Cynthia is currently in her second year at Cardiff Metropolitan University, studying Business Management with HR. In February 2015 Cynthia took part in the skills-development programme Ignite. During the programme she took part in a number of workshops and presentations from entrepreneurs and worked in a team with fellow students on a 40 hour challenge. The aim was to make as much profit as possible from the seed money that was awarded. Here's what she had to say about the experience:
I applied for Ignite because I wanted to develop my team working skills. I can be a control freak so I thought that Ignite would be a good opportunity to work on this. I really surprised myself by how well I was able to work in a team. I took a step back and made sure everyone could contribute.
I found Ignite a lot more challenging than I expected. The 40 hour challenge was really intense but I discovered qualities in me that I didn't know I had, like team work and creativity. The main idea that our team worked on (hand-made candles in wine glasses) was my idea and I was really pleased that I was able to think creatively.
Throughout Ignite I gained a lot of insight into running a business and also I learned to never give up. The speakers were really inspiring, especially one of the entrepreneurs [Steffan Hywel Jones] who shared his story of how his first business failed. This made me think about how I would face challenges like this and that it's important not to give up.
One of the other things I gained from Ignite was friendship. My team were great and we're still chatting as a group on Whatsapp even a month later! One of the most fun parts of the weekend was making the candles together as a team. We stayed up until 6:00am and we were exhausted but we supported each other and stayed motivated as a team. I also discovered my leadership skills – we all took it in turns to lead and motivate the rest of the group.
One of the key things I will take away from Ignite is the ability to work under pressure and that it's incredible what you can achieve in such a short space of time. I feel confident that if I can achieve such good results in just 40 hours then the possibilities are endless as to what else I could achieve.