Careers Service

Creative, innovative and enterprising

Creative, innovative & enterprising

Being creative, innovative and enterprising is about using your imagination to invent, create and develop original methods or ideas. It’s about being good at thinking of and doing new and sometimes challenging things.

You can be enterprising whether you work for yourself or for someone else. It’s about being resourceful, showing initiative, taking calculated risks and looking for ways to improve, change and develop things. Employers value people who are creative, innovative and enterprising for their ability to solve problems, identify opportunities and see things from a new and different perspective.  

How can you become more creative, innovative and enterprising? 

These skills can all be learned - by asking questions, trying new things, experimenting, exploring, and using your imagination. You don’t always have to come up with a brand-new, original idea; many innovators take existing concepts or approaches and turn them into something new or improved.

These are just some ideas to help you develop these skills, both in your academic life and outside of university. 

On your course 

  • Find out if there are any School events you can get involved in, for example, some Schools hold an annual Enterprise challenge for their students, where you work in teams to come up with an innovative solution to a difficult real world business challenge. 
  • Link with students from other countries and cultures on your course to broaden your perspective and share your own insights with them. 

Outside your course 

  • Work freelance, sell a product or create an innovative new service. Get support from START UP and attend a START UP event to meet like-minded people.
  • Join a meet-up on a topic you’re interested in.
  • Create or join a student society to meet like-minded people.
  • Contribute your skills and ideas to employers through undertaking work experience or a part-time job.
  • Learn something new – from photography and playing an instrument, to coding and learning a language. Sign up to a free online course, for example, through FutureLearn or Skillshare.
  • Take part in student competitions to help you develop and show off your skills.
  • Stay informed by following the news and attending events. Try to look at situations from different perspectives – is there anything you would change?
  • Read books or articles unrelated to your field of study, subscribe to educational YouTube channels and watch inspiring talks on
  • Find a mentor and ask them questions about their career, company or industry. See Making Contacts to help you get started.
  • Volunteer for an organisation or come up with creative ideas to help fundraise for a charity. Start by visiting Go Volunteer in the Students’ Union, which offers a huge range of charity connections. You can also apply for funding to create your own volunteering project.
  • Register for the ncl+ Award to gain recognition for your extra-curricular activities and reflect on the skills you’ve developed.

Related skills: curious; future-focused; engaged; confident 

photo of woman in art studio to portray creativity