W. P. Carey Alumni Share 5 Key Qualities Employers Look for in Recent Grads

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: In your experience, what do employers most want to see in recent grads?

Here is what they shared:

  • An Eagerness to Learn
  • Invested Time in Introspection and Self-Assessment
  • Ability to Work Well With Others
  • Agility and Situational Awareness
  • Problem-Solving Skills

Showcase An Eagerness to Learn

It’s no secret that employers these days are looking for candidates who are eager to learn and demonstrate a commitment to their organization. 

With so much competition in the job market, it’s important to show that you’re willing to put in the effort to develop your skills and contribute to the success of your employer. So if you’re a W.P. Carey Grad looking for your first job out of college, make sure to highlight your willingness to learn and grow when you’re interviewing or submitting your application. 

Jon Schneider, BS Marketing ‘99,  President and Founder of Recruiterie

Invest Time in Introspection and Self-Assessment

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, one indispensable skill employers, including myself, value in recent graduates is self-awareness. This trait underpins emotional intelligence and adaptability, two crucial aspects for thriving in the modern workspace.

My advice to ASU graduates would be to invest time in introspection and self-assessment, continually identifying areas of strength and opportunities for growth. Embrace feedback, cultivate curiosity about yourself, and understand that this process of self-discovery is an ongoing journey, not a one-time event. Being intimately acquainted with one’s capabilities and areas for improvement can make the difference between a good employee and a great leader.

Christopher Myers, BS Finance ‘06, Instructor at the W. P. Carey School of Business, CEO of  B:Side Capital

Working Well With Others is Key to Success in The Workplace

Regardless of the industry, collaboration – working well with other people – is a key skill that employers are looking for in recent graduates. ASU grads had multiple opportunities to have gained this skill during their academic journey such as in group class projects, participation in sports and clubs, and volunteering activities.

To continue building upon this skill, ask to assist with team projects at work, volunteer at local non-profit organizations, or join professional groups like Toastmasters or something focused in the industry you want to work in.

Even in your social life, there may be collaborative opportunities including philanthropic work, supporting faith-based groups, or joining the alumni organization of something you were involved in at ASU.

Employers appreciate a graduate’s commitment to a lifelong interest in building and improving skills, so continuing to find ways to collaborate will be important throughout your career.

Stacie Garlieb, BS Sociology ‘85, President of Successful Impressions LLC

Learn Agility and Situational Awareness

When I graduated from ASU in May 2023, I found employers are looking for adaptable individuals who demonstrate learning agility. Participating in a wide range of courses, and being involved in a variety of on-campus organizations forced me to learn in different ways and further developed my situational awareness. ASU gave me ample resources to develop the skills necessary to enter the workforce. Taking advantage of the alumni network at ASU, building a network of students and alumni across varying fields of interest will help to synergize valuable opportunities.

Sam Smillie, BS Marketing with a Minor in Real Estate ‘23, Real Estate Representative at U-Haul

Emphasize Problem-Solving Skills

For skills that employers are looking for in recent grads, there is one skill that I believe is universal and important no matter the career or industry you plan on pursuing: problem-solving. Being able to tackle tasks that are complex and require critical thinking will easily set you apart from a majority of applicants.

You can showcase your problem-solving skills to employers by talking about a demanding project you might have worked on throughout your college career and highlighting what the project’s goal was, what steps you had to take to complete the project, and how you overcame any roadblocks that popped up along the way.

If you can master your problem-solving abilities, they will help carry you not only in your career but through any problems you may encounter in your life. Good luck in your job hunt!

Matthew Johnson, BS Marketing & Finance ‘20, Paid Media Manager at MWI

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center