A graduate from Wrexham Glyndwr University who has secured her first job in the industry she loves has praised the university for giving her the support she needed to succeed.
Natalie Griffiths, from Wrexham, graduated last month with a 2:1 computing degree – and has already secured a job as a programmer for an insurance company.
However, when Natalie began her degree at Glyndwr, she faced a series of challenges – and needed to draw upon the support which the university provides via its inclusion services.
She said: “When I was younger, I had encephalitis and that caused some problems – so I began my education in a school for pupils with special educational needs.”
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain which is a serious condition requiring hospital treatment.
Natalie added: “I also have Asperger’s Syndrome and that made studying tricky sometimes when I started at Glyndwr.
“However, people really took their time with me and the university also provided me with a support worker, Graham – he was so helpful and I can’t thank him enough. Whatever was needed – whether that was support with lectures, note-taking, or anything else – Graham was there to help and that really made a difference.
“The other thing that helped was that people were willing to make time to help students – when I did my dissertation John Worden, the lecturer who I was working with, would always make time to talk things through.”
Mr Worden – who is the Associate Dean for Enterprise, Partnerships and Employability in Glyndwr’s Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology – said: “Working with Natalie was an absolute pleasure, and I am delighted she has secured a job – and that she graduated with a very well deserved 2:1.
“There is a lot of talk about inclusion, and Glyndwr has been judged to be the most inclusive university in the UK by the Sunday Times. But it is through seeing that work in practice – where lecturers recognise the potential of students like Natalie, and work to make sure that potential is realised – that you realise its true impact.”
After completing her course, Natalie spend some time over the summer working with Glyndwr’s careers team. She took part in the award-winning Make Summer Work for You programme, which helps boost students’ confidence and prepare them for the world of work.
She added: “I really enjoyed taking part in the programme and it helped when I got my interview with MD Insurance. Lots of people on the careers team really helped – Katie Brute really gave me some helpful advice, and I was able to draw on that support when I got my job.
“At MD Insurance, I am part of a team of software developers – we work together on software for the company and I’m really enjoying it – it is a great company to work for.”
Project Officer Katie Brute added: “The Make Summer Work for You programme was designed to help boost students’ confidence – and I am delighted it helped Natalie.
“We’ve been in touch since she got the job, and it’s great to see her so happy and making a success of her career.”
Find out more about the inclusion services Wrexham Glyndwr University offers here: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Studentsupport/InclusionServices/