While many organisations are currently struggling to hire the early career talent that they need, the current environment has created opportunities for savvy Warwick graduates. Employers are looking for a combination of strong technical skills and well-developed transferable skills. In fact, over 60% of the employers we interviewed at the Warwick Employer Connect Autumn Careers Fair in October 2022 told us that the current roles on offer draw on transferable skills to a greater extent than pre-pandemic. This is why the university launched the new Warwick Award at the start of the 2022-23 academic year.
When inquiring about the most sought-after abilities, they informed us that strategic thinking, communication, project management, data analytics, digital literacy, problem-solving, time management, and adaptability to change are highly valued. They also stated that they expect applicants to have good organisational awareness and be able to talk about the organisation’s products, services, and markets during assessment and at interview. It’s worth noting that there is a terrific opportunity for students who can highlight these skills and provide rich examples of how they developed these skills and when they have applied them to achieve a desired outcome.
When reflecting on their time at Warwick, many students tend to focus solely on the academic content of their studies. However, the university experience offers much more than just a degree certificate. It also provides valuable transferable skills that will be useful long after graduation. So, which transferable employability skills can you develop and seek recognition for through the Warwick Award?
Well, university forces you to manage your time effectively; especially if you are juggling a part-time job, have caring responsibilities for others, participated in societies, or play a competitive sport. For many graduate jobs, the time management skills gained whilst at Warwick will be valuable when you are given many contending responsibilities in your first workplace role. The ability to prioritise and balance various projects will be key to your future success. You may have also found group projects to be challenging, but these situations do provide valuable opportunities to learn teamwork skills. Coordinating with a group of fellow students will have taught you how to effectively listen to others, articulate your ideas, and work together towards a common goal. These skills will be useful in the workplace, whether you’re working on a project with colleagues, or communicating with customers and clients. You can engage with skills development activities that will develop your time management and your teamwork skills by searching for them on your Warwick Award dashboard. If you have already engaged with any of the activities mentioned above, you can claim them towards your Warwick Award, you just need to submit a short reflection on the skills you developed and how you might use them in the future.
As a residential hall rep, group project member, debater, team presentation deliverer, and university society participant, you will need to effectively communicate with a diverse group of people. Through these experiences, you will develop the ability to clearly express your ideas and effectively converse with others. These communication skills will be valuable in your first graduate job, as you will need to communicate with colleagues, clients, and customers from various backgrounds. You can develop these valuable communications skills by completing the access anytime online courses offered by the Student Opportunity Skills Team via the Warwick Award, and then find exciting skills development activities that will provide you with an opportunity to practise.
During your time at Warwick, you may have also learnt how to handle conflicts in a professional and respectful manner. This skill will be useful in dealing with difficult individuals in the workplace. Being able to effectively resolve conflicts and clearly communicate your point of view will help you maintain a professional demeanour in your first job. If this is a skill set that you feel you need to continue to work on, you can search for development opportunities on your Warwick Award dashboard.
In fact you can learn more about the Warwick Award, direct your questions to the Skills Developers who are responsible for the skills training courses, and speak to the university staff and external partners who provide skills development activities at the inaugural Warwick Award Fair on the 15th Feb 2023. The fair will be held in the Chancellors Suite in the Rootes Building next to the plaza on the central campus between 1pm – 4pm. You do not need to register in advance, just pop along when its convenient for you. We would love to meet you!