In recent years there has been much discussion about a skills deficit in both the media and by industry leaders and government who are concerned that students don’t have the skills to succeed in their future career endeavours – whether that’s a full-time job after graduation or pursuing further studies. We know that students are engaging in high impact skills-building experiences in their personal lives, through their academics and professionally as they participate in clubs, athletics, volunteering, internships, summer and part-time work. Yet, they don’t recognize the value of their experiences nor are they able to articulate them. 

Becoming YU Graphic


Becoming YU was initiated as a means of addressing this “articulation gap.” The intended aim of Becoming YU is to support students in:

  • Understanding the importance of learning about themselves to set personal, academic and professional goals that meet their needs and align with who they are and what they want to learn;
  • Making the most of their personal, academic and professional experiences, identifying and leveraging opportunities, building relationships, navigating tricky situations and gaining the tools for success; and
  • Articulating and providing examples of their skills and accomplishments in a variety of contexts and formats when applying for or considering future personal, academic and professional experiences.

Grounded in experiential learning, career development and human development theories, Becoming YU compels students to get involved, recognize the value of their experiences, create their own unique pathways, and articulate their achievements with confidence! While Becoming YU is designed to be self-driven, supervisors, mentors and coaches can play a key role by providing on-boarding/orientation, working with students to set annual learning objectives that relate to their experience, encouraging students to reflect on and record their experiences and skills development, and discussing skills building activities and projects.

To support students and coaches in identifying skills-building opportunities, Becoming YU has identified the following six competencies as important to students’ personal, academic and professional success:

  1. Communication: Sharing and exchanging ideas effectively
  2. Interpersonal Connections: Collaborating with others
  3. Personal Success: Developing self-awareness and accountability
  4. Social Responsibility and Community Engagement: Getting REDI* to make a difference
  5. Knowledge Acquisition and Application: Learning and applying knowledge and information
  6. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Making effective decisions

View the complete Becoming YU Competency Dictionary.