Name: Michelle Simms

Course: BSc (Hons) Biology – with an option to study overseas

Why did you decide to take part in the Futures Award programme? 

I personally chose to take part in the Futures Award because of its ability to broaden my outlook and to get involved in projects and programmes while at university. It seems that everyone is receiving a 2:1 or a 1st nowadays so, it is important to venture outside my comfort zone. Some opportunities I have taken part in include teaching a group of children from a local Saturday school science, getting involved with leadership day camps, engaging in worldwide university talks as well as attending a wide range of discipline specific workshops, most of which were free to attend. Futures allowed me to get involved in various opportunities to gain experiences and skills in the areas that employers are most interested in.

Has the Futures Award programme given you the confidence to try something that you may not have done before? 

The Futures Award has given me the confidence to say yes to more intriguing experiences around me, knowing that these opportunities could build greater character, involve more activity and potentially provide more experiences. One example was the leadership day, which was useful in showing what makes a good leader, but also how it filters in to one of my areas of interest, which is education. The workshop, in addition to aspirations, inspired me to study abroad in Hong Kong, where I will be able to see how leadership affects education in different countries. I found the worldwide student talk especially helpful in encouraging me to be more confident in leaving to study abroad.

Would you recommend the Futures Award to current students?

Why not is the real question. At the end of the day, as students we actually have more free time than we think and it shouldn’t be wasted because once we graduate; we graduate and that’s it. Employers are looking for those extra things that make us stand out. Futures allows us to explore new and exciting interests that can build and shape the person we desire to become tomorrow.

Has the Futures Award programme helped you to prepare for your future career?

Futures has opened my eyes to a wider variety of opportunities to get involved in and helped me realise that the road to my future career doesn’t have to be as linear as I thought it needed to be. Making the decision to say yes to a slightly different opportunity at university could be the difference between receiving a yes or a no in a future application or interview.

 Can you summarise Futures in one word or sentence?

A leap worth making.