September 25, 2013, by Nottingham Advantage Award

A welcome message from the new Director of the Careers and Employability Service

By Nalayini Thambar, Director, Careers and Employability Service

Nalayini Thambar

Nalayini Thambar, Director, Careers and Employability Service

Welcome to the first Nottingham Advantage Award blog post for 2013/2014 academic year. I am pleased that my colleagues in the Award team asked me to write this, but now wish that I had a bit more (indeed, any) experience in writing posts. Still, if you don’t try you don’t learn! I hope you have had a great summer and are looking forward to the new academic year. The good thing about being in education is that you get to make at least two lots of New Year’s resolutions; in January and some around now.  You could argue that it is easier in September as the weather is (usually) better, and you don’t feel as compelled to just give up chocolate,  but wherever you are in your studies the start of term is busy, busy, busy and before you know it, it’s November.

If you are reading this then you have probably worked out that taking part in the Nottingham Advantage Award is a great way to tick the box; ‘make sure I do something to help me with my future’. As you will see from the list of modules we have to offer, there are lots of ways to develop your skills and gain credit for your experience from sign language to project management: you can even gain credits for working with employers on your leadership or sales skills. This means that alongside your highly regarded degree from The University of Nottingham, the additional 30 credits will appear as the ‘Nottingham Advantage Award’ on your transcript as evidence of how seriously you take your future and the time you have taken to develop your skills and experience.

In terms of time, don’t panic; the process of signing up for modules is straight forward (although some of them have limited numbers so get in quick if there is something that really interests you) and then all you need to do is take part in sessions and undertake the assessments. If e-learning is more your thing then our ‘Perspectives on Sustainability’ module allows you to work virtually and with your fellow students on our China and Malaysia campuses.

The Award is great if you know what you want to do and can see modules that will help you with your career, but what if you have no idea about what you want to do when you graduate? Although it may be tempting to run and hide, a good way to help decide is to get stuck in and do things that interest you (a bit like me writing this post). If you want some structured help to work it out, the Award has several Career Planning Skills modules that are tailored to various faculties. Ten credits and help in planning your career; surely a winning combination!

So, I hope that joining the Award is part of a great year for you at The University of Nottingham and that it helps you take a step closer to your future career. Don’t be afraid to try something new! It worked for me (I hope).


Nalayini Thambar BA(Hons), PG DipCG, MA was appointed as the new Director of the Careers and Employability Service in July 2013. She comes to us with more than 15 years experience of careers and graduate recruitment in a Russell Group University. In addition to her experience, Nalayini’s work has won four National Awards in 2013. The Nottingham Advantage Award will no doubt benefit from her experience and expertise in the field and anticipates many exciting new developments in the years to come. 

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