The Cardiff Award – First Impressions by Eleanor Halsey

October 23rd, 2012 by

Today’s post is a guest post from Eleanor Halsey. Eleanor is participating in the Cardiff Award this year and gives her account of the Award launch and her thoughts on employability from a student perspective.


Hello, it is Eleanor here!

The Cardiff Award launched on Monday the 8th of October 2012 with an Introductory Session. This session involved several different speakers giving ‘awardees’ a clear sense of what the Cardiff Award entails. The speakers all emphasised that completing the Award is a truly worthwhile experience. In my opinion, this viewpoint seemed especially convincing coming from the representatives from Ernst & Young due to their real world standing as a graduate recruiter. Other memorable speakers, from the Student Development Service and Union, made the audience aware of the wide variety of opportunities for self development available throughout the University.

An element of the session that I found extremely useful was the Endsleigh skills table. This table let me reflect on what skills I have accumulated from jobs I have held in the past. It also highlighted the areas which I need to focus on in order to get the most rounded wealth of experiences possible in order to serve me best in my graduate job hunt. I also really enjoyed getting to know my fellow ‘awardees’ at the subsequent networking event. Below is a photo from the session. I have circled myself in red!

I would like to move now to a major focus of the Cardiff Award: employability. More specifically I would like to talk about making a good first impression to potential employers. Research shows that people form an opinion of someone in one-tenth of a second. Several sponsors and potential employers attended the launch event and therefore ‘awardees’  were encouraged to dress in accordance with a ‘smart casual’ dress code so as to make an appropriate first impression. I was not sure exactly how smart or casual to be. In the end I decided that a ‘the smarter, the better’ approach couldn’t fail me. I have attached a photo below so that you can see the outfit that I decided on. I really felt the benefit of dressing more formally for the evening. It made me feel as if I was in the right frame of mind to think and act professionally when talking to employers at the networking event.

That is all from me for now!