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Mind the GAP: how to develop transferable skills and attributes

Thursday 20 September 2012

After a great summer holiday and a chance to reflect on last year’s exam results many of you will be starting the new year with refreshed ambitions, determination and commitment. What will you do differently this year to ensure the best degree result and a successful future? Aside from making sure you prepare for seminars, attend lectures and hand in assignments on time, one of the ways you could improve your position and prepare for the future is to build up your Graduate Attributes Profile.

The Queen Mary Graduate Attributes Statement is a set of seven themes and 32 attributes that are key to your success throughout your studies and future life. These attributes aim to develop knowledge, skills, values and behaviour, and incorporate subject-specific knowledge with professional expertise.

Attributes include skills such as good judgement, developing good written and spoken English, and engaging with the professional world. Group activities and projects, presentations or written work are all examples of the ways in which current courses help you to develop your graduate attributes. Taking part in extra-curricular activities, such as becoming a course rep or ambassador, volunteering or joining a Student Union sports club or society will also provide you with ways to develop and enhance your skills.

Queen Mary will soon be re-launching Mind the GAP, an interactive website, which will help you explore all the ways you can develop your Graduate Attributes Profile. You will be able to find out which on-campus extra-curricular activities develop which attributes and there will also be videos of current students reflecting on their development throughout their degrees and extra-curricular activities. Their experiences might help you think about the attributes you already possess. Look out for news of the re-launch in QM Student over the next couple of months.

University is about achieving a good degree result and gaining expert, subject-specific knowledge, but it is also about developing yourself as an individual: knowing who you are, what you are good at and where you are going. The Graduate Attributes Profile is a great way to get involved, get motivated and take charge of your future. Make this year count.

The seven Graduate Attribute themes are:

• Engage critically with knowledge
• Have a global perspective
• Learn continuously in a changing world
• Rounded intellectual development
• Clarity of communication
• Research capacity
• Information expertise


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