Written by Anh Ngu
MSc Marketing Management
The Postgraduate Development Award (PGDA) is meant for Master’s students at BU and is designed to help your professional and personal development apart from academic studies. Basically it is a system that gives points to certain activities that you participate in during your time at BU. The award encourages you to come out of your comfort zone and gain new experiences as well as improving your communication skills and your confidence by being involved with various groups or societies.
To earn the PGDA you need to gain points from various activities, write a reflective essay and create an online portfolio to show evidence for those activities. There are 3 levels of award: Bronze, Silver, and Gold with over 150, 300, and 500 points, respectively.
It takes time and effort but it’s worth doing. It is a recognition of what you’ve achieved and an evidence of your energy and capabilities.
The PGDA will boost your CV and make you stand out from the crowd. Employers will surely favor students who are out-going, proactive and dynamic. Those who spend time to improve their skills and real life experiences are considered persistent, patient and willing to learn. It also shows that you have good time management by spontaneously excelling at studying whilst participating in extracurricular programs.
Some students have joined lots of activities but cannot be bothered to prove what they did. In my opinion, nowadays the job market is extremely competitive and employers won’t spend time to find out what you have achieved, it’s you who have to show them why they have to hire you. It is a waste if you have done a lot but cannot prove it. As a matter of fact, many BU students have shared that they were hired because they stood out with the PGDA.
I’ve earned 25 points by being a student ambassador, 25 points by blogging, 20 points for a part-time job, 30 points for placement, 25 points for being a member of SUBU Welcome Crew and 5-10 points for each of many other activities. I am now eligible for the Silver award with over 300 points and I’m very proud of my achievements. I’ve made more friends, learnt new skills, worked on my weaknesses and sharpened my strengths. I believe the PGDA will play an important role in helping me land my dream job.
By Anh Ngu