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Building essential competencies: Insights from our recent grads



April 18, 2023
Adapting to changing circumstances, collaborating effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, and negotiating in a competitive job market are top priorities in today’s fast paced business environment. According to Canadian University Survey Consortium, Graduating University Student Survey, 2018, more than half of today’s undergraduates benefit from experiential learning – such as co-ops, internships and service learning – as part of their university education (Source: Today’s students in Canada seem to have developed competencies early in their studies, which renders them ‘’job-ready’’ as soon as they receive their degree. With this in mind, we have run an internal survey with recent grads from our Montreal office, asking them to name the most important skills they have developed during their studies. 
Today, we are glad to be sharing our survey insights while suggesting ways you can enhance these competencies and build upon them– either as a student or young professional!
  • Time Management: voted by 58% of the Montreal-based employees questioned

When kickstarting your journey as a student, a busy curriculum and a pressing exam season can motivate you to find ways to prioritize your tasks and divide your time efficiently. When entering the workplace, meeting deadlines and prioritizing tasks are crucial to developing as a person and professional. In both cases, allocating the right amount of time for the right tasks increases productivity and improves your work-life balance. Whether it concerns a university course or a company project, creating a to-do list, finding your most productive time, and dividing and scheduling your tasks will contribute to timely project delivery. Besides, time management skills will also bring you closer to efficient project management abilities, where you have to closely monitor each and every phase of a project while keeping in mind tight deadlines and different deliverables.

  • Teamwork: voted by 50% of the Montreal-based employees questioned

Group projects are too often incorporated into several university courses, and they have proven to be an effective way to learn how to work with different individuals. Nowadays, collaborating with colleagues across different locations is almost a norm in all companies, so having prior experience in that field can help you stand out as a young professional. No matter what stage of your career journey, being a strong team player will get you many steps ahead when it comes to achieving the team’s objectives, grasping growth opportunities, and creating a positive work culture. Making sure you listen and appreciate your peers’ ideas, switching roles within the team occasionally, and focusing on a 2-way feedback approach can help you enhance your collaboration skills. Strong teamwork skills are the foundation for further expanding your scope to other capabilities, such as being transparent in your communications and resolving conflicts.

  • Communication: voted by 33% of the Montreal-based employees questioned

Since the hybrid learning model has been applied to many universities worldwide, effective communication nowadays has been about being inclusive, clear, and concise, using the right language and the most suitable communication channel. Modern workplaces measure communications’ effectiveness by implementing new OKRs for individual performance reviews. It goes without saying that effective communication is an essential skill in both personal and professional relationships. Being an active listener, asking questions and putting yourself in the shoes of your colleagues and peers’, constantly seeking and providing feedback, and being transparent during your communications can help you establish healthy relationships with your colleagues. On top of that, a successful communicator is always a great negotiator: clearly articulating your position and listening to the other side’s perspective will get you a step closer to winning over your negotiating partner.

As the demand for competencies in the workplace continues to evolve, the academic experience can serve as a solid foundation. Putting those skills into action in your professional career and further developing and evolving them in your career journey will help you to stand out!

As workplace needs are constantly shifting, employers, universities, and individuals will need to come up with new strategies to address the rising competencies.

Are you interested in constantly learning how to build crucial skills while staying up to date with the markets’ top competencies? Join #teamDialectica today!

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