3 lesser-known opportunities for skills development

After a summer break, we’re back! It’s been a while since I’ve exercised my blog writing skills but with the new academic year it’s a good moment to start again.

We’ve had a think about how we can use this space for most benefit, and decided that this year, we’ll focus on a different topic each month, roughly plotting the progression of our new online placement preparation course (of which more later). So first we’ll look at skills and how to develop them, before looking at how to make great placement applications, and then progress through the recruitment process before accepting your role.

As ever, we’ll have a mix of authors, including students, employers, and colleagues at the University. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch!

3 opportunities for skills development at university

Skills – or rather, your ability to talk about them – are essential in your placement search. For reasons why, see this video extract from our new online course:

There’s loads of different ways you can develop them whilst at University, including involvement in societies, sports teams, and group work. Here are three opportunities you might not have heard of:

#1 – Become a course rep

As a course rep, you listen to your course mates and present concerns or praise at meetings with fellow reps and academic staff. This is a great way to develop your communication skills, and can provide a great example of being able to communicate at different levels.

Your leadership skills can also be furthered, as can your negotiation skills as you seek to further improve the educational experience of studying at Southampton.

Nominations for course reps close at 12pm on Thursday 15 October. More details on the SUSU website.

#2 – Business Challenges

There are a variety of different business challenges that take place throughout the year at Southampton which all allow you to develop your skills in an exciting environment.

If you’re interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, then the Social Innovation Challenge could be for you. The’ challenge’ is a one day competition to find the best social and environmental ideas for improving student life at the University of Southampton. As well as workshops on design thinking, prototyping and social business model canvassing, students will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an expert panel for a chance to win seed-funding and a place at the Social Innovation Summit in Toronto, Canada, from 26th – 30th January 2016.

smoothie bike

The smoothie bike: a useful innovation?

Interested? Learn more here.

Employers often come onto campus with their business challenges, and on 17 November, JP Morgan will be visiting with their Operations Business Challenge. More info can be found by logging in to https://mycareer.soton.ac.uk and visiting the ‘Events’ section. A great way for Business School students to show off their skills to a top employer!

#3 – Online courses

Taking an online course, be it a MOOC or a SPOC, is a great way to boost your skills and knowledge, plus demonstrates your motivation and initiative to an employer.

The ICAEW is currently running a MOOC with the University of Leeds entitled “The Importance of Money in Business”.   This free course “gives you the opportunity to delve into the exciting world of business, and gain the skills that are required by employers for a successful career in accountancy, finance and business.”

As a student at Southampton, you have free access to all the course on Lynda.com, which are not only great for developing your IT skills, but can also be used to help aid your personal development, such as this course on learning to be assertive. To login and gain access to the courses, go via this link.

If you’re on a placement programme in Southampton Business School, we will soon be launching our new online placement preparation course, which covers your entire placement journey. Watch this space!

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