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Be a student with a difference and get involved in the University’s employability award. The Chester Difference Award recognises your efforts and skills across a variety of different extracurricular activities, highlighting your achievements to future employers. The Award is designed so that you can reflect on your experiences, improve your skillset and enhance your employability.

With ten different pathways to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to develop your confidence and skills in areas such as leadership, digital skills and enterprise.

The CDA is recognised on your Higher Education Achievement Report and you will also receive a certificate of completion.

We asked a couple of our students to share their experiences taking part in The Chester Difference Award.

Jonathon Roberts, Business Management and Marketing Management

Why did you participate in The Chester Difference Award?

To make myself stand out when applying for graduate jobs after finishing my course at the University of Chester.

What extra-curricular activities did you engage with as a participant of the CDA?

I undertook many extracurricular activities including:

• The Venture Programme


• Student as Recruiter Rep

• Student Ambassador Scheme

What skills did you gain as a result of participating in the CDA?

I have developed a range of skills whilst working towards my CDA which have included:

• Digital skills and digital marketing skills

• Marketing skills

• Communication skills

• Confidence

• Networking skills.

What would you get involved in if you were to do the CDA again or if there was an option to gain more points?

Even though I have nearly completed The Chester Difference Award, I will continue to get involved in events and workshops as I believe that, when at university, you must do extracurricular activities to stand out when applying for graduate jobs.

Why would you recommend the CDA to other students?

I would recommend The Chester Difference Award to other students as it is a great way to develop your skills throughout your time at the University of Chester.

Rachael Howe, PGCE with QTS Spanish and German

Why did you take part in The Chester Difference Award?

I was keen to take part in The Chester Difference Award as I was looking for an opportunity to further develop a range of different skills. This scheme is such a fantastic way to gain recognition for a variety of extra-curricular activities and it has really encouraged me to reflect on my skills and has helped to prepare me to articulate these to future employers.

What activities did you engage with as a participant of The Chester Difference Award?

I have been involved in many different activities and I have now achieved the Chester Difference Excellence Award. I have engaged numerous times with the University Careers Service and I have been an active participant in several workshops relating to career planning and application forms, as well as taking part in a mock interview. I volunteer every week for an educational charity as an Academic Mentor to help support a GCSE pupil with Spanish, and I have also carried out volunteer work for another charity that focuses on improving access to education for children in Fiji. I have also been learning French as an additional language by participating in weekly evening classes at the University with the intention of being able to teach this subject in schools and offer this to future employers as a further skill. And in any case, learning another language is good fun!

What skills did you gain as a result of taking part in The Chester Difference Award?

I feel that my communication skills have benefitted the most from taking part in this scheme, along with gaining a heightened awareness of the different skills that employers are looking for. As a PGCE student, being reflective about my daily teaching practices is an essential part of the course. However, taking part in The Chester Difference Award has encouraged me to equally reflect on the different extra-curricular activities I participate in every week and how these translate into the skills that employers are seeking.

What advice would you give to other students thinking of completing The Chester Difference Award?

Go for it! Get involved from the very start of your course and make the most of every opportunity that you possibly can. It is such a rewarding scheme that not only recognises your effort and engagement with extra-curricular activities, but also brings with it enhanced employability prospects and gives you the chance to show future employers what you can offer.

You can find out more about The Chester Difference Award and how our Careers and Employability team support our students on our website.

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undergraduate Careers student