Written by student Abi
The RED Award (Reading Experience and Development) is the University’s employability skills certificate and it encourages you to take extracurricular activities outside your degree.
I came across the RED Award during fresher’s week. I received my first email with many opportunities to take part! The RED Award pushed me to use the facilities available to me including development sessions and on-campus jobs on the MyJobsOnline (MJO) and Campus Jobs website. I completed my ‘Training and
Development’ and ‘Core Activity’ through my role as a Student Fundraiser. Initially I was stuck on completing my volunteering hours, but the regular e-mails advertised the Sustainability Services’ Blackout events which I got involved in my first two years. Here, I signed off my Award before second year finished. Now it’s on my degree transcript – evidence of my employability skills alongside my academic grades.
It’s an invaluable experience and I cannot recommend it anymore. From the
introduction to the sign off session where you are taught ways to use the skills you gained in the real world.
You might be thinking:
‘it seems like a lot of work’
Not at all! I completed mine in one year! This can be spread out across a year or over your degree. Also, you may already be doing the activities (part time job? Volunteering?) that you can use to complete your Award.
‘I don’t know what activities to do?’
- For Training and Development hours, visit the MJO website for sessions on improving your professional skills. Lifetools sessions offer personal development sessions from ‘Getting a Good Night’s Sleep’ to managing stress.
- For volunteering, look out for campus opportunities on MJO, RUSU events or the RVA website. RVA (Reading Voluntary Action) advertise local volunteering opportunities to assist your local community. Alternatively, have you signed up for Students in Schools? All these opportunities are flexible with your studies.
- For core activities, you can use the above volunteering tips or any work experience/ paid work.
‘I’ll do it next year’
This is one I hear the most. The RED Award is often much easier to do in your first/ second year than it is third. You have a bit more leisure time than in your final year- not to say it isn’t possible to do it then.
If you have already completed your RED Award, you can take the next step with Advanced RED Award. Advanced RED Award allows you to focus on one employability skill, receive 1:1 support and mock interviews from one of The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.
Book your introductory session today!