After deciding to do a Master’s degree during a pandemic, I told myself that I would grasp any opportunity I could. Therefore, the Cardiff Met Award seemed like a no-brainer. I was already doing some volunteering and had some bits of work lined up, so I thought, why not? After my first meeting with Alison, I realised that the journey to the Met Award would take time but would be worth it.
My personal work experience highlights include being a lead volunteer on the SVC project Insight’s Got Talent! I was able to help organise and facilitate a talent show for adults with different disabilities. It was so much fun, and I was able to see a lot of talent and have the experience of organising and facilitating the event. I was able to confront some anxieties I had about the workplace – like making phone calls, and tackled it head-on. I also had fun doing one-off volunteer events like litter-picks (socially distanced!) before the second major lockdown. Getting out into the fresh air was really beneficial to my well-being. I actually felt like I was doing something for the community. Community has always been part of my values, so discussing this aspect in future interviews will be incredibly meaningful. One of the best things I’ve found about doing the Cardiff Met Award is relating everything I’m doing back to my employability.
My favourite workshop was Social Media for Employability with Aimee Bateman. I won’t lie, I was a little star-struck throughout the workshop as a fan of Careercake (which is another excellent perk of the Cardiff Met Award)! The workshop inspired me to get my domain name and start a little website for myself (roserapado.co.uk). I wouldn’t have had the courage to do that before the Cardiff Met Award. I recognise the value of the things I have done and what I want employers to see.
As a health psychology student, being able to do the Health and Well-being specialist pathway was a great opportunity. I attended a specialist webinar about work/life balance and resilience. I also used my experience as a crisis volunteer with Shout. Working with Shout is incredibly meaningful to me as it revolves around supporting people in a crisis. A lot of reflection is essential for a role like this, so doing it for my Met Award meant I had more opportunities to reflect on my actions – again, what a thing to talk about at interviews!
Overall, I would recommend any student at any point of university to undertake the Met Award! At the end of the day, if you’re already doing bits of work or volunteering, why not use them to gain some more employability skills? I am now confident that I have the extra edge over other graduates.
To find out more information on the Met Award, visit the webpage www.cardiffmetsu.co.uk/metaward