Hi, I’m Tom Gravell, and I’m currently studying Business at the University of Bath. I’m from a small village in South West Wales called Kidwelly, and I studied Mathematics, History and Geography at A level through the medium of Welsh. I chose to study at Bath due to their fantastic business course, amazing placement opportunities, and state of the art sports facilities! I’ve taken advantage of all these opportunities within my first year, from successfully gaining a placement to starting a new sport in American Football. I’ve loved my first year in Bath, from beautiful runs along the weir to great nights out in the city!
Before starting my degree, I signed up for Pathway to Bath as I thought it would be a fantastic insight into what business at degree level would look like! As someone who didn’t study business at GCSE or A level, this was a great opportunity to get a taste of the subject. Additionally, knowing that you could receive a reduced offer from the university upon completion of your project was a massive bonus. Therefore, going into the programme, I knew that if I enjoyed the subject, I could relieve myself of a lot of stress and pressure during my A-level studies due to the reduced offer.
The process of joining the Pathway programme was stress free! There was a list of criteria you needed to meet to partake in the Pathway programme; all criteria were clear and easy to understand with links to appropriate websites to understand if you qualified. After finding out I met the criteria, I applied to the Business programme and then quickly found out I had been accepted. I was later added to the Pathway Business Microsoft Team, where I was introduced to the leaders of the programme and my course mates. The introduction meeting was really helpful in informing you of the structure and schedule of the programme and their expectations of you.
On the programme, I was tasked with thinking of an app idea and then writing an essay on its feasibility and its unique selling points. I loved this project as I gained an understanding of the various factors that affect businesses and industries, for example, PESTEL and Porter’s Five Forces. It also taught me how much thought and research is put into each decision made in business. In my scenario, it was deciding which app idea was most feasible and suitable for the current app market.
My absolute favourite part of the programme was the residential. The residential consisted of meeting up with course mates of the programme, staying in student accommodation, and exploring the beautiful city of Bath! The residential gave you a real taste of the university’s facilities, from being in the lecture halls to playing beach volleyball in the Sports Village.
The programme really consolidated my decision to come to Bath, as I was able to get a taste of the degree, the university, and the city. It helped me immensely, as it gave me the confidence that I could study business at degree level and ensured that when I arrived in Bath,I was doing a course I enjoyed!
If there was one piece of advice, I could give to upcoming students, it would be to say ‘Yes’. There are a million reasons to say ‘No’ to things in life, but maybe you should change your outlook to, do I have a good enough reason to say ‘No’. I could’ve easily scrolled past the email mentioning the Pathway to Bath programme or not bothered applying. Now I can proudly say that applying for the Pathway programme has helped me massively, and it all came from saying ‘Yes’. I’ve kept this mentality at university, which has led me to trying new sports, joining new societies and running my first marathon!