SPE Student Chapter Leoben
Soft skills to facilitate success in the current economic crisis

The oil industry is still in a downturn and prices are only picking up very slowly. Job opportunities are sparse and the competition is high. Therefore it is highly important that students who graduate from university are also aware of the fact that besides technical skills they need to have sufficient soft skills. From the 3rd to the 4th of March 2017 members of the Montanuniversitaet Leoben SPE Student Chapter had the opportunity to improve their skills in a workshop.

Once again the workshop was held by Lori and Dwyann Dalrymple from Architecture of Communication. They are running their own company, which is specialised in teaching industry professionals and students how to utilise soft skills in the work life.

The workshop started Friday in the morning with a fun exercise. Everybody had to take a shoe off and put it in front of the white board. Then each participant had to pick a shoe which didnt belong to him and talk to the owner of the shoe. Then he had to introduce this person to the rest of the participants. Afterwards Lori talked about the importance of critial thinking and how it can influence our behaviour in the daily life. It is an important skill because it influences our decision making process. Another interesting topic which was covered, was the difference between vertical and lateral thinking. Vertical thinking means that coming up with a solution for a certain problem or task. Compared to that lateral thinking is totally different and it is mostly used by creative persons. It is not a structured process and it means that you come up with several ideas and new paths during the process of solving a specific problem or task.

After lunch it was time to adress the topic “The power of appearance”. People form an opinion about you during the first sixty seconds they meet you. This is especially important during an interview situation. Therefore you should always be the best version of yourself. The day was concluded with short presentations where each particpant had to state two facts about their life which are true and one lie. Afterwards the other participants had to find out which of the three statements was the lie based on the performance of the presenter.

On the second day of the workshop the participants learned how to create a personal brand. The personal brand is something which seperates an individual from the rest. The creation of a personal brand starts with the CV. Basically all the students who finish university start with the same technical background. Therefore you have to highlight what makes you special, such as volunteerism, special skills and if possible your record about writing papers. After that you have to think about your performance in an interview. You should never be underdressed and it is appropriate for an interview to show up in a suit and tie. Furthermore your overall appearance should be confident but not arrogant and pay attention to cultural differences. What might be appropriate for an interview in Austria does not necessarily apply to any other country.

After lunch the focus was on the so called SWOT analysis. Theses letters stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By doing that you can quickly find out which strengths you already have and where you have to improve. Opportunities represent what you can do to enhance your chances of acomplishing a goal. And you have to think about threats which could possibly lead to trouble on your way to acomplish that goal. Finally in the last session of the workshop the partcipants learned about SMART goals. Goals should always be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. If you set goals based on this technique you are more likely to succeed.

Group Picture with Lori and Dwyann

During the whole workshop Lori and Dwyann encouraged the participants to use their skills in different exercises. For example in one of the exercises the participants had to form teams. Afterwards they had to build a tower made out of paper without using any items such as glue or a scissor. The team with the higher tower won the competition. It was a simple exercise but it required the application of several skills such as leadership, time management, critical thinking and communication.

In the end the Montanuniversitaet Leoben SPE Student Chapter would like to thank Lori and Dwyann very much for their time and effort to make this workshop possible. Once again it was a great pleasure for us to learn from your experience, expertise and knowledge. Furthermore we would like to thank the SPE Vienna Basin Section for their financial contribution to make this workshop possible. We really appreciate this generous support.

If you want to have further infomation about Lori and Dwyanns expertise and their company please follow the link to their homepage: