The UCD Advantage Award is based on four key themes, aligned with UCD’s strategic objectives and reflective of UCD’s values. The themes also take into account the skills and attributes required for success in the graduate employment market. Below you will find some information on the themes and guidance on how you might demonstrate engagement with each one.
This theme reflects the role that co-curricular activities play in a student’s development of the skills and attributes required to flourish at and beyond university, for example self-awareness, emotional intelligence, leadership, teamwork, communication etc. Graduate employers seek students who have sought opportunities to develop themselves and demonstrate the skills required for success in the workplace.
This theme reflects the role that co-curricular activity can play in enabling students to engage with the UCD community and beyond, with a view to fostering a sense of inclusion and also encouraging students to contribute to the development of their communities. This could be through voluntary work or taking on peer support roles (e.g. Class Rep., Peer Mentor, Residences Assistant, Access Leader, Orientation Guide etc.). This theme addresses two of UCD’s strategic objectives:
• Objective 6: Build our engagement locally, nationally and internationally
• Objective 7: Develop and strengthen our University community.
This theme is about engaging with local, national and international culture. It aligns with the value that UCD places on diversity and links to UCD’s major strategic initiative “Engaging Globally”. It incorporates the activities that students engage in that give them an insight into other cultures and perspectives, for example volunteering overseas, learning a language or contributing to events that promote diversity and inclusion.
UCD has a proud sporting heritage and as a university competes across a wide range of disciplines at national and international level. This theme addresses the many pursuits that students engage in that contribute toward physical and mental well-being. This could range from involvement in one of UCD’s many sports clubs, contributing to campaigns aimed at improving mental health or participating in UCD’s Green Campus initiative.
Signing up for the UCD Advantage Award encouraged me to participate more in UCD events. Along the way, I picked up different skills which were useful at group work and I then had stories to use at an interview.