Alex Smyth (MChem 2013) is a customer relationship manager at Thames Water Utilities
Cardiff’s School of Chemistry has a very good reputation. It has Russell Group status, the facilities are good and the standard of education high. I think back fondly to my time spent in classes and lectures, where I learnt so much that I have been able to successfully apply in my career thus far.
I honestly think my best four years were spent at Cardiff University; the vibrant city life was very appealing and I remember spending many hours with friends in beautiful parks. University has so much to offer – societies, sports teams, and social events to name but a few – it’s equally important to enjoy yourself as it is to work hard.
Chemistry requires lateral thinking. The ability to communicate complex ideas, sometimes to non-technical audiences, is a skill very much sought after in industry. The level of data analysis and eye for detail required on the Chemistry course has also contributed significantly to my career progression.
After graduation, I moved to London to join the Thames Water graduate scheme. I was a performance manager at one of their water treatment works, where I managed a team of 17 technicians. I eventually moved into a more customer focused role, and further developed my stakeholder engagement skills.
I will always think fondly of my time at Cardiff University and would recommend applying to anyone. While at the time I was probably pulling my hair out, the academic and social aspects exceeded my expectations and I was very sad to leave. It was supportive, innovative, challenging, fun, and dynamic.