How the Graduate Academy led to career success for Matthew

Matthew ThompsonSince taking part in the February 2014 Graduate Academy, Aberystwyth graduate Matthew Thompson has secured a job working on a multi-million pound energy project in Surrey.

After finishing my Masters’ degree in Regional and Environmental Policy at Aberystwyth University I initially found it difficult to find full time employment related to my studies, mainly due to my lack of experience in the workplace.  Whilst I managed to gain some experience through internships and work placement schemes they didn’t really provide me with a better idea of my future career path, which was largely due to the short time I spent at each one.

I applied for the GO Wales Graduate Academy in order to gain an extra work-related qualification, develop skills in areas such as marketing and leadership that I had little experience with previously, and to also help me gain a better understanding of my future career.

The course was extremely helpful in developing my business skills, which helped me to benefit more from the three week placement with the INSPIRE team at Swansea Metropolitan University, Trinity Saint David.  During my placement I was required to undertake a sustainability audit of all courses run by the university which allowed me to not only utilise my academic knowledge, but also enabled me to develop my skills in the workplace.  The team were very pleased with my work and luckily offered me a short term contract to continue with the project for another three months, which helped me to fine tune these skills after the Graduate Academy program had finished.

From my experiences with the Graduate Academy I was also able to gain confidence in applying for jobs and conducting myself during interviews, which recently has resulted in me gaining employment with Thameswey in Surrey.  Currently I am working with them as part of a team dedicated to successfully delivering a multi-million pound project, funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, for affordable energy efficiency measures.

I seriously doubt that I could have ended up with a job such as this without the help of the Graduate Academy and would really recommend that recent graduates apply for it.  The support I have received and knowledge that I have developed has been invaluable in helping me reach my goal of attaining long-term employment.