Jazmin Llana

Jazmin completed her PhD at Aber's department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies in March 2010. In addition to her successful academic and creative career, Jazmin acts as Aber's unofficial ambassador in the Philippines and is willing to help any Aber alumnus visiting or working in that country. Contact her at philippines@alumni.aber.ac.uk

What do you remember most about your time at Aber?

The place is beautiful and very conducive to study and thinking and reading. I remember the silence and the sound of the waves close to where I lived on the seafront. I remember the isolation of Aber, how it took so long to get there or to travel to the big cities; I have strong memories of traveling on the train or bus and seeing the poster-perfect countryside; this was what I wanted at the outset - I did not want to be in London or another big city, and the distance certainly did not prevent me from traveling to conferences elsewhere in the UK or other parts of the world. Most of all I remember the people: the friendly locals manning the shops in town and the ever helpful staff of the university. I made friends with staff and other students, some of whom became almost like family to me. Also, I will never forget that my supervisor and the university student support office helped me with my flight expenses for an emergency trip going home in time to attend my father's funeral.

What are you doing now career-wise and how has your Aberystwyth degree helped?

I am an Associate Professor of drama, theatre, and performance and serving as Chair of the Department of Literature at De La Salle University-Manila in the Philippines. Outside of my main job, I am part of an arts network in the country in the fields of theatre and performance and literary arts. I served as Chair of the National Committee on Dramatic Arts of the [Philippine] National Commission for Culture and the Arts for 2013-2016. I also continue to be active internationally. I currently serve in the Board of Directors of Performance Studies international (PSi) as its Membership Officer. My Aberystwyth degree has helped a lot, especially because I worked with the best supervisory team one could wish for and because my department (Theatre, Film and Television Studies) is very well placed in my field, with many members of staff who work internationally.

What advice do you have for a student doing your course now?

Participate. Get involved. Make friends. Know what the university has to offer and make the most of them for your study and also for your personal and career development. Set your goal, stay focused, but also do not forget to enjoy your stay in Aber. There is a vibrant arts community with various events going on all the time. Also, explore the area, take walks, visit nearby villages and towns. But, also, build your network in and outside of the university. Go to conferences. Present your work. Publish. Most important of all, don't be afraid to explore or test new ideas. I certainly wish I could have done all these or more myself when I was a student.