July 23, 2020

Christie Smith at Graduation

University was never high on my agenda leaving school, however with encouragement from friends and family, I decided to take the plunge and apply for the BA (Hons) Business and Management at Cardiff Met. I am so glad I listened to those around me because I have had the best experience and four years.

During the first year, I spent my time meeting new people and enjoying what the course had to offer from Marketing and Law to HR – which I realised was going to be my chosen area straight away and followed through with the Human Resources pathway in the second year.

Three years later I applied for the MSc Human Resource Management (HRM) which was tough but valuable and I was lucky to experience with some amazing people. My role as Student Rep enabled me to meet new people and help organise social events which was great. I chose to continue studying at Cardiff Met for the familiarity, supportive tutors and the CIPD Level 7 accreditation. I loved every moment and couldn’t have asked for better tutors, who were always happy to help and provide support when needed – and it was, during the stressful months of dissertation writing!

My dissertation topic focused around employee health and well-being and how this can impact employee engagement. An individual’s well-being and mental health are such important topics to focus on especially in the workplace, as it can affect everyone in some way somehow whether it be directly or through a family member or friend. I enjoyed broadening my understanding on mental health and the responsibilities of organisations and HR to prioritise. I would recommend choosing a dissertation topic that you are interested in as it makes writing and researching more enjoyable.

Christie Smith at graduation
I met some amazing people while studying MSc HRM

Since graduating in November 2019, I have been lucky enough to network and meet people who have been willing to support and provide me with a chance to develop my knowledge and experience in HR. I landed my perfect role as HR Assistant at a company called ThirdSpace who specialise in identity management and cyber security. Within two weeks of being offered the role I had already been set up, began my induction process and met most of the team. Although Covid-19 had put a lot of work on hold, ThirdSpace have been able to continue business as usual with a smooth induction process to make all new starters feel welcome, an area which I now help to manage. I am grateful to work for a company who put people, work-life balance as well as company values at the forefront. I love being part of a small but growing HR team where I can gain confidence in my abilities and learn from some of the best, whilst also putting theory into practice!

My advice for any student is never be afraid to ask for help or support. From experience, tutors will always give help and guidance where they can and this can be such a great relief when exam or assignment stress is getting on top of you. Also, enjoy it – it will be over before you know it!butt