Graham, 27, reckons moving to the Stadium of Light will help take his career to the next level - even though he will miss out on the Swans' Capital One Cup final date later this month.
He said: "I was a window fitter. I did it for eight months.
"It was good but I kept getting all the screws wrong. I only got paid coppers. I was just a little boy running around doing stuff they didn't want to do.
"When I signed my scholarship at Boro, I was earning less than doing the windows. But that never bothered me, they took a chance on me and that's why I'm here.
"I could have been at Wembley, yes. But I might have gone there and just sat on the bench."