“Soft skills get little respect but they will make or break your career” – Peggy Klaus
Students generally attend university or school to improve their knowledge and their technical skills in a specific field. Although technical skills and knowledge are important to your career, soft skills are often overlooked and indispensable. Developing skills takes time and practice. Generally, soft skills are left for students to acquire in their “entry-level” positions. ISAM focuses on the learning-by-doing model whereby students are encouraged to gather knowledge and develop hard and soft skills throughout their studies.
Here are the most underrated soft skills that ISAM students acquire throughout their studies:
Working and learning in a culturally diverse group in an international environment allows students to develop the skill of working with team members with very different backgrounds, opinions, and cultures. When students graduate from ISAM they are guaranteed to have worked on several projects of varying complexity within culturally heterogeneous groups, giving them valuable experience in collaboration with international teams. The increasing globalization and digitization of the agricultural sector makes this an increasingly important soft skill.
Students at ISAM are generally exposed to a diverse environment daily, and those in the full-time program, they are often far away from home. This environment allows our students to discover a lot about themselves, what they are passionate about, and to develop very much at a personal and professional level. ISAM invests in the personal development of the students by ensuring that it is integrated into the curriculum and by onboarding professionals in this area to facilitate long-term workshops with our students.
Not every idea you bring to the table is a good one. Not every project is a success. At MIAM, our students learn to bounce back from setbacks and to face challenges in more profound ways. Classmates and professors will provide you with constructive criticism and there are opportunities to improve throughout the year. The agricultural sector in particular is continually dealing with extreme challenges and rapid change. Being resilient in this sector is vital to ensuring happiness in a long-term career.
ISAM students are required to communicate complex ideas in short periods of time to diverse audiences. During the MIAM program, non-native English speakers find that their English improves, and they learn to share complex ideas in simple but meaningful ways.
The curriculum involves many presentations, many of which are group presentations. Students learn to present ideas under time constraints, as well as how to conduct presentations with different purposes. From pitching a startup to presenting an expansion strategy for a company or a complex marketing campaign – ISAM students are exposed to it all throughout their time in their Master.
Building your personal brand
ISAM understands the importance of students learning how to market themselves. Master classes in this area are plentiful throughout the first semester of the program and has shown some fruitful results in previous intakes. LinkedIn profiles, CVs, cover letters and interview skills are refined to enable students to leave memorable impressions on recruiters.
ISAM is very dedicated to offering a wide network to our students. With network events and assistance with networking at international events, ISAM students are supported to build their networks and are given many opportunities to develop and refine their networking skills. A network is an irreplaceable asset which can only be expanded in proportion to networking skills, which is why ISAM focuses intensely on networking events and skills.
Chris Jones said, “Unfortunately, some people believe that soft skills aren’t that important. However, almost every employer I’ve ever talked to about this disagrees. In a world where job roles are changing rapidly, soft skills will be one of the few constants.” The agricultural sector is well-known for rapid change and ISAM aims to equip its students with these comprehensive soft skills which are valuable constants for our students to rely on in their careers.