Megan Eluned Jones
I was awarded a James Pantyfedwen grant and started a Masters’ course in 'Welsh Writing in English' at Swansea University in September 2021. I will graduate next month with Distinction. Without doubt, the grant was instrumental in allowing me to build my academic portfolio, expand my skills and my personal development.
Having studied my undergraduate degree in Ireland, I felt a little hesitant about transferring what I had learned in an Irish Higher Education institution to an institution in Wales. The grant helped with this process, building my confidence in my academic ability, while giving recognition to my ability and value as a student.
Receiving the grant was also a huge relief because it gave me financial independence. I would probably have had to work part-time throughout my studies, but the grant gave me the freedom to focus on my studies and take up some extracurricular opportunities. These included a placement with the publishing company 'Parthian Books', and I applied for and won a SPIN (Swansea Paid Internship Network) internship at the university, to work on an interdisciplinary academic project on 'Reporting Rural Change'. These opportunities were most rewarding, and I gained a number of new skills, from building websites, transcription and translation, to reviewing manuscripts and contributing to academic networks. I was able to put the skills into practice straight away while working in Aberystwyth University's Vice-Chancellor's Office, and then the Development and Alumni Relations Office.
My next career plan is to continue my academic studies, undertaking a doctorate in English. Following this, I hope to start work as a lecturer, hoping to be able to stay local to Aberystwyth University, but of course I will have to go where work calls.
I would really encourage everyone who is eligible to apply for a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation - it has been a huge support for me. Removing the element of financial stress, the grant enabled me to focus on education and crucial experiences that will set me up for the future.