February 15, 2016, by Words on Words
The Nottingham Advantage Award: An Inside Snapshot
This blog post was written by final year student, Una Kunhya, from the School of English.
When I first arrived at Nottingham, the University heavily promoted the Nottingham Advantage Award. Initially, I had no idea what it entailed and it just seemed like a lot of extra work. However, since completing the Award I can definitely say that first year Una was completely wrong! Below, I have answered some common questions about the Award and hopefully my answers will inspire you to start your very own Nottingham Advantage Award journey.
What is the Nottingham Advantage Award and how does it all work?
The Nottingham Advantage Award is an award which accredits your extracurricular activities both within and outside of the university. Anything from sports to work experience can contribute towards your award. It is completely free for all UoN students and you can start at any time, but it does take a minimum of two years to complete. In order to complete the Award you must pass 30 credits of modules (with most modules being 10 credits each), but you cannot do more than 20 credits in a year.
Why did you choose to do the Nottingham Advantage Award?
When I was in my first year a few girls in their final year told me about the Award and how it had really enhanced their time at Nottingham. They also told me how it would improve my employability chances by providing me with a variety of examples of skills and experience to use in interviews or on application forms. In addition, it was a chance to get involved with more extra-curricular activities in and around the university. I decided to wait until my second year to start the Award, so that I could get to grips with my studies and in the meantime find out more about the various modules on offer.
What modules did you choose and why?
There are over 250 modules to choose from nine different categories, ranging from buddying, mentoring, and peer support to employer-led modules, so it was hard to pick just three! In my second year, I began with Peer Mentoring for English Students. I wanted to help out a group of first years since my own peer mentor had been so helpful to me when I first started university. To pass the module I simply had to attend a few short lectures and write up a mini project about my mentoring experience. It was useful to reflect on the experience, because I realise that now I can use peer mentoring as an example of leadership in interviews.
My second module was Career Skills for English students. I wanted to secure an internship for the summer holiday, so this was the perfect place to go to for help with writing my CV and cover letter, and preparing for interviews. This module is a must for those wanting to get into the competitive business world as the career service really is an invaluable resource for helping you to show off your best qualities, especially your knowledge and experience.
Most recently, I completed the Internships and Placements module. This was a bit different from the other two modules as I didn’t attend regular sessions; rather, I answered work-related questions on an online forum. The module then concluded with a short presentation at the end of the semester. This module was great: firstly, because it was so flexible, being predominantly online, and secondly, because it allowed me the chance to consolidate all the skills and qualities I had learnt whilst on my internship.
What advice would you give students considering taking part in the Award?
I would definitely recommend the Award for the skills you gain, and since the job market is continuing to get more competitive it is always good to have something unique to set you apart from other applicants. There are also hundreds of modules to choose from, so there will definitely be something that catches your eye!
For more information about the Nottingham Advantage Award, click here.
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