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Employability

Grad goals - do you have them all?

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

So, 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.

 

The grad goals

1. Confidence

confidence logo

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. Watch the video to find out more.

 

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

Your confidence staff champion is:

James Corbin

Head of the Careers and Employability Service

J.I.H.Corbin-2@kent.ac.uk
01227 827595


Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

Read case study from recent Kent graduate

 

2. Creativity and innovation

creativity logo

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. Watch the video to find out more.

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

Your creativity and innovation staff champions are:

Dr Rocio von Jungenfeld

Lecturer in Digital Media

R.von-Jungenfeld@kent.ac.uk

01227 827257

Richard Lightman

Admissions Officer, Lecturer in Popular Music

R.Lightman@kent.ac.uk

01634 888475

Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

Read case study from recent Kent graduate

3. Critical reflection

critical reflection logoWhat is critical reflection?

Students critically reflect upon their own performance, setting challenging personal goals for the future. Watch the video to find out more.

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

Your critical reflection staff champions are:

Dr Dan Lloyd

Reader in Pharmacology/Deputy Head of School

D.Lloyd@kent.ac.uk

01227 827357 

Alison Coles

Development Office - Director of Development

A.J.Coles@kent.ac.uk

01227 824929 

Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

4. Global/cultural awareness

global logoWhat 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. Watch the video to find out more.

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

Your global/cultural awareness staff champion is:

Anthony Manning

Dean for Internationalisation

A.Manning@kent.ac.uk
01227 827197

Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

Read case study from recent Kent graduate

5. Integrity and accountability

integrity logoWhat is integrity and accountability?

Students have strong ethical principles, demonstrating honesty and professional judgement in responsible ways. Watch the video to find out more.

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

Your integrity and accountability staff champion is:

picture Ian Rogers

 

Ian Rogers

CASRI - Lecturer in Actuarial Science

I.Rogers@kent.ac.uk
01227 824795

Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

Read case study from recent Kent graduate

6. Intellectual curiosity

intellectual curiosity logoWhat is intellectual curiosity?

Students are inquisitive, motivated to question the accepted wisdom and open to new ideas, new knowledge and understanding. Watch the video to find out more.

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

Your intellectual curiosity staff champion is:

Dr Scott Wildman

Director - Centre for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

s.s.wildman@kent.ac.uk

01634 202974

Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

Read case study from recent Kent graduate

7. Resilience

resilience logoWhat is resilience?

Having the adaptability and perseverance to be successful with new situations and challenges. Watch the video to find out more.

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

Your resilience staff champion is:

Dr Emma McCabe

School of Physical Sciences - Lecturer in Chemistry

E.E.McCabe@kent.ac.uk
01227 823780


Staff champions ensure the recognition and importance of the Graduate Attributes and act as role models within their specific subject/school as well as across the University.

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.

How you can gain your #gradgoals

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

  • Work experience with Jobshop, a year in industry or abroad
  • Student sports teams and societies
  • Volunteering
  • Take an additional course alongside your main degree in something new (eg photography and languages) with StudyPlus
  • Award-winning careers service workshops, CV clinics and more
View all the ways you can boost your CV and achieve your #gradgoals

Student team

The Graduate Attributes project was supported by two student interns. Here's what the students said:

Being a Graduate Attributes Web Intern was a great opportunity to develop my technical skills. Yet, there was more to the internship than I had initially expected: through my work on the website and videos, I was given the chance to meet and interview many inspirational people and hear their stories and accounts of the graduate attributes.

Those moments made me look back on my experience at the University and reflect upon my own graduate attributes. I firmly believe that the work on the project has helped me further develop each one of them!


Mariana Yovcheva – Graduate Attributes Web Intern
Working as a Graduate Attributes Research Intern was an invigorating experience. I was given the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of people, including other staff members, students, alumni and even employers.

The internship afforded me the chance to develop my communication and organisational skills. The prospect of being involved in an innovative project and seeing how my research influenced the project's output was exhilarating, and if given the chance, I would do it again!


Joy Adeleye – Graduate Attributes Research Intern

Corporate Communications - University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000