Cymoedd alumnus reflects on the importance of her A Level studies

Cymoedd Alumnus, twenty five year old Micaela Panes, from Cardiff but originally from Pontypridd reflects on the importance of FE to achieve her career ambitions.

Micaela left school to study A Levels at Coleg y Cymoedd as she felt the college would provide a fresh start and an opportunity to meet new people and gain more independence.

She chose to study History, Law, English Literature/Language, Psychology and WBQ, as although uncertain of what she would study at university, she felt these subjects would be a solid choice for most university requirements.

Since leaving Cymoedd in 2015, Micaela has been studying at Cardiff University, achieving a 2:1 B.A. History degree in 2018 and a MA with a Distinction in 2019. Last year she returned to Cardiff University to begin her PhD in History and Welsh History. Micaela is currently researching working class women’s labour activism in South Wales and South West England, c.1928-69. When she finishes her PhD she hopes to continue working in research and academia.

Speaking about her studies at Coleg y Cymoedd, Micaela said “The A Levels I chose equipped me with a range of transferrable skills which helped me both in work and my studies. I believe that studying really helped improve my confidence, both socially and in my work. I enjoy studying, and without further/higher education I would not be able to achieve my career ambitions.

The support and encouragement from the tutors at Coleg y Cymoedd is truly unmatched, each tutor really went above and beyond what was expected, especially in preparing me for university.

In addition, I received many opportunities whilst studying, which I don’t believe I would have had if I had stayed at school. I took part in Trading Places, had work experience at Eversheds (Law firm), went to summer school at UCL, and visited the Nantgarw archive/collections centre. The range of opportunities and courses helped me decide what I wanted to do and achieve in the future. Based on my experiences I have always recommended Coleg y Cymoedd to my family and friends.

Commenting on Micaela’s success since leaving Cymoedd, A Level Courses Tutor, Chris Griffiths said “It’s always a source of pride and humility to see your learners surpass you. Micaela was one of the most dedicated learners I’ve taught, her example should inspire others to realise their potential and become credentialed experts in their field. Her success is a testimony to what someone can achieve with the right attitude, work ethic and support.”

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