It’s done… just over a year after starting it, I’ve completed the Cardiff Award! Scarily enough, it doesn’t seem like a year ago when I first went along to the induction, but five workshops and 270+ extra-curricular hours later… I’ve finished!
The Cardiff Award is Cardiff Uni’s employability award, and it’s something I’d really suggest making the most of whilst at Cardiff. There’s a lot of talk about a degree not being enough when you go and apply for graduate roles – and the Cardiff Award really helps to bridge this gap by teaching you how to improve your employabilty.
To be honest, I was fed up of doing work experience and getting no recognition for it, but the Cardiff Award gets you to record and reflect on what you’ve done, allowing you to see how you’ve developed your skills and employability throughout the process. Initially I was skeptical and thought that the Award would take up too much of my time – I saw the “70 hours” of work experience that you need to do to complete the Award and thought Wow, that’s a lot, but I couldn’t have been more wrong – it really is no time at all, especially when you spread it out across the year! I managed to complete my hours really quickly: just one week of work experience (which you could do during Easter or the Summer) could add up to 35 hours, so you’re half way there already! The Uni is really helpful also, suggesting activities/volunteering that can all count towards your Award hours.
To complete the Award you have to:
- Attend an induction session.
- Complete 70 hours of extra-curricular experience.
- Attend and participate in five employability workshops.
- Complete one further recruitment experience, chosen from a range of activities including attending a mock assessment centre, recording a video interview or delivering a presentation.
- Submit a targeted CV and covering letter, application form and reflective log.
The CV workshop was so useful, I really wasn’t sure what to include in my CV or how to set it out properly, but the workshop cleared that up straight away and I’ve been using my CV since to apply for more work experience and internships (and it’s worked!) Commercial Awareness is something I didn’t really think about until the workshop as well – I wasn’t really sure how it could apply to the industry I want to work in, but now I know what it’s all about! All five workshops are so useful, and take up just an hour each.
You also have to complete a recruitment experience – I chose to do a mock interview as an interview is something that you don’t really get to practice otherwise. I was offered feedback on my answers as well, so I know how to improve them for when I have a proper interview!
The Award really is such a worthwhile thing to do. I recently spent a week doing work experience at BBC Drama at Roath Lock studios – which I don’t think I would have got if if it wasn’t for the Cardiff Award.
I’ll be patiently waiting to see what result I get for it now!
I’ll definitely be doing a post on work experience in the future, particularly with regards to media/marketing work experience, so if there’s anything you want to know, drop me a comment!