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Transferable Skills Gained Through Student Employment

In student employment, students learn many transferable skills. Transferable skills are skills that are developed in one job that can be transferred to another job. As you read through internship and job postings, below are some of the transferable skills* that you will find in the “qualifications” section:  
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to work in a team 
  • Communication skills (written/oral) 
  • Leadership 
  • Strong work ethic 
  • Analytical/quantitative skills 
  • Communication skills (verbal) 
  • Initiative 
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Flexibility/adaptability 
*Adapted from National Association of Colleges and Employers 
There will be many instances when you may need to articulate the transferable skills that you have demonstrated in your student experience:  

Tips on Articulating Your Transferable Skills

Networking events and career fairs: develop and practice your professional introduction 
Interviewing: Learn the STAR technique to talk about your skills  
Below are sample introductions that mention skills that you may have used in your student employment: 

Networking Event

“Hello my name is Willie Wildcat and I’m currently a first year student and considering majoring in Communications Studies. I am interested in using the analytical and communication skills that I am gaining through assessing the needs of customers needing room reservations at Norris, and implementing event planning strategies to address the needs of clients using Norris facilities. I’m researching possibilities for summer internships to gain experience and am interested in several options. I am considering marketing as one possibility and want to learn more.” 

Career Fair

"Hello, my name is Willie Wildcat, and I am interested in starting a career in finance. I am currently a sophomore studying Economics. I am interested in finance because of the emphasis on strong research and negotiation skills. During my student employment position, I was able to research low-cost alternatives to LSAT prep classes for Northwestern Career Advancement. I was able to identify companies that offer scholarships to students with financial need, as well as broker a Northwestern student discount at two testing services. Can you tell me more about the research that your interns take part in?"