The Sheffield Graduate Award - why I think it's worthwhile

I feel like I’ve spent all my time doing nothing but filling out application forms recently, after the panic of going home for the Christmas break to find everyone suddenly asking ‘What will you do when you graduate?’. It can get really tedious answering the same questions again and again on forms, and it can be really hard to remember everything you’ve achieved during your time at Uni (especially if your memory is as appalling as mine!). So it was really helpful that I had all my important skills and activities in one place, and I could refer back to them as and when I needed, in my Sheffield Graduate Award portfolio.

I felt reassured when filling out the forms that it would help me stand out from the crowd, and show that I knew how to utilise all the transferable skills I’ve gained at Uni. The Award is a way of formally recognising all the little things you do in your three years as a student, from your part-time job in a cafe, to helping out at open days.

I signed up halfway through my second year – some of you will already be at this point. If that’s the case, then you might think it’s a bit too late, and you won’t have time to complete all of the activities required for the Award. I had thought that too – actually I’d thought about signing up at the start of my second year, and already thought I was too late! But my course mate pointed out that I had already achieved at least two of the sections through the little bits and bobs I’d been doing through my first year at Uni, and I realised that by just planning my time more effectively, the other two were more than attainable in the time I had left.

You can choose four activities to complete out of six possible sections: Enterprise; Jobs and Work Experience; Volunteering; Cultural and Social Awareness; Extending International Horizons; and Activities Supporting the University. There are a massive range of activities that all count towards the Award, and the list gets bigger every year!

So just by working part-time at Asda, volunteering at a hospital once a week, becoming a member of SIFE and taking part in the Sheffield Mentors Scheme, I made loads of new friends and had enough activities to complete the Award. It looks brilliant on your C.V. and really helps you to think about how you can use the skills you’ve gained in jobs after graduation. So, I would encourage anyone who is thinking of signing up to go for it, and make filling out all those forms in your final year a little bit easier!

Jade (Student Blogger)

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