The International Convention Centre Wales in Newport will this week see thousands of our graduates from 2020 and 2021 finally cross the stage in their cap and gown. To mark the return of our graduation ceremonies, we are sharing the stories of some of our inspirational students.
Gareth James, 26, studied Advertising Design at USW and finished his studies in July 2020. He is now working as a Graphic Designer at Southampton Football Club.
“I chose USW mainly for the location – my Dad’s side of the family are from Cardiff so I already knew the area, but once I saw what the Advertising course was like, it was a perfect fit for me and what I wanted to go on to do,” said Gareth, who is originally from Swindon.
“Overall I loved my experience at USW. I met some amazing people, the lecturers were great and I think it has prepared me well for the job I’m in now.
“Obviously, I faced a huge challenge in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic – I was just coming to the end of my degree as lockdown hit, which meant that my classmates and I missed out on our grad show and potential job opportunities as a result.
“It feels brilliant to finally be able to celebrate my graduation by attending a ceremony – better late than never! However, I still don’t think it’ll feel quite the same, all these months later. It’s a very proud moment though, and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again."
Gareth hopes to continue progressing in the football industry. He said: “Luckily, I landed on my feet after finishing my degree, and I’m now in my dream job, so I just want to keep going. I’m looking to steer my career towards motion design, so that’s the aim in the near future.
“I know it’s a cliché, but I would honestly advise any student to make the most of their time at university while they can because it goes so quickly!”