November 3, 2020, by Matthew Lumley

Enhancing the Engineering student experience through the Advantage Award

By Ada Taylor-Pearce, MEng Hons Architectural Environment Engineering 

I was immediately attracted to the mentoring and buddying schemes the Award modules had to offer. During my first year, I did not have any form of guidance and struggled settling in. I believed that the Nottingham Advantage Award would help boost and develop a range of skills. These would enhance my CV and provide the experiences employers look for. 

This article looks back at my Nottingham Advantage Award journey.

Helping new students

During my first year, I was informed I would be assigned a mentor to help me adjust to university life at Nottingham. As an international student, I was expecting to benefit from being a mentee.

Unfortunately, due to their busy schedules, I had no interactions with my mentors throughout the year. Therefore, when I was able to become a mentor myself, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to help new students settle as smoothly as possible and share what I would have loved to have known during my first year.

Consequently, in my second year, I took part in the Engineering Peer Mentoring module. As mentors we were expected to be present at core mentoring events as well as Freshers’ week, open days and UCAS offer holder days. We provided guidance about their courses, extra-curricular activities, campus life and Nottingham city. 

Taking part in the Award module alongside my role provided a sense of fulfilment. I believe I made an impact in the lives of these students. They were able to learn about the university and their course outside of their studies. This experience allowed me to develop connections with students in other Schools within the Faculty of Engineering.  

Improving the student experience

Following this, I joined the Engineering Peer Mentoring leadership module.

This was designed for students who had already been a mentor and wanted to develop the mentoring programmeWe reviewed the scheme and, based on our experiences, devised creative solutions to help improve the student experience.  

During the programme, I attended meetings where we contributed our project ideas to help improve the mentoring schemeAdditionally, we created a project management plan for these ideas. This allowed us to experience the responsibilities of a project managerCreating the plan helped me understand that a successful project entails many important aspects 

My peer mentor leader experience was positive. I helped improve the student experience whilst learning important life skills. Being a student myself, I understood how they think and the reasons why they may have joined the mentoring programme. 

On top of this, I became a student representative for the Nottingham Advantage Award. This allowed me to further enhance the Engineering student experience by representing the Faculty and contributing to the development of the Award. 

Why you should take part?

Participating in the Nottingham Advantage Award has enabled me to gain many skills and experiences. These will enhance my employability and give me an advantage when applying for graduate jobs. The Award has allowed me to meet and build connections with fellow students and academics from other areas of the Faculty. This has improved my communicationwhich is a vital skill in engineering. It is essential for teamwork and project management. 

I highly recommend the Advantage Award to Engineering students. It allows us to build skills and gain experiences that are not typically taught or provided in our core modules.  

The Award modules are all uniquely designed. Each offers opportunities to develop exceptional skills that prepare us for the recruitment process and boost our employability.    

What next?

You can find a module that is right for you.  Our spring applications opened on 1 November so apply for modules. 

Contact and Follow us 

You can keep up-to-date on the Nottingham Advantage Award via social media, so please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

Want to speak to one of the Award team then please contact us at

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