Bill Morris graduated from Swansea University in 1980, having studied Geography. After graduating, Bill took a sabbatical year as Students Union Press Officer. Bill currently works for the Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Why did you decide to study at Swansea University?
The Geography course was well regarded and the location and lifestyle attracted me.
What did you enjoy most about your course at Swansea?
The opportunity to pursue student journalism, print and radio – and the joys of the Gower Peninsular of course!
What are you doing now career-wise?
I am the Director of Ceremonies, Education and Live Sites for London 2012. I was responsible for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the Torch Relays.
Prior to this I worked for the BBC for nearly 25 years. I initially worked in journalism, then as a programme maker in radio and TV. I then moved into Management and Events Direction.
I have worked on a number of events including Live 8, BBC Music Live and The BBC Proms. I was awarded the LVO* for my work on The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Concerts in 2002. I was Chair of The Radio Academy and am now a Fellow.
How has Swansea University and your course helped you with your chosen career path?
The Geography course gave me a solid educational grounding, whilst the opportunities in student journalism confirmed my career choice and helped me towards many years with the BBC.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Holding responsibility for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and Torch Relays for the London 2012 Games.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
The UK’s response to the London Games has been genuinely humbling.
What was the best careers advice you were given?
To be honest most of the careers advice I gained was not very helpful – too often I was told that I would be unlikely to get into journalism or the BBC and that I should consider accountancy!!
What advice do you have for current students and new graduates?
Find the role or the subject area that fires you up, if you really want it, work at it – then it hardly matters how competitive it is to get in as you’ll find a way.
What are your plans for the future?
I stay with the Organising Committee until the end of 2012 and will then consider what comes next.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
In career terms it has to be The Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the London 2012 Games – and beyond that, my family.
What are your favourite memories of your university years at Swansea?
Learning about radio on the Student Radio Station and producing the Student Newspaper (then called “Double Take”). Glorious days out on the Gower Peninsular with wonderful friends. I’ll also never forget the NUS Wales delegation to Beirut at the height of the civil war in 1981, including a meeting with Yasser Arafat.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
Sailing (which first started in Swansea), skiing, running, concerts, theatre and galleries.
And finally, describe yourself in 3 words…
Middle aged and bald!
* The Royal Victorian Order - Lieutenant (LVO)