Hello, we are Rachel and Laura, two of the Hallam Insiders! With it being Hallam Award Week this week, we wanted to share our experience of completing the Hallam Award and maybe give you the push you need to work towards yours!
What is the Hallam Award?
Rachel: The Hallam Award is an extra-curricular project that you can do alongside your course to gain recognition for the activities that you do outside of it. This includes writing about your society roles, volunteering or part time jobs.
Laura: The Hallam Award is a personal development programme at Hallam, that allows you to recognise how extra-curricular activities you’ve taken part in have helped develop you as a person whilst you’re here. This can include being involved in a society, volunteering, part-time work, internships, placement, course and department representative work, student ambassador work and much more!
Why did you do it?
Rachel: I wanted to recognise all the activities I did outside of my course and acknowledge what skills they gave me, as I knew the Hallam Award would help me to reflect on the transferable skills I had gained throughout my time Sheffield Hallam University so far. A year on from gaining my award and I’m still benefitting from taking the time to reflect on this.
Laura: In my third year I realised that, most of the time without meaning to, I’d done a lot of extra-curricular activities whilst at Hallam and after doing all that to develop myself and my employability, it seemed a waste not to do the Hallam Award! As a bonus, I found that my skills in self-reflection were lacking and I was able to develop this skill as part of the award.
When is the best time to write it?
Rachel: Whenever! I wrote my Hallam Award at the very end of my second year so that I could reflect on everything I had accomplished throughout the year. It also meant that I could get all my assignments out the way first and finish the Hallam Award after due to the way my deadlines and the Hallam Award deadline fell.
Laura: I completed my development forms for the Hallam Award at the end of my postgraduate year. However, I would recommend getting started sooner rather than later. The deadline is towards the end of June which should allow for time after deadlines and exams but, you never know! It’s also good to allow time to get feedback on your activities and self-reflection from the Hallam Award team – this will allow you to hit the higher levels of the award!
Rachel: I was very honoured to receive a Platinum Hallam Award, I got this through writing three Skill Development Forms and the Final Report form, and through having my volunteering projects, my membership of SHSU Harmonies, and course rep roles to talk about.
Laura: I was really happy to receive the Gold Hallam Award. I chose to talk about my leadership, presentation and social media marketing skills for my award, which I developed through presenting at conferences, through Hallam Insiders, internships, being a course representative, student ambassador and more. The Hallam Award has been improved for this year, so that now there are a selection of 12 ‘Attributes’ to choose from, with a range of skills included in these broader terms.
Would you recommend doing it? Why?
Rachel: 100% yes. It can be easy to forget about looking to the future when you’re so stuck into your course, but that future gets closer every day, and at some point, even during university, you will be applying to and having interviews for jobs. The Hallam Award helped me to recognise my skills and taught me how to talk about them, by using the activities I did to structure that.
Laura: Definitely! It’s amazing how much you develop and change at University, whether you’re involved in lots of extra-curricular activities or keep it simple with a part-time job and a placement year, it all develops you as a person and gives you the skills you need for post-university life. Reflecting on your skills and development not only earns you the Hallam Award, but helps identify where you can further improve and your aspirations for the future!
So what’s next?
Get yourself over to the Hallam Award website for all the details on completing the award. If you’re in your first year, you will have been enrolled automatically, if not, you will need to register through the website. Go to a Hallam Award training session so you can discuss your experience and skills with the Hallam Award team and you’ll be on your way!