By Cengage Student Ambassador Jayshree Hanragee, a postgraduate student at the University of Pretoria. Jayshree has a Master’s a degree in Anatomy and is currently pursuing her PhD to realise her educational aspirations of a career as an academic. One of the learning tools used by Ms Harangee at the University of Pretoria is Cengage’s SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) which provides online student training and assessment for Microsoft Office and computer concepts. Students observe, practice and actively apply skills live in the Office application, preparing students with the skills they need for academic and professional success. Flexible reporting tools, automatic grading and instant student feedback promote student self- study and help to save instructors’ time. The University of Pretoria use Cengage’s SAM to teach their AIM course. Students use SAM weekly during face-to-face lessons to learn Microsoft Office skills including Excel, Word and PowerPoint which are vital in preparing them for their future endeavours, both at university and in the workplace.
Here, Ms Harangee talks about her experiences in transitioning from student to working professional and shares her top tips for developing work-ready skills.
From my years as an undergraduate through to working while studying for my Master’s degree, combining study with full-time employment has undoubtedly been a challenge. During this period I have seen many candidates for job roles from all walks of life, each of them diverse in their knowledge, talents and abilities.
The work environment can seem like the survival of the fittest and it has been claimed that recent high school and college graduates are underprepared to enter the workplace when they finish their studies.
The qualities that establish trust, cultivate a leadership mindset and produce productive results are the most valuable in today’s world. So, as a young and inexperienced professional, what can you do to maximise your success when entering the world of work? Here are a few pointers to help you on your way to being job-ready.
- Be Realistic
Expecting to get a high-level position at beginners stage is generally an unrealistic goal when searching for your first full-time role. It’s fine to start at the bottom. Finding your dream job in today’s modern and dynamic job market requires flexibility in your approach. You must be willing to attempt new strategies that will help you cast a wide net and boost your chances of being employed. It is obvious that digital technology has had a significant impact on recruitment trends, so take advantage of it.
- Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
In the workplace, skills serve as a sort of trade. The more skills you have, the more valued you will be as an employee. Knowing how to effectively collaborate with others and play to people’s strengths is a valuable skill for success when you initially start out. The more you understand how to function in a group, the better you’ll be able to perform as a unit. Without teamwork skills, you’ll be at a disadvantage within the company.
- Communication is Key
Another important aspect to consider for your goal of employability is being able to communicate effectively. Always communicate what you want to say in a concise, accurate and suitable manner, and aim to maximise the efficacy of your communications by using methods appropriate to the situation.
- Focus on the Solution
Employers reward employees who can work through problems on their own or as part of a team by outlining difficulties, brainstorming options, discussing ideas, and ultimately making sound judgments. Therefore, developing effective problem solving is one of the key attributes that can make you stand out from the crowd.
- Confidence Breeds Success
Confidence may appear to be a personality feature, but it is a talent that can be learned, improved and developed just like any other. You can boost your confidence in certain areas simply by practicing; the more you do something, the more confident you will become at it.
Regardless of what industry you desire to work in, these top five skills can help you to perform more effectively in your search for success. Good luck.
About Cengage Skills Access Manager (SAM)
Cengage’s SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) provides online student training and assessment for Microsoft Office and computer concepts. Students observe, practice and actively apply skills live in the Office application, preparing students with the skills they need for academic and professional success. Flexible reporting tools, automatic grading and instant student feedback promote student self- study and help to save instructors’ time. The University of Pretoria use SAM to teach their AIM course. Students use SAM weekly during face-to-face lessons to learn vital Microsoft Office skills including Excel, Word and PowerPoint.
Cengage EMEA is part of Cengage Group, a global education technology company dedicated to removing the barriers to higher education and providing every student with access to quality teaching and learning and a brighter future. Focussed on making education more accessible, sustainable and affordable, its product portfolio includes online learning platforms that offers students everything they need in one place – textbooks, eTextbooks, homework, study and assessment tools, and resources to develop employability skills to help them transition successfully into the hugely competitive global workplace.
Cengage EMEA sells its products and services to over 52 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a diverse cultural range, each with its own particular and varied curriculum needs for educational solutions.