How to ‘futureproof’ yourself for success

29 June 2017

UTS alumni in the UK recently heard from industry leaders on the skills that will be essential for the jobs of tomorrow.

What will be the key industries of tomorrow, and what are the ‘futureproof’ skills we will need to succeed?

This was the focus of a special panel discussion and networking event for our UK-based alumni in London last month. Hosted by UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs, nearly 100 UTS alumni heard from a range of innovative and creative speakers who are now leaders in their fields.

Panellists including Jeremy Basset, CEO of CO:CUBED, Supun King-Jayawardana, Head of the CBA's Innovation Lab, Myf Ryan, Chief Marketing Officer of Westfield, UK & Europe, and Josh Haagsma, Head of Production at Tigerspike, shared their insights, stories and advice on mastering the skills that helped boost their careers.

As a startup and innovation specialist, Basset (Bachelor of Accounting, 2004), said that the leadership skills essential for professional success – regardless of location, sector, industry or organisational size – include an entrepreneurial mindset, a collaborative approach, and an “intrigue for what’s next”.

“The pace of change will never be as slow as it is today and it's vital that we're equipping and empowering our leaders with a passion and capability to embrace the future,” he said.

"The leadership skills essential for professional success include an entrepreneurial mindset, a collaborative approach, and an 'intrigue for what’s next'."

“The rise and fall of large organisations has never been more accelerated and it's vital we ensure our organisations are positioned for long-term prosperity. This requires an ambidextrous leadership capability which involves simultaneously managing the old while embracing the new.”

According to Basset, it was his experience at UTS which led him to an internship at Unilever, where he rose through the ranks and was eventually responsible for initiating and scaling Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s global platform to connect with startups.

“The teaching at UTS open my eyes to a world of opportunities. I had the privilege of learning from some amazing professors and academic staff,” he said.

“Through my bachelor program I gained exposure to industry leaders and built many great friendships. But most importantly, UTS gave me the opportunity, framework and space to explore life's bigger questions and understand my role in the world.”

Speaking at the event, UTS Chancellor Catherine Livingstone AO, Chair of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, emphasised that the ‘soft skills’ learnt at university were crucial for success as graduates moved from industry to industry. “It’s the absolute focus at UTS to make sure that as a professional you graduate with a very strong portfolio of soft skills.”

Held at the Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Lab, the panel event was opportunity for alumni to connect and network with fellow graduates. Samia Robbins (Bachelor of Business, 2000), Senior Sustainability Manager at consultancy firm Mott McDonald, has been involved with the UTS alumni network in London for more than two years. She said alumni events such as these were vital for connecting with like-minded peers from a diverse range of sectors.

"The value of continued involvement with UTS is in learning new topics by keen champions who are well recognised in the various industries we represent."

Attendees from the Vice-Chancellor London reception

See all photos from the event here

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