Grad goals

Getting your dream job after university requires more than just a good degree.

With Kent Union, we have outlined seven graduate attributes top employers are looking for and how to gain them while at Kent.

This will help you to make the most of our award-winning careers support and achieve your #GradGoals

Is a graduate attribute the same as a skill?

No. Employability skills are gained through deliberate and sustained effort, whereas Graduate Attributes are qualities that you will develop through your time at Kent. 

Essentially, through Curricular and Co-Curricular activity (Sports, Societies, Volunteering, paid employment) you will gain skills, which will result in the development of particular Graduate Attributes. 

To be a top graduate you need both desirable attributes and relevant skills.


What's confidence?

Students appreciate their own abilities and qualities. Demonstrating excellent interpersonal and social skills and the ability to express and justify [defend] their ideas with different audiences or individuals.

Do I have confidence?

Can you...

  • express your opinions, thoughts and feelings effectively to others?
  • take the initiative in new and challenging situations accepting responsibility for decision making and/or leadership?
  • demonstrate autonomy and a willingness to engage with unfamiliar problems and articulate solutions?

If you can do the above then you have the first #gradgoal - confidence! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Communication
  • Advocacy
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Assertiveness

Creativity and innovation

What's creativity and innovation?

It's about showing you can think outside of the box; with fresh ideas and the ability to look at things from a different perspective.

Do I have creativity and innovation?

Can you...

  • understand the marketplace in which an organisation operates and what makes it successful?
  • demonstrate novel ways to apply knowledge and experience?
  • design solutions for different contexts using innovative technologies, materials or ideas?

If you can do the above then you have the second #gradgoal - creativity and innovation! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Commercial awareness
  • Problem solving
  • Adaptability
  • Persuasion and negotiation
  • Digital literacy
  • Entrepreneurial skills

Critical reflection

What is critical reflection?

Students critically reflect upon their own performance, setting challenging personal goals for the future.

Do I have critical reflection?

Can you...

  • take responsibility for your own learning and development?
  • understand and address personal strengths, weaknesses and preferred way of learning?
  • develop learning strategies for self-improvement?

If you can do the above then you have the third #gradgoal - critical reflection! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Career management
  • Reflection/self‐awareness
  • Problem‐solving
  • Planning and organising
  • Research/critical thinking
  • Action planning

Global/cultural awareness

What is global/cultural awareness?

Students are active citizens able to thrive in a multicultural environment. They welcome exposure to the richness of multicultural and international experiences, opportunities and ways of thinking.

Do I have global/cultural awareness?

Can you...

  • communicate with others and demonstrate an appreciation of diverse cultures, languages and perspectives?
  • use empathy, tact and sensitivity to bring insights from one cultural domain into another to facilitate inter-cultural understanding?
  • understand the interaction between local, national and international decisions and actions and their implications?

If you can do the above then you have the fourth #gradgoal - global/cultural awareness! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Communication
  • Research/critical thinking
  • Networking
  • IT/digital literacy
  • Team working
  • Learning a new language

Integrity and accountability

What is integrity and accountability?

Students have strong ethical principles, demonstrating honesty and professional judgement in responsible ways.

Do I have integrity and accountability?

Can you...

  • understand ethical issues and demonstrate a personal commitment to social justice?
  • demonstrate knowledge, understanding and professional accountability?
  • provide leadership based on well-reasoned decision-making and social responsibility?

If you can do the above then you have the fifth #gradgoal - integrity and accountability! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Reflection/self-awareness
  • Leadership
  • Project management
  • Time management
  • Influencing
  • Decision making
  • Reliability

Intellectual curiosity

What is intellectual curiosity?

Students are inquisitive, motivated to question the accepted wisdom and open to new ideas, new knowledge and understanding.

Do I have intellectual curiosity?

Can you...

  • challenge accepted knowledge and explore new ways of thinking?
  • apply knowledge to generate, develop and realise new ideas?
  • think independently and commit to lifelong learning?

If you can do the above then you have the sixth #gradgoal - intellectual curiosity! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Networking
  • Research/critical thinking
  • Analysis and evaluation of evidence
  • Problem solving
  • IT/digital literacy


What is resilience?

Having the adaptability and perseverance to be successful with new situations and challenges.

Do I have resilience?

Can you...

  • take responsibility for your development and wellbeing?
  • work flexibly and apply strategies to cope with and work in the context of the unfamiliar?
  • maintain a positive concept of self as capable and autonomous in a changing environment?

If you can do the above then you have the seventh and final #gradgoal - resilience! And maybe some of the following skills too:

  • Team work
  • Problem solving
  • Project management
  • Assertiveness
  • Adaptability
  • Career management

How you can gain your #GradGoals

There’s so much you can get involved in at Kent to gain the above attributes, including:

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