Adulting 101 was a transferable skills workshop held by the Honors program Friday Feb. 16. Its goal was to figure out what skills can be taken from students’ time at the University of Connecticut and applied to the real world.
To help get the students in attendance to discover their own utility belt of transferable skills, the facilitator, University Specialist Danielle Chaloux, handed out worksheets for everyone to list experiences at UConn that they’ve grown and learned from. This worksheet was split into four categories: “Courses taken at UConn,” “Work experience during your time at UConn,” “Interpersonal and social experiences while at UConn” and “Activities and involvement while at UConn.”
After this worksheet was completed, a sheet of transferable skills was handed out, and attendees were asked to underline skills that they’ve gained at UConn. This long list of skills was divided up into 11 categories: leadership, influence/persuading, innovation/creation, management, serving/helping, communications, attention to detail, performing/presenting, financial management, researching/evaluating and instructing/guiding. The purpose of dividing these skills into categories was to help students see where they have a weakness in their abilities.
“You can think outside the box for your transferable skills. You don’t need to make blanket statement ones, you can really be creative,” sixth semester finance major Sarina Bhargava said afterward.
Many students remarked their surprise at having so many skills that they could underline, especially those who had thought their activities hadn’t demanded too much skill.
“There are a lot of skills out there that you haven’t thought of or considered applicable or useful, (but) you should still keep them in mind and get jobs where you can work on them,” fourth semester chemistry major Mason Witko said. “I thought I was pretty set on skills I needed for grad school, but there’s always more skills that you can look toward.”
Chaloux then asked everyone to rank their skills on a scale of one to three, three being the strongest. After doing so, some students were surprised at which of their skills turned out to be the strongest. Chaloux had a few students say which of their categories of skills were weakest, and had the other students in the room who happened to be strong in that category give that person advice on how to strengthen that area of skills. One student who commented on their weakness in financial management was even given advice from a finance major sitting next to them. Students were also asked to check off skills on the list that could be either necessary or helpful in their desired field, this way they could approach activities in a more intentional way.
Chaloux made it clear at the end that it isn’t necessary to have all of the skills on the list, but that the list could be used as a form of guidance for prioritizing activities and opportunities that would help to hone the skills necessary for your desired job.
When asked if she had found the workshop helpful, Bhargava said, “Oh absolutely. I found it very helpful as a junior, and I believe everyone in the room who are younger and who this was targeted for found it very helpful as well.”
The biggest takeaway from this event was that even if you don’t think some of your classes or activities will be very helpful to you after you’re handed your degree, the skills you gained during your time at UConn will work to help you in wherever your endeavors take you.
Rebecca Maher is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.