You’ve studied and worked hard during your time in the UK and now, having graduated, it’s time to return home and begin your career journey. What has your time in the UK given you that help you to stand out to potential employers? We asked for views from across the Midlands International Group.
Here’s what they had to say…….
Getting used to living somewhere where you may initially have known very few people and adjusting to the UK style of teaching and education may well have been difficult to get used to at first but in overcoming this challenge you have demonstrated resilience, an attribute that is invaluable in the work place, where you may often be faced with obstacles and difficulties. Through completing your studies in another country you have proved how adaptable you are – to a very different environment and culture. Adaptability is useful in any new job to enable you to settle in, adjust to the company culture and to thrive amidst organisational change and re-structures.
At Higher Education level in the UK you are expected to be able to work independently and to show initiative, actively looking for opportunities and taking control of your development. The more you have done this, the more evidence you have to show an employer that you are ready for the workplace, where the confidence to work on your own when required, pro-activity and being resourceful will ensure you offer the maximum value as an employee.
Lindsay Southall | Careers Consultant, Birmingham City University
Returning international students can offer employers different perspectives on the use of key tools and systems that are used in the UK, especially where the student has industry experience to see real life application. This may have been developed through key placements and internships, offered in partnership with key companies working with the university. Additionally they offer ways to demonstrate collaboration within course groups made of different nationalities, with diverse viewpoints and approaches to problem solving.
Chris Steventon, Careers Consultant, Coventry University
We say, you have it all! The experience of being an international student can really help you to stand out from the crowd and market yourself with a competitive edge. Not only do you have cultural capital (Insider Guides, 2018) with the awareness of a different culture, you can also communicate in a different language giving you the capacity to work in a global market. In addition to this you can demonstrate adaptability and resilience through your experiences of studying in a foreign country with the transition to a new culture highlighting your ability to adapt to new environments (Bellerbys College, 2017). Your international network through making friends and meeting employers will be another invaluable commodity when applying for that graduate job!
Tasneem Dakri, Career Development Coach, University of Northampton
Your time studying in the UK and experiencing a different culture will provide you with many of the skills and attributes that employers are looking for when you return home.
We know that employers will value your
- Professional and theoretical knowledge
- International outlook – including work experience
- Creative thinking – the ability to think outside the box
- Executive ability – thinking independently
- “Survival” ability – the ability to work under pressure and adapt quickly
The most in demand soft skills from prospective employers include teamwork, communication, persuasion and influencing, interpersonal, problem solving, critical thinking and leadership. You will learn and develop all of these during your time in the UK. English proficiency can also be a key differentiator when applying for jobs in international firms and can directly influence your job hunting and salary benefits.
Ellen O’Brien, International Careers Consultant, University of Birmingham
Author – Mark Blaber, Employability & Enterprise Manager, University of Northampton
Updated by Mark Blaber