Hannah Simmons, 24, graduated from the University of Swansea with a degree in statistics. She now works as a statistician for insurance company Alliance Cornhill.
Gap Year Experience:
Hannah travelled the world on a seven-month solo trip. Her destinations included Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. By working during a pre-uni gap year and carefully saving her money she was able to fully fund the trip herself.
What was your motivation?
"I really didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career after university and having spent my gap year before uni working in a bank I wanted to take a year out. I planned it carefully throughout university – I didn’t want to miss anything!"
Did you gain any skills?
"Loads of confidence and independence. I really learnt about getting on with people. Sometimes during education you don’t really meet people who are so different to yourself but this soon changed when I was travelling."
Did it increase your employability?
"It didn’t do it any harm and it was something good to talk about when I was in interviews.
"All of it! I think you tend to remember the places by the people you meet and that’s what I enjoyed most."
"Sometimes arriving alone in a strange country could be daunting. But it was nothing a good night’s sleep couldn’t cure."
Advice for students considering a gap year?
"I found sites such as www.gapyear.com really useful to arrange to meet up with people. Plan your trip. I’d also consider doing voluntary work."