Why applying for the Graduate Academy was one of the best decisions I’ve made

Pete Machen

by Pete Machin

Life before the Graduate Academy 

Like a lot of graduates searching for a job, I hit a wall. I was stuck in an endless circle where the jobs I was applying for needed experience, but I needed the job to gain the experience. I’m sure not only graduates have experienced this highly frustrating scenario. I decided to start volunteering not only to gain work experience but to have something to fill my days with other than sitting on the couch searching for jobs.  This search for voluntary roles led me to the GO Wales website and this is where I read about Graduate Academy.  I knew that Graduate Academy would teach me valuable skills to improve myself and my CV, especially with the qualification and work placement element to the course.


Course Benefits 

Applying for Graduate Academy was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. As soon as I arrived and we were given a briefing of what to expect from course, I knew I’d learn a lot not only about my career and options, but also about myself, my personality and my attitude. I learnt over the first week that this understanding about myself was sort of crucial in realising my potential, my options and my potential for growth, (which I do realise sounds extremely cheesy). GA has improved my confidence, reinforced my determination and ambitions but most importantly, improved my professional manner.

Professionally, the course has given me an understanding of how a business really works, other routes to the job market including the importance of networking and my online presence which, many people, including myself, take for granted. GA shown me that not only can my online presence have a negative impact on job opportunities, but also a positive one. I was taught how to maximise my potential and advertise my skills online through social media and I’m not talking about my skills as a student alcohol enthusiast and its shenanigans, (which are now thankfully, hidden from employers eyes).


My Graduate Academy Work Placement – The National Trust 

National Trust

“The National Trust is a brilliant organisation. The team I have been working with are so dedicated and knowledgeable; they also made me feel very welcome when I arrived on my first day. My role as a Marketing and Media Assistant at Penrhyn Castle in Bangor, involves using my knowledge in photography to photograph events and the castle to encourage visitors to Penrhyn. I also help with marketing materials such as flyers, information about the castle and social media. This all leads to the general public knowing about events at the castle and ensures they have the relevant information when they do visit, to ensure a more enjoyable experience. This hopefully, will help encourage return trips back to the castle, to learn more about its fascinating history.  At the moment, one of the projects I am working on, is the promotion of our Halloween events and attempting to make them more appealing for the younger generations and the local student population.



What Next?

What next? First my priority is to carry on my work, in my role at Penrhyn Castle and The National Trust on a voluntary basis. I have many short term and also long term ideas to propose to the team at the castle. One of these proposals is to introduce some extreme sports in the remote parts of the grounds, which could introduce a wider variety of visitors. I am starting my PGCE in September, teaching Media at my local college and I am also starting my own photography business and film blog. I am still building my own personal network to find my dream job of photographing and filming extreme sports such as surfing. I would also like to start a part time career in acting. I also intend to carry on building my photography and short film portfolio.


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/peter-lee-machin/55/794/41a
P L Machin Photography (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/PLMachinPhotography