Paul Symonds 

 Paul studied at UWIC between 1996 and 1999, studying Tourism Management in the Colchester Avenue campus. In his first and third years he lived in halls on the Cyncoed Campus. We caught up with him earlier this year for a quick Q&A.

Paul Symonds -  Founder and owner of

What made you choose UWIC?

Having analysed the options for studying Tourism in the UK and with 5 decent options, I felt that Cardiff would offer the best overall experience, given that Cardiff is a capital city and has a lively atmosphere and plenty going on.

Were you in any clubs or societies at UWIC?

A housemate started the ‘UWIC Outdoor Sports Club’ and I joined the group to give support to the idea. After a while though the club ceased given the difficulties in getting others members onboard.

Which of your lecturers do you remember?

Julia Fallon was one of the main lecturers on the Tourism Management course and I always found Julia to be one of the best lecturers. She seemed passioniate about the subject she taught and seemed to care about her job. Her classes were always interesting and I always enjoyed the coursework for Julia’s classes. Ken Tresider also sticks in my mind. As Course Director and also sometimes one of the lecturers Ken was always cheerful and always very positive by nature. 

What has been your career path since graduating?

Since graduating life has been interesting and involved living in several countries. After leaving UWIC I headed to Australia for 6 months on a working holiday, before then heading to Dublin, Ireland during the boom period for I.T. work.

I started working as a software tester for an I.T. company in Ireland and this included some time spent in the U.S. After meeting my Italian wife to be in a pub in Dublin and then after being laid off due to the I.T. bubble bursting, we headed off to teach in Seoul, South Korea for 2 years.

Teaching English 1-to1 to Business leaders in one of the top schools in Korea, this was a fascinating travel and cultural experience and one which enabled me to save up to build on my Tourism Degree at UWIC, by enabling me to save enough to then move to Newcastle to study at Sunderland University.

After completing a Masters in Computer Based Information Systems in Sunderland University, it was the impetus to combine the Tourism Degree and I.T. Masters to start my own business, developing Travel website and providing Online Marketing services for travel companies.

I have now been doing Online Marketing for my own Ltd company for 5 years including in Barcelona and now from my present home in Cardiff. The friendships and familiarity with Cardiff brought me back to this city after the stints in Australia, Korea, Barcelona and Newcastle. I have now also started a PhD and run in relation to the study area.

Do you have any advice for this year’s graduates?

Believe in your ability and do not expect to get the big opportunities immediately. Start getting work experience as soon as possible no matter what the job and just keep working towards your goal. In time you will succeed and find the opportunities if you work hard and always believe anything is possible.

Have you ever attended a reunion?

I have found that reunuions tend always to be with high schools friends and Facebook has driven this for most of us.  I would be open of course, to a reunion and hope that my fellow students have found their own successes.

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