The University of Worcester has presented special awards to 204 students, recognising their extra-curricular work and activities.
The Worcester Award encourages students to participate in a range of activities to help boost their employability alongside their studies. It is run by the University of Worcester’s Careers and Employability team and is supported by a number of local employers. Thirty-three students gained Bronze, 38 Silver, 113 Gold and 20 were awarded the new Platinum award.
Among them were Worcester students Chloe Matthews and Lorna Wilkin.
Gold Award winner Chloe, 21, of Brickfields, spent her spare time while studying for her Accounting degree doing voluntary work. This included representing her fellow students as their Course Representative, helping to relay feedback between staff and students. Alongside this she did paid employment as the bookkeeper for a local health and safety compliance company for the past two years. She also looked to improve her employability skills, by attending a CV workshop and Accountancy Careers Fairs.
“I’m glad that my extra commitments have been recognised in an official way," said the former Worcester Sixth Form College pupil. “It’s a very useful talking point to have in graduate job interviews, as I have discussed it at length in all of mine. Mainly, taking part in the Worcester Award has improved my communication skills. Before this, sitting in a room full of senior members of staff and voicing my opinion would be a definite no-go. It’s made the transition between university and the real world so much easier.”
Fellow student Lorna Second, who has just finished the second year of her Sports Coaching and PE degree, also earned a Gold Worcester Award.
To achieve this, the former Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form pupil completed many extra-curricular qualifications, including a Level 1 Coaching award for netball and basketball as well as many other qualifications, such as in emergency first aid.
She also attended presentations by companies offering to provide paid opportunities to develop your CV, including the National Citizen Service and CCUSA (Camp Counsellors USA). This presentation inspired her work in New York over the summer months on a children’s summer camp.
She delivered a presentation about what the Award had helped her achieve and did a panel interview with local business owners.
“The Worcester award has helped me grow as a person, holistically,” said the 20-year-old, of Lower Broadheath. “My knowledge, specifically in a range of sports, has grown because I have completed qualifications. This has improved my confidence when coaching or teaching PE because I am more knowledgeable. It also encouraged me to complete more qualifications which will, hopefully, make me more appealing to future employers.”
Students doing the Worcester Award this year have been involved in a range of activities, from creating displays for a maternity ward or volunteering at the opening of the Commonwealth Games, to befriending a blind person as a volunteer with AGE UK Reconnection and working on an LGBT history film project.
Three students also received additional special recognition awards. They were Megan Trinder for Outstanding Overall Performance, Brandon Caffull for Outstanding Presentation and Ashleigh Smith for Outstanding Interview. Each student received vouchers, which were sponsored by Worcestershire Ambassadors and Worcestershire Advance.
A new Platinum Award was successfully piloted this year. To achieve the Platinum Award, students attended a three-day leadership course and developed ideas to improve students’ university experience. Barclays Bank sponsored the new Platinum Award and Worcestershire Ambassadors also sponsored the Celebration Event.
The Careers & Employability Service is keen to hear from more local employers who would like to be involved in the Worcester Award, particularly as panel members for Gold Award interviews. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org