in sport strategies for brands and the activation strategy of a high-profile sponsor of a Premier League club. In addition, I have picked up several admin roles to support business operations across our Strategy and Consulting team. It was also exciting to be part of our Brand’s Unplugged 2021 event organising team, helping pull together the agenda for the annual, virtual “Away Day” that brings together our Brands team from across the globe.

Samson Wambui

When not at work, what would we find you doing?

I like to unwind after a busy day at work by taking our dog ‘Fin’ for a walk. Over the weekend, you’ll probably find me watching sport especially football (I am a huge Arsenal fan) or F1, if not on a tennis court playing against my dad.