More than 130 students from the University of Warwick have been awarded a prestigious Warwick Advantage Award, with a record-breaking 19 of these being gold winners.
Endorsed by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift, the Warwick Advantage Awards are handed out to students in recognition of the time and effort they put into extra-curricular activities, such as societies, sports clubs, campaigns, committees and volunteering.
The awards also give that something ‘extra’ to help students stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
Anne Wilson, Careers Consultant from the Student Careers and Skills Centre and co-ordinator of the Warwick Advantage programme, said:
“I’ve been delighted with the success of the Warwick Advantage Award in its first year. We launched the Award in partnership with the Students’ Union and had a great response from students. The range of student achievements has been astonishingly varied and the calibre of submissions very high.
“Through the application process, students are encouraged to reflect on their extra- curricular achievements in depth drawing out what they’ve learned about themselves and the skills they’ve developed. Through this, students realise just how much they have to offer graduate recruiters, which can be a great confidence boost and makes it easier for students to describe and articulate their skills, attributes and experiences in application forms and interviews.
“At a time when graduate recruiters are looking at applicants to see what makes them stand out, we are keen to provide as many opportunities as we can for Warwick students to maximise their employability.”
The Warwick Advantage Awards have already sewn the seeds for success with Gold Award winner, Catherine Allen. The second year Theatre student has started her own business ‘Branch Media’ making podcasts, videos and web design for other University departments and external companies.
She said: “I won the Gold Award for my involvement in digital media whilst studying at Warwick University. I’ve gained such an enormous amount from doing the Warwick Advantage activities. I now know what I want to do when I finish university and that knowledge hasn’t come from my degree, it’s come from my involvement in extra-curricular things such as, film, editing and starting my own business, which has been amazing.
“What makes graduate employers give you an interview is having extra things on top of your degree – they want people who have real practical experience and know how to be in a work environment – that’s what really matters.”
Fellow gold award winner Stuart Murty is in his final year studying International Business. He became Vice-President of the Erasmus Society and successfully organised a tour for over 126 people to Edinburgh during the first term and for 73 people to Dublin during the second term. Stuart recognises the importance of the gold award on his future job prospects.
He said: “In terms of employability, I think that the award will help me massively. Aside from what I’ve done within the award, it makes you put down on paper what you’ve actually done and realise what makes you different when compared to other students. It’s kind of fitting it all into boxes that I know employers are actually going to be interested in.
“Right now, I’m applying for jobs in event management and straight away, I can say this is what I’ve done, this is the experience I’ve had, and I know it’s going to set me aside from other candidates.”
Other Gold Award winners include medical student David Metcalfe, who has been awarded a placement with a prestigious London teaching hospital.
More details on how to apply for next year’s round of Warwick Advantage Awards will be available during the autumn term.
Notes to editors
- The Warwick Advantage Award is a result of collaboration between the Centre for Student Development and the Students’ Union – the first of its kind nationally
- The Warwick Advantage Gold Award acknowledges those students who have put considerable time, passion and dedication into a particular activity over a sustained period of time to receive public recognition for their achievements
- Gold award winners require at least a year’s involvement in extra-curricular activities plus a poster presentation at the celebration event whilst Main award winners require a term’s involvement, though in practise many had more than this
- The awards ceremony took place recently at the Panorama Suite, Rootes Social Building, University of Warwick
- Further information can be found at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/csde/advantage/award/
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