Throughout my time at university starting in 2019 I have achieved the Graduate+ Bronze, Silver and Gold award. So as part of the academic award scheme I wanted to complete the Platinum award. Graduate+ is an award to present all the extra-curricular activities conducted at university and apply them to skills and activities that will be helpful in the future for our careers.
How long did it take you to complete your Platinum award?
I began the Platinum award in August 2020 and am continuing with each of my roles now. However, Platinum requires you to do at least 150 hours of each section, which I have completed as I am writing this in December 2021. I will continue to do these roles until I graduate next year in July.
What activities did you complete? Which one was your favourite one?
There are four sections. For my Creative problem solvers, I reflected upon my time as working for the university being a student ambassador. Then for my Enterprising I reflected upon my time as a school representative. For my Professional and work ready I reflected upon my time as a pharmaceutical dispensary assistant, part-time working. Finally, for Global outlook I reflected upon my current volunteering for the Newbridge foundation. I thoroughly enjoy all four of my roles, so it is very difficult to choose a favourite. The student ambassador I really enjoy being able to represent a university whos views I truly believe in; it is great to share my experiences and help so many other students too. Being a school representative, I love as it means I am part of making Birmingham City University the best it can possibly be and maximise student and staff experiences. The Newbridge foundation is so unexpected, but I feel like I can really make a difference and give back to the community, working with vulnerable populations. However, if it had to choose a favourite it would be working in the pharmacy for part time work. It is something I did not plan on doing but was resultant from the pandemic. Not only has it been invaluable at giving me work experience it has also help me stay motivated in a difficult time and help others.
How was the Platinum award different from the Bronze, Silver and Gold, and was there anything that you learnt from this?
The award was more challenging than the previous sections because it requires you to have a lot more of an evaluative mind set and put in more hours. I used the skills I had gained at Gold and worked in my refection skills to identify what I enjoyed about each role, what went well, but also what is needed to improve the experience, so I am maximising the benefits. Thus, I learnt to be resilient put the required hours in and make sure I am always thinking about what I am doing, in order to save, time, gain the skills, enjoy the role and make the most out of the experience.
Why should BCU students complete their Platinum Award?
BCU students should complete the platinum award because it proves all the hard work they are already doing can be rewarded and recognised. Also, it teaches students to take skills and apply them to activities and tasks to make them more prepared upon leaving university. Furthermore, it really helps with evaluation and personal growth and this is key if students want to do well in their assignments. Therefore, the amount of effort Platinum is, it is well worth the reward and it looks fantastic for prospective employers in your CV too.
How has the Graduate+ award helped you grow and develop as an individual?
Graduate + has been a fantastic chance for me to realise that the skills and opportunities I volunteer and work for can really help me in the future. It has helped me evaluate what I am doing and adapt my skills to make sure I am making the most of it. For example, for school representative I would have actioned some measures a lot earlier in the term to make sure they are completed properly by the end of term. Thus, I will do this next term to ensure I fulfil my role properly. It has also helped my organisation, evaluative, thinking, leadership and creative skills. Consequently, I hope I can use all of this to be my best self-going into the workplace in the future.