Skill development activities

Brightest Watts Outreach

In the current graduate labour market, obtaining that all important internship or graduate role is not only about your qualifications and how good your degree is, it is about other skills and personal attributes that you will have developed throughout your studies, work experience, voluntary work, or hobbies and interests.

Organisations are going to want to see real evidence of the skills they are looking for in their candidates. Luckilly, there are a number of activities that you can get involved in to put you in the best possible place to demonstrate those skills.

Below is a list of the most common skills that employers look for in candidates and suggested activities that you can take up to develop these same skills.

  • Suggesting changes to a course when a student representative
  • Getting more relevant work experience/project work/sponsorship
  • Starting your own business: selling on Ebay
  • Starting a new society
  • Creating an website
Planning and Organising
  • Organising your revision schedule
  • Planning a trip round Europe with friends
  • Stage manager for a play
  • Campsite representative for Eurocamp
  • Managing a course project
  • Organising sporting events
  • Organising charity events
  • Students' union activities
  • Organising community concerts
  • Cashing up the tills
  • Budgeting your expenses over the year
  • Interpreting a statistical table for your course
  • Treasurer of student committee
  • Fantasy share portfolio
Commercial Awareness
  • Current affairs interest
  • Taking business options within degree
  • Organising paid events
  • Reading financial pages of a newspaper
  • Fantasy share portfolio
  • Part-time work, internships and work experience


  • Writing up a project or dissertation
  • Writing for the student newspaper
  • Writing a report for a course placement
  • Essays, dissertations, project reports
  • Secretary of student society
  • Publicity materials for a charity
  • Letter to raise sponsorship for an event


  • Joining a campus drama group.
  • Public speaking or debating
  • Debating in seminars
  • Working as a receptionist in a holiday job
  • Market research, telesales, bar work
  • Showing potential university students round campus on Open Days
  • Course presentations


  • Negotiating the rent with your landlord
  • Negotiating the late submission of essays
  • Staff-student liaison committee
  • Resolving disputes between friends


  • Arguing your case in a seminar
  • Getting society members to turn up for events!
  • Fund-raising for a local charity or alumni department
  • Sales job in the holidays
  • Year abroad or independent travel abroad
  • Working part-time while studying
  • Successfully changing courses
  • Combining study with family
  • Shift work, or working at short notice
Team Work


  • Working on a group project
  • Rag fund-raising
  • Team sports
  • Working as an admin assistant in a busy office
  • Duke of Edinburgh's Award expedition
  • Playing in an orchestra or band


  • Leading a group project
  • Chairing a student society
  • Captaining a sports team
  • Guide/Scout leader
  • Air training corps
  • Course/class representative
  • Supervisory role at work
  • Preparing Student Election Statistics
  • Analysing data from an experiment
  • Vacation job as a market research interviewer
  • Voluntary work for a charity
  • Creative solutions to coursework problems
  • Chess, computing, role playing
  • Preparing sales figures