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I wanted to go to university and study Physics because I had a passion for science and enjoyed mathematics. But I took my secondary school education for granted. One might say I did not excel and directed my focus away from my chosen subjects. Come results day I was disappointed but not surprised by my A-level results, to this day I still won’t write them down out of embarrassment. After a bit of pleading, I was subsequently offered a place on the foundation physics course at Swansea University, which I gratefully accepted. It was a moment that I didn’t fully appreciate until about 10 years later. On that day I made a promise to myself that I would batten down and work hard.

The foundation year was a smaller class size with an excellent range of courses bridging the gap between secondary and higher education. This gave stronger footing for going into the first year proper with the mathematical tools needed to grasp the more complex challenges ahead. After a spout of good results in the level 2 modules, I was offered a place on the MPhys course which I was quick to accept. By this stage I had made good friends on my course and had held 3 committee positions in my sports team of choice, another year putting off joining “the real world” seemed ideal. 

I did my masters’ project in the subject that first grasped my interest in 6th-form, particle physics, and a subject that Swansea has a renowned pedigree in, being the home to the 4th largest particle physics theory group in the UK. My supervisor Chris Allton was extremely helpful and approachable for any questions or problems that I had. I ended my university career with a 1st class MPhys Degree and a job offer at a photonics distribution company.

Fast forward 5 years from graduating, I am now an account manager for university customers, spanning half the country, and a product specialist for one of our laser product ranges. Swansea University taught me to listen, to understand fundamental aspects of applications, and understand the characteristics of optics and lasers that offer significant advantages and benefits to further the UK’s research potential. I use fundamental aspects of my degree every day at work, and I enjoy every part of it. 

I went from being a kid with no thought to my future to the man I am today. I put it all down to my time at Swansea University and the quality of the teaching and support therein.