My last post! Thanks for reading

I’ve done it – completed my degree and almost finished three years of living, studying and working in Swansea. Best decision of my life; studying BSc Business Management at Swansea University.

My last few deadlines have been submitted with no exams during the final assessment period of the academic year, which means I’m free! It hasn’t quite hit home yet that my degree is finally over as I sit at my desk in my new job writing this. Although, I do feel a huge amount of relief with no more deadlines for the time being.

I’ve handed in my notice at TechHub and moved onto a new position within the School of Management, I’m now working as an External Relations Administrative Assistant (bit of a mouthful) on a fixed term contract. Finishing my studies has been a bit of a whirlwind; my last deadline was on a Wednesday, got a call to come in for a chat about the job on Thursday and started on the following Tuesday to all my new colleagues’ surprise. Like any other student, I thought there might have been a bit of down time, but you have to seize every opportunity as it comes.

I have Summer Ball and Graduation to look forward to now and will be with the School until the end of July. Sadly, my time in Swansea will be coming to end in August as I move to Ireland to study MSc Marketing Practice at National University of Ireland Galway. Another exciting prospect about this; the course comes with a placement element where I could be based in Dublin, Limerick, Cork or Galway with a FTSE 250 company or third-level institution as the Irish refer to a university, which I find out in September. This is going to make finding accomodation very fun, but exciting times ahead!

My time at Swansea University has been the best years of my life to date. Make the most of your studies; trust me it flies by!

Thomas Coleman
BSc Business Management 2012 – 2015
School of Management, Swansea University

This semester has not just been all work and no play

Into my third blog already, which means the semester is drawing to a close and my undergraduate studies are coming to an end.

March 2015 has equalled the most stressful month of my life juggling the joys of a final year project, essays, presentations and managing a co-working space. I can gladly say I flew through it all and maintained the grades at a high 2:1.

My final year project has been the highlight this semester. Working within a group of 6 students, I lead this team and co-ordinated the process mapping of an event management procedure for a local PR practice, Seren Global Media. We also built using Microsoft Access a customer relationship management system to support staff in end-to-end event management to plan, deliver and evaluate all events in a fluent manner. A full feasibility study was also conducted in the venture of South Wales CFO Forum, a networking event for chief financial officers as a strategic business unit, which provided a positive result. The results of our work won us praise from our project mentor and academic supervisor. Seren Global Media has adopted our new event management process and implemented the CRM system for all of its future events and will be re-launching South Wales CFO Forum in June of this year with partners, OSTC fx and Thomas Carroll Group.

With the tangible part of our project over and final presentation out the way, the group and myself are just finishing up our 10,000-word report ready to be submitted in a few weeks.

This semester has not just been all work and no play, I’ve also made a few trips to London for both business and a break, spending majority of my time in Shoreditch. It’s great to see the constant redevelopment in the east of the city, billions of investment has gone into the tech and digital industries. Spitalfields Market also has a cracking range of food and the Café Caribbean chicken curry was amazing. On my second trip, I was sent to the Google Campus and TechHub’s London sites to see how they managed their co-working spaces and events programmes and bring my new found knowledge back to TechHub Swansea. And I get to go again next month for my first ever conference at the Digital Marketing Roadshow Mid-Term.

I’m seeing the transition out of student life into a young professional much faster than I first thought. My job threw me in at the deep end and things have just taken off. After completing my studies, I hope to go full time with my job until a obtain a fully driven marketing role within Swansea and complete an MSc in Marketing at University of Wales Trinity Saint David part time over the next two years.

All I can say now is I am very nervous now, I have two weeks left of term after the Easter break with only one three assignments left and no exams due to my module selection. Catch up in May when I’ve finished my degree, only one month to go!

Tom Coleman: Semester 2

The Christmas holidays brought the first breath of academic freedom in three months. The last few weeks of term was strenuous as the deadlines flooded in, but hard work paid off and I’ve had my best set of coursework grades for one semester since starting university.

The break was overly deserved. I started my holidays off with a trip to what’s now my favourite city in Europe, the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. I spent three days with two of my best friends exploring the vast expanse of Amsterdam’s streets, cafes, bars and attractions. It is unbelievable to see how architectural and beautiful the canals and buildings of this metropolis are. I thoroughly enjoyed myself here with a notable visit to Anne Frank’s house and eat with eyes bigger than my belly; the food in Amsterdam is unlike anything I’ve ever eaten before, there is a sweet/cake shop around every corner. Being a typical tourist, sightseeing was at least to say an experience once you ventured into a certain district. Amsterdam is a truly an amazing place, even amongst the number of coffee shops and international outlets, my mate Leon still managed to find a British pub to watch the Tottenham match. After the three days though, I was tired and eager to get back to Swansea. Even Amsterdam Airport Schipol made a statement, unlike a British airport it wasn’t a tourist trap and had working Wi-Fi.

As a student, you have more time and opportunity during this period of your life than any other to experience the world. Not being much of a traveller before university, a trip to Newcastle in 2013, which I had the time of my life visiting made me realise, if this is what our country has to offer, what’s out there in the world. In the last year, in addition to Amsterdam, I’ve taken trips to Liverpool, Dublin, Greece and Croatia with many more trips to Barcelona, Prague and further afield in the coming year already planned. Travel as much as you can while you’re in university, the opportunity won’t be there, as you grow older. If you’re that into travelling, consider the study abroad options. I deeply regret not taking the opportunity to complete a Year Abroad as part of my degree now. But students of the School of Management still have the 4-year programme with 2 x 6 month placements in which one semester can be spent studying abroad at a partner institution.

Upon returning to Swansea to finish my last shift in La Cantina to begin a new job in the New Year, I packed once again ready to head home to stay with family for a week. After the Black Friday weekend was complete, I got on my train to head back home but before I made it through my front door a friend had made sure I went to the Cardiff Devils game, which we won. A Devils match is always fun to watch, especially for me, as I’m not that into sports. The combination of a professional sport mixed with constant fights has you on edge for the entire three periods of twenty minutes.

My time at home was spent visiting my mother and little brothers who I hadn’t seen for a few months and catching up with friends who’d been away at uni too. After a week at home, I grew bored living away from home for fifty weeks of the year I’ve become independent and prefer to live on my own terms.

Moving away to university has helped me to develop the skills to lead my own life keeping my own place, manage my finances and find my feet in the world. I definitely look forward to finding my own apartment in Swansea after graduation. University is a great opportunity and allows you to ease into independent living slowly as students can choose how frequently they return home. I’ve known students go home with a dirty bag of washing every weekend that survive off ready meals and others who cook everyday doing their own washing making trips home only at the holidays. It’s very obvious now at this of year who is ready to graduate for the real world and life of working full time.

After my results last term, I’m confident and hoping to maintain the standard of my work. My new job as a Community & Office Manager for TechHub Swansea is going great, I work for an SME, which provides co-working space, advice and support for tech entrepreneurs is brilliant. TechHub is innovative and cool. My first graduate level job, I was lucky enough to be offered part time employment whilst I complete my degree with a view to full time employment upon completion of my course. I’m grateful to my former manager from my internship in the student mobility office who recommended me for the job. Its proof to show working hard leads to further opportunities.

The challenge is now to set to show I am a capable manager with the potential to become a highly employable graduate of Swansea University School of Management with the aim to achieve a 2:1.

Tom Coleman

Tom Coleman poloroid

Tom’s profile

My name is Tom, I am a 22 year old student completing my final year at Swansea University’s School of Management studying a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. The first semester of my final year has been my toughest one so far in my studies. The amount of work you are expected to complete is a massive step up from second year; the quality and level of study is too. After achieving a disappointing 2:2 average in my second year, I’ve had to knuckle down big time to ensure I do well this year and get that coveted 2:1 or even better a first. A 2:2 isn’t the end of the world, but you won’t be first in the line of the employer’s eye either. You can wave goodbye to your regular Wind Street Wednesdays and Sin Savers sessions and look forward to the promise of full days in the uni library or School of Management PC labs to ensure your assignments are meet the required standard for good grades. I’ve had good term so far with all 2:1s and first grades in my assignments apart from one I’m expecting back soon where I handed it in late and had to take a penalty to the grade.

If you work part time on top of university too, you might want to cap the amount of hours you do – the extra shift to pay for that extra night out won’t be worth it when you got a deadline looming and could have put more time into the assignment. But as said, cutting back on the partying may reduce your need to work extra hours like I used to.

If you do need to work during term time to make ends meet, there’s heaps of businesses in Swansea offering student friendly employment, most notably the Liberty Stadium, student club nights and the bars of Wind Street. Myself, I bar tend in La Cantina on Castle Square at the top end of Wind Street one to three nights a week and I only work three or four hours till midnight at the latest, so it doesn’t interfere with uni and helps to stop me from going out, but my friends have forced me out a few times after the late finish straight to Fiction. The job pays enough for me to live comfortably and never have to ring my grandparents for help when I end up in the overdraft.

With the end of the winter semester approaching, most students are heading home. Luckily, School of Management courses finish this week, but my unlucky friends on other courses in Physics and Psychology have another week of lectures. I will be staying in Swansea till after Black Friday to assist La Cantina with the Christmas time rush and returning again on Boxing Day to do the same again. It’s crazy how busy the bars get this time of year on certain days. In-between a few days will be spent visiting family and friends back home in Blackwood and hopefully may catch Cardiff Devils game whilst I’m at it.