The Buckeye Advantage

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE BUCKEYE ADVANTAGE?

The Buckeye Advantage (program icon)

As an Arts and Sciences major, the depth and breadth of your coursework along with the on and off campus activities you participate in allow you to develop a set of core skills that will be advantageous moving forward.

The Buckeye Advantage includes 10 essential skills and traits employers and graduate schools desire, and are developed through a process that involves engagement and performance feedback.Career Success can support you in understanding your individual competencies and planning ways to further develop your readiness for life beyond Ohio State.

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Talking about the Buckeye Advantage tipsheet [pdf]

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    BUCKEYE ADVANTAGE COMPETENCIES

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    Buckeye Advantage - Achieve Productivity (competency icon)

    A productive student is able to:

    • Hold themselves and others accountable
    • Recognize priorities and integrate practices that increase personal impact
    • Seek assistance early when faced with roadblocks

    Being a “professional” is far more than simply being a model employee at work. Professionalism can be observed in all facets of your educational career and also outside the walls of Ohio State.  Being professional allows you to make positive impressions on those you interact with which, in turn, will lead to success in the future.

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Review tutorials on writing with a professional tone and then practice professionalism in your emails to faculty.
    • Use a calendar to prioritize work/assignments and meet deadlines.
    • Evaluate your social media through the eyes of an employer and determine appropriateness.
    • If you have the opportunity to attend a dining etiquette event, consider yourself lucky!
    • Ask a supervisor or mentor to provide you with feedback on how you could be more professional and/or productive.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Apply Logic (competency icon)

    Students who are able to apply logic are able to:

    • Determine a problem’s root causes
    • Obtain, organize and interpret pertinent data
    • Synthesize information from multiple sources

    Within the classroom, and outside of it, Arts and Sciences students engage in a variety of problem-solving activities. Whether it’s via a research project finding solutions for your employer, students can add to this scale across the spectrum.

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Develop an action plan with specific steps to solve a problem.
    • Offer to assist a work site supervisor with brainstorming solutions to a problem.
    • Be a volunteer tutor, assisting peers or K-12 students in the community with various academic subjects.
    • Consider helping a faculty member with a research project. Learn about projects via Ohio State's Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry.
    • Join a student organization that is focused on addressing a problem that you feel passionate about.
    • Track the information published by Ohio State’s Discovery Themes programs.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Bridge Cultural Differences (competency icon)

    When a student is able to bridge cultural differences, they can:

    • Apply knowledge of cultural norms, including one’s own, to inform interactions
    • Learn about and recognize socio-linguistic differing
    • Engage with differing perspectives in a productive way

    A student who has a global perspective values, respects, and learns from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. This student can demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individual differences.

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Attend events sponsored by Ohio State’s Multicultural Center.
    • Attend a religious service with a friend whose faith differs from yours.
    • Volunteer at an off-campus organization that focuses on assisting people from other countries.
    • Attend programs hosted by Global Engagement, a unit within Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs, that provides opportunities for international and domestic students to experience our diverse campus culture.
    • If you’re more comfortable with one-on-one interactions, consider participating in the Exchange Partner Program.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Communicate Effectively (competency icon)

    A student who communicates effectively is able to:

    • Express oneself clearly when speaking and writing
    • Listen and read to understand fully
    • Adjust communications to maximize engagement

    Employers, when recruiting through Career Success, repeatedly mention communication skills as one they value highly. As an Arts and Sciences student you are exposed to a variety of ways to improve upon this skill through your coursework.  

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Take a course on public speaking, business writing or any other course focused on communication skills.
    • Consider blogging or creating a podcast addressing a topic you are passionate about.
    • Join a student organization and volunteer to create and edit reports for the group.
    • Sign up for a mock interview to practice talking about yourself using self-promotion tactics.
    • Take at least two writing intensive courses and work with the Writing Center staff to address writing issues noted by the instructors.
    • Join Toastmasters, a group devoted to increasing the public speaking skills of its membership.
    • Apply to work as a tour guide for Undergraduate Admissions.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Embrace Diversity (competency icon)

    Students who embrace diversity:

    • Understand personal biases and structural inequities
    • Interact respectfully so all feel valued
    • Seek solutions that achieve equity and inclusion

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    Diversity of experiences, cultures, preferences and ways of thinking can lead to better solutions to common business challenges, and can make life better for everyone. Embracing diversity is not about giving up your own beliefs, but about seeing the value in the experiences of others. A benefit of being a student at Ohio State is the sheer volume of diversity on our great campus. Take advantage of what this University has to offer. Get out. Meet new people. Learn from others!  

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Leverage Technology (competency icon)

    When a student is able to effectively leverage technology, they can:

    • Choose tools that will solve problems or increase efficiencies
    • Learn about new digital tools as they emerge
    • Be adaptable in the face of change

    Many employers, especially those recruiting Communication, English or Journalism majors, look for students with a firm understanding of the technology available to them. These employers are also looking for students who have the ability to learn new technologies as they are developed.

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Engage with the resources available through the Digital Union. How can you use their resources to complete course projects? If you’re a leader of a student organization, consider setting up a video conferencing meeting for your members-especially if a large percentage of your organization lives off campus.
    • Maintain social media pages for a student organization or small business owner.
    • Create and write a blog while studying abroad, doing ongoing volunteer work, etc.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Make Contributions (competency icon)

    When you make contributions, you're working to make this world a better place.  You can:

    • Devote time to a cause that you care about
    • Share your skills and knowledge to benefit your community
    • Recruit a team of peers for a community service project

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Attend events sponsored by Ohio State’s Multicultural Center.
    • Volunteer at an off-campus organization that focuses on assisting people from other countries.
    • Attend programs hosted by Global Engagement, a unit within Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs, that provides opportunities for international and domestic students to experience our diverse campus culture.
    • Visit the Pay It Forward website and learn about community events and programs you can participate in.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Own Your Career (competency icon)

    It's your career, and you are able to own your career when you:

    • Articulate your strengths relevant to a desired position
    • Self-advocate for opportunities and engage in professional development
    • Set goals and stay nimble on your path forward

    Thinking about career management is actively engaging in the process – exploring careers, understanding your own personality and interests, building your resume through experiential learning and articulating those experiences and meeting with industry professionals and alumni that can help to guide your discovery and search.

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Actively engage with programming, events and courses offered by the Center for Career and Professional Success
    • Participate in experiential learning opportunities like internships, externships, research, study abroad and part-time/full-time jobs
    • Search Handshake, Ohio State’s internship and job portal

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Take Charge (competency icon)

    A student who takes the lead can:

    • Inspire action toward a future goal
    • Organize, prioritize and delegate essential tasks
    • Lead others to achieve goals

    Remember that leadership can be demonstrated in many ways, both through formal roles and informal roles. Think of ways outside the classroom that you’re a leader. At your workplace? In your community?

    Specific ways to develop this competency:

    • Take on a leadership role in a student organization. Request feedback from the members on your leadership skills.
    • Observe the leadership styles of supervisors at your place of employment.
    • Consider volunteering to serve on a student advisory council.
    • Enroll in an undergraduate leadership course

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage - Work Together (competency icon)

    A student who excels at working with others is able to :

    • Capitalize on team members’ strengths
    • Take a collaborative stance and follow through on commitments
    • Work through conflict as a team

    In addition to the ideas listed below, think of other ways you’re part of a team. Do you have a part-time job that involves teamwork? Have you played sports in your past? There are a variety of ways a student can succeed at being a team player.  

    Specific ways to develop this competency:  

    • Collaborate with others on a class project that requires shared responsibility. Talk through any differences of opinion.
    • Create your own team by forming a study group with peers.
    • Handle difficult conversations in person, showing respect for other(s).
    • Seek out team-based volunteer opportunities like Habitat for Humanity. A good starting point to find such opportunities is Buck-I-SERV.
    • Join a student organization that utilizes committees; volunteer to serve on one of the committees.
    • Any student can sign up for intramural sports. In addition to having fun, intramural sports are a great chance to build your teamwork skills.

    Explore upcoming events that can help you develop this competency!

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    Buckeye Advantage: Be Productive  Buckeye Advantage: Apply Logic  Buckeye Advantage: Bridge Cultural Differences  Buckeye Advantage: Communicate Effectively  Buckeye Advantage: Embrace Diversity  Buckeye Advantage: Leverage Technology  Buckeye Advantage: Make Contributions  Buckeye Advantage: Own Your Career  Buckeye Advantage: Take The Lead Buckeye Advantage: Work Together

    CAREER SUCCESS EVENTS & COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT

    When exploring programs and events on our events page, be sure to scroll to the bottom of each event listing to see how that event may help you with skill identification, skill development, skill articulation and/or general promotion of the Buckeye Advantage Readiness Competencies.

    • Skill identification: These events help you identify your competencies, increasing your awareness of development needs.
    • Skill development: These events help you take the beginning steps toward developing a specific competency.
    • Skill articulation: Articulating a competency means being able to share with an employer the ways your class, work or internship experience allowed you to put the competency into practice.
    • General promotion: These events help you understand the importance of developing the competencies.
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    THE BUCKEYE ADVANTAGE IN ACTION

    Now that you know a little about what the Buckeye Advantage [pdf] is and the readiness competencies it incorporates, listen in as your peers talk about how they developed these competencies, and how it contributes to their Buckeye Advantage!

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    TALKING ABOUT THE BUCKEYE ADVANTAGE

    How should you talk about The Buckeye Advantage when networking or talking with employers? It only takes a little bit of time and thought to incorporate the competencies and experiences of The Buckeye Advantage into your conversations and application materials. One easy way is to prepare Skill Stories.

     

    Developing Skill Stories

    When communicating with employers during interviews, via cover letters, or at career fairs, you need to go beyond simple claims such as, “I’m a great problem-solver.” This can be done by telling a short story related to how you have developed problem-solving skills through internships, volunteer service, research projects, leadership roles, or other experiences.

    Example: “I’m a great problem-solver. While I’ve always been intrigued by how people are quick to jump to conclusions when faced with a problem, I got to learn first hand about the value of group problem-solving
    when I was an intern at Sloopy Apparel. That company has a standard problem-solving process that entails root cause analysis, brainstorming solutions with a team, and determining how to evaluate proposed solutions. I got to work through each problem solving stage with a team that was dealing with inconsistent application of red dye on jerseys. It was a great experience. One of the solutions I suggested made it to the testing phase.”

     

    How to Create Your Own Skill Stories:

    1. Review the readiness competencies described above and identify three that you believe represent your strongest skills.
    2. Reflect on your various experiences including course projects and extracurricular activities to draft a story for each of your top 3 skills.
    3. When describing the strength of your skills, focus on using words that are in line for someone with an undergraduate college education. Employers are quickly turned off by those who seem to be overselling themselves. Consider the differences in the following descriptors:
       - Safe Choices - great, excellent, very strong, very capable, solid, top-notch, high-level
       - Risky Choices - fabulous, extensive, superb, awesome, expert, profound, stellar, world-class

    To get personalized help and to discuss how to share your specific knowledge, experience and talents, schedule a meeting with your Career Coach.