As an international student at Cardiff Met, I never wanted to confine myself to just academics; I wanted to gain as much exposure as possible while at Cardiff Met.
As an international student at Cardiff Met, I never wanted to confine myself to just academics; I wanted to gain as much exposure as possible while at Cardiff Met. However, I was unsure how am I going to accomplish my goals related to future employability and self-improvement, so in search of extracurricular activities, I discovered the Cardiff Met Award which I believe is no less than a blessing for me.
Due to the pandemic, I was stressed about how I am going to complement my academics with volunteering and extra-curricular activities, but after enrolling in the Cardiff Met Award, I got the opportunity to attend varied online and on-campus workshops. To complete the required 100 hours of work experience, I volunteered at a telecommunication-based organization, and as a result of my volunteering, I received an offer of employment from an accounting firm, which demonstrates my self-development and skills gained from the first phase of the program. In short, I started from 100 hours of work experience and ended up with more than 1k+ hours. During that work experience phase, I learned a lot of IT software and intrapersonal skills that support my academic background and will also assist me in career progression.
I faced a lot of challenges during this Award journey: one of them was maintaining a balance between my MBA classes and working hours, as being a full-time student, it was quite hard for me to manage work and studies at the same time, as the Award requires you to complete all phases while you're enrolled at Uni.
Another challenge was the pre-booking of my workshops that I sometimes had to cancel due to last-minute professional and personal commitments. I liked the workshop phase of this Award where you must attend 5 workshops. My participation in these workshops gave me an opportunity to learn some basic employment thriving skills from experienced peers and professionals, and I met several people from different backgrounds, professions, and walks of life which opened up my professional and social networks. The best part of this Award is that you didn’t have to limit yourself towards a specific interest or field, you can attend multiple workshops and explore your favourite area of interest among them. In fact, that's exactly what happened to me when I was trained for three days by the Environmental Audit Program. Despite my love of auditing, I had no idea that environmental sustainability could be something I could study for a higher degree in the future.
As part of this Award, you need to reflect on the whole experience in the form of two interactive blogs. Personally, I found this phase quite beneficial because it gave me the chance to document the Award journey that I can share with my peers and employers in the future. I enjoyed the presentation most though it was online at least I got to interact with Alison and share my worst and best experiences with her during the presentation. The confidence and ease with which I delivered my presentation is something I had never experienced before.
I now know a different, more confident person, who has a range of employability skills/work experience, can communicate effectively with different people around the world and knows how to open herself to different opportunities because you never know what something holds for you unless you experience or explore it. As a result of the Cardiff Met Award, I have obtained several certifications and IT achievements, which is a proud moment for me since I am now competent enough to pave my way for any future work either academic or professional.