Lectures are over and exam study has begun. Some will carry on into the summer trimester but for most the summer is about finding work, travelling, and having a break. It’s very easy to forget about what you’ve learnt during the year in your haste to get on with this. I know I can’t wait to slam my books in the drawer and enjoy a few months where my time is not dictated by assignments and readings. This year though I’m going to do something different. Before I start basking in the sun I’m going to take some time to reflect. Not on the content that I’ve learnt but on the skills that I’ve developed.

A skill is the ability to do something well. Skills can be developed through work, study or training, recreational and community activities, or even at home. Basically everything you do in life involves using some type of skill

Why would I do this? Knowing your skills, and being aware of your interests, are the best things you can do for helping figure out your career direction and it makes it easier to identify the type of jobs we can do. It’s also great for knowing how to write a CV which is essentially knowing how to sell what you can do (your skills) in line with what an employer is looking for.

I think people forget that we develop skills from all areas of our life, especially from study. When we’re writing an essay or compiling a report or listening to a lecture we don’t realise what we’re learning. The best thing is that a large number of these skills are transferrable meaning they “can be used in a variety of situations or jobs – you transfer them from one job to another. The great thing about transferable skills is that they make you adaptable”.

So, to help you on your way I discovered a great summary of what everyone has developed simply by going to University this year:

In Lectures:

  • Listening and concentrating for extended periods
  • Sorting, sifting and summarising information
  • Recording and organising information efficiently

In Classes, Seminars and Tutorials:

  • Speaking clearly and fluently
  • Arguing a case in a reasoned manner
  • Making presentations
  • Thinking on your feet
  • Considering differing viewpoints and responding appropriately

In Essay and Report Writing:

  • Finding relevant information from a range of sources
  • Identifying key issues
  • Writing clearly and to the point
  • Understanding complex arguments and theories
  • Keeping an open mind
  • Thinking logically
  • Structuring and developing an argument
  • Critically analysing and evaluating evidence and arguments

In Project Work

  • Creating and following a plan
  • Maintaining motivation
  • Keeping to a time schedule
  • Anticipating problems

In Group Work

  • Managing your time
  • Delegating
  • Taking responsibility
  • Supporting other team members
  • Understanding team dynamics and responding appropriately
  • Understanding your own role, strengths and weaknesses in a team
  • Holding your ground
  • Being persuasive
  • Negotiating
  • Respecting and being sensitive to others

Thanks to MMU for this list.

Quotes courtesy of Careers NZ

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Advice, Career advice, Skills development