When I told my friends that I had applied for the Cardiff Award I came up against many questions like “Why are you doing that?!”, “Why are you worrying about employability so early on?”. I have just finished my first year but it has flown by so quickly I can hardly believe it. However I know I will be thrust into the competitive graduate job market quicker than I can say “The Cardiff Award!”. therefore my answer to my questioning peers was simply to get ahead you need to get started and I know the Cardiff Award will put me in good stead for the future.
Obviously going into second year will mean an increase in workload and pressure from my course alongside my time intensive hobby that is rowing. However, like many students, I have always seemed to work more effectively when under pressure as I seem to manage the little time I have more efficiently. The Cardiff Award will therefore be a challenge but I will be objective focused and tackle it with the upmost enthusiasm.
On the 12th June 2013 was the induction to the Cardiff Award held by a very friendly Kathryn Foot who is the Award leader. There was lot of information to take in but everything imaginable was addressed so the objectives of the Award were very clear. The daunting prospect of 70 hours of extra-curricular activities seemed manageable after the wide array of options available to the Award students, were presented. For example you could undertake some Skills Development Service Courses, The Princes Trust University Million Makers Award and Cardiff University Enterprise to name a few. Interestingly all of these opportunities I was unaware of prior to the induction. My eyes have been opened to the array of extra-curricular activities you can undertake. Some opportunities are only available to Award students so there are some amazing opportunities here that I will be utilising! I have to admit I can see some of my friend’s eyes rolling when I start babbling about the Cardiff Award again. I need to learn to bottle and channel my excitement.
I am currently producing my plan of action on how I am going to complete the extra-curricular activity hours which is getting me very excited about the upcoming year. At first glance 70 hours seems a lot but I have completed almost half already with my summer retail job in my home-town. Despite having to reach the minimum benchmark of 70 hours I will not be limited by this number.
The only aspect of the Award I am ever so slightly apprehensive about is the compulsory maths test. Doing a Business Management degree I obviously have to deal with numbers but it is not a subject I flourish in (to say the least!!!). The emphasis on proper preparation was accentuated so to do well, us Award students know what we have to do!
I am very much looking forward to the experiences and opportunities that will arise from the Cardiff Award in the upcoming year. Especially some of the compulsory workshops that Award students have to undertake. I am particularly eager to listen to the much awaited social media workshops by Aimee Bateman of Career Cake TV.