James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Joseph Coard

My MA Human Geography course at Aberystwyth University focused on the theoretical and practical discourses of participating in data-driven social geography. At postgraduate level, content went in-depth on planning and collecting successful multi-modal data projects for a range of projects and assessments. This benefit allowed me to successfully undertake my own data collection and critically analyse and assess it to support my critical thinking skills and being able to quantify my dissertation’s case study on digitalising Aberystwyth’s heritage during the pandemic.

Many modules had greater emphasis on developing employable skills to prepare me for graduate life, skills such as enhancing my note-taking ability, presenting in front of groups, improving my numeracy, ability to self–assess, contributing to debates, collating data and collaborating with others.

My career plans originally followed my postgraduate desires into the Welsh heritage sector (fixed between the ‘lived’ and ‘digital’ heritage experience), but this became complicated with the pandemic. Currently, I am a teaching assistant at local schools in West Ceredigion and am about to start a temporary full-time post at Aberaeron assisting the transition into the comprehensive school.

I also work as a support worker for the charity DASH Ceredigion. My role supports young people who have ranging abilities in Wales into recreational afterschool activities. This involves not just my academic skills but also golfing, bowling, cooking, woodworking skills just to list a few recent activities. Here, I find joy in supporting and inspiring the lives of young people across Wales.

My future aspirations are to continue positively impacting the lives of young people in Wales by maintaining a safe, amiable environment during school and in afterschool activities. More skills, experience and networking will be required before returning to heritage. This is something I can work towards outside of my education work. Although my studies in heritage may be over, my passion is far from over.