The Horizon Awards celebrates students for their commitment to professional development

Your degree isn’t your only learning opportunity here at Flinders. The Horizon Awards provide a diverse range of professional development opportunities in your time as a student. A chance to build valuable knowledge and skills for the workforce. They just held their 2022 award ceremony and I was in attendance. Reading time ~ 1 minute.

I was fortunate to be present at the Flinders University Horizon Awards yesterday (14th December).

I got to see a large number of students accept their Silver, Gold and Platinum awards for professional development undertaken as part of their degree.

The Horizon program gives Flinders students access to a wide range of extra-curricular professional development opportunities: workshops, leadership training, networking, volunteering.

These opportunities help students build ‘soft skills‘ (a terrible name to be honest), the non-technical skills that actually do much of the heavy lifting in how we adapt and perform in the workplace. Included are things like problem-solving, communication, adaptability, resilience, teamwork, conflict resolution and creativity. These aren’t necessarily taught in a student’s core degree, where the focus is technical skills.

As Romy pointed out in her opening congratulations, these soft skills equip students with the ‘flexibility and nimbleness’ necessary to enter a complex, ever-changing work environment.

Over 3500+ students are currently enrolled in the Horizon program. 9000+ have gone through the program since 2016.

Gold award winners are generally doing about 3-5 hours per week on top of their existing study, work and personal lives. Platinum award winners maintain this over multiple years.

That impresses me, and I extend my congratulations and respect to those students putting in that time. That is a level of drive and determination that I did not have in my university days!

In the post award nibbles and drinks, I got to have a quick conversation with the new Horizon Award program coordinator – Tony Duggan. I was pleased to hear that the program is not only continuing in 2023 but will be getting some additional love and expansion. We chatted briefly about how Horizon and HCDS/Oasis might collaborate more to deliver wellbeing related content into the professional development program.

With more workplaces and work environments prizing resilience and self-care skills, this is a good time to get self-care skill training programs into student professional development.

Last point – if you are returning as a student next year, and have not checked out the Horizon program, I strongly encourage you to do so. Their FLO topic is excellent and you can see the diverse range of training opportunities available.

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