Patrick Reardon-Morgan (BMus 2015) shares his highlights from living in Cardiff and studying at the School of Music.
I was attracted to Cardiff University due to the unique appeal of the city itself – a capital city, with everything that goes with that status, but lacking some of the hustle and bustle of, say, London or Birmingham.
I welcomed the great flexibility of the various Music courses on offer and was excited by the chance to get stuck into some of the student-led activities both within the School of Music and the wider University.
After graduating I was offered an internship at Welsh National Opera, which, being a national portfolio arts organisation within a stone’s throw of my new found home, was the perfect opportunity to start a career in arts administration. I soon moved on to a full-time role there that gave me the necessary experience to secure my current job as an Individual Giving Assistant with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra.
I now administrate a core part of the Philharmonia’s individual giving programme, with gifts ranging from £35 to £5000 for membership schemes, to 5- or 6-figures sums from major donors. My other responsibilities include everything from finance to event management, and, of course, keeping in regular contact with several hundred of the orchestra’s supporters.
Of all the many highlights from my time at Cardiff, helping to run the student-led Music Society is one of my fondest. Not only did it give me the opportunity to enrich the musical culture of the department in a really substantial way, it also helped me develop the transferable skills necessary to secure my post-uni internship at WNO.
It seems like an extraordinary stroke of luck, but I now find myself in a career path ideally suited to my interests and skill set, and one that I enjoy a huge amount. I’ve discovered that, while breaking into a competitive industry can be tough, given the right support and an environment in which to grow there’s really no reason why any person with ambition and determination can’t do exactly the same. For me, that supportive, nurturing environment was Cardiff, so the real stroke of luck was choosing to study there in the first place!