"The Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies is the best thing I have done.
With my first year nearly over and going into the next I have never had such high marks in a university level course and I am enjoying every minute of it.
Working in a special school it has given me more knowledge on many subjects regarding children in both mainstream and special needs.
The staff are fantastic and really supportive, I am looking forward to starting the second year."
Kayleigh Moulden - Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies
About you and background
I am 40 years of age and from a small village called Deri in the Caerphilly borough, married with 6 year old twin girls and a very busy family life. I am a carpenter by trade and have been since graduating from this very college back in 1994. In my current employment with Mitie Technical Facilities Management I have migrated off the tools into a management role where we maintain all the properties mechanically, electrically and building wise on behalf of the Welsh Government, I manage and organise a small workforce of men from all trades as well as price refurbishment works and small tenders.
What course did you study at Coleg y Cymoedd?
I studied the HNC in Building Management Technology.
What made you decide to study at Coleg y Cymoedd?
I had visited the college before Appling for the HNC and I can see how the college has progressed and grown over the years, I also know staff working at the college who have also seen the changes and give compliment to the teaching staff.
Why did you choose to study this course?
The course and modules will aid my role with my current employer and gain more knowledge in building and construction site working and management, learn more about new sustainable materials and technologies as well as energy saving that can be implemented in new projects in construction.
What are the benefits of studying at Coleg y Cymoedd?
For me logistically it was close to where I live, but mainly the college has good facilities with very experienced teaching staffs that are very supportive, and give good-one-on one tutoring when needed.
What do you intend to do next/what are you doing now that you have left?
I have had promotion in work which has been helped by the achievement of getting my HNC so I will be concentrating on my new role for the next year, I will then be enrolling on the HND, then hopefully go on to achieve my degree.
How is the course helping you achieve your ambitions?
By giving me better understanding and knowledge for which there is no substitute in my profession within construction, as it can be so diverse.
How will studying impact on your life?
It is sometimes hard to achieve a balance between family life, work and studying, but if you want to achieve better things in life there is only one way to do it and that’s with hard work. However the knowledge you gain through learning makes you more confident in the outside world and in your daily job, when decisions need to be made or problem need to be resolved through learning you are given the key skills to overcome this. This in turn gives you confidence and recognition from your peers. And as a matter of course with merit and praise comes promotion and better opportunities.
Would you recommend this college and this course to others?
Without doubt, I was a bit daunted returning back to education as a mature student but looking back I wish I had enrolled sooner.
Your tutor Steve Ward said:
Lee has been a very conscientious student and achieved the NHBC ‘top student award’ for his HNC which is a superb result. He demonstrated excellent communication skills and team working abilities. I am sure he has a bright future within the building and property industry.
The foundation degree was a great foundation for my BA (Hons) in Business Studies, as topping it up at Uni didn't feel like a new start. The course work, e.g. Business Strategy, felt like I had only changed classes and tutors and obviously added more content. References were made of topics which had been covered in the foundation degree, which was comforting as initially I had feared there being an education gap, that would have required extra research and study, this was seamless.
Other modules I had to do, such as International Business though challenging, as a mature learner adapting was relatively easy. Business Research was quite similar to the Work based Module, we did with my tutor Ben at Coleg y Cymoedd.
While I was studying the foundation degree, I was working full-time as a Team Manager. At the time I chose the degree, as a means to enhance my knowledge in management, to enhance my position as I had been promoted to team manager based on work experience, with that in mind; I looked ahead and I thought should want to leave the business in future I needed some qualification to back myself with, not always having to start from the bottom.
Having 2 very active kids (academic and sporting activities) my weekends are almost always up and down the country going to competitions and training sessions, so self-discipline is key! I made use of any available help and guidance generously provided by tutors, taking heed of feedback from assignments, even the negative points (finding the positives from them).
I had to be anti-social for a while and I missed watching premier league football matches, replaced by watching under 10's, not exactly the same!!
I made a choice of working part-time and studying full time and was aided by my wife working full time, and my manager at the time agreeing to my request to work part-time.
My future aspirations include departmental management, and I am looking for new opportunities certainly!