Excellent grades are important to gain entry into reputable university or pursuing professional courses. Similarly, if you graduated with excellent results, employers will assume that you are focussed in your studies, highly disciplined and possess high intellectual power.
However, beyond excellent grades, interviewers are also interested to explore the “human factors” that defined you as a person. Not just as a student. What looks great on paper must be substantiated with real-life situations.
In my years of experience and having interviewed thousands of candidates for various kinds of positions, academic grades are important but winning personality and willingness to learn new things will carry more weight. Tougher selection process reflects competitive talent market. Assuming that most graduates have average or good grades, what will be the X-factor that differentiates them all?
There are at least five (5) core areas that you must develop and excel while you are in school and even after you graduated to stay relevant and outstanding.
- Social grace – Your ability to mingle and handle others courteously in any social settings. This ability is essential for you to build a positive personal and professional branding. It will also encourage you to have strong teamwork and diversity management skills when working with others.
- Communication skills – Your ability to convey and receive messages clearly and convincingly in various modes of communication.
- Personal leadership – Your ability to set clear directions, execute workable strategies in order for you to achieve and live a meaningful life.
- Problem-solving skills – Your ability to identify, understand, prevent and solve issues creatively and independently.
- Entrepreneurial skills – Your ability to start, run and grow business either for yourself or for your future employers.
If you have excellent grades at the moment, make sure you balance it with non-academic activities as well.
Sole emphasis on academic performance will not only make your profile look imbalance but it can also cause you “loosing valuable moments” in your life without you realizing it.
So what are the activities that you could be involved in?
- Visit inspiring places,
- Talk to experienced people,
- Read good books,
- Volunteer yourself at community service centres,
- Organize fundraising activities for charity,
- Watch significant movies,
- Listen to meaningful songs,
- Engage in healthy conversations and many more ways for you to develop yourself!
Chin up and don’t give up J
Feature Author :
Sukma Murni Ab Hadi
(Learning Specialist & Career Consultant)