From hammer and chisel to laptop and pen: UWTSD student carves his way to success


A stonemason who returned to education at University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) lands his dream graduate role after gaining vital experience and industry insight, plus a very special commission opportunity.

Man with hard hat and hi-vis and image of same man with carved stone

Jon Langstone, a BSc Construction Management student has secured a role as a Graduate Project Manager with a civil and structural engineering firm based in Cardiff, which he will start after graduation this summer.

Before joining UWTSD as a mature student, Jon had an exciting and varied career which begun with a stonemasonry apprenticeship.

He gained stonemasonry experience across southern England whilst completing his training, and back in his hometown of Swansea he worked on a restoration project at Oystermouth Castle which was visited by Princess Ann.

Construction skills are highly prized all over the world, and Jon found it easy to use these transferable experiences to gain work abroad before once more returning to Swansea, this time with a mind to bolster his CV with a professional qualification.  

UWTSD’s Construction Management course was a logical step, and combined the practical skills with leadership and management learning which was attractive to Jon.

He said: “For me especially as a mature student, going from hammer and chisel to laptop and pen was a huge leap of faith, but it was one that I needed to take to gain the qualification that would allow me to progress within my industry.”

Now firmly back into the swing of education, Jon has found his university experience to be “supportive” and the staff “very approachable.” About his lecturers he said: “though they probably shouldn’t, they often respond to my email queries at late hours of the evening which is when I work best. This to me shows how dedicated they are to their students.”

Jon says that university has allowed him to meet and collaborate with industry and that he has been signposted to many Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events by his lecturers.

Proactively seeking further experience for his CV, through his degree Jon has been able to seek part-time work opportunities on the restoration of churches and buildings in south Wales and the construction of a new boutique hotel at Oyster Wharf in Mumbles, Swansea as well as a volunteer on the Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr Tydfil with a leading UK construction company, Tilbury Douglas.

But perhaps the most memorable moment for Jon was being commissioned by UWTSD to carve a large stone shield to commemorate its bicentenary in 2022, a timeless sculpture that will decorate the University for many years to come. Designing, cutting and carving the huge stone, he said it gave him “great pleasure” to work on something like this for his local city.

Carved stone and man carving stone

Deborah Hughes, a lecturer on the Construction Management course at UWTSD, said:

“I was delighted when Jon agreed to carve the UWTSD shield, and it will take pride of place here outside the IQ building at Swansea SA1 Waterfront Campus.

He is going to have an excellent career in Construction Management and is a great asset to the industry. He has been an excellent student and a joy to teach – we wish him the best of luck!”

Jon begins his 2-year Graduate Project Manager role with Burroughs in Cardiff this summer. 

Further Information

Communications and PR Officer: Alumni Relations
Vice-Chancellor's Office
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07850 321687