Problem solving and decision making



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Skills and Attributes for Career Success: Developing an enterprising mindset Problem solving and decision making


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.


Arti Kumar MBE: Author

Arti Kumar is a National Teaching Fellow and Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. As former Associate Director of the employability-focused CETL at the University of Bedfordshire, she led and collaborated with staff within and outside the University, creating pedagogy that enables all students to develop and personalise graduate-level employability skills and attributes. The SOAR model she developed and authored is implemented in a variety of contexts in the UK and overseas.

Arti was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services in 2010. She currently freelances as an education consultant, volunteers as a school governor and mentor, and continues to write for publication.


Darren Johnson: Reviewer

Darren Johnson is an experienced higher-education careers adviser, the majority of his years of service spent at Durham University.

In his current role at Newcastle University he has contributed to enhancing the content of a specific academic employability module within animal science.

Darren freelances as a writer for AGCAS, having completed several jobs, country profiles and special sector series over the past ten years. He also volunteers as a college mentor at St Mary's College, Durham University.


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:

  • Investigation of having not just a problem solving and decision making skillset, but an entire mindset focused on these attributes
  • An assessment of real-world challenges, and how these challenges have been turned into opportunities
  • A six-step process to effective problem solving and decision making
  • Video detailing employers' views on problem solving and decision making in the workplace.

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.