Title: PSA Student of the Year Highly Commended 2018 Lauren Quinn
Hello my name’s Lauren Quinn and I am a final year Medical Student at the University of Birmingham and I have completed the Personal Skills Award Advanced.
Why did you enrol on to the PSA?
So when I first came to the University back in 2012 I found out about the PSA activity pathway which was an opportunity for all of your extra-curricular activities to be turned into points that would give you a prize when you completed your degree. So for me, this sounded like a fantastic opportunity. I really wanted to get on board, and another real benefit for me for getting involved were the workshops that are offered through the PSA, for example on time management and communication, so those for me were the main reasons I got involved.
How have you benefited from undertaking the award?
So one of the most useful parts is because you accumulate your points for the PSA activity every year it kind of gives you a portfolio by the time you’ve finished your degree - so it’s really nice and easy to look back on everything you’ve achieved. And then when you come to apply for jobs it makes it ten times easier. So that’s certainly been one of the big benefits. As well as that, it’s the wide range of activities that are supported by the PSA, so even things like summer internships, summer employment, all count as points towards the PSA (Advanced). So doing a busy degree, that really helped me to build up my points, and then finally one of the most useful things has been the final process for getting the PSA (Advanced), because there’s the application process and there is an interview – and I did a video interview, which was my first ever experience of doing anything like that and it’s a great opportunity to get some really good feedback as well from the PSA Team - so that then when you come to apply for your own jobs, you are much more likely to be successful.
So I would say don’t hesitate to enrol, there’s nothing to be lost and there’s an awful lot to be gained. There’s actually a very little time effort and input to complete the PSA and actually you get an awful lot out of it. I’d say my top bit of advice would make sure you keep on track of it and you know what the deadlines are and what you have to do to complete it, because there’s a lot to do in your final year, so just make sure you’re in top of that. My final piece of advice would be, it’s a great sense of achievement and you can come away from university with another prize on top of your degree. So don’t hesitate to get involved.