Starting up in Wales: Adventures in Cardiff By Fiona Russell

28 JUL 2011

When lots people start their jobs, they get a nice induction day or perhaps even a week. They are shown the ropes, introduced to the systems and the software they will use, have everything explained to them to ensure they will get off to a great start.

Here at School for Startups there is so much going on, from running programmes in Romania and Wales, launching School for Creative Startups, and One Young World all happening within the team that it just wasn’t possible for it to happen. This meant there was no time for gentle introductions and I had to get stuck in.

I was thrown right in at the deep end. My first day was really a first night. I met half of the S4S team at Paddington station, having been told to look out for a pregnant lady (Alex, Events Director). This caused a certain level of excitement when one member had decided that St. Pancras was a better place to meet and was terrified she had sent me there too!

We all arrived safely in Cardiff where unsurprisingly it was raining. I had read the brief, I knew the timetable but other than that I was not sure what to expect! All I knew was that I was psyched to be working for an exciting social enterprise which would keep me out and about and not just sitting at a desk in front of a screen.

The morning started well, a hearty breakfast at one Cardiff’s finest chain hotels and straight into taxi’s across to the venue. I was on meet and greet, signing all the delegates in and dishing out name badges. Low and behold one of the first people through the door was a long-time family friend, David Roberts of Clear Blue Thinking, further proving it really is a small world. By the time I had made sure any late comers had been signed in and directed up I had missed the beginning of the event. This meant sadly missing out on the genius way in which Andrew Davis orchestrated his own standing ovation, though due to the level of amusement and interest it caused, I almost felt like I had been there!

I was kept busy during the day, interviewing delegates, creating surveys, chasing A/V men that had gone AWOL. It is fair to say that I quickly felt part of the team. It was great to speak to delegates who had such positive feedback throughout the day and look up at the room full of people to see the delegates hastily making notes and obviously getting so much out of the day. It was fantastic to meet the team, to see first-hand how an S4S event runs and to be introduced to Dan Sodergren, Andrew Davis and James Dening, who are all mightily talented and interesting people. It was great to glean some of their knowledge whilst working, with talks on everything from maximising your social media, to PPC advertising and online market places.

So that was day one and we haven’t stopped there. In the last few weeks, I have got my university results, graduated, been involved with Artsmart, S4S have launched Creative School for Startups, filmed promotional videos and that is just what I have been involved with! There is so much to come and so much in the pipeline. So watch this space for more blogs from the team.


  1. I agree! I was definitely one of the latecomers and was skeptical when I registered for the workshop in cardiff, but by the end of the day, I wanted to sign up for the one in swansea and Wrexham as well! I was so enthusiastic telling my husband about it that if he could have, he would have signed up for the swansea workshop two days later. Lots of tremendously useful information!