Enterprise, Preparing for your future, Student Stories

My Student Innovation Experience

Idoia, Innovation Ambassador, tells us more about her involvement in the Student Innovation Festival and the event she helped organise…

Volunteering in an area related to your professional aspirations is one of the best things I would recommend every single student to do. Is all about gaining valuable experience without the fear of failing or not being good enough.

Innovation Ambassador Students are pictured with Amanda Coffey at Cardiff University.
Pic: Tom Martin

The Student Innovation Festival

So what exactly is innovation and why is it important?

Innovation is an invaluable asset, because it means thinking outside the box and in doing so you can come up with original solutions to problems. Innovation is highly regarded by employers and this could even be the beginning of you coming up with an idea leading to your own project or starting up your own business!

Two months ago, I was lucky enough to join a team of 10 Student Ambassadors in order to help organising the first ever “Student Innovation Festival” held by Cardiff University.  Our role as Students Ambassadors has been to organise loads of exciting activities for the Festival. Our main motivation has been to offer students a wide range of exciting events for them to develop their skills and get involved in this big celebration of creativity and innovation.

More specifically, my role has been to help organising the “Show and Tell” event, which offers an invaluable opportunity for students to get inspired by outstanding young speakers that are pursuing their passion in Cardiff. This has meant that we had to find three incredible people in Cardiff (good news: we found them!) We also had to put together all the things that an event needs, which are always way more than you initially thought.

Show and Tell is taking place tomorrow at the I Want to Ride my Bike café on Park Place. Come along and hear about current projects in the city! The first 35 students to arrive will get a free drink.

Find out more and book


Our fantastic speakers are:

Jessica Blackler from Jecca Makeup

Cardiff makeup artist Jessica Blackler launched Jecca Makeup over a year ago to provide makeup services to the trans community. The unisex and vegan makeup brand believes in celebrating individuality and promoting that #MakeupHasNoGender. It donates 5% of its profits to supporting Stonewall.

Find out more about Jecca Makeup here

Daniel Minty from Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff

Daniel Minty is an entrepreneur of Cardiff’s live music scene. He has created his own ‘gig guide’ and has launched a hand-drawn map of all Cardiff’s live music venues.
He also presents a weekly podcast promoting live music happening around Cardiff, the Minty’s Gig Guide to Cardiff.


Visit the website here

James Lewis

James Lewis is a Cardiff-based Artist, Logo Designer, Teacher and Public Speaker. Check out his amazing work on his Instagram @jamesllewis.

Get involved!

There are lots of amazing events taking place this week, including:

  • Caer Heritage Escape Room – 13 March
  • Virgin Lifestart & Enactus ‘Mini Hackathon’ – 13 March
  • The Science of Star Wars – 14 March
  • How to Think Creatively – 14 March
  • Virtual Internship in Cyber Security (Cardiff Award) – 15 March
  • The No Code Hackathon – 16 March

Find out more and book here


Push yourself out of your comfort zone!

If I have learned anything during the last few years, it’s that you have to be open to new opportunities. Especially the ones that scare you most.

As the shiest kid in my class when I was in primary and secondary school, I could never have honestly imagined the things that I am capable of doing now that I have overcome my shyness. I can proudly say that it was mostly thanks to the several volunteering experiences I have had whilst being an undergraduate student, which really increased my confidence.

Because of the enormous benefits that volunteering has had for me in the past, I have become really enthusiastic about joining almost every opportunity that appeals to me. Even now that I am a Master’s student at Cardiff University – which it implies a great amount of work – I could not help myself from joining another volunteering experience.


My experience of being a Student Innovation Festival Ambassador

Innovation Ambassador Students are pictured with Amanda Coffey at Cardiff University.
Pic:Tom Martin

As a determined aspirant of becoming a professional in the field of cultural management, this has been a brilliant opportunity for me to prove my skills and get out of my comfort zone. Because if you think that organising an event is easy, you have probably not organised one. It takes time and dedication, frustrations and determination. But the good thing about it is that you always learn something valuable that you are unlikely to learn in your lectures.

I truly believe that volunteering is the perfect occasion to learn and take some risks, but without the same pressure that as students we face in other areas of our life such as studies, or part-time jobs.

It is true that getting involved in those non-academic activities can be stressful when assignments and exams get closer. However, what I do during these times is close my eyes, breathe, and think about how outstanding that experience will look on my CV. We are living in a time when having good academic results is not enough, and so getting involved in volunteering or work experience is arugably just as vital as getting the qualification itself!

So do not overthink it too much. If you are looking for new challenges in your life, I just can say one word: volunteer!


Got an innovative business idea? Get involved with Cardiff University Enterprise and Start-up!

Do you have entrepreneurial inspirations and aspirations? Cardiff University Enterprise and Start-up could help you realise your full potential in business and entrepreneurship. It’s all about thinking creatively, spotting opportunities, making things happen and developing skills for life. It’s not just about business; it’s about helping you to make the most of yourself.

We run workshops, competitions and sessions to help you develop skills and knowledge. Find out about all our courses and sessions on the intranet, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, with #ideastolife, or email us at entreprise@cardiff.ac.uk.


Best wishes,

Idoia, International Public Relations and Global Communications Management Postgraduate Student.

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & MoneyCareers & EmployabilityCounselling, Health & WellbeingDisability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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