May 4, 2018, by Abigail Bennetts
Five Ways the Nottingham Advantage Award Will Make You More Employable
By Abigail Bennetts, third-year, studying psychology
Would you like to add something unique to your CV to help you stand out to employers? Would you like to gain experiences of mentoring, leadership, and entrepreneurship – those career buzzwords we all struggle to demonstrate in interviews? The Nottingham Advantage Award may be for you.
Here are five reasons why I think you should sign up for the Nottingham Advantage Award today.
1. There’s so many projects to get involved with
The Nottingham Advantage Award is a unique, cross-campus award that is supported by employers. There are a variety of modules on offer that take place throughout the academic year. They range in duration and commitment, focusing on career skills, entrepreneurship, cultural awareness, and much more.
To get the full Award you need to complete three modules. For my first module, I chose ‘Peer Mentoring in Psychology’. This involved being a peer mentor for second-year psychology students, answering any queries or worries they may have.
Next up I took the ‘eMentoring’ module, where I had the opportunity to network with University of Nottingham alumni, who were matched with me based on my career goals.
Finally, I completed the ‘Skills for Employability’ module, which involved going to six – really useful – skills workshops. One of my favourites was about how to use LinkedIn, and I also learned about commercial awareness from EY and PwC.
2. It will look great on your CV
The Award demonstrates to potential employers that you are proactive in engaging in extra-curricular activities to develop your career skills. All of the modules have a reflective element, encouraging you to consider the skills you’ve gained during each module. I found this so useful when talking to employers at interview.
What’s more, your completed modules will appear on your University degree transcript, helping you stand out from the crowd.
3. It can teach you about networking
There are lots of other ways to network through the Award. It could be through the different University staff you meet, or with other students taking part in a module. There’s also lots of modules where you get to come face-to-face with employers.
Although I was a bit nervous about networking, the Award really built my confidence. I have used tips I learned in the workshop, to create a LinkedIn profile. I connected with alumni, and connections of my parents and friends in the career field I’m interested in. This resulted in some really helpful insights and advice from professionals, and I even secured some work experience offers.
Networking with a mutual connection of my mum’s to ask about jobs in HR
4. It’s so easy to do!
It is so flexible; it’s easy to fit the Award around your studies. You can only complete a maximum of 20 credits per academic year, so it will take you a minimum of two academic years to complete. This means you only have to commit to one module a semester, and some semesters not at all.
In addition, the modules themselves may not require a big time commitment. For example, the ‘Skills for Employability’ module only needed me to attend six skills workshops, which lasted around two hours on a Wednesday afternoon.
5. You get to celebrate your achievements
Once you’ve completed three modules, you’ll be invited to the annual Celebration Event. This is an opportunity to celebrate your hard work, and is something that I’m really excited about. If you’re due to complete the Award before June, you can sign up to this year’s Celebration Event here.
Eager to start?
Lucky for you, our summer modules have just opened up for applications.
If you have a part-time job lined up or plan to do some volunteering over the summer, you can get your experiences accredited through the Nottingham Advantage Award, have a look on the Part-Time Jobs, Vacation Jobs and Volunteering page right here to find out more. All you need is 40 hours of work/volunteering and you can use up to two placements to make up the hours.
Your other option is the Internship and Placements module. If you have yourself a summer internship set up, this is a great opportunity to aid your reflection and development through the journey of your internship and help with your future career choices (while of course bagging yourself 10 credits towards the Nottingham Advantage Award!) Applications for both modules close on June 18.
If you are looking further ahead to next academic year, our Autumn and Full Year modules open on August 1 so keep an eye on the Workspace and our Social Media for more information regarding them.
So what are you waiting for? For more information about the Nottingham Advantage Award visit the website here.