In this #MyPagodaStory series, we’re featuring guest blogs from participants that just completed our Christmas Special Programme. This is Pagoda Participant Alys Patterson, from Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Keep reading to see how Alys enhanced her employability with our courses and broadened her horizons through her cultura mentor calls… All during her Christmas break!
I was very excited to learn mid-December that I had been accepted to take part in a 3-week virtual Christmas special programme. This opportunity provided me with a positive way of staying productive over the Christmas holidays and gave me valuable insights into numerous cultures. There were 3 main tasks involved in the programme that included an hour-long weekly chat with an assigned cultural mentor, completing at least 2 out of 4 online courses, and actively engaging with pre-recorded workshops.
Cultural Mentor Experience
I was lucky enough to be paired with Juliet Zhou originally from Shantou City in China, but currently studying in Beijing. Juliet was so lovely to get to know, and it was so interesting to talk about our goals and values. We learnt despite coming from different cultures, we shared a great deal in common.
Despite initially being afraid Juliet and I would have nothing in common, the experience made me realise that my fear was misguided. I learnt that when interacting with someone from a different culture, there are many possibilities you may find shared interests.
This programme has allowed me to expand my knowledge on multiple topics such as Asian Culture via my cultural mentor and improve my digitals skills. I am wholeheartedly sure that every aspect of this programme will positively impact my future, and I am so thankful for that.
Online Skill Courses
I managed to complete and thoroughly enjoy all four courses on Employability Skills, Digital Competency, Cultural Influences and Workplace Basics.
I learnt so much about effectively using LinkedIn and updated my CV and cover letter to a much more professional standard. I also completed a SWOT analysis to determine the target areas I would like to improve on.
As this programme ran over the Christmas holidays, it was great to see the Pagoda Projects team provide Christmas themed activities. It felt like such a unique project to be a part of due to their hard work.
I often found myself working on a skills course and then having a fun little break to participate in some of the themed activities such as the Christmas decorations and jumper challenge and nabbing third place in the Christmas destinations quiz! I cannot help but applaud the team for taking the time to provide us with some entertainment over the festive period.