Sarah Woods graduated from the Cardiff Business School in 2006. Now she is working for the University as a Graduate Assistant.
I didnít travel far to study, but then I didnít need to. Having lived all my life in Cardiff, I had one of the best universities and with it, one of the top business schools, just on my doorstep. It meant I had the best of both worlds: I was living in the studentsí residences and yet my family were not too far away for that odd Sunday roast. I graduated in 2006 with a BSc Econ in Business Economics. From my undergraduate years there are too many stories to tell, but academically, what stands out for me were the two occasions when, in my second and third year, I had won a prize for the best overall performance on my degree scheme. Itís great that the Business School acknowledges its students in this way.
After graduating, I took some time out and bought a round-the-world ticket and with one of my university friends, we travelled to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and America. It was such a great experience - I did a bungee jump, a tandem skydive, zorbing and white water rafting- this was not the Sarah Woods my family and friends knew! But to me home is home, and there will never be anywhere better in the world than Cardiff. Itís such a vibrant city and it has everything you need. Unlike my other student friends, I remember when the bay was just a bay, when half the new housing estates didnít exist, when the Queens Arcade, Millennium Stadium and Centre first opened, not to mention the buildings that no longer reside such as the old library, the Empire swimming pool and the ice skating rink. Cardiffís reputation is changing and I'm proud to say Iím from Wales, and more specifically Iím from Cardiff.
Every summer during my degree, I used to work in the marketing department at one of the local colleges, Coleg Glan Hafren and I would love it when we had an open day to arrange or any events to attend, where we encourage young and mature potential applicants to study, whether it was part-time or full-time. To me, education brings so much fulfilment, confidence and opportunities and to try to encourage further education amongst individuals was so rewarding. I guess this experience of working in the education sector, is what led me to applying for a job at the University.
I applied to the University in the autumn of 2007 for the post of a three year Graduate Assistant scheme. The job description was vague but nevertheless intriguing. After a three round interviewing process, Iíve now been on the scheme for one year and have already witnessed the many different roles the university plays and customers it serves. I have spent time in the Universityís Registry, working as part of a team to develop and enhance the online services available to students, including the new online application which successfully went live in April 2008. My next stop was the Research and Commercial Division where I primarily worked with the Research Governance Team writing guidance information for the researchers who are conducting clinical trials and pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. I'm currently placed in Public Relations and Communications. Prior to coming to this department I didnít think I`d end up having a discussion about where a field gun should sit on the lawn of the Main Building for its Founders Day ceremonial firing. Likewise, I didnít think I would end up at the top of the church tower of St Johns the Baptist with our photographer, watching the bells ring out to mark 125 years of Cardiff University.
I have also been involved with My Cardiff and have met some really fantastic individuals. I have learnt so much about the Universityís past and all the various developments and successes it has already achieved over time. Every one has such a different story to tell but yet their passion and enthusiasm for Cardiff University remains a common theme. The next stop for me is the Planning Division. I donít yet know what projects I will be involved in but what I do know is the team I will join will be friendly and welcoming, just like the other teams I have already worked with.
Congratulations on 125 years Cardiff University and thank you for the unique opportunities presented to me so far! As the University continues to grow, no doubt when we celebrate the next milestone, I will be an Ďold timerí of the University and will be able to look back and say ďI remember whenÖ ď just like all of those other My Cardiff participants who have played a role in making Cardiff University what it is today!.