UWTSD Making Connections at Employability Event


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David  students attended an interesting, and very beneficial session recently during their ‘Making Connections Employability Event.’

Rachael Wheatley

The virtual event was attended by forty second year students from the BA Creative Advertising, Illustration, and Graphic Design courses as part of their ‘Changemakers Graduate Attributes’ module. The event featured presentations by three creative industry practitioners, Rachael Wheatley, Natalie Griffiths, and Gareth Thomas.

Rachael Wheatley, from Waters Creative, started the event with an entertaining talk full of advice and tips for those wanting to freelance, as well as guidance for students wanting to work for a creative studio.  Rachael inspired students by starting off with the quote: “Everything begins with an idea but you need to believe in yourself – belief and confidence breeds success.”

Rachael concluded her presentation by motivating students with advice and her ‘top tips' for freelancers which included, keeping motivated, developing a personal brand, financial advice, communication skills, and maintaining a positive attitude at all times.


Natalie Griffiths

Natalie was the second to speak and talked more specifically about illustration as a freelance career. She began with her personal story and career journey from education to freelance and strongly made the point that as a freelancer you must be everything and are responsible for every role including the business side, as well as the creative side.

She continued to say that her illustration subjects tend to be things she is passionate about, or knowledgeable of and stressed the fact that work would not find you, you need to go out and find it. Natalie also discussed the importance of collaborations and said that it comes in many forms and adds a lot to what you do as well as developing your professional network. She added that networking is absolutely crucial; always be on the lookout for new contacts and don’t miss out on opportunities by neglecting your network of contacts. She concluded by telling students to always keep learning and growing, keep putting stuff out there and be confident about their abilities and work.

Following a short break, the students were treated to a very illuminating and entertaining presentation from Gareth Thomas from the Clarified Company. Gareth is an entrepreneur and branding professional who talked about building your personal brand.

He started by talking about his own professional background and journey from education to where he is now – an entrepreneur helping others create and promote their personal, or company, brand.  He talked passionately about how strategy can help build your brand and gave the students his own 10 tips for building a brand.

The formal presentations were followed by a lively and entertaining Q&A session that was fully entered into by the students present. The feedback from the event has been extremely positive with all students saying how much they had enjoyed the presentations and that it had made them more confident about life following graduation.

Ian Simmons, a lecturer from the Creative Advertising course said: “Strong links with industry are essential for our students and something we are proud of, and continue to develop, at UWTSD. The insights and opportunities that they get from these sessions will go a long way to equipping them with the competencies they require to succeed in a rapidly changing work environment.”

Gareth Thomas

Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476