Sarah Clark Produced by


MSc Clinical & Developmental Neuropsychology

Taking part in the BU Graduate Skills Programme has not only helped me think more in-depth about my future career options, but it has also aided my personal development by helping me learn about myself and focus more on my strengths.

This has all been a key part of my life in the past year, following a autism diagnosis made in May 2022, in my late 30’s. I would never even have found out, or realised I am autistic if it hadn’t been for the autism lectures on my MSc Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology course!

The Graduate Skills Programme has been great for helping improve my social skills by opening up my awareness of extracurricular opportunities at BU and meeting like-minded students on some of the other courses.Sarah smiles in a picture she is wearing a medal around her neck and is wearing a backpack

The Graduate Skills Programme is a fantastically fun way to expand your growth mindset, allowing you to boost your CV and stand out from the crowd. Through learning to identify and build on soft skills and the transferrable skills from your degree course, the programme is thoughtfully crafted with input from industry, to include four key stages and concepts of self-awareness, exploring options, gain experience and preparing to apply.

If you choose to work towards the Graduate Skills + Award, you can also gain a certificate to boost your CV and attend a dinner and awards ceremony.

I’ve been able to log some of the charity fundraising events as part of my Graduate Skills + Award and I was even short-listed for the SUBU Student Volunteer of the Year Award. I completed the 20 km Jurassic Coast Challenge in July 2022, fundraising for the National Autistic Society to celebrate my autism diagnosis and viewing myself through a new lens of better self-understanding and self-compassion.

Sarah smiles at the camera after completing the great south run and she is holding up her medal around her neckI also logged my Great South Run for PTSD UK in October 2022 and fundraising I’ve done for EDS UK and The Ehlers-Danlos Society.

Sarah is taking a selfie in a mirror wearing a top with EDS on it







I am especially proud of these achievements because in 2018 I was housebound, unable to walk more than a few minutes at a time (before I got diagnosed with EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) in February 2020 I had become so de-conditioned and unwell with severe physical pain and severe fatigue – diagnosis has led me to self-management! My spine was also dislocated in 2 places!).

For each of the 4 stages of the Graduate Skills Programme you need to:

1) Attend one masterclass

2) Engage in two activities (and upload evidence to the platform)

3) Write a reflection in the Graduate Skills log you are provided.

As part of the programme, you can also attend industry insight talks and industry days (with companies such as Lush or Dorset Mind), network with potential future employers, and log Careers Fairs you attend which teach you how to confidently articulate your skills.

During the initial self-awareness stage I attended Masterclasses which helped me work out my core values and sense of purpose. A Masterclass on identity which was really thought-provoking following my autism diagnosis six months before.

All in all, the programme has been a huge bolster to my confidence, communication skills, self-articulation and future career development. More importantly, however, its been tremendous fun and has helped my confidence in better working out who I am, and what matters to me.  This will shape my future career choices by applying to jobs that align with my own values as a person

I also have an interest in improving well-being in universities, and through the community. The social and self-development aspects of this programme, my happiness and well-being have also been helped hugely through engaging with the Graduate Skills Programme!

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