Attributes to develop at Surrey to enable you to graduate career ready

Studying at Surrey enables you to develop attributes that will make you employable.

Many of you are already developing these attributes in different ways through your degree programmes and variety of work experiences and extra-curricular activities.   In this series of blogs we aim to explain what the graduate attributes are and why they are important.

  1. Employability
  2. Global and Cultural Capability
  3. Digital Capability
  4. Sustainability
  5. Resourcefulness and resilience

In the first blog we take a dive into the employability and global attributes.


Employability is about developing a broad set of skills, knowledge and attributes that will help you to gain employment and be successful throughout your working life.

It’s important because whilst obtaining a degree will allow you to apply for specific graduate level jobs, employers will also want you to demonstrate key transferable skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, self-management, leadership and both verbal and written communication skills.  

You are already developing these skills in an academic setting through your course, but employers also really value graduates who develop employability skills through a variety of work and life experiences. These will help you stand out more to graduate employers.

Ideas for developing your employability

  • Use the Careers Service to help you secure work experience through part-time work, summer internships, placements and volunteering opportunities.
  • Get involved in university life through participating in clubs and societies, volunteering or following your own specific extra-curricular activities that interest you.
  • Sign up to the University of Surrey Employability Award to get recognised for all your work experience and extra-curricular activities.  

Global and Cultural capability

Global and cultural capability is about recognising the interconnectedness of today’s world and the issues of global significance that affect us all.   

Graduates who see themselves as global citizens are aware of and understand the wider world and their place in it.  They recognise the importance of social responsibility and are open to engaging positively with different cultures and respect diverse perspectives. 

As the world of work is now more international, globalised, and multicultural, graduate employers want to recruit graduates who can perform well in intercultural and international work environments. 

Graduates who understand the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace where every individual can feel safe, a sense of belonging and is empowered to achieve their full potential are in high demand.

Ideas for developing your Global and Cultural capability

  • Try to become more aware of your own cultural biases and assumptions.  Expand your outlook by seeking out opportunities to interact with people from other cultures and people who are different to you.
  • Travelling abroad whether for study, work, volunteering or vacation will help you experience different cultures, religions, develop your language skills and meet people from a wide variety of countries.  
  • Check if you are eligible for Surrey’s Study abroad and Placement abroad and Summer programmes opportunities.  
  • Consider enrolling in the University of Surrey’s Global Graduate Award (GGA) in Global Citizenship
  • Enrol in the University of Surrey’s GGA in Languages where you can learn a new language or improve your existing skills through a selection of 11 languages (free of charge)

Find out about Digital Capability, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience in the other blogs in this series.