Lizzie Mortimer explains how the Award helps you add value to your summer work experience or volunteering
The summer vacation presents myriad opportunities to students; relax after the pressures of a busy academic year, catch up with friends and family, go on holiday, lie in….relax.
But, this is a Careers Service blog, so of course I’m going to talk about work. It probably isn’t news to anyone that the months between one academic year to the next are a gift to the student who has one eye to the future and wants to get some work experience. And I hope that is a lot of you.
Work experience is pretty amorphous; we could be talking about a summer job in your local cafe, a volunteering opportunity anywhere in the world, an internship, and more. All of these things develop you as an individual and as a professional. By getting work experience you’ll build skills that are necessary when you graduate in whichever sector, organisation and role you choose to enter. You’ll learn more about the job opportunities that are out there and, importantly, whether they suit your interests or not. You’ll get more insight into your strengths, values and motivations.
When it comes to the benefit of summer (or indeed any) work experience, it isn’t solely about having that experience; it is also about having the ability to ‘sell it’. At some point in the not-too-distant future, someone will ask you what you gained from your experience – and this is where the Edinburgh Award comes in. By completing the Edinburgh Award alongside your experience, you will be guided through how to reflect on what you are doing. You’ll think about what you are learning about yourself, and set yourself goals so you maximise the potential of your experience. We’ll support you in learning how best to articulate what you have done to others – perhaps a future employer. And on top of that, you get official recognition for your efforts from the University in the form of an entry on your Higher Education Achievement Record.
If you are interested in finding out more about applying for the Edinburgh Award (Summer Work Experience and Volunteering) go to. http://edin.ac/summer2017