Amelia Morfitt, who is starting her final year of her degree in Psychology in Education, completed the Bristol PLUS Award during her second year. We asked her a few questions about her experience and why she would recommend it to other students…
Why did you choose to do the Bristol PLUS Award?
I chose to complete the PLUS Award because I already had a part-time job whilst I was at university, and I thought that it was a great opportunity to gain some further skills and experience, get more involved in activities at university that weren’t course-related, and to obtain an award that would also boost my CV!
What did it involve?
The PLUS Award involved working 50 hours alongside university studies – my job was at a gym, which I had already started before hearing about the Award. You must also undertake an intensive skills activity, such as being a course rep or doing some volunteering – there are a wide range of interesting options for this part of the Award.
You then must complete 4 university workshops related to employability skills. During these, you are given advice in relation to searching for and applying for jobs, such as interview and CV workshops. These were incredibly helpful and provided loads of tips, such as how to make your CV stand out, how to excel in interviews and general careers advice.
There is also a Bristol open online course as part of the PLUS Award. Nowadays online learning is a key aspect of a wide variety of roles, so completing a course like this is extremely useful and applicable experience to graduate careers. The Award is completed once you have written a 500-word report reflecting on your experiences and attended a final review session.
How will completing the Bristol PLUS Award help you prepare for your career?
I think that Bristol PLUS is brilliant because it encourages a range of extra-curricular activities that are hugely beneficial before and after you graduate, which employers will notice and value.
Through the PLUS Award, and because I am interested in sports and fitness (I am a qualified Personal Trainer), I also decided to complete the Gamechangers Award as my intensive skills activity. This was a great way to build on my sports coaching knowledge, and one which I probably would not have been aware of had I not decided to complete the PLUS Award.
Is there anything else you think you have gained from doing it?
I also became more involved in university events, which I may not have otherwise, due to the volunteering requirements. For example, I volunteered at the University of Bristol colour run which was really fun and I met a lot of lovely new people. It was great to become more involved with more practical university activities alongside my studies.
Do you have any advice for students considering doing the Bristol PLUS Award this academic year?
I definitely think the PLUS Award is worth doing if you’re looking for ways to get more involved in university activities and meet some new people. It’s also a brilliant way to boost your CV, especially if you already have a part-time job whilst at university because you’re halfway there already! It’s a good idea to complete it in your first or second year of studying when you’re likely to have a bit more spare time, too.
To find out more about the Bristol PLUS Award and register to attend an introductory talk, visit the Careers Service website.