A group of Bangor graduates came to talk to us about their experiences with work after graduating. These included:
- Bethan Wynne Jones (2014) National Trust
- Dawn Thomas (2010) Living Seas Awareness Officer, North Wales Wildlife Trust
- Graham French (2000) Director of PGCE Secondary
- Jonathan Cannon (1988) Process Science Manager, Dwr Cymru
Bethan talked of her experiences in working with the Snowdonia society and the importance of internships, volunteering and a “solid CV”. She told us to be open to everything and anything life throws at you.
Dawn also repeated the importance of volunteering in getting her job. She told us not to be afraid of taking seasonal jobs, and that there will be both good and bad times for us all, saying you will go through times of applying for everything, even if you don’t think you’ll get it, and times of only applying for a select few.
Graham talked about the fact that when he left university he didn’t know what he wanted to do, however, he knew before starting university that he didn’t want to become a teacher. He worked at outdoor centres teaching young people skills and found he really enjoyed it so went on to do his PGCE course.
He now directs the PGCE Secondary course at Bangor. He mentioned that the teaching degree was world recognised so you can teach all over the world.
Jon spoke of his work for welsh water as a water science manager and some of the ethics behind the company. He told us of the opportunities for scientists, ecologists, MSC’s, foresters and chemists within the company.
He also explained that during selection or screening of candidates they run competency based interviews in an assessment centre style. He told us that you really need to carry on talking.
My opinions and how this will affect my future
As I was apprehensive about the second section of this session (the assessment centre) I found it quite hard to concentrate and thought I did not get out of it as much as I could have if it had been organised on a separate day. However, I found many of the tips from the panel very helpful.
It has enforced my belief that I need to volunteer regularly, and since the session, I have partaken in a few volunteer days with the wildlife trust, and also now volunteer at the Welsh Mountain Zoo regularly. I also spoke to Bethan at the end about how to network when you find it hard to speak to people and she explained she was in the same boat when she was at university and gave me some tips, including just gradually increasing the number of people you speak to a day that make you slightly uncomfortable to speak to. Some days I have found this very hard, but it will be a gradual process to becoming more confident.