The Advanced RED Award is an extension of the University of Reading’s RED (Reading Employability and Development) Award, which I completed last year. The advanced scheme is more personalised, where you have to build your own goals around one of the available areas of development; Commercial Awareness, Communication and Presentations, Community Engagement, Digital and IT, Leadership and Networking.
At the beginning of the scheme, we were given a tick list of things you can do in each area, and I found that I had already completed many of these things, for example three different mentoring schemes, course representative, student voice member, as well as being employed by the university and getting involved in volunteering schemes. The area I lacked in the most was Digital and IT, which is a little surprising considering how much I use my phone and computer. But, I used them for personal use.
Through this scheme, I have tailored my LinkedIn profile, heading it in a more art-based direction, as well as altering the URL so it reads ‘charlotteabrahamartist’. I also had several meetings with careers mentors within the Universities’ Careers Department. These helped me to narrow what I wanted to do in the future a little more, and also allowed me to get advice on my LinkedIn profile.
The last part of my Advanced RED Award was to utilise Adobe more. When searching for graduate roles, or summer placements, a lot of companies and businesses wanted someone with experience in Photoshop, Ilustrator and InDesign, but there wasn’t a particular market for Premiere Pro. I then decided to create my own project around InDesign and Photoshop with videos and how-to’s, free courses and advice from the art department at university. I designed a complex and unique background for a laptop, and presented the design process on an InDesign interactive PDF, which also showcased my Premiere Pro experience.
I found the experience of the Advanced RED Award and my personal project to be challenging, however I enjoyed it because it stretched me to learn something that I thought I would never make time for. I also find the fact that I completed the scheme very positive, as I was only one of twenty five students in the entire university that has completed it so far. I am now using the skills that I learned in this experience to help some local businesses with flyer, business card and website designs. I also hope to complete another area of the Advanced RED Award in the up-and-coming years to boost my professional development.