A CV booster aged 13? really?(11 Posts)
My eldest is very strong in the STEM subjects and came home very excited yesterday as out of 240 students in his year he has been selected to be a part of a 6-strong team to take part in one of those Young Engineers type challenges where the kids link with engineers in a local business and complete some sort of project. We are delighted for him - it's an amazing opportunity and he will learn loads.
His teacher however is pitching it as a "CV booster" and something which Unis will be very interested in hearing about when he applies. I don't doubt this would be the case in a few years time, but he's only 13. Are Universities really interested in what 13 year olds are doing? I'd expect older kids to be listing things like Duke of Edinburgh, volunteering or projects done at the post-16 stage.
It's all a bit academic anyway as he doesn't even have a CV yet ;-)
I suppose of you look at it like this. Which looks better on uni applications? Someone who didn't participate in any extra curricular during secondary until the year or two before UCAS forms need to be filled out or the ones who have been active participants in these activities all the way through?
I would also imagine that not all participants are 13 they are likely mixed ages some of whom are thinking about these things.
Hmm I started volunteering at a vets at 13. Yes I think it does start that young.
Whether or not he remembers enough to mention it depends on what he gets out of it and how it influences his later choices and approach to his degree subject. As he is very strong in those subjects it is likely that he will have further similar opportunities during Y11 and 12 to mention which I imagine will supersede this one.
Hadn't thought about proving a long record in extra curricular rather than panicking the year before UCAS forms - it's a very good point.
He is very unlikely to do anything significant in music or sports so this is his sort of thing. It's a great opportunity and I hope he makes the most of it.
This sort of thread discussion www.mumsnet.com/Talk/higher_education/2723948-extracurricular-activities-for-uni-application
will inform you more about what actually turns out to be relevant when putting pen to paper for university applications.
The things that boost university applications effectively are often the result of years of build up. Activities done aged 13 and not pursued won't interest anyone but activities built up over years may do.
If he's 13, is he in S2 or S3? (I recall that you're in Scotland).
If he's in S3, he could be filling in his UCAS forms in as little as 2 years time
I agree with others about giving him the chance on building in areas that interest him. He might also get a chance to do
meaningful work experience with the business he is linked to. At ds' school, they do their work experience stint at the end of S4 - other schools do it early in S4.
But I also agree with you about being a bit discomfited about the emphasis on "being good for his CV". At his age, he should be doing it because he enjoys it.
DD did an activity in school in P6 that gave them actual points to go towards UCAS (I can't remember the name). I can't imagine we'll even remember where the certificate is come the time, but it does give her something to say "I learnt this about myself from that" about.
Lots of schools in Scotland are using e-portfolios where kids are encouraged to record their achievements so that they have something ready to add to a CV, UCAS application etc. Think this starts from S3 though. Either way, if he does do things like this it won't hurt for him to record it in some way - what is was and what he got out of it, both in terms of his education and personal fulfilment/enjoyment.
That said, I do agree that he should not, at this stage, be doing it just because of this. He should be doing it because it's fun, he's interested and (so it seems here) he's earned it. Good for him! But you'd be amazed what some kids forget or don't count as achievements when it comes to applying for things as they approach leaving school. It's a horribly competitive world out there - although thinking of CVs at age 13 feeds into this. So if you don't want to burden him with having to think that way right now - and I'd agree with you on this - you could always just keep a wee diary yourself and then the info is there when/if he needs it.
It's one of those things that could form part of a story for a personal statement - my DD has put together hers together and there's something along the lines of 'My interest in <subject she wants to do> was sparked when I participated in <relevant smallpeice course> in year <whatever it was> because....
Also, this is the sort of thing which should be helpful if your DS applies for an Arkwright scholarship in due course, which is valuable for for would-be engineers.
And congratulations to your DS!
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