We spoke to Vikki, mature student studying BA English, about her experience with Hallam Award. Vikki is one of our first Gold achievers this year!

What inspired you to do the Hallam Award?

Because, I’m quite competitive! And the opportunity was there, I knew I’d be doing lots of different experiences and challenges, so I thought I may as well try and get the award for recognition. And it looks great on your CV at the end when you leave university.

Why did you decide to apply this year (second year)?

Last year I wanted to get settled in to university, and then this year I decided I’d do as much as I can before my final year – when I’ll be concentrating on my studies a bit more.

So, can you tell us a bit about the extracurricular activities you were involved in?

Well I’ve taken part in a work-based project, I was approached by an academic as it was within my skillset. That was in a local school, with quite a low socio-economic background and children with many different diversities, and I facilitated a creative writing workshop. That was really good, it wasn’t what I expected so it really challenged me, there were quite a few instances that enabled me to learn, develop and grow.

I entered a creative writing competition, I’ve never written before so I didn’t expect to win at all. And as well as that, I’m going to Croatia this year to collaborate with a Film Student from Hallam, taking part in a short story festival. So, doing these activities has introduced me to new contacts, and provided me with further opportunities to thrive in.

How did these experiences help you to develop your attributes?

So, I think the whole experience of being at university and showing up, getting involved and engaging, participating in lots of different activities has given me a lot of self confidence and self worth. It’s really made me more resilient and learn what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are, what I am capable of, and that has been really wonderful.

How did you find the structure of Hallam Award (e.g. forms and submissions)?

Yeah, I thought it was relatively straightforward. I researched and looked into it initially and checked out what was necessary. The STAR model was really useful to get through the reflection process. And everything was there & available, the resources on the Hallam Award website were very clear and made the process easy.

How might the Hallam Award and extracurricular activities help you in the future?

Certainly it’s given me lots of different experiences, for example working at the school – I came to Hallam thinking I wanted to be a teacher and it has made me realise that I don’t want to do Primary teaching, I would certainly look at further education. So, it’s helped me narrow down what career path I want to go on and determine my prospects.

Why would you recommend Hallam Award to other students?

I think it’s great to participate and just give yourself different opportunities other than studying. There’s loads of experiences that help to build your character, strength, and challenge you. It can be as simple as reflecting on what you’ve done to develop and you can achieve the award, and it’s great for your CV, great for development, so it’s brilliant!

Thanks to Vikki for interviewing with us and good luck with the rest of your journey!