The York Award: What’s it really about?


Written by Oliver Davies

You’ve hopefully seen or heard something about the York Award on campus this term, but you might still be wondering exactly what it is, what the application is like, and why you should do it. If so, then read on – I’m here to show you exactly what the process involves, and why it’s such a great opportunity for second year students to help you stand out from the crowd!

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What is it?

Open to second years, the York Award is a certificate awarded to you as an individual which officially shows that you’ve been proactive throughout your time so far at York. It shows that you have gone above and beyond your academic studies to enhance your own personal and professional development. Its a really useful addition to your CV which will catch the eye of any potential employers. Its also a great conversation topic in interviews when employers ask you to talk about your top strengths and how you developed yourself at university in anticipation of entering the world of work.

So, what exactly does the application involve?

There are three basic sections which are easy to navigate and help you reflect on your time at York.

The first section asks you to reflect on your top Strengths (you might remember these from your York Strengths development day in first year, things like problem solving, authentic communication, pioneering thinking among others) and explain how you have used and developed these Strengths throughout your time so far at York. You can use any examples from your time here – so if you’ve been part of a society, got involved in volunteering, had a part-time job or got involved with your college activities, write it down! As long as its helped you develop your strengths, then its a great example!

The second section asks you to reflect on other activities that have helped you develop personally,  helped contribute to the university as a whole, as well as demonstrating employer engagement. Again, any example is great. There are no set top answers and it is great to use unique examples personal to you.

The final section asks you to lay down an action plan, and explain how you will be developing yourself, your Strengths and your employability further over the remainder of your time at York. Think creatively in this section, but keep it achievable and something you really will hopefully be able to do.

Your answers to these questions only have to be a couple of hundred words long, so don’t worry about having to write tens of thousands of words, there are no essays here!

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Why do it?

From personal experience, I can truly say that completing the York Award is a great thing to do and a fantastic asset to have on your CV when applying for jobs, volunteering or anything really! It’s a great chance to reflect on your first year at York and give an overview of everything you’ve done.

In my application, I wrote about how I took part in the York Strengths programme, volunteered in an @Work project with the Jorvik Centre, got involved with college sport (Derwent ‘til I die) and worked on the Policy Review Group for YUSU. Everyone has different experiences, but these are just some examples from my time which might spark your imagination!

The York Award has also really helped me in applications and interviews since I completed it as well. I’ve been able to talk about it in my interview for an incredible International Study Centre to the University of Cape Town in South Africa. It also helped in my application to become a Careers and Placements Brand Ambassador, and is (fingers crossed…) going to contribute to me getting a grad job at the end of this year!

If it can help me, then it can help you. It is a really fantastic opportunity. A springboard for going on to do York Award Gold and the York Leaders scheme. A way for you to reflect on your first year, and an excellent way to show employers that you stand out from the crowd. Also, it is vital if you want to apply for the York Futures Scholarship (worth up to 2100 pounds), which can help you access further opportunities to give you a head start in the job market, you need to successfully apply for the York award.

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Time is running out – applications are closing Monday Week 4 (15/09), so get involved and apply now!

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

 

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I keep hearing about this York Award, but what is it?


York Award. You probably feel like you’re seeing or hearing about this every way you turn. It’s true, but there’s a good reason why we bang on about it so much!

Most students from their first year at University do lots of things besides their academic studies and these can be useful opportunities to develop skills which employers value.  It’s these activities that can be used in a York Award application from.

Why bother?

  • The York Award is an official University award
  • It shows you’re a proactive individual, who’s up for a challenge
  • You could win a place on the new York Futures scheme’s personal development day
  • There’s a chance to apply for an Achieving Excellence Bursary of £2,100
  • Employers are interested in the York Award and what it says about you
  • You can help your college win the  York Award Trophy for the college with the most applicants

The simple application form asks you to give personal evidence of the following skills and qualities.

  • Self-managements
  • Team working
  • Communication
  • Contributing to the university community
  • Employer engagement
  • Problem solving

In the second part of the form you can choose two additional skills to demonstrate from your experience. These are:

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GUEST BLOG: York Award for 1st years


 Guest blog written by Jessica Chatburn, Second Year Archaeology & Heritage student

University is so much than going to classes and getting a degree. It is about developing who you are as a person, experiencing new things, and challenging yourself beyond that of your degree. Not only will you have tonnes of fun doing extra things like joining a society or evening running one, but it will look great on your CV’s to employers and you can even earn an award for it!

The York Award is a great opportunity for you to reflect on your university experience and get recognition for your hard work which is a super self-proud moment. My experience of applying and filling out the York award applications was definitely positive. The form is easy and simple to fill out and doesn’t take up a lot of time. The ability to save and edit the form any time before the deadline was handy as it allows you to complete it in stages and even edit and improve the form if things pop into mind or you gain a better skill example.

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New for Spring term: online Q and A with the Careers team


For Spring term we are piloting a new way for you to get help from us – an online Careers Q&A on the topics we get asked about most.  The sessions will run on alternate Tuesdays between 11.00am and 1.00pm – you can find a full list of dates and topics below.

First up (Tuesday 17 January, Week 2) is a session on the York Award (2017) for those graduating this summer. It will be hosted by Jo Gee our York Award Officer and Irena Zientek our Information Manager. Between them they know everything there is to know about the York Award and will be able to answer any question you have to make sure you can submit a strong application before the 27 January application deadline.

How to take part

Just find the session on our events page or in Careers Gateway and follow the instructions to log into the platform. Usually you can “drop in” any time during the 2 hour session to ask any questions you have on the topic of the week.

List of topics

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New online newsletter for international students at York


working-in-the-uk

This term we have launched a new online careers newsletter for international students at York. We will be posting lots of news that will help you to make the most of your time while you are here, as well as planning your future. It will include events, international student careers news, guest blogs, success stories and lots more.

Although the content is primarily focused on international students issues, EU students may find some of the content useful too.

Check it out now – and if you want to get regular updates just submit your email address in the “follow us” section – you will get an email alert when new content is published.

You could be our next case study!

If you are an international student at York with an career related success story – let us know and we will share it to encourage other students.  Maybe you have have taken part in a great volunteering experience, have secured a valuable internship, or won an award?  Let us know by emailing us – careers@york.ac.uk – and we will share your success.

Review of the (academic) year


UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green Careers blog written by Irena Zientek, Information Development Manager, Careers

As this academic year draws to a close, we take the chance to look back at the highlights of another busy year.

October saw three recruitment fairs, bringing over 100 employers to campus, not including all the individual employer presentations, skills courses and social activities that ran throughout the year.

Working in… brought York alumni and other professionals to give students the benefit of their wisdom about careers in advertising, marketing & PR; health professions; criminal justice work; research; and small businesses.

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Careers events – Summer, Week 8


UoY Careers Note & Pen Check out events for the week ahead

Skills courses

Careers workshop/briefing

Departmental event