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Journey to completing the ncl+ award

A Picture of Cassandra

One of the highlights of my second year of university has been completing the ncl+ award. The ncl+ award is essentially an award to prove to potential employers that you have the skills that make you employable. By completing 70 hours of extracurricular activities – be it volunteering, a part time job or even being involved in running a society – attending two workshops, and completing three competency-based questions at the end of it all, obtaining an award to complement your CV could not be easier.

I decided to take up the opportunity to complete the award at the start of my second year when I realised that my current CV at the time was no different than the CV of the person next to me. I did not participate in enough activities in my first year to demonstrate my employability and I therefore started on my journey to complete the award.

I started off by looking for one-off volunteering opportunities through the Students’ Union Go Volunteer programme as I was unsure of being able to commit to one activity, full time. Then, I applied for positions such as being on the student blogger team for the University, a Course Representative, and a Business Champion for the Business School in an effort to complete all the 70 hours needed.

While carrying out all these activities could have filled up my 70 hours quite quickly, I decided to go the extra mile by applying for a 100 hour term-time placement under the Newcastle Work Experience scheme. This not only helped in my attempt to meet the 70 hours I needed, but also allowed me to gain practical experience in my future line of work.

All in all, I would have to say that had I not decided to complete the award, I would have not participated in any of the other activities that I did. I met some great people along the way, made new friends and gained a ton of practical skills all at the same time. My only regret in this adventure would be that I did not start it when I was in first year. If you’re an incoming student this September, I would definitely give the ncl+ award a go!

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