“A degree opens the doors, but it is the ‘C’ skills that give you the confidence to walk through those doors,” states Auckland Council Graduate Programmes Leader Lacey Knight.
Auckland Council sponsored the AUT Edge Award Overall Achievement Prize this semester that was won by the student who demonstrated the highest level of achievement in all streams or exhibited a major departure from their comfort zone to complete the AUT Edge Award.
The AUT Edge Award is an extra-curricular programme that encourages students to develop their employability skills through extensive volunteering, leadership and challenge and employability workshops.
Winner of the Overall Achievement Prize Peter Jean-Paul certainly pushed beyond his comfort zone. Peter Jean-Paul, who arrived at AUT from the Caribbean island Saint Lucia, says he gained profound insights into his place in the world through the award.
“I’ve learned that it is important as an individual to be willing to make the lives of others better and develop yourself on a deeper level. I have continued volunteering after completing my award hours and am participating more in community activities.”
Lacey says the Council are proud to sponsor the overall prize and support the AUT Edge Award because they believe in the emphasis on employability skills, or ‘C’ skills.
Four other industry sponsors – SEEK Volunteering, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, YUDU and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) - presented prizes to AUT Edge Award recipients who had gone beyond expectations in volunteering, leadership and personal growth.
This semester’s 58 AUT Edge Award graduates have collectively contributed more than 3500 volunteering hours to the community and challenged themselves with more than 1100 hours attributed to leadership activities. They have attended 125 employer presentations and 787 employability workshops.
The result is graduates with work ready CVs and relevant LinkedIn profiles, who are capable networkers and confident in knowing who they are, says Director of Student Employability, Anna Williams.
“Our AUT Edge Award graduates gain an edge in the marketplace with great communication skills, evidence of volunteering and leadership qualities. We are very proud of our latest Award graduates.”
The AUT Edge Award was first introduced three years ago, and there are now 153 AUT Edge Award graduates in the workforce. Another 1,800 students are working through the award.