The Cardiff Met Award is offered to students at my University and involves 100 hours of work experience, five workshops, two blog posts and a presentation. I completed my work through work experience for two weeks in the summer and a week of paid work and a little bit of my society work. I wrote my first reflective blog post today summing up my time in the first term and what I managed to get done during this time towards finishing the Award.
“This term I am particularly proud of the Leaders Accelerator workshops I attended as training for the Enactus Society in Birmingham, the event was held in the HSBC building and was a professional atmosphere, that I have not had experience with before. The workshop I attended first was an organisational challenge with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, managing the day-to-day activities of the garage, accounting for time management, customer skills and business knowledge. I completed this working with two strangers, this definitely assisted with team skills for the future, something I have been working on recently, such as signing up for talks and workshops without friends to order to work with strangers. I also attended a panel talk and another skills workshop later on in the day, but the point I was particularly proud of for this event was the fact that I travelled to somewhere I have never been, something I would normally be nervous doing, so I think this is definitely a step forward.
Work experience at the Corgi sock factory was an interesting time, I have done work experience before but tended to do it through family friends or familiar faces, however this one I reached out independently as I wanted the experience of this particular place. It was a busy environment with a lot of different type of work going on, from admin, to design room, to the factory floor, and I was happy to experience as much as I could, as I believe work experience does not just have to be finding something you really want to do, but also what you do not want to do either.
I learnt a lot about business throughout my two weeks there, as a small factory where the process is done from start to finish, I witnessed first-hand the running of this, which could potentially help me in future should I start my own business.
In the first week of term, I worked with the Student Union as part of the team welcoming freshers and showing them around. This was a very engaging role and meant I had to speak to a lot of people and learn quickly, as we were communicating with people our own age, there was a line between professionalism and also being approachable and fun, showing new students how campus life can be enjoyed. I felt like a learnt a lot on this role, people skills are very important in the working world and I feel like I have prepared myself much more for this. The fresher’s fayre was an important opportunity to get involved in the recruitment of students to societies, I was proud that I was able to recruit as many people as I did, I learnt quickly it was about being short enough to not be boring, and also interesting enough to keep their attention. Sometimes it was a case of figuring out on the spot whether the student would be more interested in the society’s aims of planting a wild garden for the environment, or whether socials or experience on the CV would be more interesting to them.
This similarly applied to collecting items from local businesses for the Enactus hamper, being short and sweet but also informative. This was a challenge to me at first because it was going out in the community and talking to strangers and being able to accept rejection and sometimes rudeness which I think again prepares me for the future quite well.
I also attended a CV writing workshop, as I felt mine was a little out of date, I learnt a lot about layout and minimising content, however the workshop was aimed at more professional CVs as opposed to creative ones, so next term I plan on working on this further with a member of the team on a one-to-one basis, to ensure I have a CV I can be proud of when I leave university. I also learnt about the importance of tweaking CVs depending on the job being applied for, this seemed obvious after we looked at it but something I have never done before. It makes sense to prioritise my design based jobs in the creative industry over my restaurant experience when applying for creative jobs, so I think this will definitely benefit me in the future.
Next term overall I plan to continue with workshops that will help further my skills in creative ways as well as workshops that help with life and work related skills, I do not plan on doing the five workshops and stopping, I want to make the absolute most of my time at University and workshops for me are a good way to achieve this.”