Produced by Kehinde Jola
LL.M International commercial Law
I came across the Pagoda Project’s skills programme as a student of LL.M (international commercial law) at Bournemouth University. Initially, I had chosen to study for Master of Laws as an international student at Bournemouth University (BU) because of the school reputation for supporting their graduates in the process of securing post-study placements or work experience. Sometimes in May, BU advertised the Santander sponsored internship/skills programme at Pagoda Project and I wasted no time jumping at the opportunity to further increase my employability and digital skills in readiness for my post-study endeavours. I was elated when I received the news that I was selected to participate in the virtual internship and digital skills programme.
Getting to grips with the programme
The skill programme began with a smooth onboarding process in late July and ahead of actual commencement, which was in the first week of August 2021. It was virtual and similar in operation to our online learning environment – brightspace – in Bournemouth University during the national lockdown of the UK. There were four main courses in the scheme, that is, employability skills, cultural fluency skills, digital competency, and workplace basics, which I completed with accompanying tasks. It was worthy of mention that each intern was assigned a cultural mentor by the Pagoda Project and mine was Yuan You, who was Chinese. I started the programme in a very relaxed mood and my first serious engagement was to participate in a Kahoot game on a Friday afternoon.
Learning new skills
By the 9th of August, we had entered the second week of the one-month-long programme. I completed my familiarization with the Pagoda Project Apps and website and began to optimise their contents. Within the 2nd and 3rd weeks of the programme, I completed about 85% of the courses available for skills development in the scheme and attended some webinars and fireside chats. Notably, I devoted about ten hours a day. The contents of those courses helped me to do self-appraisal, acquired new skills, consolidated certain already acquired skills and be ready to work autonomously among other employability competencies. I will not forget to mention a striking issue in intercultural communication. While it is pertinent and professional for any serious employee to work within the deadlines given by supervisors/managers in some places such as the UK, I learnt that Chinese counterparts do not prioritise deadlines in the deliverables of their work. It is therefore good for a manager leading a cross-cultural workforce to understand intellectual communications and global awareness.
The Pagoda Project is not only an eye-opener in terms of global awareness, but it also trains on core competencies for employability in this digital era and I am happy that I was involved. I have acquired more skills. Thankyou to BU and Santander Bank, their approval and funding respectively made it possible.
Pagoda project has enabled me to acquire more digital skills in marketing, presentation, cybersecurity, GDPR management, content creation, etc. I recommend this programme and I state with assurance to those who are looking forward to it that it would benefit them immensely.