I was born in Cardiff and raised until the age of 11 in small village near Caerphilly. I then had a seven-year stint in Cornwall until the age of 18. My love for Wales meant that I didn’t stay away for long, as I returned to study at Cardiff University. I completed an undergraduate in Business Management, and a postgraduate in Logistics and Operations Management.
Throughout my life I’ve been a keen sportsman, with a particular passion for rugby, tennis, and boxing. I like to spend my free time partaking in sports and socialising with friends & family.
I have a longstanding interest in regional and economic development in the UK, and particularly in the context of Wales. Therefore, when I saw the graduate opportunity on CCR’s LinkedIn, I didn’t hesitate in applying for it.
Since joining CCR, I have been placed in the Innovation and Cluster Development team. I am thrilled with this placement, and I am enjoying the challenge of how best to nurture, strengthen and build upon the strong asset base in the region. I am looking forward to developing both personally and professionally in the next 12 months, and I hope to develop transferable skills that will stand me in good stead wherever my career may take me.
Name: Rory Pugh
University Attended: Cardiff University
Graduation Date: UG: July 2019 & PG: Nov 2021
CCR Graduate Job Title: Graduate Associate – Innovation & Cluster Development
Start Date: Nov 2021
Employer: Cardiff Capital Region
Supervisor/Manager Name: Nicola Sommerville, Colan Mehaffey, Jon Wood
Did you apply for many graduate roles or schemes? (if so, how many)
What were your thoughts/feelings around applying for roles/schemes during a pandemic?
Excitement – Despite the pandemic I felt optimistic about the future and excited that I finally had the opportunity to take my career in an exciting new direction.
Nervousness – I was eager to ensure that I effectively communicated my passion and suitability for the role. I was nervous because I didn’t have much interview experience.
What attracted you to the CCR graduate scheme?
I have a longstanding interest in Regional Economic Development in the UK, and particularly in the context of Wales. Therefore, when I saw the graduate opportunity on CCR’s LinkedIn, I didn’t hesitate in applying for it.
How was your experience applying for the CCR graduate scheme during the pandemic?
The application process was an enjoyable one. I thought it was great how the first stage of the process involved explaining why you felt you were suitable for the role. This allowed me to go beyond simply listing my skills & experience, instead providing the opportunity to communicate my passion for the role and the work that CCR does for the region. The subsequent in-person interview process was also a pleasant experience. The panel were friendly and put me at ease, this allowed me to relax and focus fully on communicating my suitability for the role.
What are you hoping to achieve during your time on the scheme?
During this scheme, I hope to deliver impact through my work and assist CCR in delivering the ambitious goals of the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal. I see this as a great opportunity to deliver impact to a region that I care about greatly. I also hope to develop both personally and professionally. My ambition is to make the most of this opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and networks that will stand me in good stead whichever direction my career takes.
Is there anything you would say to others thinking of applying for the scheme?
Go for it! Whilst it is a cliché, I think ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ is particularly fitting. I often think about if I had talked myself out of applying or had simply forgot to apply, I would have missed out on the amazing experiences and relationships built through joining CCR. There’s nothing to lose by throwing your name in the hat, and the application process is a beneficial experience regardless of whether you are successful or not.
One sentence to sum up your CCR graduate scheme experience…
An excellent opportunity to kickstart your career in an exciting organisation supporting a region with real ambition.
One word that sums up your CCR graduate scheme experience…
How are you finding your new role? Has it exceeded expectations?
My new role is great. I am enjoying the challenge of how best to nurture, strengthen and build upon the strong asset base in the region. The role has absolutely exceeded my expectations. The focus on innovation and investment is something I did not expect when first joining. I genuinely couldn’t be happier.
How are you finding the modules?
Engaging and enjoyable – ILM provides a great opportunity to reflect on topics around leadership, decision-making, problem-solving and interpersonal skills to name just a few. As well as providing time for reflection, it focuses on equipping students with the skills and knowledge to develop professionally.