We can’t emphasise enough just how important it is to reflect on your experiences while writing your personal statements and at any interviews. We are usually very good at being descriptive but it can be challenging to learn to be reflective.
When talking about work experience of voluntary work it is great to be descriptive but at the same time you should be able to reflect on this and demonstrate any key learning points. You might also want to talk about how your perceptions have changed.
Reflection focuses more on:
- What you learnt from any experience?
- How did this experience shape your beliefs?
- Is there anything you would do differently next time?
- Have you changed your beliefs as a result?
- Taking into account different view points
Here is an example of reflective writing:
I volunteered as part of the tea trolley service at my local hospital, it was a great opportunity to meet patients and staff in a healthcare environment. I was able to learn how each member of staff contributes to the overall care of a patient as part of the Multidisciplinary team. My long term placement involved a high level of interaction which enabled me to appreciate the importance of patient-centred care and the value of good communication and teamwork.
How can you reflect?
- Keeping a diary and writing down regular thoughts related to Healthcare
- Keeping a log during work experience and voluntary placements
- Discussing your experiences with peers
- Learning from the reflections of others
- Asking for feedback
Here are some useful links for further reading: