To an extent, university already develops self-reliance – unlike school, you are encouraged to find your own answers and develop your own path. But applying this skill in an academic environment is completely different from doing it in the workplace, and students develop a greater sense of self-awareness when there is more riding on their actions than just their own grades.
Demonstrating that you can be trusted to take on a task and complete it independently gives employers that warm fuzzy feeling; it will also help you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses, and how you can cultivate them accordingly.
The development of interpersonal skills are vitally important and, in reality, can only be effectively acquired in a workplace environment. Indeed, being able to communicate with clarity and diplomacy is an absolute requisite for any successful employee.
This doesn’t just mean being able to speak and listen, though. It’s essential to learn about the more subtle arts of communication, such as knowing when to take the lead and when to take a step back; these are lessons that can only be learned and observed in a real-life work scenario. When you do eventually start working full-time, these are the skills that will arguably serve you best – so, don’t ignore them.