I’m a scientist not a business student! Will the Cardiff Award really help me? Post by Emma Evans

Cardiff Award Poster and blog picture - Emma Evans

Hi, my name is Emma and I am a final year student studying Marine Geoscience. I like going to the beach and enjoy spending time with my family and pets in Somerset, including my six alpacas. I also love scuba diving and like to spend my free time with Cardiff University Sub Aqua Club (CUSAC) under the sea!

As a student mentor, I was offered a place on the Cardiff Award. At first I hadn’t heard anything about this programme, but after Kath spoke to us about the structure and its numerous benefits, I decided I would be daft to miss out on such a great opportunity!

I headed to our introductory meeting (after finally working out where Kath’s office was!), where I began to understand and get my head around all the different tasks that we were required to complete. I was very pleased to learn that both my mentoring and part-time job would count towards the 70 extra-curricular hours that we had to undertake – that was one weight off my mind as I was aware of how much extra time the Award would take on top of my degree.

Reading through the lists of workshops, I quickly decided that I wanted to attend more than the required number as I believed that they would be useful and beneficial for me. I booked all of my workshops in one go,  at the beginning of October and wrote them all in my diary, so I knew I would attend them. It also meant I didn’t miss out on any in case they became fully booked – I didn’t want to be disappointed. I am very glad I did this and would recommend that others do the same, just remember to turn up if you book far in advance!

Sitting in some of the workshops, I initially wondered what relevance they had to my Earth Science degree. With a focus on commercial awareness and personal brand management, I was confused as to how this would relate to me, as a scientist, carrying out research in the field. However, I came to realise that all companies that you work for, be it EY or the Environment Agency, require you to be commercially aware and able to manage and sell your own brand in order to be as successful as possible. Whilst a lot of Award students were also business students, this should certainly not put off students from a more scientific background. Everything that I have learnt on the Award has been valuable and helped me to develop new skills and improve my existing skills. I feel much more confident delivering presentations and I am fully aware of my skills and feel able to provide solid examples of them; consequently, I am able to successfully sell myself as an employee during interview.

I am so glad that I took the opportunity to complete the Cardiff Award, it helped me achieve my summer placement and upon completion of my degree, I feel confident that my Award experience will also assist me in getting a job – I really can’t recommend it highly enough!


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