One of my modules at uni this year is called "Academic and Career Development for Economists". Over the summer I read the module outline and the assessment criteria and discovered that 40% of our module grade will be decided by writing a "formative CV and covering letter" while another 30% is decided on the extent to which we complete our "Personal Development Planners". The last 30% comes from a group presentation next February.
When I first read this I thought this module was ridiculous, unnecessary and a waste of my time. But I'm starting to have second thoughts.
This afternoon I was attempting to write a new CV, different to the one I hand out when looking for part-time bar jobs. This was a CV aimed at getting me a summer placement scheme for Ernst & Young, one of the so-called "Big Four". It was difficult to reflect on exactly what skills I have learnt over the past number of years, both while in education and working different jobs outside of school.
It's hard. Writing a CV forced me to really look at the skills and experience that I have, and analyze what I've done in the past to think about what I really got out of it.
It also made me look at how I could have done better in the past - where I could have pushed myself a little harder, stretched myself, gone the extra mile and all that, and really get out of my comfort zone. I think that's something I'll have to do more often.
So I think I was wrong about this module. Some of it still is a waste of time (try two hours on the ethics of group assignments after a long day) but I'm starting to get some really valuable stuff out of it.