Title: PSA Student of the Year Nominee 2017 Ryan Makuku
By way of introduction my name is Ryan Makuku. I’m a second year Accounting and Finance student and I completed the Personal Skills Award (Advanced).
Which activities did you undertake in order to achieve the PSA?
So over my two years at University, I have independently set up a mentoring scheme called Buddy Me where I’m its founder and also a mentor on the scheme as well, and the main premise of the scheme is to provide a network of second and third year mentors to mentor first year students who are joining University. But alongside that I have also been a second year Rep for the Investments Society, and the year before that I was a first year Rep for the Investments Society as well. Additionally I have also run PASS classes teaching first year accounting and finance students principles of financial accounting so that’s been a great experience as well. I have also undertaken external work experience outside of university at several investment banks so that has also boosted my points as well.
What skills have you gained?
I would definitely say I have gained a lot of time and organisational skills, I have undertaken a lot of activities especially during the first semester of second year, it was quite tough having to balance it with my work, but in just knowing that I had a tight schedule it meant that I would perhaps work longer in the evenings and perhaps spend less time in the morning actually doing work or perhaps doing other activities to help boost my points. Additionally I think it has given me a level of independence as well to actually go out into the university environment and find out what skills and activities I can actually do to gain more points for the PSA scheme so I would definitely say those are the two main skills that I have really boosted. I have managed to complete it in my second year but you can also complete in your third year as well so the time isn’t super constrained, you can take it all the way into your third year as well but it really made sure that I was active around the university environment and really got me involved and interacting with a whole host of students that I probably wouldn’t have interacted with beforehand.
Tips for students who are thinking about enrolling onto the PSA
I would definitely say research, I think that’s very, very key because at the moment you may be doing activities that you don’t even know count towards the PSA points, so I would definitely say research online, research all the relevant points, and I would also suggest that you are diligent with your time as well, especially if you are a second or third year student where time constraints can be super crazy. I would definitely say have a calendar where you slot in all your activities and alongside that if you want to use the reminders app on your smartphone as well, that would be super useful. So those are the main two tips I would recommend for anyone doing the PSA (Advanced).