By working through the careers award on Moodle I learned a lot about my aspirations for a career, and what is important for me to get out of work and life in general. The traditional graduate job route just isn’t for me; I have a family settled in jobs and schools, and a mortgage. As a result, I am not free to relocate anywhere in the country and undertake rotations to other locations every few months as is expected in a lot of graduate training schemes I have investigated. I have a lot to offer a potential employer, but for a variety of reasons simply cannot work full time with an arduous commute, as I have done in the past. That’s not to say I wouldn’t work hard and put extra hours in at home, just that from experience I know that working 9-5 in a big city isn’t for me.
Intrigued at the information provided by the careers service on portfolio careers I signed up to the Enterprise Skills Award, ESA, which can also be found on Moodle. There are four levels of the award – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Advanced with Distinction. For all levels you read some lecture notes and then take multiple choice quizzes to consolidate the knowledge you have gained. Then for Intermediate level onwards you attend a business advice session or workshop. I attended several workshops and found them very informative. The speaker was engaging and provided practical advice which is invaluable if you have any intention of trying to start up your own business. For the Advanced level you additionally need to enter a competition, and the Hub for Innovation and Enterprise website holds details of these https://www.kent.ac.uk/enterprise/hub/competitions.html
Finally, if you are serious you can go for the Advanced with Distinction level. To achieve this award you really need to think about a business you might want to start up, and write a business plan as part of the process. This is something I have decided to work through, and all I can say is the information provided by the Hub for Innovation and Enterprise is first rate, and by following it my understanding of start-ups is so much better. I would strongly recommend for anyone vaguely interested in starting their own business to look at their webpages and think about signing up to the ESA and any of the many interesting events they hold. Even as I write this I have just attended a very interesting digital masterclass by Google, and recommend checking out their digital garage website for information https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalgarage