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October 6, 2015, by Laura Estrop

Seven reasons to… take the Nottingham Advantage Award

By Hannah Somers, studying a PhD in molecular microbiology  

The Nottingham Advantage Award is a 30-credit programme, offered across all the Nottingham campuses, UK, Malaysia and China. Students complete two or three modules from an extensive list (of over 200), and use these to develop professionally and personally. The Award sounds great on paper, but sometimes it helps to hear from someone who has already been there and done that, to make a decision. Here are my top seven reasons to take part in the Award.

  1. To enhance your skills

After her first interview, my best friend told me that her interviewers were mainly interested in her transferable skills (leadership, communication etc). These skills may not relate directly to the job you are after, but they are desirable, if not essential, in the majority of workplaces. Taking part in the Award gives you the opportunity to develop this skill set. Need teaching experience? Try Students in Classrooms. Want to move abroad? Take a language class – the world is your coconut!

  1. To meet new people

The first session associated with any module is always interesting: you find yourself in a room with a group of strangers, yet you all have a common interest in the module subject. The Award is a great opportunity to meet new people and make lasting friendships in a different group.

  1. To get a new qualification

During a post-interview feedback sessions, I was told that I needed to develop my leadership skills. So I found the Sports Leaders module and qualified at level 2. Now I can show any future employer that not only am I a great leader, but that I am capable of taking feedback and building on it. Plus I now have a shiny certificate for my wall!

  1. To gain experience of being away/somewhere new (internships module)

Lots of people take these over the long summer break and it is a great way to gain an insight into a company and remind you that there is life after your degree! Think of all the new friends (and great restaurants) you can find.

  1. To work out what you want to do

The modules I took have helped me work out what I am good at, and what I would be happy doing every day. I loved my Sports Course but I learned that I don’t want to teach full time. I love my internship position, and am aiming to work in a similar environment. The Award helps you build up a picture of exactly what you want, and what you don’t. Both are equally as useful in deciding your future!

  1. To gain extra recognition

If have completed at least two modules by the beginning of the spring term, you are eligible to apply for a number of high-profile prizes. These prizes are sponsored by a range of companies, and the prize is usually linked to the company in question. For example, EY sponsor the Enterprise in the Community prize, which includes £200 to support career development and an attendance at an insight day. These prizes look great on job applications, which can help you stand out from the rest of the well-educated the crowd.

  1. To build your CV

The all-important CV! Being able to acknowledge that alongside completing a degree, holding a committee position and maintaining an active social life, you managed to study for extra accreditation is a fantastic boost. You show commitment, the ability to plan and manage your time, and most importantly that you are willing to go the extra mile for their job. How could anyone turn you down?

If you would like to find out more information about the Award or would like to apply, then visit our website

Posted in Choosing your careerThe Nottingham Advantage AwardVolunteeringWork experience