I had my induction for the Cardiff Award on Monday 3rd June. I had a vague idea of what the Award involved in terms of completing the 70 hours but I wasn’t really sure what was expected of me. Kath’s presentation was both informative and reassuring, breaking down the contents of the Award into manageable and understandable chunks. Great! I left the meeting bustling with so much enthusiasm that I wanted to start working on the Award straight away. Brilliant! However, with exams looming until the 13th June and a day and half to move home for the summer, the Cardiff Award has taken a bit of a back seat for the past few weeks.
So today, armed with a cup of tea, I approached my Award pack for the first time. Admittedly, when I opened the pack again I did feel completely overwhelmed by all of the information. I was struck by uncertainty as to how I would even approach, never mind complete, such a momentous task. However once the initial panic subsided I read through the information properly and started thinking more rationally about the Award. The idea of having to complete ’70 hours’ does seem very menacing and ominous, almost like a community sentence. But considering we have the summer to start working towards the Award and I already undertake a number of extra-curricular activities, the 70 hours almost seems like the ‘easy bit’. Not that I think that any part of the Award will be easy. The Award wouldn’t have been created in the first place if it didn’t aim to stretch the abilities and capabilities of students.
What I think the most challenging aspect of the Award will be for me is being able to recognise what skills have been developed from completing certain activities as well as working out how to manage my various activities appropriately to show the widest spread of skills possible. This summer I’m planning on making a dent in the ’70 hours’ by carrying out a work placement at a human resources and recruitment company and carrying on with my part time job. It would be easy enough to cross off the 70 hours in one sweep based on the hours at my work experience placement alone. But if I based my Award on the completion of one activity I wouldn’t have many transferable skills to show for it!
A benefit to doing to the Cardiff Award is how it gives the opportunity to show others what a well-rounded person you are in a neatly presented package. It is one thing to have the skills but it’s another thing to be able to communicate to others effectively and clearly what skills you have and what proof you have of those skills.
In less than a year’s time I would have (hopefully) completed the Award. It will be hard-work. But I’d like to think that any moments of despair and frustration will be outweighed by the sense of satisfaction and achievement created from undertaking the Award.