Graduate Attributes

Reflecting on your experiences

This page provides you with information about reflecting on your experiences to increase your learning, get the most out of them and develop your Graduate Attributes.

Why reflect on your experiences?

Learning from your experiences

To increase your own personal development and to compete in the job market when you graduate, it is really important to keep track of what you are doing in your studies and outside of them. Not only does this help when putting together your CV and job applications but reflecting on your experiences will boost what you learn from them.

Your time before University, during and after is a constant learning experience – whether this is becoming more and more specialised in your subject area or developing your skills and mindsets, for example in problem solving or time management to name a few. You will have some experiences that you find easy and natural, and others that are more challenging for you. Reflection allows you to really get the most out of your experiences – identifying which skills and abilities are stronger/weaker for you and why, and which you need to develop. 

Getting the most from your experiences

The more reflection you do the more you will start building up knowledge of what skills and abilities are your strengths and which you need to develop.  You should then be seeking opportunities that help you improve and develop your own unique set of attributes.

You should be thinking about what your experiences tell you about your mindsets and your skills – the other pages in this site will give you more information about the different mindsets and skills in the University's Graduate Attributes.  Below are some questions to ask yourself.

 

For each mindset For each skills group
  • What is your current mindset in this area?
  • Usage – Which parts of your life use skills in this area?  For example, you may use analysis skills in your studies but also in your part-time work.
  • What impact does this mindset have?  How does it influence your actions and behaviour?
  • Areas of confidence – What skills in this area do you already feel strong in?  What experiences give you evidence of this?
  • What experiences have contributed to developing your mindset?
  • Areas for development – What skills do you feel weaker in and would like to develop?
  • What experiences will help further refine and/or strengthen your mindset?
  • How can you increase your skills in this area?

 

How to start reflecting - support and suggestions

We created the Reflection Toolkit to support students and staff to kick-start their reflective practice – perhaps someone has asked you to reflect or you want to learn and get the most out of your experiences.  The Reflection Toolkit provides practical tools, questions and activities that can help you with your reflections, together with guidance on how to present reflections academically. 

The Reflection Toolkit

 

Keep a record of all the different experiences you have done so far and keep it up-to-date – it always seems unnecessary but so many people say they wished they had when it comes to putting together things like a strong job application.  There's not one 'right' way to reflect – find a tool that works for you, for example: