Jonathan Baldwin studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Swansea University and graduated with a BSc in 1985 and an MSc in 1987. Jonathan was born and raised in Wales, but currently lives in Virginia, USA.
Why did you decide to study at Swansea University?
Being a Welshman I wanted to attend a university in Wales that had a very good reputation in Engineering.
What did you enjoy most about your course at Swansea?
It was hard work and rigorous with around 40 hours a week! Whilst my studies were undoubtedly central, I think the opportunity to unwind and let off steam with friends and colleagues was very important. Swansea University is extremely fortunate to have such fantastic amenities and great access to all that the city and Wales has to offer.
What are you doing now career-wise?
I am the Managing Director of Wye River Holdings LLC, which is primarily an investment vehicle for start-up and early stage companies with a focus in South Wales. My role is to decide which businesses are selected for investment.
How has Swansea University and your course helped you with your chosen career path?
I am a big believer in science and technology for the future so studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Swansea was a core development in my chosen career path. Swansea University gave me the opportunity to learn and has played a huge role in setting me up for success.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Assessing a business model with a view to understanding potential investment returns is reasonably straightforward. The most difficult part to asses is the human component, and this relies on having an instinct for a person’s ability and drive to succeed.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
Helping businesses and people succeed in their goals.
What advice do you have for current students and new graduates?
Stick it out! Muster the drive and determination to reach each goal you set for yourself. The benefits of achieving even modest goals may not be readily apparent when you start out, but the simple act of achieving them open up tremendous opportunities so just have a little faith. Remember knowledge is power and education is knowledge!
What are your plans for the future?
I may live in America but I will continue to invest in Wales and Welsh businesses. I want to provide opportunities to business-minded people and see Welsh companies advance in the world marketplace.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
My family! I am fortunate to have a wife and three great kids that seem to embrace the same ideals I have regarding education’s importance. In my career I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to play a lead role in the introduction of new surveillance technology into my chosen field of global aviation.
What are your favourite memories of your university years at Swansea?
The opportunities you get to make lifelong friends. At Swansea I was able to develop an interest in the field of aviation and decided to focus on this during my Master’s degree. I was very fortunate to be selected for membership in the University of Wales Air Squadron based at RAF St. Athan.