Spotlight on: Cerith Rhys Jones30 June 2014
“My three years as an undergrad at Cardiff have been incredible – Cardiff’s a really lovely city to live in, especially as a student, but I’m originally from a small village in South West Wales, so moving from there to the capital city was quite a culture shock!”
Meet Cerith, this year’s Welsh Students’ Officer and soon-to-be graduate of Cardiff University.
Hi Cerith! Why did you choose to study Welsh and Politics?
I have always been interested in Welsh as it’s my mother tongue and having studied it as an A Level subject, I knew that I wanted to study it further. I had never studied politics as an academic subject, but started to get involved in party politics when I was about 16. I then spent the summer between Year 12 and Year 13 working as a Community Caseworker to an Assembly Member and Member of Parliament and knew then that I wanted to study politics too!
What have you most enjoyed about your time in Cardiff?
The most enjoyable part of my time in Cardiff, apart from getting to know some genuinely lovely people, has been getting involved with the Students’ Union. It’s really a great organisation and one which I’m really proud to have been a part of.
What can you remember about first moving to Cardiff?
One of my first memories of Cardiff is meeting one of my course mates in person for the first time. We’d spoken on YouGo before coming here and on my first day in my flat, she happened to walk past my kitchen window so I went after her to say hi. She’s now one of my closest friends!
So you played a pretty important role this year, didn’t you?
This year I was Welsh Students’ Officer, and my time as an officer in the SU has been fantastic. I’m also a Public Affairs Assistant at the university, and I also ran to be VP Education in the 2014 elections. Although I didn’t win, it was an intense but incredible week. The process of coming up with a campaign, organising your supporters, trying to sell yourself to the electorate (the students), and going to the count are all so exciting. Aside from enjoying the process, win or lose you develop so many skills from taking part in elections and are a stronger, more confident person for it. I was lucky that I had friends and fellow Union officers running alongside me this year, but we made new friends too and we’re still friends three months on.
What are your plans for after graduation?
Luckily, I’ve got a job until September working for the University’s Public Affairs department. I’ve been accepted onto the MScEcon Welsh Government and Politics course here at Cardiff but I’m going to have to find a job to go alongside in order to finance it.
How are you feeling about graduation day?
The same as everyone – nervous! My parents, grandparents, and aunt and uncle will be coming to Cardiff for the day, so I’m sure it’ll be pretty hectic. The School of Welsh will be hosting a reception just after the ceremony, so my family and I will be going to that, and then we’re all heading to Carluccio’s in the city centre for a meal. I’m looking forward to the ceremony, though, and no doubt celebrating with friends in the night!
What advice would you give to students moving to Cardiff in September for their first year?
It’s really cliché, but make the most of your time here and take advantage of every opportunity you get as time flies by! Also, make sure that you speak to as many people as you can during the first few days and weeks. You won’t be friends with the vast majority of them by the time that you get to graduation, but among all those people that you speak to, you may just find your best friend. Oh, and get involved with the Union! There are loads of societies that you can be a part of – sign up to them all. They’re great fun and will look good on your CV too.