Graduate Attributes

Reflective and articulate

Critical and analytical thinkers.

Reflection and self-awareness are important if you want to develop your skills, and to help you articulate your strengths to prospective employers. Most of us reflect on things from time to time – we think about what happens to us and how it makes us feel. Conscious reflection, taking this thinking further and planning what you can do to create a change, is a powerful tool in developing yourself and your circumstances.

This conscious self-assessment is one example of critical thinking, the ability to objectively analyse and evaluate an issue in order to form a judgement. If you are a critical and analytical thinker you are likely to be intellectually curious, thoughtful, keen to develop knowledge and explore ideas, and able to advance creative solutions.

What does it mean to be reflective and articulate?

You live by the motto: ‘There is no such thing as failure! Only opportunities to learn and try new things.’ You actively reflect on your own actions and results in an objective manner and are able to identify areas for improvement for next time. Armed with new realisations, you are able to plan how to improve and create a change. Having reflected on and synthesised your experiences, you are able to communicate complex information in a clear manner. You are also clear on what your strengths are and able to tell employers about your experiences, providing strong evidence for your skills and attributes.

How can I develop this attribute?

Make a record of significant experiences as well as jobs or responsibilities you have had where you used your skills. Reflect on each experience and think about the skills you used and what needs to change for next time. Then plan how!

Make a conscious effort to reflect - soon it will become second nature.

You can:

  • Keep a journal, recording your experiences
  • Identify skills gaps, then plan how to bridge these
  • Get involved in a variety of activities to build new skills
  • Take all opportunities to practice public speaking and presenting information to others
  • Attend a practice interview
  • Attend a mock assessment centre
  • Make it a habit to ask for feedback on everything you do
  • Investigate the STAR technique for better articulation and evidencing of your skills
  • Consider your thinking and learning style
  • Review your ability to analyse and critically review, focusing on developing your understanding

Reflecting on experience

Ella Vega (BSc Retailing, Marketing and Management finalist) outlines her experiences on the course and her placement year at Tangle Teezer Limited which led to her winning the Dean’s award for employability.