Basic skills or even skills for success

To find your place in today’s world, higher education is no longer a thing for the elites or upper classes. The global informational era has tumbled down the one dimension social paradigm that structured or characterised post-war Europe. Especially now in times of economic crisis, with austerity measures and a retrenchment of the welfare state, what YOU CAN DO matters more than ever.

Confronting the academia with reality

For young people University should not be mere a place of intellectual torment. Conversely, it should be an environment stacked with opportunities at every step in terms of skills development.

Internationalising education matters as it makes a statement. You prove to yourself (1) adaptability, (2) resilience and (3) maturity by willingly making a step away from a comfortable life at home.  So, be bold and go study abroad or take a semester in another country for it will pay in return through more than just a degree.

People like to imagine themselves working for multinational companies and travelling as part of their jobs. Others wish to shape the world, work at the UN or in the diplomatic service. In either cases acquiring (4) cultural awareness, i.e. understanding other cultures, and (5) cultural marketing, successfully promoting you own, are of paramount importance if you wish to avoid ‘civilizational clashes’. One of the assets which will get you the desired position anywhere on the globe is demonstrating intimate knowledge with the respective cultural background. Another asset represents (6) the foreign languages –the sky’s the limit here – you know, after all, you do need a means of communication with the others.

So, pick a cosmopolitan university and the rest will unfold by itself.

Degree skills

Most people fall into the trap of translating faculties into grades and acquired knowledge. Remove hierarchy from your vocabulary and substitute with network. You don’t need to dig yourself a trench into one specialised filed. Contrarily, gain as much knowledge from different domains and make career changes when you feel like it, otherwise you might be arbitrarily forced to do so. All degrees develop (7) transferable skills such as critical or logical thinking, the capacity to synthesise information and so forth that can help you make a transition.

Must haves

(8) Time-management, (9) communication and (10) teamwork skills are the bottom line in any job, but they’re all basic things we’ve been developing since we first entered primary school. The whole trick is to be aware of them and eloquently illustrate them, regardless if it’s for a job or yourself.

Therefore, to conclude, if you ever need a reality check and fell put off by not knowing what you can do, take a pause and think it through, it’s much easier than it looks.

Join the Making a Living Session?

Hi Andrei, we´re having a conversation I think you might be interested in. I came across a list of 10 future work skills that I am trying to wrap my head around. Maybe you have some input?

Thanks, will look into it.

Thanks, will look into it.

Can’t be that easy!

Hi Andrei,

Thanks for joining and deciding to tell Edgeryders about yourself. It’s interesting that all Romanians joining Edgeryders and studying abroad are really optimistic about their sense of empowerment and the future. will have to talk this through at LOTE conference next week… It really gets me thinking, mostly because at some point I used to think that going abroad it may be a guarantee. not anymore though.

Anyway, I’m curious though if this is a view you have whilst in university or did your studies already pay off and you got a ob afterwards that you love and appreciate. What do you do?

Also, there must have been some bumps in the road. Did you have to make sacrifices before or precisely to go and study abroad? What about your peers, do they also have this feeling of things “unfolding” favorably?

I’m keeping with me your thoughts on cultural awareness and intimate knowledge. Beautiful!


Yes, Noemi, you are quite right. A simple degree either in your own country or abroad will most likely not suffice, hence my emphasis on what ‘you can do’. Nevertheless, it’s a first step. It must be followed by scores of others if you are to succeed.

You’re even more right to say that there were bumps in the road, yet not insurmountable one. Sacrifices, I for one, think we all make. I’ve made some, although maybe not as many as others, and have conscientiously made them. What I’ve learnt so far is to make such decisions worth taking.

My first months at university were completely disorientating. My chance was that I am adaptable and had supportive sibling back home. So I’ve made mistakes, lost valuable time, waited for I don’t know what, as if anyone else besides me was responsible for my fate. Eventually, you build momentum and take initiative, maybe the most valuable skills of all.

It’ funny that you say I’m optimistic, most of the times I’m completely the opposite. If I take into consideration my degree and the situation back home, prospects might be even grimmer than I could ever portray them. Nevertheless, I’m doing what I like and trying to manage life on my terms.

The skills I’ve mentioned are basic, but important once you start to understand the theory behind them. Of course there are dozens of other skills, knowing to write a good CV in amongst them. Just yesterday I was talking to a friend who told me he had to fail 3 assessment centres before he a got a job at Ernst & Young. In the end, it’s a continuous process of trial and error, only thus will things unfold favourably.

You were right and I was wrong?

So there’s a brand new analysis of Edgeryders and how we make a living, with focus on the skills we gain not so much in university, but through taking up opportunities, making the most of the informational era you mention. And mobility is one key driver, implicitly “internationalizing education” in your words :slight_smile: So I guess I was a bit too skeptical, I couldn’t see the “big picture”, and realise that much of the things I’ve learned I also learned whilst being abroad. Probably took them for granted?

The idea of the report is that its content will be the basis for a handbook about transition that is supposed to inform policy makers (perhaps you remember the session at Lote about this?)…

So I was wondering if you could have a look on the analysis - or the summary and link to full report posted here and let us know your thoughts… if it resonates with you and if you feel it’s an accurate portrait of Edgeryders…? There’s also a discussion on internships, or on what employers look for, whether it’s specialized employees or ones with very diverse skill sets…? - that one is unclear to me, maybe you have an idea from your experience?

Thanks and hope you have a great summer!