Career coaching

Personal and Professional Development – for a solid career foundation

Knowing who you are and what will be your next step after graduation is not only about the academic knowledge you gained at Wageningen University & Research. It is about the complete package that makes your personality unique. Once you combine your academic rigor – your professional development – together with your personal traits, you will create a stable foundation to take the next step to enter the labor market.

Once personal and professional development go hand in hand together, you are well prepared for that next step. You will become more aware about who you are and what talents and ambitions you have. This way, you can gear yourself into the direction that will fit you best.

To learn more about personal development, self-reflection is key. Student Career Services is here to help and support you discovering more about yourself.

Self-reflection

To gain more insight about yourself, four main questions are the starting point. These questions can be found below. To identify who you are you can create your own navigation manual to guide you. It will answer the four main questions and provides clarity and focus. In order to make this profile, take the following steps into account:

Who am I?

Knowing who you are is reflecting on the past. What shaped you? Who influenced you? What decisions did you make? Visualizing the life you lived up until today is a way to discover more about yourself. The Life Lines is a proven method in (career)coaching to reflect on your life so far.

What am I good at?

It is good to know what you are good at, and what your pitfalls are. The Core Quadrant helps to find out more about your core qualities and your pitfalls. For inspiration, find a list of qualities here.

Asking others feedback on yourself, may reinforce the qualities you have, but can also reveal your blind spots and show points to develop. It is ok to not be good at everything and to include this in your navigation manual. 360 degree feedback is thereful a useful way to complete the selfreflection.

Qualities are given by nature, skills are nurtured. So, what are the skills you learned throughout life so far; during your study, during volunteer work, during sports or hobby’s or elsewhere. We divide hard skills (it skills, languages, lab skills, etc.) and soft skills – or personal skills (organizing, planning, communicating, etc.). You can develop these skills through education, extracurricular activities and sidejobs or other work. An overview of professional skills and extracurricular activities can be found here.

What career do I want?

Once you have reflected on all these topics, you can start thinking about where to work. Not every organization will be a perfect fit. Here are some things to keep in mind while you start searching: Size of the company; a big corporate or a start-up ? An informal or more formal culture? NGO, governmental or commercial? International or local?

Most likely you will end up working with other colleagues, working in a team or perhaps more independently. Knowing more about your performance within a team is helpful. The Belbin Test will reveal your role in a team.

How do I get the job?

Once you completed the self-reflection, it is time to find that job and start the search process. Time to update your CV, your LinkedIn profile and brand yourself in a way that describes you best! Start broadening your network, if not already done so. Start looking for job descriptions that match with your qualities, your skills, your values. Create a personal motivation letter and if required, practice a mock interview. Student Career Services is here to help you during that last step in landing that job or internship that fits you! We offer a variety of career trainings and workshops to help you for that final step.

Forms of Personal Development and ways to assess yourself

There is a variety of tests available to assess yourself. Depending what you would like to test, you can choose. Furthermore, you can develop yourself further with a variety of courses and modules.

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Online Career Modules

WUR Student Career Services is in close collaboration with Career Centers of other universities. Via this network, Maastricht University provides free access to their Online Career Modules to improve your skills.

Belbin teamroles test

The Belbin test shows you what kind of role you take within a team. You can access this test here.

Various online tests

Via this link you can access various tests, like personalit tests, IQ tests or assessments.

Rose of Leary

This test is about your behavior and how this influences others and vice versa. There are two versions: the Dutch version and the English version.

Personal Motivation Assessment (PMA)

This course is offered as an elective course for Bachelor and Master students. You will get the opportunity to increase your self-awareness via different assignments. Via the workbooks of the Motivational Compass you will learn more about your intrinsic motivation, your motives and how to make conscious study and career choices. Find more information here.

Career Exploration (MOS Module)

The MOS Module Career Exploration is offered as an elective course for Master students and is a follow up of PMA. Via different assignments you will learn how to link your personal qualities to career opportunities. You will apply this altogether when creating your personal profile and writing your application letter. You can find more information about this module here.

Academic Consultancy Training (ACT)

Academic Consultancy Training course (ACT) provides you the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team on a specific question or challenge for a commissioner. A great way to learn for yourself what it is like working in a team. Listening, communicating, presenting, delegating are key for a good end result. A coach will give practical feedback on your role in the ACT team.