My Experience as a Recipient of the Loughborough Employability Award
The Loughborough Employability Award will help you to stand out from the crowd. It provides you with a framework through which you can record your co-curricular activities and reflect on the employability skills you have developed (LEA, 2017).
A dear friend of mine informed me of the Loughborough Employability Award (LEA) scheme and advised that I attend the induction programme, which I heeded. After I attended the LEA induction, I learnt about the benefits I would gain from participating in the scheme, so I decided to enrol.
The LEA scheme helps students identify and develop transferable skills. These, I have gained through my various co- and extra-curricular activities with LSU and the university. It provided me with an opportunity to realise the skill gaps where I needed to improve. Ultimately, to develop key transferable skills that employers seek.
Identifying my employability skills
Prior to enrolling in the Award scheme, I did not give much thought to the employability skills I had developed through for example being an active member of my hall nor the skill gaps I needed to improve upon. However, upon joining the Award scheme, I had the opportunity to reflect and recognise those key skills and competencies I have and those I needed to further develop. Now I feel more confident to take up roles that require the skills I possess because I am now aware of my competencies and abilities.
Organisational and planning, team working and negotiating, and influencing and interpersonal skills are the skills I have developed the most. Virtually all the activities I have been involved in have explicitly or implicitly contributed to this development. More specifically, my role as the Welfare and Diversity Representative for John Phillips Hall and assisting the International Office at Loughborough University have helped me through this personal development.
Being on hall committee
Being a member of my hall (John Phillips) committee and representing the Welfare and Diversity section has helped to develop my team working skills. I have had to work within several groups to organise events. I participated in hall competitions and activities geared towards improving the overall Loughborough University student experience.
Ultimately, we (individually and collectively) received numerous awards – most of which are the ‘firsts’ in the history of the hall and indeed the University. This including the Hall Committee of the Year, and Highly Commended Awards for Community Hall of the Year and Welfare and Diversity Most Improved Hall. These are all in recognition of our hard work in improving, especially, the postgraduate and international experience. The team spirit of our incredibly talented and hard-working committee has resulted in the landmark achievements, and I couldn’t have been more proud to have contributed to the success.
Working with the University
Likewise, working within the International Office Team to recruit prospective international students at Loughborough University has also been particularly helpful. This role has helped me realise my ability to work individually and collectively, within professional contexts, towards achieving a common goal.
Alongside meeting the demands of my Master’s programme, active involvement has helped to develop my organisational and planning skills. I have been able to manage my time effectively and prioritise my tasks in order to achieve my targets for each task.
Overall, it was important for me to consciously improve my employability skills and overall personal development. I thought that participating in the LEA scheme would help me achieve this.
I was right. The scheme did help, and I am glad that the Loughborough University Careers Network has put such a system in place. Through this, students can record their co-curricular activities and reflect on the employability skills they have developed alongside their respective academic qualifications. Yet another reason why I love Loughborough University. Haha!