The Buckeye Advantage - Readiness Competencies Are you ready for the Buckeye Advantage?

As an Arts and Sciences major, the depth and breadth of your coursework along with the on and off campus activities you participate in allow you to develop a set of core skills that will be advantageous moving forward. The Buckeye Advantage includes 10 essential skills and traits employers and graduate schools desire, and are developed through a process that involves engagement and performance feedback. Career Success can support you in understanding your individual competencies and planning ways to further develop your readiness for life beyond Ohio State.

Communicate Effectively

The Buckeye Advantage - Communicate Effectively A student who excels in this competency is able to:

  • Express oneself clearly when speaking and writing
  • Listen and read to understand fully
  • Adjust communications to maximize engagement

Employers, when recruiting through Career Success, repeatedly mention communication skills as one they value highly. As an Arts and Sciences student you are exposed to a variety of ways to improve upon this skill through your coursework.  

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Take a course on public speaking, business writing, or any other course focused on communication skills.
  • Consider blogging or creating a podcast addressing a topic you are passionate about.
  • Join a student organization and volunteer to create and edit reports for the group.
  • Sign up for a mock interview to practice talking about yourself using self-promotion tactics.
  • Take at least two writing intensive courses and work with the Writing Center staff to address writing issues noted by the instructors.
  • Join Toastmasters, a group devoted to increasing the public speaking skills of its membership.
  • Apply to work as a tour guide for Undergraduate Admissions.

Work With Others

The Buckeye Advantage - Work TogetherA student who excels in this competency is able to :

  • Capitalize on team members’ strengths
  • Take a collaborative stance and follow through on commitments
  • Work through conflict as a team

In addition to the ideas listed below, think of other ways you’re part of a team. Do you have a part-time job that involves teamwork? Have you played sports in your past? There are a variety of ways a student can succeed at being a team player.  

Specific ways to develop this competency:  

  • Collaborate with others on a class project that requires shared responsibility. Talk through any differences of opinion.
  • Create your own team by forming a study group with peers.
  • Handle difficult conversations in person, showing respect for other(s).
  • Seek out team-based volunteer opportunities like Habitat for Humanity. A good starting point to find such opportunities is Buck-I-SERV (
  • Join a student organization that utilizes committees; volunteer to serve on one of the committees.
  • Any student can sign up for intramural sports. In addition to having fun, intramurals are a great chance to build your teamwork skills.

Take The Lead

The Buckeye Advantage - Take ChargeA student who takes the lead can:

  • Inspire action toward a future goal
  • Organize, prioritize, and delegate essential tasks
  • Lead others to achieve goals

Remember that leadership can be demonstrated in many ways, both through formal roles and informal roles. Think of ways outside the classroom that you’re a leader.  At your workplace?  In your community?   
Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Take on a leadership role in a student organization. Request feedback from the members on your leadership skills.
  • Observe the leadership styles of supervisors at your place of employment.
  • Consider volunteering to serve on a student advisory council.
  • Enroll in an undergraduate leadership course ( 

Apply Logic

The Buckeye Advantage - Apply LogicStudents who are able to apply logic are able to:

  • Determine a problem’s root causes
  • Obtain, organize, and interpret pertinent data
  • Synthesize information from multiple sources

Within the classroom, and outside of it, Arts and Sciences students engage in a variety of problem-solving activities. Whether it’s via a research project finding solutions for your employer, students can add to this scale across the spectrum.

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Develop an action plan with specific steps to solve a problem.
  • Offer to assist a work site supervisor with brainstorming solutions to a problem.
  • Be a volunteer tutor, assisting peers or K-12 students in the community with various academic subjects.
  • Consider helping a faculty member with a research project. Learn about projects via OSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry ( Involved.aspx).
  • Join a student organization that is focused on addressing a problem that you feel passionate about.
  • Track the information published by Ohio State’s Discovery Themes programs (

Be Productive

The Buckeye Advantage - Achieve Productivity A productive student is able to:

  • Hold themself and others accountable
  • Recognize priorities and integrate practices that increase personal impact
  • Seek assistance early when faced with roadblocks

Being a “professional” is far more than simply being a model employee at work. Professionalism can be observed in all facets of your educational career and also outside the walls of Ohio State.  Being professional allows you to make positive impressions on those you interact with which, in turn, will lead to success in the future.

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Review tutorials on writing with a professional tone, and then practice professionalism in your emails to faculty.
  • Use a calendar to prioritize work/assignments and meet deadlines.
  • Evaluate your social media through the eyes of an employer and determine appropriateness.
  • If you have the opportunity to attend a dining etiquette event, consider yourself lucky!
  • Ask a supervisor or mentor to provide you with feedback on how you could be more professional and/or productive.

Leverage Technology

The Buckeye Advantage - Leverage TechnologyWhen a student is able to effectively leverage technology, they can:

  • Choose tools that will solve problems or increase eciencies
  • Learn about new digital tools as they emerge
  • Be adaptable in the face of change

Many employers, especially those recruiting Communication, English or Journalism majors, look for students with a firm understanding of the technology available to them.  These employers are also looking for students who have the ability to learn new technologies as they are developed.

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Engage with the resources available through the Digital Union ( How can you use their resources to complete course projects? If you’re a leader of a student organization, consider setting up a video conferencing meeting for your members-especially if a large percentage of your organization lives off campus.
  • Maintain social media pages for a student organization or small business owner.
  • Create and write a blog while studying abroad, doing ongoing volunteer work, etc.

Bridge Cultural Differences

The Buckeye Advantage - Bridge Cultural DifferencesWhen a student is able to bridge cultural differences, they can:

  • Apply knowledge of cultural norms, including one’s own, to inform interactions
  • Learn about and recognize socio-linguistic differences
  • Engage with differing perspectives in a productive way

A student who has a global perspective values, respects, and learns from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. This student can demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individual differences.

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Attend events sponsored by Ohio State’s Multicultural Center.
  • Attend a religious service with a friend whose faith differs from yours.
  • Volunteer at an off-campus organization that focuses on assisting people from other countries.
  • Attend programs hosted by Global Engagement, a unit within Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs, that provides opportunities for international and domestic students to experience our diverse campus culture.
  • If you’re more comfortable with one-on-one interactions, consider participating in the Exchange Partner Program.

Own Your Career

The Buckeye Advantage - Own Your CareerIt's your career, and you are able to take charge of it when you:

  • Articulate your strengths relevant to a desired position
  • Self-advocate for opportunities and engage in professional development
  • Set goals and stay nimble on your path forward

Thinking about career management is actively engaging in the process – exploring careers, understanding your own personality and interests, building your resume through experiential learning and articulating those experiences, and meeting with industry professionals and alumni that can help to guide your discovery and search.

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Actively engage with programming, events, and courses offered by the Center for Career and Professional Success
  • Participate in experiential learning opportunities like internships, externships, research, study abroad, and part-time/full-time jobs
  • Search Handshake, Ohio State’s internship and job portal

Make Contributions

The Buckeye Advantage - Make ContributionsWhen you make contributions, you're working to make this world a better place.  You can:

  • Devote time to a cause that you care about
  • Share your skills and knowledge to benefit your community
  • Recruit a team of peers for a community service project

Specific ways to develop this competency:

  • Attend events sponsored by Ohio State’s Multicultural Center.
  • Volunteer at an off-campus organization that focuses on assisting people from other countries.
  • Attend programs hosted by Global Engagement, a unit within Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs, that provides opportunities for international and domestic students to experience our diverse campus culture.
  • Visit the Pay It Forward website and learn about community events and programs you can participate in.

Embrace Diversity

The Buckeye Advantage - Embrace DiversityStudents who embrace diversity:

  • Understand personal biases and structural inequities
  • Interact respectfully so all feel valued
  • Seek solutions that achieve equity and inclusion

Diversity of experiences, cultures, preferences and ways of thinking can lead to better solutions to common business challenges, and can make life better for everyone. Embracing diversity is not about giving up your own beliefs, but about seeing the value in the experiences of others. A benefit of being a student at Ohio State is the sheer volume of diversity on our great campus. Take advantage of what this University has to offer. Get out. Meet new people. Learn from others!