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What Learners Say

Amy Williams

 

What course did you study at Coleg y Cymoedd?

Performing Arts

What made you decide to study at Coleg y Cymoedd?

I had heard amazing things about the college and the opportunity’s that they were giving their students, the reputation the college has is outstanding and I knew if I went there that I would leave a completely different person and that I would have a great experience.

Why did you choose to study this course?

I have always been interested and passionate about performing but wasn’t sure if it would be a sustainable career for me and if I would receive any support, I went down with my mam to visit the college for a taster of what the course was like and to meet Jaye and from that moment on I knew that I didn’t want to go anywhere else and that this was the industry I definitely want to go into and could go into with help from the amazing tutors.

What are the benefits of studying at Coleg y Cymoedd?

The college is constantly offering opportunities that link with the course you’re doing so that you are gaining more experience in that industry and you can have lots of interesting things to add to your CV to help you progress further after college. The tutors are so supportive and really do care about

you and your future, they want you to do well and are willing to go above and beyond for you which is something I never got to experience before in school from teachers.

What do you intend to do next/what are you doing now that you have left?

I will be spending the next three years doing my BA Hons degree in Musical Theatre at the Italia Conti Academy in London.

How is the course helping you achieve your ambitions?

The course gave me so many opportunities to practice and prepare for auditions with a whole unit dedicated to that subject so they are getting you ready for the industry and how tough it will be. They give you a space to make mistakes in a safe environment so that you can correct where you may be going wrong and once you go into that real life situation you will be the best version of you and have already had experience under audition circumstances.

How will studying impact on your life?

In this industry training is so important and the more you experience and do things the more knowledge you will gain, studying is so vital to learn basic skills and then to progress at a level that pushes you to be and do better but also so that you aren’t completely struggling and feel you can’t do it. Coming to college to study was the best thing I ever did and the knowledge and memories I made will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Would you recommend this college and this course to others?

I would strongly recommend this college and course to others as the college is so supportive of every individual and what they want to get out of their time studying, they ensure that everyone is progressing in their education and are becoming the people their meant to be. The course is the best thing ive ever done in my life and I cant believe that I was influenced to be hesitant about whether to join the course or not due to my academic grades and being able to achieve more by staying in school. The work environment is such a safe and supportive place where I felt free to express myself and experiment within different styles and aspects of performing. Not only did it make me a better performer but it made me grow up and become the more independent young adult I am now. I cant give the tutors enough praise for how hard they work and how much they believe and give time to each and every student in that room, they are exceptional at what they do and have changed my life for which I am so grateful.

 

 

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Christian Punter

About you and background
I’m Christian Punter, Currently aged 22 and I’m from Ferndale, Rhondda Valleys.
I’m a singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist. I like long walks on the beach and Italian cuisine. All jokes aside I’m currently working in the music industry as an artist under the alias “Otto”.

What course did you study at Coleg y Cymoedd?
I studied Level 2 Music and Tech through to Level 3 Extended.

What made you decide to study at Coleg y Cymoedd?
They had some fantastic videos of other songwriters working in the studios at the college, being newly into music at the time it seemed the perfect place to go.

Why did you choose to study this course?
I realised over the summer that I didn’t want to do A Levels as it seemed a bit too stressful, so I decided that college was more for me. That same summer I realised I wanted to follow music fully. So glad I went, the music course was everything I needed in a nutshell to get clued up with music production and also some ‘in’s and outs’ of the industry

What are the benefits of studying at Coleg y Cymoedd?
It’s a very friendly atmosphere, the tutors on my music course were the best I could’ve asked for. Thanks to them I thoroughly enjoyed my entire time at Coleg y Cymoedd.

What do you intend to do next/what are you doing now that you have left?
Since I left the college I threw myself straight into the local music scene, then ventured out into London and now I’m working for a Label based in LA owned by Dave Stewart (Eurythmics, owner of NBC’s Songland), releasing the songs I write under the alias “Otto”.

How is the course helping you achieve your ambitions?
The thing about the creative industry is its more about who you know and being active as an artist than a qualification, BUT the tutors on the course and the way they have developed the courses lead to some amazing opportunities and videos I’ve filmed with Coleg y Cymoedd have been seen by Head of Music at BBC Radio Wales. To this day I still ask for knowledge from the tutors when going ahead with steps in my career. The production modules I studied at the college also helped a lot as now I’m able to home produce high quality demos which has led to working with multi grammy award winning producers.


Would you recommend this college and this course to others?
Oh yeah! It's a wonderful environment to study and they’ve got everything you’d ever need if you went on the Music course. I definitely made some really good memories whilst at the college and made some real good friends there too.

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Liam Hatch

Liam has been modelling from the age of 16 and has been on catwalks all-round the UK. He has also worked on some television advertisements. Liam has also had some great acting experience, including being involved in programmes such as 'Doctor Who', 'Di Vinci's Demos', 'Gallivant', 'Stella' and many more. Liam has worked with some well-known celebrities such as Lenny Henry, Peter Capaldi and Kylie Minogue. He also enjoys performing on stage and has done so many times for the college, including playing ‘Brumley the Elf’ at 2013 Christmas Pantomime. He also thoroughly enjoyed taking on the role of ‘Macbeth’ for the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Liam is a very sporty and active and plays five a side football for the college's Boost team.

"It’s has been an amazing experience to be involved within the Shakespeare School Festival and to certainly be asked to perform in the West End. This is something that will last in memories of Coleg y Cymoedd BTEC Performing Arts forever. To have been given this opportunity is truly incredible and a real drive in my acting career.

Before joining the BTEC Performing Arts course I did think I was a good performer; but after training here the last three years, I believe I have become a more rounded and technical performer which has opened up many avenues in my chosen career path. I cannot thank Coleg y Cymoedd BTEC Performing Arts, Rhondda Campus anymore!"

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Lucia Strinati

About you and background 

My name is Lucia Strinati, I am 21 and I am from Bargoed. I went to secondary school in Cardinal Newman RC School.

What course did you study at Coleg y Cymoedd?

I studied the Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design.

What made you decide to study at Coleg y Cymoedd? 

I wasn’t enjoying studying for my A Levels, I felt deflated after getting average AS level results and felt that I wasn’t going to achieve what I wanted at the end of A2, which would then result in me choosing any University course which fitted my grades, and not actually doing what I really wanted to do. I started to think about what I enjoy doing, as I’ve always been told ‘do what you enjoy, as it’ll never feel like you’re working.’ I’ve always loved art and fashion, and am a very practical person, so that’s when I looked into the BTEC courses available in the local colleges, and then came across the Art & Design course, which really appealed to me.

Why did you choose to study this course?

I found the Art & Design course appealing as it offered me the chance to work within different areas in art and design, without specialising until the second year. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to find out which areas I would enjoy and work well in, without being tied down to working within one specialism for two years. I wanted to study something that would let me have creative freedom, and test it across different areas of art & design, which is what the course offered.

What are the benefits of studying at Coleg y Cymoedd?

Great facilities, such as a printing studio, 3D workshop and fashion work rooms. I found the art block a really inspiring place to study in, as there was always student’s work on show, adorning the walls and corridors. The tutors were so helpful and friendly, helping with any possible issue, and always perusing to get the best out of you.

What are you doing now that you have left?

Towards the end of the final year in college, I had worked out that I wanted to do something with costume and props, after studying a similar unit on the BTEC course. I had sent off my University application for a Costume Construction course, but I wasn’t that keen on going to University as I still was a bit uncertain of committing 3 years and a lot of money into one specialism, so I applied for a Costume Apprenticeship at the last minute – I had nothing to lose and it was another option rather than going to University! 

I then got the apprenticeship, and worked in BBC Roath Lock Drama Studios in Cardiff Bay as a Costume Apprentice for a year, learning on the job, gaining transferable life skills and earning a wage! I am currently working as a Costume Runner with BBC Casualty in BBC Roath Lock.

How is the course helping you achieve your ambitions?

Studying on the BTEC Art & Design course gave me the confidence to peruse a career within art and design, as I always thought that I wouldn’t be able to have a ‘proper job’ doing something in art. It made me realise what I really enjoyed doing, and gave me so much creative knowledge and skills, such as learning how to sew, screen printing and making latex moulds. 

How will studying impact on your life? 

If I didn’t do the course, I would probably be studying any old degree, and coming out still not knowing what I want to do with my life! The course enabled me to do what I enjoyed for two years, which I then looked at going for a costume apprenticeship, which I would have never even considered if I stayed in school and did my A Levels. Without the BTEC course, I feel that I wouldn’t have achieved what have, as I wouldn’t have gained the practical knowledge which has enabled me to peruse a career in art and design.

Would you recommend this college and this course to others?

I would 100% recommend both the course and the college to anyone who has an interest in art and design, but doesn’t know where to start. It is a great opportunity to test your creativity and challenge yourself, and work out what you’d like to peruse in the future. The support system is excellent; there is always someone there to help and give advice. I found that the support from the tutors towards the end of the course, when I was looking for what to do next, was great. They genuinely wanted you to find the best next step, and wouldn’t hesitate to read over personal statements and cover letters as many times as you asked! 

Tell us about your new role as Costume Runner on Casualty, BBC Roath Lock 

After my year as a Costume Apprentice, I was offered a one year contract as a Costume Runner on BBC Casualty. I have many different roles as the Costume Runner; they range from keeping up a stock room of costumes, making sure that everything is kept in order and stored correctly, to washing and ironing costumes ready for filming, and even helping on-set looking after actors and background artists. I love my job and enjoy every day that I work. The media industry is such an amazing place to work in, although quite crazy at times! It’s very fast-paced, and every day is a new challenge. My year contract will be finishing this July, and I am hoping to set myself up as a Freelance Costume Assistant, which will enable me to work on different TV programmes and films, and work my way up the costume ladder! I am looking forward to the future, as there still so much for me to learn and am ready to see where it takes me!

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