I graduated last summer after spending three years at Bangor. I’d never been to Wales before I went to the university for an open day, but as soon as I arrived, I knew it was right. I come from a city, and loved that Bangor was small and had a village-type community.
The first thing we were told was that everywhere you go in town, there’ll be a student you know. It made me think, ‘OK – I’m not going to be homesick here. It’s going to feel like a family.’ They were right – everyone treats you like they’re your mum!
Before the start of term, all new students are assigned a Peer Guide, so everyone knows a friendly face. It’s someone on your course, either a year or two years above you, who can look after you and help you settle in.
My Peer Guide messaged me to introduce herself before I arrived. When I moved in, she showed me around the campus and told me where to go shopping. By freshers’ week, it felt like everyone already knew each other. I really appreciated that, and I don’t think it’s something that a lot of universities offer.
There were so many highlights to my Music degree. I loved the fact that we could tailor our own course – there were around 100 modules you could choose from. We were a small, close-knit group in Music, with only around 50 people in all, and none of us were following exactly the same course of study.
All the clubs and societies at Bangor Uni are free to join. I got involved in the music society, and joined the powerlifting club. We did competitions all around the UK, and we had plenty of socials and nights out – all really good fun.
Bangor offers an undergraduate internship scheme, where you can do paid work for the university. I did a Snapchat internship for the marketing department and was a digital ambassador. I also helped out with open days. It’s wonderful for building up your CV, and the experience has been valuable: when I came to apply for a Masters, I could almost answer all the interview questions in one breath.
I’m now finishing off my Masters in Arts Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I’d done a module at Bangor called Arts Administration, and realised that I wanted to do a postgraduate course in something similar. A graduate of the Royal Welsh College came to give a talk – it was on her recommendation that I ended up applying, in the Christmas of my third year.
I’ve already secured a full-time job, as a casting and auditions assistant at Welsh National Opera. Both my degrees have been geared to careers and employment. As an undergraduate, I won a BEA – a Bangor Employability Award. You’d get points throughout the year whenever you gained work experience or did anything to make you more marketable. More recently, at the Royal Welsh College, we had to spend time on a work placement. I decided to apply for a paid role at the WNO, and got it. I’ve been working there alongside my studies.
As soon as I set foot in Wales, I was told that I wouldn’t want to leave. That proved correct. I’m almost at the end of my Masters, I have a career and I’ve moved into a house. I’m even starting Welsh lessons, because I think it’s important to keep the language thriving. I love Wales – they can’t get rid of me!