Throughout the podcast series, taking opportunities has been recommended by expert staff and successful students. Learning to take and make your own opportunities will allow you to develop your skills alongside your degree, will enhance your CV and will help you to find your passions.
A key ingredient in taking opportunities is being bold in the moment. Boldness is having a voice and being confident enough in the moment to use it. I interviewed Head of the Law School Sue Jennings to discuss how we learnt to be bold, how to overcome the barriers to being bold and how to evaluate opportunities. Here are some of the key points from the podcast.
One moment of boldness can lead to lots of opportunities. If you are successful in getting an opportunity through being bold it can open many doors. If you are not successful, this is an opportunity to reflect or to find an experience that will help you. See our being free to fail guide to learn more about how failure is an opportunity.
The second key highlight is to try to find opportunities that are right for you, rather than just taking any and every opportunity that comes your way. Sue recommended to learn to listen and to spot what opportunities are out there and then to evaluate if they are right for you. If you are unsure if something is right for you, consider taking a leap of faith and trying it. Some of the best opportunities are the ones where you have no idea what to expect and sometimes they could lead to further better opportunities and new connections.
The third key highlight is to ensure that your schedule has flexibility so that you can take unknown opportunities that come your way. Sometimes amazing opportunities come up at short notice, and having a flexible schedule can really allow you to take advantage of them. If an opportunity arises at a time that you cannot do, consider attempting to negotiate the opportunity. Successful student Tyra Tucker negotiated her appearance on the podcast around her exams, and Anisha Johal negotiated pre-recording a conference appearance when it clashed with a university trip to New York.
The final highlight is that taking opportunities can help you to find out who you are, what you like and what you actually want to do in the future. For example I found out that I like to be creative, and podcast guest Liz Hayden found her graduate job in an area that she had did not considered. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and get as much experience as you can to discover who you are and to develop your skills.