October 18, 2012, by Hayley

Find out what Maddie had to say about winning the Personal Development Prize…

We’re back again with another Prize-winner’s story – if you don’t know what we’re talking about click here to go to our last blog post and find out about the exciting prizes the Award has to offer you!

This time we’re hearing from Madeleine Hardie. Madeleine won the Personal Development Prize, part of which involved her being given one-to-one business coaching session at Experian. Here’s what she had to say…

Firstly I learnt about experian itself and the opportunities that it has to offer its employees. For example I found it really interesting that they encourage development within the company so that employees have the opportunity to move around and change departments etc. I also learnt about what they do as well as extra community based projects. The experience itself again increased my own development as I was conversing with professionals in a working environment.

The one to one sessions have just been fantastic. Instead of giving me the coaching sessions themselves they set me up with Annie Bennett who is a business coaching consultant that they use. My sessions with her were undoubtedly the highlight of my opportunity and she has since taken me on as a pro bono case. Annie has really helped me to look beyond just developing skills to realise where and in what kind of work culture I may fit into. She has helped me to acknowledge what my real passions are and the important parts of my personality and fit them to future possible working environments. But she has also helped me to understand the challenges that I may face in a possible work environment, the idea being that if you know what they might be you are able to deal with them more effectively. Beyond that I have begun to further develop important skills such as networking and further CV skills. But the one to one investment has been so useful.

I think I developed really important skills in every module of the Award. First the work experience module encouraged me to acknowledge the skills that I already had and was developing already through my part time job – something I hadn’t considered before and didn’t realise was happening. Second the Save the Children module really pushed my boundaries. I went out of my comfort zone in organising events, talking to businesses and members of the public to acquire donations and also problem solving. Other skills I developed were communication, teamwork and organisation as well as many more. But the key for me there was maintaining the motivation to push myself through doing something for a cause I was really passionate about. Then the Career Planning Skills module helped me to prepare for applying for jobs, that is interviews, CV writing etc. All of which have been really important to me in my time outside of the university bubble. Overall though, I had no confidence before doing the Award and was very concerned about getting jobs afterwards. But that has really changed. For example I have since been able to approach my local MP at an event to ask for work experience which has since led to me getting a job there.

Remember if you’d like the opportunity to win one of our fabulous prizes you can nominate yourself for consideration! Details on what prizes are available for this year and how to nominate yourself will be available on our workspace site in Spring term.

Stay tuned for more prize-winners’ stories over the coming weeks!

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