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13.12.2022 To 14.12.2022

Structured Skills Identification

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Event for expert public only

Structured Skills Identification

Career developing in natural and life sciences

When:          December 13th & 14th, 2022; 9:00 - 17:00 each day

Language:   ENGLISH

Where:         Online

Who:            Doctoral Candidates and Postdocs at Berlin University Alliance (FU, HU, TU, Charité)

Electives:    Elective I; personal skills and interdisciplinary courses. (0.7 ECTS-CP Points)


Registration:   Please use our registration form to register.


Description and Contents:

When highly-educated people are asked about their skills, they often either tick off formal qualifications (“I did my thesis work on X”), or else they start to list a few characteristics (“I’m very thorough", or "detail oriented"). But these “off the top of your head” answers – while being true, in the sense of being factually correct -barely scratch the surface of what a person really has to offer.

In private conversation, university graduates will freely admit that they are aware of this. They offer explanations like, “I know that I can do more, but I’m not sure of what that more might be. And worse, I don’t know how to figure it out”. The tone of voice often conveys a sense of embarrassment or even frustration at not having a good answer to the skills question.

The overwhelming majority of your skills are not mentioned in any of your degrees or diplomas.

While spending years in a university environment, students learn habits and patterns of thinking that are very different from the skills that other people learn in other environments. But since university people tend to spend most of their time in the company of other university people, they tend to take their skills for granted. It is as if they grow blind to their own competencies. They have trouble naming their skills because they (quite literally) do not see their skills.

So, how do you go about clarifying your skills? And how can you talk about skills without sounding brash or conceited? This highly interactive workshop presents a structured, but flexible approach.

Workshop Plan:

Day 1

  • Skill Identification as a personal tool (What are we looking for? And why?)
  • Taxonomy and Process (Basic biography-based analysis)

Day 2

  • Prioritizing and Specifying (Developing a personal profile)
  • Using 10-year-olds and Pyramids and STAR’s (Communicating what you have to offer)


The smaller part of this event involves the facilitator presenting workshop content. The (far more!) important part of the event consists of you allowing yourself to participate in the learning sequences, talking about yourself with others, and giving and receiving feedback. This will necessitate two hours of preparation in the days before the workshop, a half-hour of preparation after the first day, and full participation during the two days. If you don’t have the time to prepare, or if you know that you can’t be there for the full time, then you would probably be happier with a different kind of workshop.


John Webb has been presenting Career Management workshops for universities, educational institutions, NGO’s and multinationals for over 32 years. Participants often describe his events as rigorous, fun, and highly effective.

Organizational and administrative matters


John Webb

Event organizer

Graduate Studies Support


9:00 - 17:00, each day




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