May 30, 2019

Laura Manfield

I am due to graduate in the summer of 2019 with a BSc (Hons) Degree in Architectural Design and Technology from Cardiff Met. This will be one of the biggest achievements of my life so far.

My degree came as an even bigger challenge to me, as I am a mature student with two children – my first child is aged 2 and my second was aged 6 months when I started the course.

Balancing my university work and home life was made achievable by the support and encouragement I received from Cardiff Met.

During my time at Cardiff Met I’ve always been encouraged to seek a range of work experience opportunities. I was able to undertake placements on two different occasions, once in my first year and again in my second year.

I’m really proud to be exhibiting my work in this year’s Summer Degree Show

One of these placements, which formed part of a compulsory second year module, had an especially big impact on my future career – I now have a job there!

What I didn’t realise when I started this course is that it can open up a whole range of careers, some of which I didn’t even know existed until I attended the placement. In order to get a well rounded view of the potential avenues I could go down, I chose to get work experience in both an architectural practice and a construction company.

On my placements I gained lots of experience in an office environment and attended meetings. I also went on many site visits, and worked in the site offices for some of the time. I had the opportunity to liaise with professionals in a variety of roles too – this helped me to gain confidence and I also received lots of useful advice.

The module was invaluable to me as it helped me secure two jobs offers before I even completed my final project deadline.

I accepted a role on a trainee bid management scheme within a construction company called Wilmott Dixon. As a trainee I will be learning and assisting the bid team, and I’ll be fully qualified within two years.

The responsibilities of the role include co-ordinating the bid team and other professionals within the company to create documents to help win jobs for the company.

The course has really helped to get my career off the ground

This role also involves lots of creativity as I will eventually need to able inspire and brief the graphic design team and get involved in the creating the documents we produce for clients.

I highly recommend taking any work experience you can whilst at university. All the firms I contacted were keen to allow me into their company to gain experience, and they were very welcoming and friendly.

The opportunities when studying in Cardiff are endless, so it would be a waste not to make the most of them. I would say as long as you are hardworking and show willing in a work experience placement, then there’s a good chance of being offered a job with them once you graduate.

Even if your work placement doesn’t end in you being offered a job, it will almost definitely prepare you for the working world and build your confidence for future interviews.

The help and encouragement I was given to find work placements shows that Cardiff Met is not only interested in your degree qualification, but also your life after university and how they can help you find the career you aspire to after graduation.

See Laura’s work at our Cardiff School of Art & Design Summer Show from 29 May – 4 June