Kath Foot, Cardiff Award Manager, gives her perspective on how things are going so far.
Happy New Year to you all! Where did 2012 go?
I cannot believe that we are half way through the Award. The start of term only seemed like yesterday. It’s true – time goes quickly when you’re having fun (or really busy – and I have experienced both!)
Much has been achieved since October.
One of the best bits for me has been getting to know the Award participants. They really are an incredible bunch of students. Some have a clear idea of what they want to do and are using the Award to help them get there. Others are unsure about future careers but are using the Award to help them decide. I find all are driven, self-motivated and hard-working.
It has been great to see so many students making the most of the contacts the Award provides; the sponsors are a helpful bunch and I know have personally assisted several students with applications and queries. Students also appear to be making the most of the skills sessions, attending those that appeal to them and that can help develop certain skills, or with the recruitment process.
Highlights for me have to be the first networking event; seeing everyone excited to be a part of this unique programme was gratifying, and makes my job really worthwhile. Our sponsor’s events have been entertaining – those who attended the E&Y pub quiz can vouch for this (although my level of general knowledge was shocking that night – apologies to my team members!). The Award Christmas get together was enjoyable too and provided a great opportunity for people to relax and get to know one another after a hard term.
Well deserved celebrations at the Award Christmas Party
It’s not all been fun though, it has been a hard few months for both the Award team and the students. Participants have had to juggle the Award with hectic extra-curricular demands and alongside their studies. From my perspective ensuring everyone can attend the sessions has been difficult to say the least – a programme that caters for students across all disciplines is hard to administer. Sadly we have lost some people along the way too, but this is the reality of such a programme. I wish we could keep everyone but I understand for many it is not easy to manage and they have to prioritise. This is why successfully passing the Award is such an achievement!
We have a busy few months ahead of us. Award students will be finishing their hours, attending the last few sessions, re-doing their skills audits and thinking about their submissions (which have to be in pre-Easter). I will be busy advising on CVs and applications and will have copious amounts of marking to complete over the Easter vacation. I then get to organise the end of year Award ceremony, which is being held in the prestigious City Hall (thanks to our sponsors Cardiff Council).
Did I mention we are now accepting applications for the Award 2013-2014 too? The deadline for applications is March 1st, so you have a couple of months to prepare your application – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more information. We have 250 spaces next year but I’m expecting more applications than we have spaces so I guess I’ll be busy selecting candidates in March too!
That’s all from me for now. I’d better go and write my to-do list for the spring term!