I can’t quite believe it but my Cardiff Award journey has now come to an end! It has been a challenging but very rewarding experience; something I could never have imagined at the beginning of the year. Looking back on my first blog, it is quite clear that, like many students, I wasn’t really sure which career path I wanted to pursue. However, nine months down the line, things are very different. The Cardiff Award has helped me to realise that the skills I have are well suited to Human Resources and I am really excited to continue working towards this.
70 hours of experience
The Award requires participants to complete 70 hours of work – this can be anything from paid work, voluntary work or extra commitments within the University. As part of this, I applied and was successfully accepted for a Human Resources work experience with Tiger Tiger, through Experience Works, an additional scheme at Cardiff University. I’d strongly recommend everyone to look into the experiences they offer as they really are fantastic! Despite not starting this until later in the year, the few months I have done so far have been extremely useful as a starter experience. It was great to be part of a company which was relaxed and allowed me to get really involved to get the maximum out of it.
CVs, Application Forms, Presentations and Psychometric Testing
As we all know, when applying for jobs, there are lots of parts which aren’t the most exciting. However, getting these right will make a big difference. The Cardiff Award ensures that we are prepared for the real application process by requiring us to complete all of these. Although these can be challenging, the award offers tonnes of advice, resources and support sessions to make sure these seem as straightforward as possible. Digging out those GCSE Maths revision guides for the psychometric tests was a shock to the system; I thought I’d left my mental maths for good years ago! The presentation at the end of year also allowed me to take some time to reflect about where I am now and how the Cardiff Award has helped me to reach this point. The panel were really friendly and put me at ease straight away!
The personal development workshops
Although university life can be hectic at the best of times, I really enjoyed attending the workshops organised from the Cardiff Award. They covered a wide range of topics and are presented by many of the main sponsors. A great way to do some important networking! In the words of Kevin Bacon, it’s a no brainer – these companies could be the very ones I apply for in the future. So by them telling me what they look for in candidates, this should help so much! From CV enhancing sessions to EY’s application boot camp – I really feel more equipped for the big wide world of work. Although you only need to do two of the optional workshops, I’d really recommend doing as many as you can that equally look interesting to you.
My personal highlight
For me, without a shadow of a doubt, the mock assessment day at Centrica plc was my favourite moment of the process. Although I’d heard about what these days entailed, there is no better way to fully understand what is expected than to do one properly. I remember being extremely nervous on the drive up to their HQ in Windsor but Kath was on hand to keep us calm and the feedback we received afterwards has helped me to develop myself further. Being stuck in a traffic incident for 4 hours on the way back wasn’t the highlight of the day though! You can read all about the day here.
So there it is, my Cardiff Award journey! I am so pleased that I took the decision to start my application. If you are thinking of applying – DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! You won’t regret it and hopefully a year from now, you’ll be writing a blog just like this saying how equally pleased you are that you decided to join the Award.