In this #MyPagodaStory series, we’re featuring guest blogs from participants that just completed our remote Global Competencies programme. This is Pagoda Participant Ellen Jeffery, from Cardiff University!
Keep reading to see how Ellen made a new connection and friend through her Cultural Mentor meetings, and became inspired to learn a new language.
If I am honest, I had no idea what to expect when I started the Global Competencies Programme, but it has been one of the best decisions I have made. Not only has it improved my employability skills, but has also helped me grow as a person and allowed me to be more culturally aware. I remember feeling quite nervous when joining the first zoom call- as I was uncertain as to what it would entail. But as soon as Aimee started talking and explaining more about the programme I instantly felt at ease and really felt part of the Pagoda team. After the call, I then went on to browse the Pagoda app which was full of interesting posts and polls about different cultures. There were also lots of interesting posts about tips on employability, and fun facts about other cultures which were interesting to read.
The picture here is from the personal development workshop that was in week 2. I think this was my favourite workshop, as it really helped me to understand how to be the best version of myself.
One of the key points I picked up from this workshop is that one of the best ways to not only make yourself more employable but to also give yourself even better opportunities in life, is simply by learning another language. This has motivated me to start to learn another language once the programme has finished. I am not too sure what I fancy learning yet, but Italian is definitely up there!
[The Cultural Mentor Programme] has been the most enriching, as hearing about another culture directly from someone who is living there now is amazing. We have had some wonderful mind-opening chats.
One of the highlights of the programme for me was the cultural mentor scheme. I was quite unsure how it was going to work at first and felt quite anxious about if it was going to be awkward at all. But this was the complete opposite for me! I remember my first zoom call with Veronica being nearly an hour and 15 minutes long- and each time we have one we have to make sure to stop ourselves after an hour otherwise we could chat all day (well, night time for me!). This scheme has been the most enriching, as hearing about another culture directly from someone who is living there now is amazing. We have had some wonderful mind-opening chats. My favourite was when we were discussing our dreams and aspirations. This chat really opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me- we both were able to help each other come up with a plan for our futures and it was amazing to hear her plans and goals. I hope to maintain my connection with Veronica after the programme as I could listen to her stories and experiences all day!
I would like to thank the Pagoda team for helping me make some amazing connections, improve my employability skills, and become a more well-rounded person!