History graduate Emma Oliver talks about completing The Exeter Award and The Exeter Leaders Award which are designed to enhance your employability and boost your CV through giving you recognition from the University of Exeter for the activities you are participating in outside of your studies.
In my final year at the University of Exeter I completed both The Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award. Neither of the Awards took up a large amount of time nor were they detrimental to my degree, as the extra-curricular activities I was already taking part in fulfilled some of the award criteria.
Aside from studying History at Exeter, I devoted a huge amount of my time to extra-curricular activities which included being an active member of the History Society and playing netball for the University. In my final year I was President of the History Society and helped to coach netball to the clubs non-BUCs teams. Both of these activities fulfilled the criteria for the Exeter and Exeter Leaders Award.
I believe that the Awards have helped to enhance my CV as they demonstrate the skills I have learnt and developed through my personal activities as well as the skills development sessions which one must attend, such as team work and leadership, as part of the Awards. These short but effective sessions are valuable preparation for graduation and provide official university recognition to the range of activities I have undertaken during my time at Exeter.
Furthermore, active involvement in university life or any extra-curricular activity has been proven to be vital to any job interview. The skills and insight both the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award have provided has been hugely beneficial.
In the summer of my second year I gained an internship at HSBC for 8 weeks. During the 8-week placement I was able to gain a further insight into the banking industry. I was placed in the operations department and every week I attended a presentation from a variety of departments within HSBC, such as Risk and Asset Management. I not only learnt and contributed to work within my own department but also gained an overview of HSBC and the banking industry and how it operates as a whole. It was extremely interesting and valuable, not just as work experience but also in utilising and practicing some of the skills the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award encourages – such as the value of effective communication, team work and establishing a rapport with people.
I am now about start the Teach First programme, which is an independent charity founded to encourage ambitious graduates, who would not normally enter teaching, to teach for at least two years in challenging secondary schools throughout the UK.