Case Studies

With a long history in teaching and research excellence, Aberystwyth University has nurtured some fine students, who have gone on to achieve great success in their respected careers. Here are some of our recent stories..

Ashley Rhys Evans - Broadcast Assistant

Ashley Rhys Evans - Broadcast Assistant 

Ashley Rhys Evans graduated in 2016 with a first class degree in Welsh and Film and Television in 2016 and works at the BBC Wales as a Broadcast Assistant in news and current affairs.

What is your job title? Can you tell us what your job entails?

I currently work for the BBC as a broadcast assistant in the news and current affairs department. I'm part of a team of people working across news programmes for television and radio. Essentially, we are responsible for putting programmes on air and making sure that there’s enough time to include everything in the programme.

Are you enjoying it?

It’s a great job as I get to work in live broadcasting, and at the same time learn so much about the work my colleagues do. I’ve also had the opportunity to work on other productions such as the overnight General Election coverage and shadowing on set with a Pobol y Cwm crew. In future, I hope to become a director, and I get to work very closely with the directors, so it's the ideal job to learn more about their work.

How did your degree and time at Aber helped you get the job?

There was very practical element to my Film and Television course, and were encouraged to undertake work experience at various production companies as well. As a result, I have a much better understanding of the industry and I was able to see how the skills I learned at University applies in the real world of work. In the job interview, I was able to show that I have the relevant experience to get the job done.

Any advice for our students who are about to graduate?

Make the most of every opportunity that is offered to you. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t work out as you had hoped – it may well lead to something better in the long run!

Lucy Slatter - Wheat Breeding Assistant

Lucy Slatter - Wheat Breeding Assistant

Lucy Slatter graduated in July 2016 with a first class honours degree in Biology and is a trainee wheat breeder at KWS (UK) Ltd, a German-owned plant breeding company in Thriplow near Cambridge. Her employers are also sponsoring her to continue her education at the prestigious Wageningen University in Holland, where she is studying an online Master’s degree.

What is your job title? Can you tell us what your job entails?

I am a Wheat Breeding Assistant. I have so far been involved in disease scoring plots, running parts of the harvest and seed preparation and drilling. Over the winter I was involved in testing our crosses to access their qualities (such as their levels of gluten) as well as crossing which is where we take two plants from different cultivars and force them to mate (known as crossing) in the hope that the offspring will have better characteristics than their parents. The whole process from crossing to finally having a variety/cultivar to sell takes about 7 years.

I am really enjoying it even though it is long hours in the summer and juggling full time work and a part time masters is tricky at times. However I love that I get to do loads of different jobs and that I spend a lot of time outside!

Can you expand on your experience here in Aberystwyth University and did this experience help you get your job?

My degree was crucial for me getting my job together with my summer work experience! It helped me with everything from writing a good CV, having plenty of experiences to talk about in interview and with relevant skills and knowledge I gained from my degree which would help me do the job.

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Aberystwyth University?

I absolutely loved my time at Aberystwyth. I really enjoyed my course and I even got to travel to Borneo for it which was amazing! I really enjoyed my dissertation, I chose one which I knew was related to my career goals and that would be interesting. I ended up with a fantastic project with a great tutor and even got to present my work as a poster at an international conference in Zurich.

Do you have any advice for current students or students who are graduating in 2017?

My advice would be make the most of your opportunities at Aber, say yes to anything which interests you, join a club (I played hockey and was on committee which probably helped my cv too), work hard but enjoy yourself! 

Catrin Owen - Project Officer

Catrin Owen - Project Officer 

Catrin Owen graduated in 2016 with a degree in Law and has since been working as a Project Officer for Welsh Medium Student Experience in the Centre for Welsh Language Services at the University. She will begin her Masters degree in Welsh Politics at the International Politics Department at Aberystwyth this September.

What is your role?

My main job is to champion the University's Welsh speaking students. However, the role has evolved and over the past year, I have been responsible for establishing and organising the St David Aber Awards, undertaking a survey of Welsh speakers at the University, as well as translating the new website for the Sports Centre.

The post is part of the AberForwrad scheme which offers graduate intern positions for 10-12 months. The experience and professional training has been invaluable - I've had fantastic opportunities to develop professional skills and to network with people within and beyond the University.

Are you enjoying it?

I enjoy the buzz of working in such a diverse organisation in terms of areas, expertise and functions, right accross the campus.

The Welsh language and culture is an important part of my life and working in a role where Welsh is at its heart has been a great experience and has shaped my aspirations for the future.

How did your degree and time at Aber helped you get the job?

I studied for a law degree, and although I decided not to pursue a traditional career in that subject area, the background knowledge and transferable skills that stem from studying law have already proved useful.

Aside from that, my time in Aber means I have developed self confidence by learning to live independently and by spending three years meeting new people and embracing new experiences.

What are your future plans ?

I've received an offer to study for a Masters degree in Welsh Politics and Society in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth. In the long term, however, I hope that this postgraduate qualification along with my experiences in this job will help me go on to work in language planning and policy or as a stepping stone to a PhD.

 

Alex Stuart - Mainframe Technology Graduate


Alex graduated in BSc Computer Science in 2015 and now works as a Mainframe Technology Graduate at Experian. He says his experiences at Aberystwyth University and the opportunity to complete a year in industry as part of his course were invaluable in helping him get his first graduate role. 

What is your job title? Can you tell us what your job entails?
I am a Mainframe Technology Graduate at Experian, a world leader in credit and marketing services. This is a role as a technician rotating through various teams in our Technology Services business that support and maintain the company's IBM mainframe platform. My work includes system programming, batch control, automation, database administration and system management, alongside many other opportunities to expand my skills in other other aspects of business and technology.  

Since when have you been in post and how did you get the job?

I began the scheme in September 2015, following my graduation two months earlier. I had been offered the job after applying for a different graduate scheme with Experian, but during my interview they realised that my skills and prior experiences meant I was well suited for the specialist Mainframe role they were also looking to fill.

What course did you study at Aberystwyth University and when?

I studied Computer Science from 2011 until 2015, including an industrial placement year as part of the course between June 2013 and July 2014. This placement year was spent working as a software technician for the French Nuclear & Renewable energy company Areva at their German headquarters in Erlangen, Germany. 

Can you expand on your experience here in Aberystwyth University and did this experience help you get your job?

Without a doubt my Industrial Year offered an invaluable experience when it came to searching for a graduate job. Not only did it provide experience working in a complex technical role for an international company, but also solidly defined my attitude to work for future employers. My current role at Experian includes a period working in the USA, so the fact that I had already shown my ability to handle the challenges of emigration and the cultural barriers that can arise when working abroad undoubtedly helped my application for the position. 

The Computer Science department deserves recognition for its involvement in finding me the opportunity to work abroad. The success of the placement year scheme has led to strong ties with companies in the UK and abroad who have repeatedly looked towards the department each year for a new placement student. The department also recognizes the value of preparing us for the professional world and runs events and modules throughout our degrees to train us for all aspects of professional life.

The Careers Services team also presented me with a number of opportunities to improve my employability and were a great support for the interview process. 

Do you have any advice for current students or students who are graduating in 2016?

Professional skills are more than just specialist subject knowledge and you should embrace every opportunity you have to practice them while at university. In graduate role interviews, prior experiences such as committee roles, entrepreneurship, student representation roles and sports team memberships have always stood out as a strong metric for measuring which individuals are motivated and will bring value to their new teams. The university offers countless chances to take up these opportunities from society roles, to the student staff consultative committees in each institute and department, and even programmes like "AberPreneurs." Equally, there are similar opportunities in the wider community of the student body and Aberystwyth!

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Aberystwyth University?

A lot of my free time is spent on photography, and the close knit community in the university and the town as whole - alongside the beautiful nature and landscapes surrounding the university - made Aberystwyth the perfect location for it. I loved how that close community meant I was able to shoot for charities, sports teams, societies, the student union and even be invited back this year to shoot the fantastic 'Student Led Teaching Awards'. The friendliness of the place is really one of the standout qualities of Aberystwyth University.

 

 

 

Lowri Roberts - Translation Business Owner

Lowri Roberts graduated in Welsh in 2002 but still has fond memories of her time at Aberystwyth University. After graduating, Lowri worked as a translator for the NHS but now runs her own successful business, Tanat Translation.

What is your job title? Can you tell us what your job entails?

At the moment, I am working as a translator and own a company called Tanat Translation. and I run my own shop, Siop Cwlwm, where I sell Welsh cards and gifts.

Since when have you been in this job? How did you get the job?

I've been working as a translator for a number of years. I had previously worked as a translator for NHS Wales Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and then in 2014 I decided to go self-employed and I haven’t looked back!

What course did you study at Aberystwyth University and when?

I studied BA Welsh between 1999 and 2002.

Can you expand on your experience here in Aberystwyth University and did this experience help you get your job?

Welsh was my favourite subject at school so I decided to study it further at University and I wouldn’t be where I am today in this job without the experience I had in Aber and on the course – I wouldn’t be where I am in my career now.

Do you have any advice for current students / students who are graduating this year?

Just to enjoy every second! The time at university goes way too quickly. It is important also to get the balance between the academic and social side, but overall the time there is precious!

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Aberystwyth University?

Meeting my friends. We all lived in Pantycelyn together and I’ve made friends with people from all over Wales. This is on top of gaining my degree, of course!

Andrew Hickman - Graduate Analyst Programmer

Andrew Hickman studied BSc Computer Science at Aberystwyth and within two months of graduating, he landed a job as a Graduate Analyst Programmer for Phoebus Software Ltd.

Can you tell us a little about your job?

I currently work as a Graduate Analyst Programmer for a software company called Phoebus Software Ltd. Phoebus Software Ltd creates tailored loan and savings management system for banks. I use Java technology and convert code into P4 Java.

Since when have you been in post and how did you get the job?‌

During the writing of my Dissertation at Aberystwyth, I applied via a recruitment company and I started in post on 1 September 2015.

What course did you study at Aberystwyth University and when?

I studied BSc Computer Science and I graduated in 2015.

Can you expand on your experience here in Aberystwyth University and did this experience help you get your job?

Over the three years I was at Aber, I had a great working relationship with the lecturers who were all really helpful. The assignments were analytical which proved to be excellent experience for my work now.

Do you have any advice for current students / students who are graduating this year?

Always try no matter what. I had ten to eleven interviews before becoming successful in this one. It can be disheartening but keep trying and you’ll get there. It also gives you an opportunity to perfect your interview skills!

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Aberystwyth University?

I would have to say what I enjoyed most about Aber was the location, it’s near the seaside and it’s a really safe environment. The lecturers were also great – always keen to help and signpost you in the right direction.

Rhian Watkins - Junior Web Developer


Rhian graduated with a degree in BSc Computer Science in 2015 and has since gone on to work as a Junior Web Developer at digital agency in London. Rhian says the year in industry which was part of her degree equipped her with the skills to secure her first role.

Tell us about your job and what it involves...

At the moment I am working as a Junior Web Developer for a digital agency in London called Candyspace. My daily tasks include dealing with web language - Java Script and HTML - from the front and back end.

Since when have you been in post and how did you get the job?

I have worked for the company since 2015 and I was approached for the role via LinkedIn.

What course did you study at Aberystwyth University and when?

I studied Bsc Computer Science and as part of my degree, I completed a year in industry with a digital agency called Lightmaker from Kent. My year in industry was extremely beneficial - it made me think differently and gave me amazing experience in the workplace.

Can you expand on your experience here in Aberystwyth University and did this experience help you get your job?

The year in industry was really worthwhile to me – it gave me a chance to enhance my skills and have an opportunity to try different elements of the workplace.

Do you have any advice for current students or students who are graduating this year?

I would encourage everyone to complete the year in industry if possible and give one hundred percent to the opportunity!

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Aberystwyth University?

The people – I am still friends with those who were on the same course as me.

Ceri Perkins - Production Co-Ordinator

After graduating from the Department of Television, Theatre and Film Studies at Aberystwyth, Ceri now works as a Production Co-ordinator for television company Fiction Factory and has worked on shows like Hinterland which is filmed in the Aberystwyth area and which has close links with the University.

Tell us about your job...

I currently work as a Production Co-ordinator with a company called Fiction Factory, who are responsible for programme such as the noir detective series Hinterland.  As a Production Co-ordinator, it is my duty to work alongside the Line Producer, accountant and the production manager. I also arrange accommodation and transport for the actors.

Since when have you been in post and how did you get the job?

I have been working on Hinterland since the summer of 2014, but I initially began working for Fiction Factory in 2012. I was completing my MA in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the time and the company were looking for someone who had experience in script writing!

What course did you study at Aberystwyth University and when?

I studied in Aberystwyth from 2007 until 2012. During this time I completed an undergraduate degree in Televison and Film Studies and an MA.

Can you expand on your experience here in Aberystwyth University and did this experience help you get your job?

The lecturers were really helpful, always willing to make time for students and this was one of the highlights of the course and studying at Aber.

Do you have any advice for current students/ students who are graduating this year?

Work hard to prove yourself!

What did you enjoy the most during your time at Aberystwyth University?

The community at Aber was great – a really friendly environment!