Creative Thinking is one of the Victoria University graduate attributes. Your course work embeds this attribute into what and how you study and University life offers you opportunities to develop this skill academically and through extracurricular activities. Students should consider making the most of their time to enhance this important attribute. It’s not just a natural ability that you have or don’t have. Creative thinking isn’t just for the ‘ideas person’ or the ‘artistic one’. By having a wide range of different experiences you can improve and sharpen your creative thinking. Sometimes you will make mistakes and sometimes the new ideas are not the best. Through this you learn to listen to criticism and learn by it.
Creative thinking involves students in learning to generate and apply new ideas in specific contexts, seeing existing situations in a new way, identifying alternative explanations, and seeing or making new links that generate a positive outcome. Creative thinking in practical situations can mean finding alternative ways to approach problems. Organisations are constantly changing, the economy around them is changing, the people are changing, the competition is changing, and the world is changing. Employers need people who won’t get locked into ways of doing things, people who can adjust.
Sometimes “creativity” is also just the application of common sense. As a student you can get involved in roles which will give you the chance to extend your creative thinking such as helping first year students, mentoring, leading in a club, representing your class or department. You can take up part-time work or volunteer in the community where you will also learn from others around you. These experiences will help you evidence to prospective employers in interviews where you may be asked questions which will need you to demonstrate creative thinking, such as:
• When was the last time you came up with a new solution and how did you do it?
• Tell us about something you have done which was innovative?
• Describe a situation where you had to do two tasks that had the same deadline and how did you manage?
• How would you say you approach difficult problems and give an example?
If you want some tips on aspects of creative thinking which are not usually taught check out this article in Psychology Today