From hospitality to heritage sector

Cardiff University

A former hospitality worker who pursued her passion for the past years after ill-health prevented her from studying has today graduated with a First Class degree.

Rhiannon Jenkins, 27, who progressed to her Archaeology degree from Cardiff University’s Exploring the Past pathway programme, will celebrate her achievements as part of the Class of 2021 at this year’s virtual graduation ceremonies.

But a degree in this subject wasn’t always part of Rhiannon’s plan.

Ill-health meant that her original opportunity to go to university, where she was started a degree in economics and business, was cut short after the first few weeks. She made the difficult decision to return home to Llantwit Fardre.

When her health improved, she moved closer to Cardiff and worked in cafés and restaurants for four years. One day in work, she came across a leaflet advertising the Exploring the Past Pathway programme.

She said: “Since school I had been interested in history and archaeology and I was always watching YouTube videos about that sort of thing. By this point, I was bored working in hospitality and thought the course sounded interesting and different. I wanted to give it a go.”

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