Giving Cardiff students the edge
20 October 2011
A new award to help Cardiff students develop their employability skills is being launched.
The Cardiff Award gives all undergraduates a chance to gain recognition for the skills they acquire through extra-curricular activities whilst also improving their professionalism and self-awareness.
It has been developed in conjunction with Ernst and Young who are the Award’s principal sponsors and will be delivering part of the training. Other sponsors include Champions Life Academy, Petersens and Rate my Placement.
The Award is focused on the development of six key employability skills: self management; teamworking; business and customer awareness; problem solving; communication and literacy; and application of numeracy.
Ahead of the official launch in January, the Award will run its pilot phase during 2011/12 which will involve 57 students from five of the University's schools. Blas caught up with two of the students taking part in the pilot who will be blogging for us throughout the process. Meet Owen Roberts from the School of Computer Science and Informatics and Harsha Paterl from Cardiff Business School.
“Hello, I’m Owen and I’m a second year student studying for a BSc in Computer Science and despite appearances I am deemed a ‘mature’ student, though my friends will tell you otherwise. A student is a student after all.
“Prior to studying at Cardiff University I was working full-time in a law firm in the city whilst also studying part-time for a similar degree. Having had many years in full-time employment and various jobs, I decided to cut my losses and take a career break from the 9-5 rat race to pursue something that I enjoyed and something I felt that could offer me a better future.
“I decided to get involved with the Cardiff Award for the simple reason of making myself standout from the crowd. Today’s students are well aware of how hard it can be to find a career after graduating, especially in the current employment market, and having made the decision that I would employment and make something of myself; I feel that I would need to demonstrate that I could achieve the goals I set myself. Not only to me, but also hopefully to prospective employers. I feel the Award will offer me a better chance of returning to employment once I have graduated. There is also the aspect to the Award where I will be meeting fellow students from across different degree schemes and having the opportunity to work on a pilot scheme with a reputable company such as Ernst & Young, there will be the chance to lay the foundations / connections to the industry before actively seeking these out.
“In my view, there is nothing to lose, but a whole lot to gain!”
“Upon leaving university I want to be able to show my future employers not only my academic capabilities but also my achievements outside of university life. Incorporating The Cardiff Award within my CV will allow me to demonstrate my achievements in a sophisticated manner. The competition for graduate jobs is tough especially with the current economic climate. I believe the award will considerably improve my self-awareness and employability.
“Participating in The Cardiff Award will give me the chance to socialise with individuals from different backgrounds giving me the opportunity to create new networks and develop my interpersonal skills. In addition to this, I think I will also greatly benefit from attending workshops. These sessions will allow me to develop and work on the competencies employers are looking for when hiring graduates. However I feel that the award is not all about gaining new skills but also to give back. Participating in voluntary work is something I am determined to do during the award.
“Overall I believe that The Cardiff Award will be an incredible experience from which I will gain fundamental skills in a dynamic and vibrant environment.”