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michelle-lillywhiteSo, when I came to BU three years ago it was important for me to get as involved in uni life as I could and so after attending the Freshers’ Fair and seeing about the different opportunities available, I started applying to join in.

I started being an Ambassador and then I was asked to blog (like the one you are reading now) and then I signed up to go to a European conference for my course.

Then someone suggested the Student Development Award, which brings together all of the things you do outside of your course but that adds value to yourself, your community and even the big wide world.

As I progressed into my second year another opportunity came up to have an internship in Colombia and I realised that I might be able to get a higher level of the award.

The best thing about the award is that it highlights who you are as a person and not just the degree you are doing – and it can be tricky to get your personality through in a CV – trust me!

One element is all about detailing everything you have done and as we are a ‘selfie’ generation, this is hard. The reflective writing makes you sit back and actually think – what has all this meant to me and how am I going to use all this experience going forward?

Michelle-SDA-ed

The best part about it is that when you actually tot up all of the points you can get towards the final award you can actually see all the things you have done and also how many friends you have made along the way and for me especially it is the new experiences I wouldn’t have had without completing the award.

Also you have this online portfolio that is very easy to save onto your CV as a link and then it’s shared with everyone you want to see it. Hey presto – there you are. The real you, in front of prospective employers seeing all these great things you got involved with during your time at BU – can’t look bad at all.

At the end of the award (and you can complete this over two years, which is great), you get to attend a great awards ceremony, meet the Vice Chancellor and feel proud of all the things you have done.

By Michelle Lillywhite

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