Title: PSA Student of the Year 2018 Robert Eagleton
My name’s Robert Eagleton, I study Bachelor of Science European Politics, Society and Economics and I’m currently in my third year, my final year, and I’ve just completed the PSA Advanced Award.
Why did you enrol on to the PSA?
I got involved with the PSA in my second year of university, I hadn’t heard of it in my first year, but one of my housemates told me about it in the second year. The reason I got involved was primarily because I was already involved with a lot of extra-curricular activities (I’d already been a representative in the Guild of Students), and I felt it was a great way to recognise a lot of the extracurricular activities that I’d already done. I think that while going to university is primarily an academic exercise, you obviously want to get a job at the end of it, and I feel that given the competitiveness of the labour market, and how many people have degrees nowadays, you need something to differentiate yourself from the competition, and I felt that the PSA offered an excellent way to do that.
How have you benefited from undertaking the award?
I think one of the most beneficial aspects of the PSA was getting me to think more consciensously about employability, what it means to be employable and about competencies, so I think it’s important not just to get work experience, but to proactively reflect on how the work experience that you’ve done has developed your competencies, like for example communication and team building skills, and I think that really whenever you carry out work experience those skills and competencies are always implicit, but I think since taking the PSA it has made me more consciously think about how I am developing my competencies and how they are transferrable to different jobs and tasks that I tackle.
I think my advice to any students would be to get involved as early as you can because you need 250 points if you’re going to do the Advanced award, so I think it’s always good to start in your first year, and make sure that you can get lots of different types of experience, not just one experience, but do different types of experiences (that have different points) to complete the PSA, because I think that that will help you develop most, and I think that would be most impressive to the assessors when you come to completing the PSA. But I think if you are a bit nervous or apprehensive about getting involved with the PSA or if you’ve not had work experience before, then I think you should go and speak to the Careers Network, people within the university who can give you some guidance on how you can get involved with it.