Cardiff Award, Preparing for your future

Meet Violina Sarma, winner of the Cardiff Award Above and Beyond Award 2019/20

What motivated you to join the Cardiff Award?

The idea of being recognized for all my extra-curricular activities encouraged me to join the Cardiff Award. I set out to enhance my employability skills, along with gaining hands-on experiences. I was able to achieve much more than my initial goals. My first activity for this award was the Personality Indicator (PI) on Your Career Journey and it was an eye-opener to several things. It not only highlighted my strengths, but also my weaknesses. This will help me immensely when writing future job applications.

Do you feel the Cardiff Award helped you develop employability skills?

Yes, it has helped me immensely. For example, in a recent job application the first big question was “Please highlight particular skills, attributes and values that distinguishes you and how these aspects can contribute to the future success of the department.” I knew exactly where to look for the answer – my reflection logs. It was so easy to pull out information from the logs and form a comprehensive answer to the question. The application form is the first step of any job application process, and it is important to make a good first impression.

What do you feel you have gained from completing the Cardiff Award?

I have gained great confidence in my employability skills. With my reflection logs, I can see how my different experiences differentiate me from other job-seeking candidates. If tomorrow an interviewer asks me different value-based skills questions, I know I can answer them with examples.

Violina in her Residence Life role which she used towards the Cardiff Award

What did you enjoy most about the Cardiff Award?

I enjoyed writing the reflection logs for this award. I have taken part in so many extra-curricular activities over the past 5 years, I lost count of them. But these logs helped me reflect on my experiences from each role/activity. I was able to see how I had developed different personality skills from each of these experiences. I participated in some roles because of passion and fun, not realising that each of those activities helped shape me in some way.

Would you recommend the Award to other students?

I would highly recommend this Award to other students. It enhances your CV multiple folds, not only by showing that you are involved in other activities outside your degree programme but also by enhancing your employability skills greatly. The Award prepares you for life after graduation. Post Graduate Researchers, like myself, are involved in several extra-curricular activities from organsing events to teaching at university.
Use those hours to get recognized on LinkedIn through the Award. It adds great value to your job applications as it shows a variety of experiences.

Anything you want to add?

For anyone considering an academic job, this Award helps you narrow down your choices while searching for relevant jobs. I was confused which type of jobs I want to apply for, postdoctoral or lectureship positions. After completing this Award, I can see myself preferring one position to another.

Violina Sarma, Post Graduate Research student (Business Studies)

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