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Life Skills are as Important as Academic Qualifications

Preparing students to succeed in the world of work and build a career with the right tools

Life Skills are as Important as Academic Qualifications

One of the greatest challenges for graduates is to acquire the interpersonal skills demanded in the workplace, over and above the academic and technical skills obtained at the IMM Graduate School. The Professional Development initiative has been launched and designed by the IMM Graduate School to give its graduates the theoretical and practical framework needed to develop professional behavioural competencies.

This initiative offers students non-academic skills, behaviours and tools necessary to achieve success in their careers. Students will learn how to interact with co-workers and clients and how to navigate the world with confidence.

Exclusive to the IMM Graduate School, the Professional Development initiative is an added value, expanded curriculum offering to students at the educational institution. The initiative will provide students with hundreds of resources and micro-learning  courses to enable them to ‘Be Recognised, Be Relevant, Be Ready’ and to succeed in the workplace.

‘Be Recognised, Be Relevant, Be Ready’ and to succeed in the workplace

New students and current students starting a new programme at the IMM Graduate School are automatically included as participants to the Professional Development Initiative.

According to a survey by McGraw-Hill Education, only 40% of college seniors in the US felt prepared to pursue a career after they receive their degree. In fact, 59% of the students surveyed felt that their colleges and universities could have done more to prepare them for their careers. The IMM Graduate School is committed to ensuring that its graduates are equipped for the job marketplace.

Colleges and universities can best help students transition into the workplace by offering support through courses that translate academic skills into the workplace context and prepare them for lifelong learning.

Topics covered by the IMM Professional Development initiative include personal management, group effectiveness, personal influence, wellness and mindfulness, and financial literacy. Modules will cover the likes of self-esteem, body language, burnout, personal branding, social media presence, cultural diversity, gender mainstreaming, disability awareness, POPIA, budgeting, and estate planning etc.

Resources include access to all networking events hosted by The Institute of Marketing  South Africa; IMM Fridays where marketing experts give talks; access to the Strategic Marketing for Africa Journal; engagement with marketing professionals; and induction into workplace experiences at the various stages of work.

IMM Graduate School students participate each semester for the duration of their studies. Students must complete a minimum of five activities in each level of participation (bronze certificate, silver certificate and the gold certificate when the degree is conferred). For each level, students will receive a separate certificate of completion and a badge. Once they have completed level three of the Professional Development Initiative, they will receive Lifelong Associateship to the Institute of Marketing Management.

According to the University of Massachusetts Global, if students today want to build a career, they need to become “proficient communicators, innovative creators, sharp critical thinkers, and multifaceted collaborators”. To enable students to succeed in the workplace in their chosen careers, life skills, innovation and creativity, economic and digital literacy, and active citizenry are as important as their academic qualifications, says Angela Bruwer, Executive Academic Head of the IMM Graduate School.

The IMM Graduate School aims to provide a 360-degree solution to all students and industry professionals, from their first qualification; to continuous professional development as they build their careers in the industry.