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Student insight: developing skills

Watch Goldsmiths discuss how they have developed their skills and confidence through their extra-curricular activities.
Hello again. In this video, we’re going to look at how you can develop your skills for a range of activities. You’ve already thought about your brain, skills, values, and interests and thought about the importance of developing those skills more broadly and why it’s important to think about your employability while you’re at university. So now we’re going to hear from some university students who study here at Goldsmiths and hear from them how the activities they undertook while at university have helped them to develop their skills and think about their future.
Hi, I’m Gwen Barnard. I’m an international student from Austria us and I’m in my final year of my BA in art history. So outside of my studies, I have undertaken numerous activities. And I think the ones that I’m most proud of are probably a recent exhibition I curated with students from Goldsmiths in different departments such as design, computing, and fine arts. That was kind of one of my end of year projects. And then I was also a DAC for two years which is a departmental student coordinator. So I was acting as a representative of my department and the student body.
And my job was kind of to ensure that the student experience and the learning experience is mutually beneficial for tutors as well as students. And then I also had to write a couple of reports. Outside of my studies I have been partaking in the women’s football team. I’m also part of Wired Radio where I help out and I’m one of the studio managers. So I’ll go in, sort out the social media, things like that, retweet some of the shows, and also help the shows out, take some photos, different things like that. And also I work- I’m a volunteer at Amnesty International. So I just go in and help out at the coffee shop.
So I’ve been taught how to make cappuccinos, like mocha lattes, that kind of thing. So, yeah, it’s been fun.
These activities have helped me to develop a couple of skills such as public speaking, writing reports, also working in a team but also running a team, especially at the exhibition. Also during the exhibition we were hosting reading groups which really helped me to develop academically as well. So it also kind of reflected on my studies. These activities have helped me develop my skills in the ways like social skills, helping with my work, my essays. I’d say that I can be quite introverted and shy so having to go out, play football, going to different locations sometimes. You know, we’re out of London and meeting loads of different people.
I’m just sort of thrown into an environment where I just think, you know what? I have to be social and I’m enjoying it.
The skills that I have developed the most at university has definitely been confidence, which reflects on everything I do such as doing my academic work or applying for jobs.
The skills I’ve learned at university will help me because I feel more open and ready and able to go out and help other people because now I’ve been given so many different skills like people skills and teamwork skills and also individual skills. So I feel that I’ll be able to work with the team as well as work on my own to achieve goals. For my future I’m planning to do a master’s straightaway and I think the skills that I have developed throughout my undergraduate degree will help me to continue what I’ve already been doing. So, for example, I would like to do more curatorial projects, host more reading groups, for example, and write more.
It was really great to hear from those students on how they’ve developed their skills in a variety of ways. At Goldsmiths in the career service, we support students with developing their skills in a range of different ways. One of those ways is through the Gold Award, which is a personal and professional development award which helps you to reflect on your skills throughout the year and gives you support to do so. If you want to find out more about the Gold Award, you can do so on the Goldsmiths website. As you’ve seen, skills can be developed through a variety of different activities and in lots of different ways.
So we’ll now go on to look specifically about how that could work for you. We’ll look at, in particular, self-confidence and resilience. These are really important factors when you’re thinking about your future career. Self-confidence is needed to be able to be clear about what your strengths are and communicate those effectively to a future employer. Resilience is important too so we can bounce back from any difficulties we might have which can happen to everybody. In the final part of this week of the course, you’ll put together an action plan. So you’ll think about where you’re heading and the steps that you need to take to get there.
What’s really great about that is that you’ll be able to get some feedback from your peers on the course and they’ll be able to suggest other things perhaps that you could do and be able to support you. And that action plan should be able to help you move forward through university and beyond.

In this video, two students about to graduate from Goldsmiths, University of London, discuss the activities they have undertaken whilst studying, and how these have helped them develop their skills.

Many universities have ways to help students develop their personal and professional skills at university and honour those who do. At Goldsmiths, for example, we have the Gold Award.

Does the university where you study or plan to study have a similar award? Look up the resources that your university can offer.

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