My name is Josh, I’m 26, living in Cardiff and I graduated with BA (Hons) Business & Management from Cardiff Met in 2017. Since graduating my time has been filled with enriching work experiences, mainly in small businesses. This blog is a reflection on how Cardiff Met has shaped my career so far…
Starting University can be a daunting prospect, so many new faces, a new home and a big lifestyle change. It’s no secret, the first term of a student’s journey is the most testing, however if you are able to adapt to the circumstances and ride the wave of change, the life experience is priceless. The best advice I can offer for the start of University, is to immerse yourself in the different environment and just go for it. ‘Failing’ or getting something ‘wrong’ is an essential part of learning, you’ll develop more from trial and error than being cautious. Of all the life lessons my University experience taught me, meeting new people has been the most valuable, especially when transferring into the world of work. I first started with Odyssey because I got to know Dom (the CEO) in the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cardiff Met. Likewise, due to being social and reaching out, many Odyssey clients and referrals have come from within our own network.
Working with people from different backgrounds has given me confidence in my people skills and increased my cultural awareness. Today, my work involves marketing and building relationships is key. Another experience that improved my ability to build relationships was my time studying abroad. I spent five months in Turkey on the University Erasmus+ programme, surrounded by Erasmus participants from Mexico, Italy, Iran, Spain, Belgium and France. I made some special memories with extraordinary people, something I would not have been able to do without embracing new experiences. The company I now work for, Odyssey, is based in an entrepreneur space with a variety of people so the strong interpersonal skills I have developed allow me to excel in my role.
Though I regard practical experience to be the most effective way to learn, the variety of theory covered by the BA (Hons) Business and Management gave me some good practice for my current role at Odyssey. Working in a small business usually involves a wider range of responsibilities than the job title suggests. For instance, my official role in Odyssey is Head of Marketing, but in reality, I also contribute to recruitment, networking, sales, employee integration and administration. The frequent switching between modules at University has assisted my current work role. Furthermore, learning to successfully manage a balance of education, finances, social life, physical and mental health has contributed to both my work and home life since graduating.
In conclusion, getting a degree has obvious benefits but the life experience gained is priceless. To anyone considering their next step to University, I wish you all the best, and remember, ‘a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet’.