As we all begin to settle into the mayhem and routine that is St Andrews, rushing to meetings, new classes, and completing all the “life admin” that comes with uni, I have a pressing question for you – have you had a visit to CAPOD yet?

If yes, then fantastic. I hope that you found their broad range of programmes, courses and workshops to be invaluable. Yet for those readers that are unsure of what CAPOD is, or where it even resides, then please read on.

During your time at St Andrews, you will develop in many ways and build a range of skills to support you to graduation and beyond. Whilst this will inevitably occur already through your subjects, societies, clubs, or committees, CAPOD is an excellent resource to further develop your personal, professional, and academic skills.

The Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development, CAPOD provides a comprehensive range of opportunities both students and staff. Whether you are looking for advice on writing a resume, improving your maths skills in confidentiality or subject specific skills, or preparing to apply for jobs; it can help you with all of these and more. Its support services include programmes, courses and workshops, resources to develop skills and services to develop your personal and professional development.

So what does CAPOD offer?

Throughout the academic year, it runs various programmes such as MSkills, GRADskills and the Professional Skills Curriculum (PSC) which some students may be familiar with.

The PSC is a collaboration between CAPOD and the Students’ Association, with input from many additional staff, students and external presenters. Focusing on the top 11 skills graduate employers value, PSC delivers the programme through a series of online workshops, lectures and practical skill sessions. Think of it as a “graduate training scheme” before you graduate, one that is open to all students and that you can dip in and out of as much as you like.

Those who complete eight sessions within an academic year and write a reflective essay will receive a certification that’s noted on their transcript, a valuable asset in your post-graduation job hunt for a comparatively small input of time.

Are you in need of an industry-standard qualification that you can add to your resume whilst still at university? CAPOD now offers free skills analysis, training and certification in Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS). According to Microsoft, holding a MOS certification can earn an entry-level business employee as much as $16,000 more in annual salary than their noncertified peers. Through CAPOD, you can have your skills evaluated, undertake training and sit an exam free of charge, to then be recognised as a holder of this industry-standard qualification. It’s almost silly not to take advantage of the opportunity, so do.

For those struggling with academic or study skills, CAPOD offers support on a wide range of topics, including note-taking, studying for exams, time management, and essay writing. You can book a one-to-one appointment in confidentiality to get assistance with academic or study skills. CAPOD’s maths and statistics support service allows students to come for free, confidential, personal help with any maths or statistics based problems.

Asking for help can seem daunting – of course, office hours are always on offer and friends always willing to help, but it is comforting to know that a whole centre exists in St Andrews, with the sole intention of helping to further develop your personal and professional development.

So before you start to feel overwhelmed with coursework and events and subjects start to get just a bit too far above your head, why not swing by the CAPOD in Sallies Quad. Book a tutoring session, maybe fix that resume that you’ve been putting off, or sign up for the PSC and start attending their workshops and lectures. You’ll always be glad that you asked for help, but you just might regret not going.

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