Cardiff Award

Top tips from past Cardiff Award students!

As our new cohort of students have just began the Cardiff Award, students who completed the Award in June 2017 share their experience and some tips to completing the programme….

Natalie, Sophie and Ana all completed the Cardiff Award last academic year. Read on to hear about the range of activities they took part in for their Award hours. They also give a top tip to students starting the programme this month.

Natalie Atkinson, Human Geography student

Activities I took part in to complete my Award hours:

  • Languages for All – Russian
  • Skills Development Service, run by the SU
  • Geography Society Secretary
  • Volunteering in the UK and Abroad
  • Part-time work
  • Work Experience/Internships
  • Student Ambassador

What did I get out of the activities?

Partaking in a wide range of activities not only broadened by social network but also helped me develop skills I hope to take into the workplace. However, the main benefit of the Cardiff Award for me was gaining a summer internship with a competitive graduate recruiter who I ultimately aim to gain a graduate job with. The Cardiff Award helped me realise the potential I had and helped me develop the relevant attributes to gain a work placement.

Top tip for new Award students

A tip I would give to anyone starting the Cardiff Award is take all the opportunities you get offered, you never know how useful they will be in the future and how much fun you could have!

Sophie Frost, Business Management student

Activities I took part in to complete my Award hours:

  • Languages for All
  • Summer internship
  • Work placement as part of my degree
  • Completed a leadership certificate with the skills service at the university
  • Student Ambassador
  • Student Mentor

What did I get out of the activities?

One of the main skills I learnt from completing these activities was time management. As well as wanting to complete these tasks for my personal development I was also very aware I needed to complete them in line with the Cardiff Award timescale. I found it difficult at first to juggle all of these activities but after a while I believe my time management skills drastically improved and I learnt how to prioritise.

I also believe doing all of these tasks allowed me to build a strong work ethic. This was because a lot of the activities I undertook were placement based ones. These gave me real life experiences in the work place, which helped me gain invaluable working skills, which I will be able to take forward to any future working environment.

Top tip for new Award students

My top tip would be to plan when you will undertake certain activities with the Cardiff Award. It seems like a lot of work at first but when you break it down over the 12-18 month period it isn’t that much if you pace yourself and allow yourself enough time to complete relevant activities.

Ana Alexandrescu, International Relations and Politics student

Activities I took part in to complete my Award hours:

There are endless possibilities of things you can do that could count towards the Award and all you have to do to find them is look around. Here are some of them:

  • Student Development Service – offers workshops on personal development, leadership, communication, helping students gain knowledge of the best methods to maximize their potential and giving them a chance to put it in practice through different exercises;
  • Languages for All –offers free weekly language classes. I took up Mandarin Chinese which also gave me the chance to learn more about the Chinese culture and even take part in a trip to China;
  • Internships – either part time or full time, around campus or with other companies, they are the best way to develop your skills, practice for the recruitment process, network, gain hands on work experience and maybe even secure a future job. The Careers Department can help you find something suitable;
  • Getting involved with a society or volunteering – develops your networking, communication, leadership skills.

These are just a few of the activities I undertook but of course there are many more options. Just look on the university websites, get involved with anything that catches your attention and be open minded.

What did I get out of the activities?

Each of these activities helped me in various ways, from learning new skills and meeting people to improving my confidence. Doing a part-time internship at the European Documentation Centre in Cardiff improved my knowledge and gave me the chance to meet like-minded people. Being part of a society, I had the chance to also run for president and win this position which is currently a challenge but it is also quite rewarding and helps me improve my leadership and time management skills which are of tremendous importance for any job.

Top tip for new Award students

My tip would be to be open-minded and curious about any opportunity that comes your way as you never know who you will meet or what you might get out of it. And luckily university is the best place to try out new things and be proactive.

Not part of the Cardiff Award programme? Still time to register!

There are limited spaces left on the 2017-19 programme but there’s still time to register: Find out more info here

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The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia and International Student Support. The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

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