My Bittersweet Edinburgh Award Experience

3 minutes read

Most students dream of being recognised by their schools for an extracurricular activity such as volunteering, part-time work and so forth. The Edinburgh Award is one of a few programmes at the Edinburgh University that aims to recognise students involvement in activities and enhance these experiences. So —  as a class rep — I didn’t think twice about taking part in the programme.

The Edinburgh Award

Edinburgh Award Edinburgh University image

Anyone who successfully completes the task required to be honoured with the Edinburgh Award will receive both a certificate of recognition from the University and an entry on their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEARs).

Even though a certificate or recognition matters less than the experience or the impact you make in a particular activity, it’s still a nice thing to be recognised for doing something good.

My Edinburgh Award Story

After I finished with my business at Eastern Mediterranean University, I came to Edinburgh University to study Mechanical Engineering and Management.

They say it’s one of the top 30 Universities in the world, but I can say it’s filled with very brilliant students and I’m glad to be here.

Edinburgh University image

During my first year, I went for the position of a class rep. I knew I’d benefit from the experience because I was a class prefect back in High school and I found the experience rewarding.

I was also glad being a class rep presented me with the opportunity to be recognised for representing students by the University.

I went to every event and “completed” every task required to be recognised by the University for representing students until I crumpled in the last stage.

I was emailed with tasks required to be completed in order to be recognised with the award.

Edinburgh Award for Class Reps final activities for input 3 email subject image

But I made an enormous mistake. I didn’t read carefully, so I missed completing the most important tasks, even though I thought I had completed everything.

I knew something was wrong when I wasn’t invited for the award ceremony, so I emailed the organisers and that was when I learned the truth. This meant I ended up receiving 1 Edinburgh Award for work experience even though I spent hours working towards receiving 2.

Giovanni Olakunori Edinburgh Award invitation image


I’ve learned that even though I receive over 20 emails a day, I should always pay close attention to the details in those I find very important. I shouldn’t assume I know the contents of an important email without carefully reading it.

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Giovanni O.C Olakunori

Giovanni Chinecherem Olakunle Olakunori(commonly known as Giovanni Olakunori) is an aspiring data scientist at heart, business developer and educator with a deep interest in ancient philosophy, healthy living, and developing economies. He’s the founder of LarnEdu, a community that inspires and supports lifelong learning especially in underdeveloped nations. He currently lives in the UK after living in 4 other countries across Europe and Africa. You can read more about him or follow him on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to see his public posts about how much he loves hot Kenkey and Jolof rice.

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