When I joined Cardiff Met in September 2013, I didn’t know that my chosen undergraduate degree in Sport wasn’t going to be my first and only stop at the University. After 3 years of hard work and having achieved a First-Class Honours degree, I realised that a career in sport just wasn’t for me.
During my third year, I had various consultations with the Careers Service. They helped me realise that I had several options and had developed transferable skills that were applicable to a different career path. In order to gauge what my next steps were, I managed to secure a student placement during my third year with the HR department at Cardiff Met, which gave me exposure to several areas of HR within the institution.
Despite a great work experience, I was still unsure, so I applied for an MA Sports Sociology (now MA Sociology and Ethics of Sport) and MSc Human Resource Management (HRM). After being accepted onto both degrees with a scholarship, it was decision time. Throughout that summer my conversations with the Careers Service continued, and with their support I decided to choose a new direction and embrace the challenge of MSc Human Resource Management.
In September 2016, I started my MSc in HRM, and I soon realised I had made the right decision. The teaching team were excellent from day one, and the MSc was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, which is something all employers require. The degree immediately consumed me, with learning focusing on the application of theory into practice. This was emphasised by my dissertation topic, where my work experience with the HR department allowed me to use some of the University’s line managers to understand whether performance appraisal theory and their effectiveness could be applied in practice. After a lot of hard work, I was delighted to graduate from the University with a Distinction and the ‘Best Student Award’ for the course (a massive achievement for a newly adopted subject!).
During my MSc year, I was fortunate enough to become a Course Rep and the Lead Rep for all Cardiff School of Management Postgraduate courses; which allowed me to work with the Students’ Union and improve an already great student experience. I also undertook the Cardiff Met Award, which focuses on developing employability skills through volunteer experience, workshops and presentations. I truly believe, alongside my academic results, these practical experiences were what gave me a crucial differential when applying for jobs in a increasingly competitive job market.
With a lot of help from the Careers Service I was offered a place on a financial services graduate scheme upon finishing at Cardiff Met and have since secured a permanent position at Optimum Credit as a HR Administrator. My advice to students, is to make the most of all the support and the vast opportunities available during your time at Cardiff Met – it’s no longer enough just to get a degree, you need to show employers what makes you unique!