Thursday, 12 May 2016

Sekinat: Thinking of self-development at no cost?! Think the University of Sheffield!

Hi! This is Sekinat here, International Office Ambassador for Nigeria. Find out more about me from my online profile. 
Have you ever seen adverts asking you to pay for personal development and skills courses?? I surely have.Now, imagine a scenario where you do not need to pay and all that is required of you is to show commitment and show up for the workshop? Yes, that is what the University of Sheffield offers you alongside your academics. 

Shortly before and during the Easter break, I attended two workshops organized by the University totally free of charge. The workshops are the Personal Finance module and Sprint development programme for women. I would tell you about them briefly. 

Basically, the personal module was a 10 hour commitment that touched on knowing your emotions about money, are you a risk taker or someone who prefers not to take chances with their money? I re-learnt about budgeting and ways to figure out what items consume most of my money such as keeping a spending diary. I also gained knowledge about taxing, insurance, loans, investments, mortgages ,inheritance and even the importance of having a will. No, you are not too young to have a will as long as you have some funds to your name. All these were in the UK context but as with most things money, I was able to apply the knowledge to my country as well. This would also be particularly useful for those planning to find jobs and stay on in the UK. Believe me, these are essential information that you might not be taught throughout your transition years from teenage to adulthood. 

The Sprint Development Programme on the other hand was a 4-days intensive workshop for women. It is now currently run twice a year for postgraduates. This workshop centers on discovering one's self, my values, what type of role I was likely to play in an organisation as a professional. It also brought in a lot of women doing well in their various professions to share their experiences on work and family life balance, how to network and develop myself. I also re-learnt how to set action plans and have SMART goals. A very interesting aspect for me was probably learning how to meditate to keep stress at bay and the best part would be meeting various students like me from different countries with different cultures and experiences.This is not an exhaustive description of what I learnt from this program but for me it was extremely priceless and to believe I gained so much without paying a dime was so amazing.

Often, the University career services sends emails about these programs, so the key is actually reading those mails.I know it can get so difficult trying to keep up considering the tons of emails highlighting various events and coursework. I have pasted direct links to pages where you can learn more about these workshops below. An awesome point to note is these workshops can be used towards gaining the Sheffield Graduate Award.

By Sekinat Abbas 

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