A recent conversation with the parent of an A.C.E. graduate encouraged me to dig deeper into what sets our graduates apart from those in other education systems. This parent’s son is currently in his first year of Actuarial Science at North West University.
He has been asked by his fellow students how he copes with the workload and maintains a remarkable average, despite the challenges of such a demanding degree. Although somewhat surprised by the intensity of his first year in Actuarial Science, this young A.C.E. graduate has risen to the challenge by relying on many of the skills he learnt at school.
Aside from his conscientious approach to his studies, his consistent planning and time management have helped him not only to keep his head above water, but to stand out from his peers.I was not surprised by the conversation, as I had received similar feedback from many graduates on the planning and time management skills that A.C.E. develops. However, I was intrigued that such a significant skill is in such short supply in the workplace and tertiary environments.
Forbes Magazine lists planning and time management as two of the top 10 skills which are currently sought after by employers. It’s no wonder that students at tertiary institutions in South Africa and abroad often ask A.C.E. graduates for assistance in planning!According to research, informal conversations with alumni, parents, educators and university lecturers, the ability to plan and manage their time is what sets many of our graduates apart.
Not only are A.C.E. alumni known for their timeous submission of assignments, but an extremely high percentage also finish their studies within the minimum study period. Many also exceed expectations in the workplace.From my research on A.C.E. graduates, the most common attributes they display are planning, critical & divergent (creative) thinking, teamwork, self-motivation and effective problem solving. Interestingly, these make up seven of the top ten ‘in-demand skills’ according to thebalance.com, Forbes Magazine and topresume.com.
The Harvard Business Review also lists self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management as important competencies. Forbes Magazine identifies enthusiasm, consistency and humility as other critical skills in the workplace – and this is equally true for tertiary studies. The University of Pennsylvania states that positive thinking and emotional intelligence are crucial for overall success.
According to the Wharton School, positive thinking is not only contagious, it has an impact on the overall job performance and decision-making ability of individuals. It is not surprising then that A.C.E. graduates generally exceed expectations in tertiary studies and the workplace.
All of the above attributes are a product of the A.C.E. methodology – attributes that are nurtured throughout a student’s career. Above all else, what ultimately differentiates our graduates is a love for the Lord. This is clearly evident in their relationships with their spouses, children, friends and colleagues. The Word of God is living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). There is an abundance of fruit when we plant the word of God in the hearts of our children.