March 10, 2021, by Rosie Pinder
My Experience: NAA Careers for English Students Module
By Rosie Pinder, BA English second year
I’ve officially completed my first module for the Nottingham Advantage Award (NAA): Careers for English Students. Although not delivered in the same way as it was pre-pandemic (another transferral to Microsoft Teams!), I found the module really engaging. Below I discuss my experience in more depth. So, read on to learn more about the module!
As the name suggests, this module focused on supporting and developing career aspirations. With a two-hour workshop session every Wednesday, we looked at a number of topics ranging from CVs and cover letters to interview practice. It would be a bit boring to just type out all the notes I made. So instead, I will address three misgivings I initially had about the module in case you are feeling the same.
Aside from the obvious problems like Wi-Fi connection, it can be really difficult for programmes delivered online to feel personal. This can often lead to a lack of engagement. Yet while this careers module undoubtedly would have been more enjoyable in person, I still felt really connected to the other students and staff who delivered the workshops each week.
For a start, there was lots of emphasis on group discussion. We used small break-out rooms to complete tasks and prepare answers and an alumni speaker was invited into our interview workshop for a Q and A session about her personal experience.
The most useful part for me, though, was the personalised feedback on our draft CVs. I also received many helpful responses to various email queries. In general, lots of effort was made to ensure we all got the most out of the module, despite the necessity for it to be delivered remotely.
Attending as least two careers events run by the Careers and Employability Service was a mandatory part of the module. Before taking part, I had little awareness of all these events, so I didn’t know what to expect. But I ended up going to four and really enjoying them! I will definitely be looking out for them in the future, and anyone can attend. Just browse the events webpages and book on MyCareer.
As well as these events, the module drew my attention to the consultation service run by the Careers team. This is where you can arrange a meeting with a careers adviser. You can discuss your CV, work experience, plans after graduation or anything else career related. I have yet to have an appointment myself but intend to book one at some point during the spring term.
While the module is assessed, it is done on a pass or fail basis so there is a lot less pressure than there is for course assessments!
As previously mentioned, part of the assessment involved our CVs and attending careers events. But we also had to complete a 1,000-word reflective essay at the end of the module which discussed what we had learnt and our career plans going forwards. I found this to be an effective task as it encouraged focused reflection but without pressure, written in a fairly informal style. Although it perhaps would have been helpful if the deadline hadn’t been on the same day as all my other coursework essays!
The Award is the University’s free employability scheme that helps you prepare for the job market and formally recognises your extracurricular activities.
On the Award webpage, watch the videos to find out more about what the Award has to offer you, when to apply and search the module catalogue.
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