Introduction to key skills and attributes



Welcome! Click the tabs below for more information about the structure of this course, the authors and contributors, and what you can expect to gain from the course.

When you are ready to begin, please proceed to the 'Introduction' page.

Skills and Attributes for Career Success: Developing an enterprising mindset Introduction to key skills and attributes


Tom Davie: Lead advisor (1)

Tom Davie has 35 years of experience in the careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) profession.

As Head of Sunderland Futures and the Careers and Employability Service, he was responsible for developing and implementing a unique offer providing students and graduates with support in, 'Getting skills', 'Getting experience' and 'Getting noticed'.

Tom was also Deputy Head at Durham University Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre. He provided careers advice and guidance to students, early career researchers and staff. He also line-managed careers advisers and other careers professionals.

At Sunderland and Durham, he collaborated with senior academic staff on enhancing skills and attributes within the curriculum.

Tom currently retains his commitment to CEIAG by working part time, advising and guiding students and graduates at the University of Newcastle and supporting colleagues with his delivery of training on AGCAS/University of Warwick Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education courses.


Dr. Jon Howden-Evans: Lead advisor (2)

Dr. Jon Howden-Evans is the Head of Swansea Employability Academy at Swansea University. Jon oversees delivery of employability and enterprise support to undergraduate and postgraduate students, including Engineering, Medicine, Arts and Humanities. The Academy coordinates a central careers service and innovative engagement initiatives between Academic Colleges and the Students' Union.

Jon, a qualified company commercial solicitor, joined Swansea University 12 years ago to develop and teach a professional postgraduate diploma for law graduates wishing to enter practice. As part of this role he worked with employers to inform the skills agenda and placement learning. Jon has taught with the Open University and whilst working for a national law firm, he provided legal compliance and skills training to a range of clients. Jon is an external examiner for other institutions.


Suzanne Auty: Author

Suzanne Auty is an experienced teacher and lecturer. With a background in enterprise education and curriculum development, Suzanne's career has focused on the oversight and management of teaching and learning initiatives, the development and provision of extra curricular skills training and the establishment of innovative programmes of enterprise activity.

Most recently, Suzanne worked as Enterprise Co-ordinator at Durham University where she was responsible for initiatives supporting the development of student enterprise skills and attributes, as well as advising those wishing to pursue self-employment as a postgraduate career destination.


Jan Perrett, MBE, MA, BA (Hons) DipCG: Reviewer

Jan Perrett has worked in the field of career guidance for over 30 years – in schools, colleges and for the most part, in universities. She worked at the University of Nottingham as Deputy Director of the Careers and Employability Service, and left in 2014 to set up as a freelance Higher Education Training Consultant, working primarily with AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services).

Her passion has always been for the development of professional guidance practice and the understanding of career theory in its broadest interpretation. Jan was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for Services to Higher Education and received her award at Buckingham Palace in February 2015.


Wilma Alexander: Accessibility Advisor

Wilma Alexander has recently retired from the University of Edinburgh, where she was part of the central e-learning team for over 15 years. During that time she promoted the importance of usable and accessible digital practice, tutoring on the groundbreaking Master's in Digital Education, developing online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since 2007 she has worked with Epigeum, now part of Oxford University Press, on improving the accessibility features of their courses, and on ensuring content emphasises accessibility and usability where appropriate. Wilma is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has a Master's qualification in Human-Computer Interaction and Information Science.

The diagram below explains the chronology of the course.

Course highlights include:

  • Video of employers explaining what they want to see in terms of enterprise skills and attributes
  • Discussion of the many skills and attributes students can show to help display their enterprising mindset
  • An introduction to the STAR technique
  • The chance for students to assess how enterprising they currently are, and what they can do now to become more enterprising.

The Skills and Attributes for Career Success programme has been developed in conjunction with the following institutions:

  • James Cook University
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • Ulster University
  • University of Newcastle, Australia
  • University of West London.