Rio Ferdinand and Zain Malik

Zain Malik - One of Our Own

Get to know Zain, our most recent student intern who recently finished his six-month placement at London FA.

We catch up with student intern, Zain Malik, who recently finished his 6-month placement as Workforce Administrator. 

Hi, my name is Zain and I am from London. I recently worked at London FA on a placement as Workforce Administrator. 

I studied Sports Management at Loughborough University and graduated in the summer of 2020 before starting at London FA. I have always held a strong passion for football amongst other sports, I just wish I was better at playing it! I have a career aim to become a football agent and so I left university with a strong desire to gain relevant, professional experience in the football ecosystem. 

I came across the Workforce Administration placement on my university careers' website. London FA first initiated its placement programme tailored for Loughborough University students in 2019 after discussions with the university careers team. Whilst an industrial placement is designed for third-year students on a four-year sandwich course, the LFA were open to me applying and undertaking this programme as a university graduate. I did my research on LFA and their tremendous work in developing grassroots football in London, submitting my CV and cover letter before having a (virtual) interview. 

I acquired several key skills throughout my time at London FA, particularly as it was my first professional role after leaving university. I liaised directly with clubs, leagues, players, coaches and referees in my role. This was hugely beneficial to my development in communication and people management. I learned how to use the FA’s CRM platforms that are fundamental to London FA’s work such as Full Time, the Whole Game System and the County Administration System. I used these platforms to help affiliate clubs to London FA, work with governance on disciplinaries and fines, as well as helping the coach education department to plan and deliver FA courses. I also worked with the London FA County Cups coordinator to help with the smooth-running of the cup competitions. This included admin work for scores and disciplinaries, securing cup sponsors and event-work in executing the County Cup finals. 

The highlight of my time at London FA was the overall environment created by LFA staff – everyone helped to create an environment which was supportive, enjoyable and friendly. This enabled me to get involved across all of the departments of the organisation and acquire as many skills as possible in my time there. One particular highlight for me was seeing and meeting Rio Ferdinand at a County Cup final – as a Man United fan through and through, my colleagues were amused at how starstruck I was!

I am now working as a Research Assistant at Manchester United, helping to secure and develop their sponsorships and commercial activities. My experience at London FA was tremendously beneficial to my development and I am grateful to have learned about and support grassroots football in London.