We caught up with Rachel Prewett, a 2nd year Politics and International Relations student, about her experience with the Circl Leadership Programme. If you would like to apply for yourself, you can find out more here.
As a student who is currently mid-way through my degree, I am always looking for opportunities to level up my professional skills and increase my opportunities whilst also balancing my academic responsibilities. It was for this reason that I am so grateful to have stumbled upon the Circl Leadership Programme during my first year at UoB whilst also completing my Bristol PLUS Award.
The Circl Leadership Programme is a fantastic opportunity for young people to improve their leadership and communication skills while also networking with professionals and other like-minded young people. I developed confidence in my leadership abilities and met a lot of inspiring people while on the programme. Furthermore, the curriculum fundamentally transformed my perspective on leadership and what it means to be an effective leader in a professional setting. I now understand that empowering employees to take the lead on certain projects and be responsible for problem-solving allows them to improve and level up their skills. Upon completion of the programme, I gained a Leadership through Coaching certificate certified by the Association of Coaching. This is always a topic of conversation in my interviews, and it has significantly improved my LinkedIn profile! After the training, I was given the opportunity to attend a series of Q&A events with renowned professionals as well as become a paid intern at the organisation.
A question I asked myself when applying for the Circl Leadership Programme was “How will I manage it alongside my studies?” Thankfully, I really didn’t have to worry! The programme only requires 1-2 hours of time commitment a week over the course of three months, with hardly any independent work or e-learning. Every other week, the content was provided in an engaging and participatory Zoom workshop. When the Zoom class wasn’t scheduled, my main job for the week was to schedule a one-to-one with a business professional to practise my coaching skills. The programme’s time commitment was 100 percent worthwhile, and I never felt worried or overworked while taking part in both the programme and the Bristol PLUS Award.
Another huge benefit from the programme was that I was able to incorporate it into working towards my Bristol PLUS Award! Participating within the award really enabled me to improve my CV and professional skills whilst also being able to study at the same time and receive an impressive award for my achievements. It is an experience that I would strongly suggest to any student who wants to begin working toward a career but is unsure where to start or what resources are available. The award increased my awareness of all of the incredible services provided by the Bristol Careers Service, such as their regular events and workshops, their opportunity portal, and the support they provide for building a CV and cover-letter writing.
Overall, I would recommend that you apply for the Circl programme, as well as making sure to utilise all of the amazing resources and opportunities provided by the Careers Service at the University of Bristol. Whilst University is primarily a time to focus on academic study, it is also a great time to get ahead professionally and start developing core soft skills which are in high demand from employers and will make you stand out when you begin your professional career. Good luck!