Through a VU course pathway and practical placements, Gulcan Koca has turned her passion for soccer – and professional playing career – into a day job with a difference.
"Loving and playing sport at an elite level, the notion of studying exercise science and sports management naturally interested me.
VU had the degree I wanted, with a great reputation in sport science and for supporting elite athletes. But I didn’t receive the required ATAR to get directly into the degree. So, entering into the Diploma of Sport Development first was a great pathway to uni (into the Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement/Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management).
For the duration of the diploma, I was with 90% of the same students, so I made strong friendships and great memories, and enjoyed the consistency of both classmates and teachers.
I was fortunate to be playing for Melbourne Victory Football Club already. But having the opportunity to get behind the scenes with events and coaching really opened my eyes and made me realise how much I loved it!
Throughout my diploma and degree, I completed placements including at my old high school (Cheltenham Secondary College), then casual roles at Melbourne Victory and Dandenong City Soccer Club. These opportunities put my knowledge to work and helped me to network within the industry.
My position at Victory showed my employer that I was not only capable of playing the sport, but also good at coaching, running and managing events, and interacting with people.
All of this led to my current role as Community Football & Diversity Manager at Melbourne Victory FC."