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Graduate case study - confidence

natasha saxby

Natasha Saxby

Natasha is currently a Graduate Intern for Kent Union. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in English and American Literature with Creative Writing. She was a member of the Musical Theatre Society and T24 Drama Society for three years and she was the Publicity Officer for the Musical Theatre Society in her second year and President in her third year. She also organised the Kent Arts Ball in 2016 and raised money for Coppafeel.


In what ways did Kent equip you with the skills necessary to excel when you graduate?

During my time at Kent I was offered so much, both academically and in terms of my own personal and professional development. Kent offered me a wide range of modules that allowed me to tailor my English degree so that I could be creative and develop my skills as a writer, whilst also honing my analytical style and reading the work of some fantastic authors and theorists. As well as a fantastic degree programme, I also had access to some amazing co-curricular activities. I was able to be involved with two large performance societies every term for my three years and Kent. Taking on the role of President in my third year contributed hugely to my personal development; through my voluntary role running a society, I gained skills in event management, pastoral care, business planning and development, and most importantly confidence and the ability to lead a team.

How would you personally define confidence?

Confidence to me does not mean always succeeding or exceeding expectations. Confidence is being self-assured and decisive. Confidence means sharing your opinions and giving constructive feedback, as well as being able to ask for it in return. Confidence means communicating with a vast range of people in the correct manner and being able to work alongside your peers and people with more authority. Confidence to me is not something people naturally do, it is a skill that you develop through taking on responsibility and learning from your mistakes. It is a skill that grows the more you use it, and it is a skill that will benefit you as you progress into graduate life and take on your next challenge.

Can you suggest how graduates can show potential employers that they possess confidence?

I think the best way to show confidence to potential employers is being able to talk about your successes, to not shy away from showing your strengths. Also, being able to share your weaknesses and, most importantly, how they helped you develop and learn. A potential employer will see that you are confident if you can be open and honest whilst you answer questions and give examples in a precise and eloquent manner. Don’t be afraid to show passion and talk about your personal successes and triumphs. An employer wants to have confidence in you, so first you must show confidence in yourself.


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