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MDX Graduate Competencies

Middlesex University is committed to ensuring that you step into the world of work with a 'felt' sense of confidence, a belief in your rightful place in society and the ability to articulate your ‘distinctiveness’ to potential employers.

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  • Future-proofing MDX students into the world of work

Our new MDX Graduate Competencies are the fundamental building blocks in preparing you for the future world of work. They form the foundation for learning outcomes within and beyond your taught programme.

The Graduate Competencies were defined by MDXworks, our careers and employability service, based on extensive research and in partnership with global, national and local employers as well as student groups across our international campuses.

The Competencies are relevant for every subject and you can work towards them in different ways, so that you can attain and benefit from them even if you have lots going on outside university. These MDX Graduate Competencies will be integrated across your programme and modules and can also be experienced and validated through a range of co-curricular activities, such as:

  • Working part-time, both on-campus or off-campus
  • Getting involved in Students’ Union activities and societies
  • Becoming an SVL, PVL or Ambassador
  • Internships and placements
  • Volunteering and virtual work experience
  • CPD courses via LinkedIn Learning or similar
  • At MDX you will develop and reflect on the competencies below

Leadership and Influence

What it means

You are action-oriented and motivated, ready to take initiative and lead where you see opportunity for positive impact in both your personal life journey and professional career aspirations. You are a compelling negotiator of change: You strive to authentically influence, inspire and lead through example.

Your skills and behaviours

A capacity for self-management and autonomy. The ability, through demonstrating trust and integrity, to establish, nurture and sustain a range of strong personal connections – with the potential for these to catalyse positive organisational change, innovation and outcomes. The capacity to engage and impact positively on others – imparting a sense of trust, and the endorsement of a collective direction, aims and objectives.

In our workplace, you have to take leadership in your own hands and we see everyone as a leader even if you are only leading yourself and your own work.

- LEGO Group -

Curiosity and Learning

What it means

You embrace the spirit of enquiry, curious to understand the world around you. You are pro-active in your desire for the knowledge and learning that will empower you to make positive impactful change.

Your skills and behaviours

A desire to discover and understand the world around us. Proactively seeking to acquire knowledge to engage in informed debate and be able to effect change. A capacity for self-directed independent study, reflection and analysis, and also for bold, cross-disciplinary thinking, active learning, and for exploring new fields with others through partnership and co-design.

Communication, Empathy and Inclusion

What it means

You are a strong, confident and professional communicator – able to engage seamlessly with people of all backgrounds, cultures and belief systems. You are compassionate and considerate, recognising that your local and global communities are nurtured and sustained through empathy, inclusion and an embedded appreciation of our connected humanity.

Your skills and behaviours

Being at ease with diversity and difference and true open-mindedness, never imposing one’s opinions or beliefs on others. Demonstrating integrity and authenticity, engendering trust and respect from everyone, regardless of background. An ability to demonstrate compassion and empathy naturally. At all times seeking to actively support, nurture and empower others - whether peers, colleagues, communities or causes.

"We look for Graduates to show a real eagerness to learn above all, other skills are a bonus but if graduates are keen to learn and try new things we find they thrive in the workplace regardless. At Warner Bros. Discovery, we look for candidates who have a passion for our industry and eagerness to learn new things. You don’t need to have experience in this area, but demonstrating that you have researched the company and the role and that you are willing to try new tasks that may be out of your comfort zone will set you apart from other candidates."

- Warner Bros -

Collaborative Innovation

What it means

You are a leader of change - confident in your ability to connect, collaborate and collectively build a more equal, prosperous and enriched society. You thrive on finding different ways to do things. You are a team-player, you actively form networks, and you are passionate about making positive change.

Your skills and behaviours

Experienced and comfortable working in groups and multidisciplinary teams, where individual and diverse strengths and insights contribute to new approaches, radical or incremental, to advance products, services and systems. Open to feedback and ideation sharing – demonstrating a mindset that strives to improve and develop new solutions.

Resilience and Adaptability

What it means

You are brave and strong in the face of adversity. You are flexible and pragmatic - primed to adapt whenever circumstances demand. Drawing upon lived experience to help shape your true potential - you allow no barrier to impede your aspirations, goals and dreams.

Your skills and behaviours

An ability to navigate through adversity. Being agile in adapting to changing external factors, new information or revision of priorities. Demonstrating a ‘can-do’ attitude, motivated to overcome challenges and setbacks in order to achieve personal and professional goals.

Problem solving and Delivery

What it means

You are primed to unpack, to critique and solve complex problems - large or small. You generate ideas – you look to create ‘the new way’. You are steadfast in your ethical approach to research, evaluation, judgement and dissemination - and will always seek to deliver optimal solutions for optimal impact.

Your skills and behaviours

An understanding that what employers need is the ability to take an extensive toolbox of skills and use these inventively to tackle bespoke challenges. The determination to see a project through to the end with the best possible result while maintaining the highest professional standards.

"Collaboration is a crucial skill that can put candidates ahead of the queue for jobs in marketing. Impact is a team sport and there is very little that can be achieved in isolation. We need the brains of the strategists, the flair of the creative, the diligence of production managers, and the affable nature of the account team. We also need to learn how to work with our internal stakeholders, to better understand our customers, and to liaise with research agencies for our insight. Put simply, if a candidate can’t rally a team around a common goal, can't endear people to their point of view and ultimately be influential then they are not set up to be in the marketing game. If talent can leave university having already had experiences that allow them to better understand themselves and to hone their skills in collaboration… they will walk effortlessly into jobs ready to go."

- Ogilvy -

Entrepreneurship (Mindset)

What it means

You foster your entrepreneurial mindset in order to be an innovative leader of change. You are confident in both your autonomy to self-direct and your proven ability to connect, collaborate and collectively build a more equal, enriched and prosperous society.

Your skills and behaviours

An understanding of fundamental business principles and their interplay with commercial operations. Possession of a blend of attributes and behaviours that synergise in the creation of economic, cultural and social value. A capacity for strategic thinking in relation to financial decisions and organisational resources, and using this to maximise commercial advantage, the short, medium and long term.

Technological Agility

What it means

You recognise that the power of technology lies in human ingenuity and the ability to use technology to solve complex problems through creative solutions. You are agile in your capacity to evolve and upgrade your skills at pace with industry change – fully enabled to apply technology in the most efficient and effective ways.

Your skills and behaviours

The ability to apply technological skills in creative ways or in combination, to the task at hand. Confident in moving across different technologies and platforms, and to identify and acquire new skills. Competence and confidence around technology, underpinning an imaginative, playful mindset about what technology can be used to achieve.

Three students standing in front of a whiteboard, looking at a book. One of the students is holding a marker, ready to take notes on the board

"These skills (competencies) are all building blocks for someone who can approach problems with the curiosity and resilience to develop ideas and plans to address those problems. Very often the problems presented in our working world are as much about getting people to come together / work together as they are about technical issues. With regard to digital skills, a basic level of competency in the use of some relevant digital tools is expected, a curiosity to learn more is needed, and in some situations deeper specific expertise is needed but you'll know that in any case if its a route you are pursuing for your career."

- PwC -

  • Get in touch

Speak to your Academic Adviser or contact MDXworks at mdxworks@mdx.ac.uk for more information on how you can build these critical skills for the future into your professional profile.

Booking a 1:1 appointment

Whether you’re looking for a job while studying, a placement or internship as part of your course, or a full-time graduate role, we have a team of advisers to support you with specific career-related information, advice and guidance. Man sitting behind a work desk, talking to a woman sitting on the other side of the desk

You can book an appointment for:

  • CV, cover letter and application review
  • Interview support
  • Placement, internship and work experience search
  • Finding part-time work
  • Graduate job search
  • Self-employment/entrepreneurship advice
  • Further study applications.

Book an appointment with a Faculty Employability Adviser or, alternatively, if you cannot find any available slots, please email our MDXworks team (mdxworks@mdx.ac.uk) or call 0208 411 6161.

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