In recent years there has been much discussion about a skills deficit in both the media and by industry leaders and government who are concerned that students don’t have the skills to succeed in their future career endeavours – whether that’s a full-time job after graduation or pursuing further studies. We know that students are engaging in high impact skills-building experiences in their personal lives, through their academics and professionally as they participate in clubs, athletics, volunteering, internships and summer and part-time work. Yet, they don’t recognize the value of their experiences nor are they able to articulate them.

Becoming YU was initiated as a means of addressing this “articulation gap.” The intended aim of Becoming YU is to support students in: 

  • Understanding the importance of learning about themselves to set personal, academic and professional goals that meet their needs and align with who they are and what they want to learn;
  • Making the most of their personal, academic and professional experiences, identifying and leveraging opportunities, building relationships, navigating tricky situations and gaining the tools for success; and
  • Articulating and providing examples of their skills and accomplishments in a variety of contexts and formats when applying for or considering future personal, academic and professional experiences.

Grounded in experiential learning, career development and human development theories, Becoming YU compels students to get involved, recognize the value of their experiences, create their own unique pathways, and articulate their achievements with confidence! While Becoming YU is designed to be self-driven, supervisors, mentors and coaches can play a key role by providing on-boarding/orientation, working with students to set annual learning objectives that relate to their experience, encouraging students to reflect on and record their experiences and skills development, and discussing skills building activities and projects.

To support students and coaches in identifying skills-building opportunities, Becoming YU has identified the following six competencies as important to students’ personal, academic and professional success:

  • Communicating verbally
  • Delivering presentations
  • Facilitating groups
  • Active listening
  • Asking questions
  • Influencing & persuading
  • Negotiating
  • Exercising tact, diplomacy and sensitivity
  • Customizing communication style and content
  • Giving feedback
  • Communicating via social/digital media
Interpersonal Connections: Collaborating with others
  • Building Rapport
  • Liaising
  • Demonstrating Commitment to the Team
  • Advising/Counselling
  • Meditating/Resolving Conflict
  • Networking
  • Building Consensus
  • Collaborating
  • Showing Empathy
  • Advocating
  • Teaching & Training
  • Leading & Mentoring
  • Motivating & Inspiring
  • Delegating
  • Promoting & Facilitating Inclusiveness
  • Developing & Maintaining Relationships/Partnerships
Personal Success: Developing Self-Awareness and Accountability
  • Demonstrating Integrity & Ethical Conduct
  • Demonstrating Organizational Skills
  • Demonstrating the Ability to Follow Instructions, Policies & Procedures
  • Demonstrating Diligence & a Strong Work Ethic
  • Demonstrating Confidence
  • Demonstrating Professionalism & a Positive Attitude
  • Maintaining Confidentiality
  • Taking Ownership & Accountability
  • Being Flexible & Adaptable to Change
  • Being Proactive
  • Maintaining Composure
  • Demonstrating a Commitment to Continuous Learning
  • Managing Time Effectively
  • Demonstrating Perseverance & Resilience
  • Demonstrating Attention to Detail
  • Being Receptive to Feedback
  • Managing Work/Life Balance
  • Taking Initiative
Social Responsibility and Community Engagement: Getting REDI* to make a difference
(*Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion)
  • Embracing Diversity
  • Challenging Unfairness or Injustice
  • Demonstrating Cultural Competence
  • Demonstrating a Commitment to Civic Engagement
  • Demonstrating Social Consciousness
  • Staying Up-To-Date with Current Affairs/Issues
  • Engaging in Advocacy
  • Cultivating Community and Pride
Knowledge Acquisition and Application: Learning and Applying Technical Skills
  • Interpreting and Applying Specific Legislation, Policies & Best Practices
  • Staying Current
  • Demonstrating Information or Communication Technology Proficiency
  • Using Specific Techniques & Technology
  • Demonstrating Numerical Literacy
  • Reading Understanding & Evaluating Information
  • Processing Information
  • Demonstrating Document Use Proficiency
  • Interpreting and Applying Specific Theories & Frameworks
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: Making Effective Decisions
  • Demonstrating Crisis Intervention Skills
  • Problem-Solving
  • Exercising Judgement & Decision-Making
  • Action Planning
  • Critical Thinking & Analyzing
  • Researching & Investigating
  • Showing Creativity & Innovation