The Alumni Office recently met with graduate Gwenno Dafydd at USW's annual Coaching Conference. Gwenno was attending the conference in her capacity as an Affiliate Coach, and she has recently successfully delivered and completed a year-long coaching project called ‘The Advanced Leadership Pharmaceutical Project’ for USW.
We were keen to catch up with Gwenno, and find out what she had been up to since her time at university. She trained as a teacher in Barry when it was known as the Teacher Training College. (1975-1978) and qualified as a Drama and Welsh teacher. The year after she started at Barry College, it became amalgamated with the Polytechnic of Wales, leading to the University of Glamorgan, and finally the University of South Wales.
I have always been involved in education since I left Barry, be that in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language in Belgium and Holland) Directing Theatre in Education here in Wales, fifteen years of supply teaching and of course all the training and coaching I have done during my entire career.
Gwenno now describes herself as a freelance leadership and public speaking coach, broadcaster, writer and performer. She has created and co-written an Anthem for Saint David’s Day entitled ‘Cenwch y Clychau i Dewi’ (Ring out the bells for Saint David) which was launched by the Assembly in 2008 as the central focus of a brand new pack of educational resources specifically for Welsh teachers to celebrate Saint David’s Day.
This year, she was invited to become the Americymru Saint David’s Day Ambassador to the world in recognition of the pro-bono work she had completed, in developing Saint David’s Day activities in Wales and around the world.
Furthermore, Gwenno has written a book about women working in a heavily male dominated industry, that of stand-up comedy called ‘Stand Up& Sock it to them Sister. Funny, Feisty Females.’
Stand-up comedy and politics are two of the very few public arenas where women are able to truly verbalise their experience of what it is to be a woman.
Not only has Gwenno been very successful in her own, varied career, she is keen to help others at the start of their working life. She believes strongly in the values and importance of having a mentor, describing them as someone who cares more about your career and even you do.
Gwenno's plans for the future include continuing to grow her coaching business worldwide through Skype. She is an advocate for making good quality coaching affordable, and feels that this method can plant the seeds of
change in a very short space of time.
Would you like to find out more about how mentoring can help you to achieve your career aspirations? Get in touch to see how the Alumni Office can help!