Male student in library surrounded by books is facing towards the camera whilst looking at an open book

June 15, 2023, by ahyeo2

What Nottingham Teaches You Beyond Your Degree

Emily Oxbury, MA History student blogger

It’s finally here, graduation day. Your friends and family are suited and booted, and you’re all ready to give your biggest grin while walking across the stage. As you leave the stage, you’re handed the prize. Your degree. That one piece of beautifully embossed paper symbolises the years of hard work and learning you’ve just completed. But does it just show your academic value? No! 

Your degree symbolises so much more than just your academic development, it’s a symbol for all the skills you’ve gained and hurdles you’ve overcome to reach the finale of university. Sometimes its easy to forget quite how much you learn throughout your university career, and I’m not just talking about subject facts you can wow your family with round the dinner table. There’s so many skills which can be taken into future careers which you may not have even realised you’ve developed whilst studying.

Independence and self motivation

Firstly, university for many is a huge boost in independence. Whether you moved to Nottingham new for university, or lived here before, many people find themselves living independently for the first time. This teaches you more skills than you may initially realise. Taking entire responsibility for your schedule – even as simple as deciding what time to wake up in the morning – can teach you valuable lessons in time management. Moreover, the teaching style throughout a degree requires a great deal of organisation and motivation to get started on assignments ahead of time. 

People skills

Throughout your time at university, you interact with a host of new people, on your course, in your flat or within the societies you join. It’s a great chance to mingle with people from a variety of backgrounds, all with their own stories and interests. Much like joining a new workplace, university forces you to collaborate and debate from the get go with a group of strangers, who quickly become colleagues and friends. You’ll undoubtedly have a similar experience during your first few weeks at work, being introduced to a plethora of new people. 

Time management

Completing a degree undoubtedly requires juggling multiple things at once. With many students balancing their academic studies, social life and a part-time job, there’s no doubt you come away from university well versed in time management and organisation. Be it that you’ve figured out the most time-effective way to read articles and make notes, or become a whizz with your colour coded calendar, everyone figures out the best way to schedule their hectic lives whilst at university.


Generally speaking, the University of Nottingham offers numerous skills sessions, workshops and opportunities all of which help you to gain more confidence. Student-led seminars and assessed presentations are becoming a more common assessment form at Nottingham, and whilst they may initially seem daunting, they fill you with a plethora of public speaking skills. Taking on committee roles allows you to gain more confidence in dealing with third-party groups, completing risk assessments or organising events. 


Be it a complex topic you just can’t get your head around, or a personal issue within friendships and relationships, your time at university will have forced you into many dilemmas. This in turn will allow you to learn the things you need or want to prioritise, and how to overcome such issues smoothly. 

Unsure of your next steps? Why not book a careers appointment.

Posted in Graduating in 2023Student Bloggers