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Science Park placement allows Bangor University student to hit the ground running with their career

Callum Murray (right) with M-SParc Managing Director Pryderi ap Rhisiart

A work placement at Menai Science Park (M-SParc) has paid off for a university student, who is now in his second year of full-time employment with a business at the space.

Callum Murray joined start-up Cufflink, based at M-SParc on the Isle of Anglesey shortly after completing his studies at Bangor University in July 2019.

Cufflink, which aims to allow people to regain control of their own online personal data through an encrypted and secure method, has been operating out of M-SParc since October 2018.

Callum said: “My role came about through a dissertation presentation event I attended while I was just a student; I bumped into the co-founders of Cufflink and they told me all about the opportunities of interning over at M-SParc, which was not something I had considered at the time.

“They were very interested in the design skills I had developed during my BSc in Creative Technologies and offered me an internship to take on during the final months of my degree.

“Once I graduated, the internship became a full-time position – I finished up at Bangor University on a Friday and was in the job the Monday after.

“I have now been working at Cufflink in a UX designer and marketing role since then, recently marking two years with the company.”

Cufflink has expanded to a total of 10 staff during Callum’s time at M-SParc, which is owned by Bangor University and is the first science park of its type in Wales.

The site offers space for technological and science-focused businesses of all sizes and provides students with a chance to make their mark in emerging industries and operations.

Callum added: “Working in a start-up for the last two years has been a fantastic experience; not only have I been able to help with the technical side of the business utilising skills developed during my degree, but no two days are the same and I’ve enjoyed that challenge.

“Operating out of M-SParc as well is a completely unique experience thanks to the collaborative nature of the space. As a start-up, we will often need to seek the advice and skills of areas we can’t cover and M-SParc has been excellent in that regard as we’ve been able to form business relationships without the need to leave the site.”

Professor Paul Spencer, pro vice chancellor with responsibility for employability, company engagement and partnerships at Bangor University said: “It’s always encouraging to see our students progress into a full-time position, and Callum’s story is just one example of how significant having facilities like M-SParc in proximity to and intertwined with the university is.

“Bangor University students have a wealth of resources and opportunities available to them not just during their studies but also post-graduation.

“Through sites like M-SParc, students are able to cross over into the workforce in future-focused industries while utilising the wide skillsets developed over the course of their degrees.”

Managing director at M-SParc Pryderi ap Rhisiart said: “Callum’s testimony is a great example of how Bangor University students can take full advantage of the pathway between university and the first steps in their careers provided by M-SParc.

“Providing space for R&D and watching these businesses grow while creating fantastic employment opportunities is part of our remit, and to see students taking advantage of the internship scheme and performing so well that they become employees is very encouraging for us to see.”