One of the major purposes international students choose to study abroad is to enhance their career opportunities. To do this successfully, they need to know the specific skills employers seek in graduate students. Strap in as we take a trip into the minds of employers to find out what they look out for.

1. Commercial Awareness (or business acumen)

Employers look for graduate students who think business or industry. This is because it makes them curious to know how a business or industry works and what makes a company tick. It also gives them a better appreciation of quality production of products and efficient service delivery.

Furthermore, it makes them think customer care, human and resource management and excellence in the workplace. They ponder on the most sustainable ways to use cutting edge technology without breaking the bank. This way, they’re sure to add value.

2. Teamwork

While students find it easy to work on their own, employers lookout for team players. This is important because it is the collaborative effort of everyone that makes for the success of the organization. So you need to prove that you can take and delegate responsibility as well as manage others. It’s about building positive working relationships that help co-workers achieve goals and business objectives.

3. Negotiation and Persuasion

As a graduate student, you become an employer’s top choice when you are able to handle negotiations and persuasions efficiently. This involves considering the other party’s standpoint as well as yours and being able to find a favourable middle ground. This way, all parties get what they want and everyone’s happy. This is a great skill to have.

4. Problem-Solving

In the workplace, there’s bound to be challenges that need to solved so how good are you at problem-solving? Can you take a logical and analytical approach to solving problems and resolving issues? This is one of the skills employers seek in graduate students which could determine whether you get the job or not.

5. Leadership

As a graduate student, you need to show that you have the potential to motivate teams and other colleagues in the workplace. Can you get people to work gladly when you delegate tasks and have the job done at stipulated deadlines? Can you lead by example? If your answer is yes, then you are on the right track.

6. Organisation

Being an international student requires you to be able to prioritise, work efficiently and productively, and manage your time well. This comes in handy as employers want to know that you can decide what is important, focus on it and get it done. It’s a pointer to the fact that you can meet deadlines.

7. Perseverance and Motivation

Life happens to everyone so if you have the tendency to bear the look of what you’re going through on your face, employers may not hire you. They’re looking for someone who can stay motivated at work despite prevailing challenges and do so gracefully.

They also want to know if you can stay calm in a crisis and not become too overwhelmed or stressed when working under pressure.

8. Confidence

Owing to the fact that you’ll be working with people of diverse backgrounds and orientations, you need to be confident in yourself. Confidence, not arrogance is the watchword here. Express such confidence in your colleagues and the company you work for. This is one of the major skills employers seek in graduate students.

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