Professionalism is used to describe the acceptable behaviour that employees exhibit in the workplace. In recent times, the word professionalism is now added to students’ lifestyles, identified by things like showing up on time for class, meeting deadlines, being focused, speaking coherently or setting goals, practising self-management, dressing appropriately, and working well in teams.
Research has shown that almost half of executives within the manufacturing industry thought their employees didn’t have basic employability skills – things like punctuality, attitude and teamwork (2015 Skills Gap survey). If you are a student arriving late to class, texting under your desk, using inappropriate language and unable to disconnect from social media long enough to do your assignments, then you may be heading to the above description in your post-undergraduate career.
The university campus learning environment is actually a professional environment built to drive professionalism in students similar in many ways to a professional work environment. An opportunity to have group discussions, assignments and questions can help you grasp the basic concept of teamwork.
Student professionalism 101 is, therefore, an introduction to help students of Skyline University Nigeria, as well as students of other universities, guide and analyze their professional attitudes and behaviours in the course of their interactions with colleagues, support staffs and faculties. For example, being prepared, building confidence, and attending every class, waking up on time, staying in a good mood, being responsible, self-awareness and staying motivated play significant roles in preparation for the post-graduation years.
You can begin by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier and arriving on time. You can work on being more respectful not just in the campus environment but at home as well. Professional behaviour also requires that we listen respectfully when others are speaking. In the end, you will gain self-awareness and self-management skills that will translate into better attendance and increased classroom participation.
Think about and answer the following questions about the ways you think and behave like a student. Do you consider yourself a professional?
What does professionalism mean to you? What behaviours and attitudes are common to students or workers who behave professionally? How might adopting professional behaviours and attitudes help you be a successful undergraduate student? Which professional behaviours and attitudes will you adopt this semester? How will your course mates and instructors know that you are demonstrating professional behaviour?
Professionalism is not just for the business industry or service personnel but it is for everyone who understands the value of having employability skills.