Leila Salarkia, head of graphics for European Tour Productions at IMG, has had something of a whirlwind ride through further education, from biochemistry to animation, to get her current position.
She has spent a good deal of time in educational institutions as she gradually moved closer to the field she wanted to pursue a career in, which eventually led her to IMG and the European Tour.
Salarkia comments: “I suppose you could say I started my career late.”
She continues: “My main worry when starting my career was that I was too old, and it would work against me. I have never put my age on a CV but when I went for interviews it would be obvious that I wasn’t in my early 20s (despite my aggressive moisturising routine,) and I thought that maybe companies wouldn’t want that for an entry-level position.
“Sports broadcasting needs more women and if you have an interest in sport, that’s great and it’s a good starting point for getting into the job. But don’t let a perceived lack of knowledge or love of a sport put you off”
“When I was looking for graphics positions I worried that my skills wouldn’t be sufficient and, like a lot of women, if I didn’t tick pretty much all the boxes on the job requirements, I didn’t feel confident in applying and thought I wouldn’t get an interview or even be considered. Also, no-one can pronounce my name first time (thanks, parents).”