October 1, 2020, by Matthew Lumley
Five top tips on choosing your Advantage Award modules
By Andrea Fernandes, BSc Hons Economics
With over 100 Nottingham Advantage Award modules, making decisions on which one to select can seem confusing, or even daunting. However, the sheer range means there is a module for everyone, including you.
If you are struggling with making a decision – much like how I did – read on to see what you can do to find your best fit.
Don’t rush your decision
Take your time to browse the online catalogue to find what piques your interest.
You can check whether specific modules fit your university schedule or preferred assessment type. This will help narrow down your choices.
In my first year, I rushed to choose the first two modules I saw. I focused too much on modules I thought were easier to complete, instead of ones I believed would develop my skill set. From experience, I can confidently say it is always best to take the time to keep your options open. Try to find something in which you are genuinely interested.
However, do not be concerned if you have no idea what you will enjoy. Participating in the Advantage Award can help you figure that out. You might find something you love that you had never previously considered. That is what happened for me.
Identify your key strengths or areas you’d like to improve
The Advantage Award is an incredibly engaging opportunity that seeks to enhance your employability. Therefore, having an idea of skills you would like to develop and showcase on your CV or during interviews can be helpful.
For example, if you would like to build your project management skills then you could select a full-year module that revolves around planning and making a difference in the community.
The variety of modules allows you to develop skills in areas such as public speaking, teamwork and enterprise.
They create an environment that encourages you to build your strengths and your confidence in articulating these in the recruitment process.
List any personal or future career goals
If you have a general sense of what you want to do next then you could select modules based on the specific skills required for that particular industry.
Most Schools – including Engineering, Geography, and Veterinary Medicine – run career skills modules related to your academic studies. Plenty of employers also contribute to modules.
However, like many of us, if you are still unsure of what you are interested in pursuing after graduation, you could focus on your personal development. This is equally important. It could include building your confidence or honing your presentation skills.
For instance, my interest in a potential future career in consultancy led me to choose modules that focused on communication and teamwork like the Nottingham Consultancy Challenge.
Consider your time constraints – if any
Our university schedules are constantly bustling with things to finish, classes to attend and work to submit. Consequently, you may want to select your modules based on the amount of time you can set aside for the Advantage Award. Modules run at different times throughout the year so you can find one to fit in with your schedule.
Online modules give you flexibility to participate at home when you have some spare time. This may help when you feel overwhelmed with your schedule.
Modules are available specifically in the autumn and spring. Some run multiple times throughout the year so you can apply in whichever term suits you.
You can spread out your commitment by choosing a full-year module.
There are also opportunities available whilst you are away over the summer or studying abroad.
Find something you enjoy or make an activity you’re already doing count
You could choose your modules based on your interests.
If you enjoy organising events, modules that fall under project management may be your best fit. However, if you are constantly brimming with creativity, modules based on innovation and problem solving like the Consultancy Challenge would probably engage you the most.
Lastly, something that you are already doing may count towards a specific Award module. Activities such as internships, part-time work, volunteering, being an academic representative, mentoring and many more can be used towards the Advantage Award. You just need to find and participate in the relevant module whilst you undertake your role/activity.
Hopefully you can now use these tips to help you start making your Advantage Award module decisions.
To get an in depth sense of what each module entails view the module catalogue.
If you are still doubtful over what to choose, then the Advantage Award team are always ready to help. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever you select, your Award experience is mostly likely going to be incredibly enriching – both personally and professionally. Your CV will thank you!
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