UCL Careers


Resilience and Drive

The ability to respond to pressure and recover from setbacks and difficult situations by demonstrating and working towards new goals.

Students in discussion
Explore your understanding

During your studies and in a work environment, you might receive some constructive criticism or face a difficult situation. Being resilient means being able to adapt to these circumstances and use them to improve yourself and the work that you are doing.

Employers are looking to see that you can conquer problems, take on new challenges and bounce back when things do not do as planned. Remaining focused, reacting calmly, being proactive and making progress despite possible obstacles are all qualities that can support with building resilience. 

Developing resilience and drive can support you with being able to cope with challenging situations. It can also help you reach peak performance and enhance satisfaction, both in your personal and professional life. Motivation, ambition and drive are qualities that employers are looking for during the recruitment process – so ensure you are able to demonstrate these.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VU7hLGOkjM


Find and develop your skill

Where can you improve your resilience skills at UCL? 
There is a lot of support here to help you develop this skill!

  • Employer–led Skills Session:

    Attend a skills session delivered by employers to learn more about resilience as well as career drive. You can attend a Skills workshop or take part in a 1:1 practice interview session to speak to employers on how you can evidence this during an interview.

    Visit myUCLCareers for upcoming events
  • Students' Union UCL:
    Demonstrate your drive for professional development or your commitment to a particular interest by taking on a role in a club or society – maybe even a leadership role. The Students Union also offer a variety of skills sessions such as ‘Courage and Resilience’ as well as ‘Taking the Initiative’. 

  • Volunteering:
    Learn more about working with others that share common aims and develop a variety of skills including taking on new challenges and demonstrating drive.   

    By volunteering, you’ll be able to demonstrate drive by committing to a project and learning more about an area of work. You may also find that a working environment could help you develop resilience –such as working with tricky people or experiencing setbacks.

  • Go Abroad:
    UCL Go Abroad programmes encompass an enriching selection of worldwide opportunities tailored to support UCL students to perform at their full potential and further develop their resilience skills. Attend an event to learn more about the global opportunities available both short term and longer term as part of your degree.
  • Widening Participation:
    Become a student ambassador with the UCL Widening Participation Office. Develop your skills in resilience and drive by working on projects specifically with school students from under-represented groups, and managing the challenges of this, alongside other UCL students from a wide range of courses and backgrounds

    You can find more help, advice and resources with the personal support and wellbeing team.

    Postgraduate Researchers:

  • UCL Doctoral Skills Development Training Programe (UCL Doc Skills):
    The UCL Doc Skills Programme is open to all postgraduate research students at UCL. Here postgraduate researchers will be able to access courses related to resilience and drive to further develop skills within this area. You’ll find more information on all the courses available on our website

    You will also be able to browse the scheduled events for researchers and those for doctoral students.  Research students can also access courses mapped to the Researcher Development Framework (RDF)

Prepare your examples

Can you think about a time where you have had to deal with a change in circumstances? Can you talk through the process and describe the outcome?

Describe a university situation when you needed to manage multiple priorities. What strategies were you able to put into place to manage your time?

Tell me about a time when you suggested a change. How did you put this forward? What was the result?

Want more support on how to structure your answer on resilience and drive as part of an interview?
Visit our Interviews Skills page.

Here you can find out more about how to structure your answer and demonstrate your skills along with many more resources that will help you prepare.

If you have written a draft application for any type of opportunity, our team can provide personalised practical tips and advice to help you better understand how recruiters will shortlist your application, and how you can best demonstrate your motivation and your most relevant skills / experience.