Tomos Brogden graduated from the Open University in Wales in Summer 2022 with a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics. After struggling to access relevant work experience due to the pandemic, the GROW programme helped him kickstart his career.
‘The COVID pandemic left me without any indication as to how to approach attaining work experience in the industries I wanted to pursue,’ said Tomos. ‘It made building a network in those sectors a tough task, especially while simultaneously undertaking my studies and preparing for examinations.’
Tomos felt held back by a lack of information from his school during A-Levels, on things like interviews, building a CV, and networking. He received an email shortly after graduating reminding him that the OU Careers and Employability Service offers support for up to three years after graduation. It was through this email that Tomos also found out about the GROW programme.
GROW gives graduates intense career support, including one-to-one appointments with an advisor. Alumni get support at every stage of the recruitment process, fromwriting CVs, cover letters and applications, to preparing for interviews and assessment centres.
‘The programme seemed like the perfect opportunity for me’ explained Tomos. ‘I was eager to receive advice from a person with more knowledge than myself, who could guide me through situations I’d not yet encountered, and I wanted to learn how to better hone my job-attaining skills for the future.’
‘My GROW advisor has been exceptional throughout my time in the programme. She has sourced a vast array of targeted opportunities for me and has used the OU’s connections with companies I didn’t even know existed to find the right role for me.’
I am much more confident in going for these types of roles, as well as having more experience on board to go for those specialised types of job.Tomos Brogden
Tomos secured a paid work experience placement with SOTIC Ltd, a digital sports agency, as a Sports Data Assistant. Here he gave mathematical and statistical insight to his colleagues. This included developing a new ranking system for the World Sailing Organisation, as well as sourcing statistics to feature on a website for Aberdeen FC.
‘I gained useful experience with MySQL and spreadsheets in applied scenarios, as well as gaining a further understanding of specific data types in sport and how they can be used to display statistics,’ added Tomos.
‘Tomos performed his duties with great ability, a thirst for knowledge and a very quick mind,’ said a representative at SOTIC. ‘We're very impressed with Tomos' ability to deep dive into tasks. He possesses great sports knowledge and took every task and ran with them, going above and beyond in all of them”.
‘I am much more confident in going for these types of roles, as well as having more experience on board to go for those specialised types of job,’ said Tomos.
‘I’ve currently got a couple of part-time jobs while I look for something more concrete. My first job I got scouring job boards, as a football statistician for football games in my local area. I have also just started a role as a trainee accountant. It was through good local networking that I managed to get an interview and I was hired on the spot, to which I have the GROW Programme to thank for the networking skills I’ve picked up along the way .’
If you’d like to find out more about the support on offer from GROW and the work experience placements available, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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On Monday 22 May, outgoing Open University (OU) in Wales director Louise Casella delivered a keynote speech at a special event to discuss the future of higher education in Wales.
Graduate Bethany Turner has talked about securing a position, after taking part in an employability programme.
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