Discovering you’re going to become a dad is a life-changing event for any man - for Nathan Walbeoff, it inspired him to return to education and build a career.
"I was working full-time for Domino’s at the time. It was fine to keep a man in his early 20s going, but it wasn’t paying enough for me to ensure that my daughter would have all she needed," Nathan explained.
"I realised I needed to do something with my life, I couldn’t carry on just worrying about myself,” he said.
After completing a BTEC in Civil Engineering at Coleg Morgannwg, Nathan also resat his GCSE English and Maths – ‘I was interested in them, just never tried hard enough in school’ – to get C grades, before starting a full-time HND Civil Engineering at USW.
"I signed up to the Network75 scheme, which is a combined work and study route to a degree, through which undergraduates apply their academic knowledge to real-life work within a host company,” Nathan said, "and was placed with Trivallis.
"This meant I could continue to work and earn, alongside studying.
"I then went on to do a part-time degree in Quantity Surveying and Commercial Property and graduated with a 2.1 grade."
Now qualified, Nathan has secured a sought-after position as Graduate Quantity Surveyor with Kier Group.
Nathan is on Kier’s graduate scheme, which is designed to support graduates to progress in their chosen career through a mix of practical experience and technical learning, frontline management skills, and professional development.
As for attending USW, he said it was well worth the effort of completing all those years of study.
"I wouldn't have got this job without the Network75 scheme.
"I would definitely recommend university. USW was very convenient for me, I wanted to provide for my daughter, and the fact that the quantity surveying course is registered by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) meant I was sure it was relevant to my career."