What made you choose USW?
I have always wanted to live in Cardiff and the course fitted everything I wanted to do and taught everything I wanted to learn about. I had finished my undergraduate degree and thought what now. I wasn’t sure how I could launch my career nor did I feel ready to. I had moved back home and it started to feel like I was back to square one. But when I found my course and saw it was starting in January, meaning I could still do everything that it bolstered in its programme despite the pandemic, it seemed like a no brainer. A perfect next step at the perfect time.
How have you found blended learning?
There is no point in denying that it has been strange but the quality of lectures and seminars hasn’t suffered as a result of being online. It in fact has enabled more opportunities for guest speakers, who might not have been able to visit the campus, to speak to us in an environment that feels more personal. Navigating Zoom and Teams has become a vital skill and having these platforms be part of our everyday will help with future jobs. I am looking forward to having lessons face to face just to be in the same room as my course mates and lectures who have existed in tiny boxes for so long.
Is it easy to stay in touch with course mates and lecturers?
After breaking the ice in lessons we have started using our group chats more and more. I was initially concerned that being online would hinder friendships being formed as you can’t have a side conversation during a lull of a lesson but we have created a strong group friendship where we all support each other and no one is left out or forgotten. Our most recent deadline day was filled with encouraging messages and important questions being answered which was invaluable. I think I would have struggled a lot more with my assignments if I wasn’t in touch with my course mates.
Did you attend a University Open Day?
Open day was strange as it was behind a screen but I knew of the campus and the area as I had visited it before. The open day was useful as I had my questions answered and any concerns addressed so I would recommend to anyone that they should attend one and ask that question that is causing a bit of niggling doubt and it will clarify the next step you should take.
Tell us about the location of the University.
The Cardiff Campus is situated in the perfect location as you feel in the heartbeat of the city without being swamped by it. Shops, castles, and a view from the bay is all a short walk away from University.
I like how Cardiff has a capital city vibe whilst still feeling rural and homely.
Which support services have you accessed?
The library is invaluable and has adapted brilliantly to the online world. They stayed open for collection despite the pandemic and has a wealth of resources online. These include helpful hints and tips for every part of student study. The librarians are also available for 1 to 1 appointment to help navigate through your studies. The disability team are friendly, helpful, and efficient.
Everything was in place for me before I started my studies to ensure I never struggled. I know if I needed any additional support, I could ask for it and receive it from them at any time. The fees and funding process required a little research into what I was entitled to and a bit of figuring out if that meant I could afford to do the course but I conferred with my family who assisted in the calculations.
Where did you choose to live?
I am staying at Prime Student Living which isn’t university owned but is a walk away from campus and provides homely, affordable accommodation with the most friendliest of reception teams. If you can’t find university accommodation, don’t worry. There are lots of accommodation options built for students nearby.
What are you enjoying about the course?
I have enjoyed collaborating with course mates on both my work and theirs to create exciting work. Everyone has a different perspective and skillset which can give invaluable insight into your work as you consider possibilities you wouldn’t have thought of and see how it your work comes across to others.
What will you learn that will make you more employable?
The course is tailored to make you more employable. Interview techniques, CV crafting, cover letters will help you apply for jobs. The course content is of the highest of quality and will sharpen your skills in your chosen practice meaning you wont be out of your depth in professional employment. Personal business plans will help you consider avenues you can take to develop your career. The course provides a host of opportunities for working with industry professionals either as part of your work experience or through opportunities sent through by industry partners. The course helps build the beginnings of a network before you even have your first professional job.
What work placements have you completed so far?
I am on placement. The opportunity to work with seasoned professionals with enviable careers is invaluable and exciting. To know that I wont be considered a student but a collaborator is thrilling and confidence building. It makes a future career seem less daunting and proves to myself that I am good enough and can have the career that I have dreamt of.
What are your future plans?
I plan to finish my course strongly and continue to build my network. When I graduate I hope to use everything I have been taught to find an entry level position and start building my career. I dream of seeing my name in the credits and this dream seems more plausible than ever thanks to USW.