Why Mulan should have done the WSPA Award, and why you should too
WSPA. What does it stand for? Wear Spotty Pyjamas Always?
No. Lo and behold, it’s the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award.
This is the post where I talk about my life-changing experience, and where I try to convince you to give it a go as well.
Why? Before this award, like Mulan, I would spend my days gazing at lakes, mirrors and swords and sing to that girl in the reflection. (If you ever feel the need to do this yourself, I recommend doing so at the lake by Heronbank and Lakeside accommodations – the bridge is perfect for the occasion). Those days are over now.
Why? Because at the core of WSPA is reflection.
Therefore, I give you my most compelling argument: if you can see your reflection in the mirror, then do the award. If you don’t have a reflection, you literally have no soul (probably a vampire 🙂 ).
In all seriousness, I really recommend completing this award. Before I describe what it is, let me explain why I did it, and how I benefitted from it:
· It was not a large time commitment, and I could do it on my own terms.
· I was already attending skills workshops, so it made sense to make them count towards the award.
· It was a great way of setting goals and actually getting them done.
· By the end of the award, I felt like I had achieved something and had personally developed myself.
· The skills I developed during the award has set me up for making the most of the next few years of university, and even beyond.
· It goes on my HEAR statement which I can show to employers.
· I got a certificate and a shiny badge, which doesn’t hurt 😉
At the end of the day, it’s about self-growth. This counts towards increasing employability, but also improving yourself as a person.
So, what did I have to do?
The award can be divided into two main parts – ‘Getting Started’ MOOC, and a series of reflections on 3 skills activities of your choice.
The best thing about this is that I could make progress whenever I had time – I had signed up for the award at the beginning of the year but did not get around to actually starting until March.
I wanted to improve my communication and interpersonal skills in particular, so I chose my workshops accordingly: Networking for Career Success, Emotional Intelligence and Teamwork.
I particularly loved learning about Emotional Intelligence. I had never heard of it before the workshop, even though it is so crucial in every aspect of our lives. 10/10 would recommend.
Following each workshop that I attended, I wrote a series of short reflections. With guidance from my online coach, I set action points on what I am going to do following the workshop.
It doesn’t have to be anything too big – one of my action points included taking a walk, doing some colouring and doing an hour of physical activity. Whatever it is, there’s a really good chance that you’ll get it done, as having someone else read about your progress is good motivation to actually do it!
Trust me. The reflection makes a difference. I have benefitted more from each workshop than I would have done if I had just attended and walked away without any follow up. Due to my choice of workshops, I have improved my people skills and as a result, my relationships are stronger. It has been a very rewarding process.
So yeah, stop dilly-dallying and check these out:
For more information on the rest of the Undergraduate Skills Programme: