Carys Hughes

​Carys pitching at Ignite 2013

Carys is an Events Management student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. During her first year of study, Carys took part in Ignite – a 4 day programme organised by the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship which develops students' entrepreneurial skills. 
Since then Carys has engaged with other events and activities run by the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship and is continually looking for new opportunities to develop her skills. 

1. How did you first become involved with the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship?
I first became involved when I attended Ignite. It included lots of workshops and presentations on different areas of business as well as a 24 hour challenge where we had to make as much money as possible for the children’s charity Ty Hafan.

We also had to pitch our fundraising ideas in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ task to secure funding. Ignite was brilliant and after that I decided to get involved in other courses and events put on by the Centre for Student Entrepreneurship. One thing that I found really useful was the staff involvement, it was really good to learn from each of them. 

2. What was your motivation for getting involved and did the experience meet your expectations?
My motivation for getting involved in Ignite was to gain new skills through extra-curricular activities which would benefit me in my course, as well as employability skills and business management. Ignite was very strongly related to the course I’m doing as we had to organise our own fundraising activity.

The fact that this was a free course was a bonus but also, as I was new to Cardiff I wanted to socialise with other people with similar interests. I found that the other people on these courses were very determined and had a business head and it was great to meet people like this.

It completely met my expectations and even exceeded them. I was really nervous about Ignite but I overcame any worries because I was so happy with everything we achieved. The Dragon’s Den challenge was a real eye opener. The whole experience was much more hands on than I expected. I thought it would be mainly classroom-based but it was very dynamic.

I also made so many friends during the course. We were all in the same boat and we all felt we had achieved so much and we look back at it as one of the best weekends of 2013!

3. Out of the events you have attended, which one has been your favourite and why?

Ignite, without a doubt! Because of the range of topics we covered, we delved into all areas of management and this was really beneficial for my course. Also, the large amount of people there created a lot of impact. I gained a lot from other people, by finding out about their experiences. Also, there was a great sense of achievement after the challenge. It was very dramatic with just 24 hours to raise money so we had to work really hard. The fact that my team won gave me a big boost but we also had lots of fun with it and enjoyed working in a team. We felt we really pushed ourselves and were surprised at what we achieved. We managed to get donations from large companies like ASDA which we didn’t think would be possible.

4. Do you think the experience you have gained has benefitted you?

Yes especially with team working skills. Because I’m quite independent and like to be the leader (I can be a bit of a control freak!), my goal with Ignite was to improve my team working skills and let other people have their say. 
On the first day I took a step back and listened to other people. I saw the value of working in a team, especially after the success of our pitch and the fact that we won the challenge. It was an invaluable experience for me and it opened my mind to new ideas and concepts from listening to others who attended the course and through the guest speakers and workshops.

5. What are your plans for the future?

I’m going to work hard in my degree and I'm hoping to get a First. During that time, I’m also going to continue to network and attend courses and hope to find my career path.