Soft Skills and Virtues

Lets start with virtues

Courage

As a creative it is important to have the courage to pursue ideas. And then face constructive criticism as to weather changes would strengthen or weaken the defined communication message.

Diligence

Through diligence perseverance and dedication to professional practices I continue to improve.

Compassion

I have compassion for all stakeholders in my open ethical communication and messaging, never resorting to stereotypes.

Wisdom

I am willing to take the council of the professional communities I work with and apply and improve upon best practices.

Friendliness

Having a good attitude is super important and smiles are infectious (in a good way :).

Reflecting on your skills and how you practice them in the field is a great way to enhance your professional practice. Here are some of my reflections on the core aspects of my skills during my Internship with a major Australian University.

A Communicator

Situation

My internship at the University involved coming up with ideas to drive student engagement.

Task

Coming up with ideas to develop further was a major part of my role at a large university. Finding quality evidence-based ideas meant I would first have to actively and carefully listen to students to understand the student experience from a robust perspective. In my role, I engaged in both qualitative and quantitative research to deliver solid recommendations. Bringing ideas into development involved much collaboration and the building of a safe space to foster open dialogue with staff and students alike. I also needed to inform and persuade others to take up these ideas.

Action

My course of action was to carefully plan out and articulate my communications and channels to clearly and accurately reach the intended audience on time and with resonance.  I put into practice both verbal and nonverbal listening skills while withholding judgement. Keeping my discussions professional and having a good attitude also helped communication and engagement to flow. Since my internship was online, I took the opportunity to Skype or use Zoom instead of only talking over the phone. And I was always quick to offer positive feedback when others offered good ideas to establish a safe climate for creative expression and open communication.  

Results

Through research and open dialogue with communication with staff my research, I was able to identify the type of communities and networking sites self-motivated students were looking for. I worked successfully with a college in bringing forward a project into development which involved the creation of a dedicated online learning community.  This forum will allow students to work collaboratively bringing in stakeholders from a diverse range of interests to work on global big challenges like disruption due to COVID-19.

 A Team Player

Situation

The cloud campus department was comprised up of a diverse range of people with different backgrounds, skills and talents. Teamwork and collaboration were the glue contributing to the team’s success making the achievements of the whole greater than the individual parts and providing synergy.

Such synergy is only possible when all team members know what their roles are, complement each other’s skills, and are committed to team success.

Task

As my major task was to research student networking it was important that I knew each of the team’s roles and strengths and work with them to achieve the best outcomes for students.

Action

I focused on becoming an open-minded active listener. I took the time to understand and get to know my teammates for dialogue and understanding to flow easily because I wanted to contribute to the sense of belonging, mutual trust and respect where people could speak their minds. My contribution involved researching the type of free and open forums and communities where students could find a safe place to pursue lifelong learning and this started with my behaviour and goodwill towards others working closely with my peers.

Results

As a result of my commitment to teamwork, I was able to synergise my efforts towards the shared goal. The clear communication I helped establish meant team members were able to organize and orchestrate their tasks, efforts and calendars efficiently. Any issues were more easily dealt with as they arose, and obstacles were reported early. I was able to come up with quality student networking research that can also help students get connected, collaborate and belong to a supportive learning community.

A Time Manager

Situation

Time management was an important aspect of my internship role at the university.

Task

During my internship, I was asked to do some ideas testing and contributed towards the introduction of a time scheduling resource for students. I also had to complete a major review of the university’s activities and communications from a student perspective all within a limited timeframe.

Action

Time management is a really important aspect of achieving the best results both individually and for the team. Time management starts with setting goals correctly. Prioritising wisely depending on the importance of tasks and the best ways to sequence those tasks is a good place to start. Once I have the tasks ordered and sequenced I can then go ahead and set time limits on how much time I can spend on each of the tasks. Inbetween tasks is a great time to take stock and check in with what is happening on the general communication channels before moving on. You also can’t underestimate the importance of organising the tasks to make sure your time is spent efficiently and reviewing practices from time to time. I have some favoured technologies I use to make to-do lists and schedules. Eliminating non-essential tasks can also save more time.

Results

When I do these things and plan ahead, I can achieve good results and get tasks done on time week after week. Thanks to these practices I was able to turn around a major report covering all aspects cloud campus activities as well as participating in countless user experience sessions in only a limited amount of time.

A Critical Thinker and Decision Maker

Situation

I was often required to think critically and make decisions which identify and diagnose issues with student and engagement and the experiences and challenges of studying online.

Task

As my major role involved researching student networking this involved a lot of critical and reflective practice. As a digital media major, I have a body of theory from which to draw from and put these into practice in finding ways to improve the student experience. 

Action

Clearly diagnosing, refining and articulating problems made it easier to come up with solutions in an organized rational way.  Through reflective practice, I also used data and observations to look more closely at the way I was thinking about my role to come up with creative solutions and different perspectives of the student experience which I could evaluate and analyze. I used software that gathers data and allows for data visualisation to gain insight into the problems.

Results

Through open-minded critical thinking, I was able to come up with creative solutions that were not entirely obvious at first and recognized there was an issue for lifelong learners finding community. I was able to gather data and evidence to support this hypothesis and take the idea beyond a mere assumption and bring it into a conclusion which is testable by the stakeholder.