From his base in the beautiful French Riviera, Griffith University graduate Bruno Favretto is exploring opportunities to advance a career in sports management that already includes roles at Olympic and World Cup level.

Brazilian-born Bruno completed a Master of Sports Management at Griffith in 2013, revelling in the Gold Coast lifestyle and complementing his study by volunteering at several major sporting events. His advice to other international students is simple: do the study; live the experience.

“I really loved my time at Griffith,” says Bruno from his new home in Nice. “I came because the University is highly ranked globally, including in the sports management area, and I really enjoyed the international environment and opportunities. There were stadium visits, real case studies and targeted learning.”

Having earned a business degree in Sao Paulo in 2004, Bruno worked in several fields — telecommunications, industry, banking — without ever feeling complete career satisfaction or connection. His desire to study further brought him to Australia.

During his time at Griffith, Bruno volunteered at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Gravity Enduro mountain bike race, Brisbane Bike Week, the Brisbane International tennis tournament and the Volkl Junior National Tennis Tournament. He also worked at Skilled Park and Metricon Stadium. The Gold Coast marathon was a particular highlight.

“I loved it. As part of the Course Operations team, I helped verify the course, including its distance and the roads used, the necessary roads closures, and planning around the aid stations and volunteers. Part of my duties during the race weekend was the early morning checking of the course and making final adjustments for the race start.

“For me, this is one of the best experiences on the Gold Coast and volunteering is such an easy way to be part of it, to really feel you are inside a big international event.”

That feeling continued on Bruno’s return to Brazil when he accepted roles at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Bruno and colleague during the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games
Bruno and colleague during the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games

“I have to admit I didn’t really want to leave Australia when I finished my MBA, but Brazil was hosting the two biggest sports events in the world in the next few years and I wanted to be part of both. It was the right decision was to come back home,” says Bruno.

“I was really lucky because within a month I was asked to join the Organising Committee for the World Cup. Having an international MBA in sports management, along with my volunteering experiences in Australia, was really relevant for me being hired.”

At the World Cup, Bruno’s studies in event management, stadium management and sports marketing at Griffith were put to good use in his role as a Competition and Team Services Coordinator within the unit responsible for the competing national teams. His responsibilities expanded at the Rio Olympics, taking on the role of Services Manager attached to the marathon swimming event.

“It was a moment of hard work, big challenges and lots of planning, but I was really happy when everything went as planned. Another really cool thing was being responsible for a team of more than 100 volunteers.”

Bruno Favretto ready for duty at the World Cup
Bruno Favretto ready for duty at the World Cup

From the outside looking in, it might be expected that a boy growing up in Brazil would follow the national obsession for football. Bruno was an exception.

“I took part in sports all my life, from judo and swimming to basketball, tennis and running. I enjoy football too, but not so far as to follow a particular team. My passion is cycling. But in terms of my career, I am driven by sport itself, in the activity, organisation and management.”

With the next phase of his career likely to unfold in Europe, opportunities in triathlon, pentathlon, marathon, sailing and other sports are all on Bruno’s radar.

And for one who loves cycling, the upcoming 2018 Tour de France is another tantalising proposition.