How the Graduate Academy can benefit you

By taking part in the GO Wales Graduate Academy you will not only enhance your chances of gaining employment; it’s an opportunity to meet new people, build a network of useful contacts and develop new friendships. 

Gemma Howell took part in the GO Wales Graduate Academy in May and gained excellent experience with Diabetes Cymru as part of her 4 week work placement. We asked Gemma to explain her experience to our blog readers: 

Graduate Academy participants

Why did you apply for Graduate Academy? 

I applied for the Graduate Academy because I thought it would be a great opportunity to make new contacts and hopefully get a job. I was applying for roles and getting nowhere as I didn’t have the work experience. Without sounding too ‘soap opera’, the Graduate Academy has changed my life. It has given me a valuable insight into the world of work and has educated me about what employers are looking for. 

You did your work experience at Diabetes Cymru, what did you do during your time there? 

During my time at Diabetes UK Cymru I was responsible for the development of the website. I created the copy and chose the photographs for the ‘Volunteering’ and ‘Campaigning’ sections of the website. I also helped with the organisation of an event and attended a Cross-Party Group meeting at the Senedd, Welsh Assembly. I also designed a poster for a campaign highlighting the symptoms of diabetes. This poster was apparently a success as Diabetes UK has agreed to use it. 

What are you now doing as a result of the Graduate Academy? 

At the moment I am making use of the new contacts I made during the Graduate Academy. I have some copy-writing and proof reading projects to get on with so I am very pleased. 

What advice would you give graduates who are thinking of applying?  

I would urge any graduate who feels let down by the current system to apply for the Graduate Academy. It not only equips you with the essential skills needed to gain employment but it is also a chance to meet people who are in the same boat as yourself.  If you are accepted then give it everything you’ve got as you will get more than you expected out of it like I did. 

I’d also like to thank the course organisers and tutors who also gave it their all. Thank you GO Wales and Graduate Academy. 

We will be running a series of new Graduate Academy programmes next year across Wales. 

Add Graduate Academy web link –