BSc Mathematics, 1974
Mike Bampfield is the co-founder and director of Augustus Business Consulting.
Since his graduation, Mike has held top positions in several global companies including British Steel, British Gas and Alcatel-Lucent. Mike started his career as a research officer but took advantage of industry growth curves to move into IT and telecommunications where his career flourished. During this time, Mike led a major contract for BT and helped 5 million customers get online during the broadband boom in the early 2000s.
Mike currently advises the Welsh government on IT and telecommunications matters across several key projects. Along with Professor George Boyne, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Cardiff University, Mike is a board member of the Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone - a 140 acre business district located in the city centre.
In the last decade, the Welsh capital has successfully grown as a leading tourism and retail destination and the Cardiff Central Enterprise Zone seeks to further this economic growth and is working to enhance the city's position as a leading centre for professional business services.
What did you study and why did you choose Cardiff University?
In the '70s, not many of us went to university. I was fortunate I had parents who believed in a good education and I was the first in my family to go to university.
I chose Cardiff University because it offered me the opportunity to study both Mathematics and Physics, the two subjects I was interested in, in my first year and decide on my major the following year. The jump from school to university was enormous in those days but Cardiff University was very supportive and eased the transition for me.
Please tell us about your first day on campus
For me it was meeting so many people for the first time - I felt I'd grown up and transitioned from school. I also remember the little cafeteria in the Tower Block where they used to serve meat pies and cups of teas.
What were the favourite student haunts at the time?
The Woodville, which is now known as the Woody, was the centre of student life at the time. I saw Led Zeppelin live at the Capitol Theatre, which was located where we have the Capitol Centre today.
There was a lot of live music during my time at University; the Students' Union used to be based in Dumfries Place and bands performed regularly at student events. One of my flatmates was friendly with the group Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel and they performed at the University as well.
In those days, the Union used to host all night dances and I remember the breakfasts they served us the next morning! It was a very vibrant area and it was a great experience because I was not only a student but also a resident of Cardiff.
Who was the professor who influenced you the most?
It has to be Professor Churchhouse, the Head of Computer Science at the time. He was a traditional professor but very amenable, encouraging and supportive.
Please tell us about your graduation ceremony
The University not only gave me a good education but was also the place I met my wife, Corinne. We met six weeks into college and we've been together ever since. We studied together, socialised together, and graduated together – we're actually on the same page in the graduation programme and we still have our exam papers from 1974.
We took our exams in the gymnasium on Park Place but our graduation ceremonies were held in a hall in the newly built Students' Union next door.
My family and that of Corinne's came down for the day and both families got on really well – afterwards, we all went for a meal together.
What were the must-visit landmarks in Cardiff during the seventies?
The Bay was really docklands at that time. I had a friend studying Architecture who was a goalkeeper for a small football team from the docks; they used one of the warehouses to train and play in. The docklands in those days was one of those areas you went in and came out as quick as you could!
The city itself is very much the same as it was then but we did have beautiful parklands outside University college buildings. Corinne lived in Aberdare Hall and then had a flat in Colum Road; I myself had flats in the streets around Park Grove. If it was a nice afternoon and we had finished our lectures, we'd stroll into town. I also remember, at that time, the traffic used to travel down Queen Street.
What would your advice be to new students who have just started their study at Cardiff University?
Try and embrace student life as much as possible - get a good balance between studying and playing. It's important to meet people from different cultures so you can learn from others and gain life experiences that stand the test of time.