UCL Careers
  • Welcome

    The UCL Careers team use this Blog to share their ‘news and views’ about careers with you. You will find snippets about a whole range of career related issues, news from recruiters and links to interesting articles in the media.

    If you are a researcher, we a specific blog for you.

    We hope you enjoy reading the Blog and will be inspired to tell us your views.

    If you want to suggest things that students and graduates might find helpful, please let us know – we want to hear from you.

    Karen Barnard – Director, UCL Careers

    UCL Careers is part of The Careers Group, University of London

    Accurate at the time of publication
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  • Working in Government & Policy: Rewards, Challenges and Top Skills

    By UCL Careers, on 16 November 2018

    Government & Policy Week icon showing Houses of Parliament UCL Careers Government & Policy Week 2018 welcomed a range of employers and UCL alumni working in government and the public sector to share their career insights and advice to students.

    What do they find most rewarding and challenging in their careers? What skills and competencies are important to get into and work in the sector?

    Find out what we learned below.

    THE MOST REWARDING PART OF THEIR CAREERS

    Employers at our ‘Careers that Make a Difference in the Public Sector’ panel said seeing the impact they are having on people and influencing society is one of the most rewarding parts of their jobs. For example, “on the Think Ahead programme, you work with mental health and social issues on the frontline, in people’s homes, so you see the direct impact you are having on people.” An alum from the TeachFirst programme said that the most rewarding part for them was “making an impact by opening people’s eyes to the possibilities in education that they can have”.

    Frontline said that “producing long-term positive effects on society by building relationships with families” is most rewarding. Even working behind the scenes in the Civil Service, it was highlighted that “you have the potential to influence from the inside”.

    Employers discussed variety and diversity in the job – no day is the same. An alum from Police Now said their “most memorable moment was working at the Olympics” and Unlocked said “working with prisoners is funny and interesting – they are always full of interesting stories!” The Civil Service Fast Stream shared that “a great advantage to working in the Civil Service is the size and breadth of the field – it’s so huge that there’s lots of range, diversity and opportunities to progress and specialise in”.

    AND THE CHALLENGES…

    A common insight was that working in the public sector could be demanding and emotionally challenging. Frontline, Police Now, TeachFirst, ThinkAhead and Unlocked agreed that dealing with mental health patients, crime offenders, prisoners and children can be emotionally challenging: at times, they may not want to be helped and you can face confrontation.

    In our ‘Influencing Policy’ panel, employers stressed the nature of politics as challenging. National Housing Federation said “Politics is insanely difficult and always changing – you need to put in a ton of graft work”. Advice from Agora think tank is “aim to be a good strong voice within change”. Working on policies you disagree with is a possibility in the Civil Service Fast Stream. Their advice on dealing with it is all about perception: “If the policy is contentious, it can actually be beneficial to work on it – you have the opportunity to make sure it is implemented in the best way possible”. They also advise that there are opportunities for less policy-focussed roles in the Fast Stream.

    An alum who will start work as a Senior Public Policy Manager for Data, Platforms and AI for Vodafone Group expressed that “public perception can be a challenge as well as data ethics”.

    So, what were the top skills for the public sector?

    MOTIVATION TO HELP PEOPLE

    Employers emphasised that for a career in the public sector and government, you should show that you care about people. Whether you are working frontline with members of the public or influencing and writing policy behind the scenes, your work is affecting people and their everyday lives. Advice from Cancer Research is “find out what people care about and tailor your service towards them”.

    RELATIONSHIP BUILDING & TEAM WORK

    Relationship building was another key skill desired by employers – especially those that involve working directly with clients on the frontline (e.g. Think Ahead, Frontline and TeachFirst). In the Civil Service Fast Stream, you will move from one department to another so relationship building and teamwork is also required in non-frontline work to collaborate with different teams and people.

    ADAPTABILITY

    Employers highlighted adaptability because frontline work may require you to attend emergency / crisis situations at short notice. Policy work is also difficult as politics is always changing. Agora think tank and Greater London Authority emphasised that “Brexit has left many unanswered questions about the future” so adaptability will be important.

    RESILIENCE

    Resilience was a key discussion amongst employers across the events. Responding and adapting to political changes or perhaps dealing with clients, emergencies and crises means that the job can be demanding and emotionally challenging. Being able to recover quickly from difficult situations is crucial for working in the public sector.

    Speakers who attended: Agora think tank, Cancer Research, Civil Service Fast Stream, Frontline, Greater London Authority, National Housing Federation, Police Now, TeachFirst, Think Ahead, Unlocked & Vodafone Group.

    There are still more UCL Careers Themed Weeks coming up! Media Week is next, starting on 26 November with, Charities & NGOs, International Development, Sustainability Fortnight and Life & Health Sciences Week still to come.

    Visit our website to find out more about upcoming Themed Weeks.

    Meet the Alumni through this weeks Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage Themed Week

    By UCL Careers, on 12 November 2018

    Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Themed Week: Meet the Alumni

    Want to get an honest insight into working in the Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage sector? Come to our Alumni Networking Event on Tuesday 13 November, where you can meet UCL alumni from different areas across the sector and ask them about:

    • Where and how to look for roles
    • Who to contact, and
    • What experience is needed

    Find out about their experiences since graduating from UCL, including how they successfully transitioned from being a student to having a career in the sector.

    There will be a panel discussion, giving you an opportunity to hear from the diverse speakers, followed by a Q&A session, with questions from the audience – so come prepared!

    After this, you will have a chance to practice your networking skills; where you can ask more detailed questions to specific panellists in a safe and informal setting. Drinks and nibbles will be provided during the networking!

    Chairing the event will be Dr Nina Pearlman (UCL MA Fine Art, 1996), Head of UCL Art Collections. The panel will include:

    • Dhikshana Turakhia Pering, Youth Programme Manager at London Transport Museum (MA Museums and Galleries, 2008)
    • Lisa Westcott Wilkins, Managing Director at Dig Ventures (MA Archaeology, 2002)
    • Eric Brunjes, Chief Executive at Attack Magazine (BA History, 2006)
    • Adam Klups, Historic Buildings Advisor at Church of England (BA History of Art with Material Studies, 2011)
    • Jonathan Franklin, Librarian at National Gallery in London (MA Library & Information Studies, 1986)

    To find out more about each of the speakers, see the short biographies below. Book now for this event happening TONIGHT as part of the Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage themed week. We look forward to seeing you there!

    Speaker biographies
    Dr Nina Pearlman (UCL Slade MA Fine Art, 1996) – Head of UCL Collections, UCL Art Museum
    Nina is responsible for the sustainable development of the Museum’s art collections, spaces, programmes, partnerships and team to ensure benefit for current and future generations.

    Nina is also a contemporary art curator, writer and lecturer and specialises in interdisciplinary collaborations between research & art and public art. She studied fine art, history of art and critical theory, gaining her MA from the Slade and BA from the University of Haifa.

    Prior to joining UCL Nina worked independently on curatorial projects, strategic planning and fundraising with artists and institutions drawing on a background in business development in the corporate sector. This, coupled with visiting lecturer contributions across the HE, built up an extensive contemporary art network nationally and internationally. She led the Cultural Heritage pathway for five years on the MA for Arts Policy and Management at Birkbeck College focusing on Museums for the 21st century, and has acted as a selector for the Bartlett School of Architecture’s Research Materialisation award since its inception and is a nominator for Prix Pictet, the global award in photography and sustainability.

    Dhikshana Turakhia Pering (UCL MA Museums & Galleries in Education, 2008) – Manager of the Arts Council England funded Young People’s Skills Programme, London Transport Museum
    Dhikshana manages the Arts Council England funded Young People’s Skills Programme for 18-25-year-olds at London Transport Museum, focusing on making the cultural and heritage sector accessible and diverse. Dhikshana has 12 years’ experience with the majority of her career spent at the Science Museum, working in learning teams on everything from delivery and development to management and operations. As Trustee of the Museums Association, Dhikshana works actively on sector-wide workforce developments. Her passion lies with actively diversifying the sector, by changing and developing the whole workforce model from recruitment to exit.

    Lisa Westcott Wilkins BA MA MCIfA FRSA (UCL MA Archaeology, 2002) – Co-founder and Managing Director, DigVentures
    As co-founder and Managing Director at DigVentures, Lisa has found the perfect place to combine archaeology with over twenty years of professional experience in communications, finance and journalism, including several years as Editor of Current Archaeology magazine. With a Master’s degree in Archaeology from UCL and a prestigious Clore Fellowship under her belt, she now focuses her energy wrangling field archaeologists and harnessing brilliant creative sector innovations for DV. She is an international speaker on crowdfunding for the creative and cultural sectors and leads on the consultancy aspect of DV’s work. She is responsible for the Americanisms, absurdly strong site coffee and early morning DV dance parties.

    Eric Brünjes (UCL BA History, 2006) – Chief Executive, Attack Magazine and Music Producer
    Eric Brünjes, aka ‘Brvnjes’, is a music producer and entrepreneur based in London.
    As a music producer, he has produced for artists such as Fetty Wap, Feli Fame, Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep, The Recipe and Meridian Dan.
    As a sound designer and composer, he has composed for Adidas, Puma, M&M’s, Schuh and Honda. In 2018, he recorded the backing arrangements for Ariana Grande’s live show.

    He also runs Attack Magazine which is dedicated to dance music lifestyle and production. Attack released the book ‘The Secrets of Dance Music Production’ in 2016. Attack is publishing several other titles in 2019. Eric is based in London where he lives with his wife and young family.

    Jonathan Franklin (UCL MA Library & Information Studies, 1986) – Librarian, National Gallery in London
    Jonathan Franklin read classics, then took a Master’s in Library and Information Studies at UCL. He worked at the British Architectural Library and the National Portrait Gallery, before moving to Ottawa, Canada, in 1996, where he managed the Library and Archives of the National Gallery of Canada. Since 2014 he has been the Librarian of the National Gallery in London. He has been professionally active in the Art Libraries Society of UK & Ireland, the Art Libraries Society of North America, and the Art Libraries Section Standing Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations.

     

     

    Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage Week 2018

    By UCL Careers, on 9 November 2018

    Themed Week Icon of a dinosaur skull. Background of person sitting in a gallery of large classical art with text overlay "Book your place: Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage Week"

    Thinking of considering a career in Arts, Museums or Cultural Heritage? Not sure where to start? Looking for career inspiration?

    This is the week for you! This is your chance to meet professionals and experts working in various roles within these sectors.

    The following events are open to students and recent graduates from all degree disciplines and all of the events below are now bookable through your ‘myUCLCareers’ account.

    Working in Arts and Culture | Monday 12 November – 5:30pm

    Thinking about working in the arts or cultural sector? Come along to this panel event for the chance to hear from professionals currently working in managerial, creative and organisational roles within a variety of arts and cultural settings. Speakers will discuss the realities and rewards of their roles.

    The panel discussion will be followed by Q&A.

    Panellists include:

    • Kate Mason – Director at The Big Draw
    • Shelley James – Artist at Shelley James Glass
    • Meg Peterson PhD – Project Manager, Research and Higher Education at Battersea Arts Centre
    • Abby-Jo Sheldon – Development and Events at Freud Museum London
    • Caroline Marcus FRSA – Chair of The Board of Trustees at GEM (Group for Education in Museums)

    Book your place at Working in Arts and Culture

    Meet the Alumni | Tuesday 13 November – 6:30pm

    How do you go from studying at UCL to working in exciting professional positions in museums, arts and cultural heritage. Learn from UCL alumni in this panel discussion and Q&A session?

    The Q&A session will be chaired by Dr Nina Pearlman, Head of UCL Collections at UCL Art Museum, and Slade alumnus. You will then have the chance to meet and network with these expert panelists for an hour after the event, giving you insight into career options and making useful connections for your career journey.

    UCL Alumni attending include:

    • Dhikshana Turakhia Pering, Youth Programme Manager at London Transport Museum (MA Museums and Galleries, 2008)
    • Lisa Westcott Wilkins, Managing Director at Dig Ventures (MA Archaeology, 2002)
    • Eric Brunjes, Chief Executive at Attack Magazine (BA History, 2006)
    • Adam Klups, Historic Buildings Advisor at Church of England (BA History of Art with Material Studies, 2011)
    • Jonathan Franklin, Librarian at National Gallery in London (MA Library & Information Studies, 1986)

    Book your place at Meet the Alumni

    Cultural Heritage Forum | Thursday 15 November – 6:00pm

    Hear from UCL alumni working right across the cultural heritage sector including organisations such as the British Museum and on the restoration of the Houses of Parliament, one of the most significant restoration projects in Europe. This event will help shed light on the  wide variety of roles, across museums, the built environment and other in the cultural heritage sector.

    Panellists include:

    • Mary Pierre-Harvey, Assistant Director at The Houses of Parliament (MSc, Architecture, The Bartlett)
    • Mads Skytte Jorgensen, Business Analyst at The British Museum (MSc, Archaeology)
    • Corrine Harrison, Library Archive & Museum Services Administrator (Royal College of Physicians)

    Book your place at the Cultural Heritage Forum

    Jobs and opportunities through UCL Careers

    By UCL Careers, on 31 October 2018

    If you are looking for a job, internship or other work opportunities then browse the main UCL student job site at myUCLCareers. This is a UCL Careers website where employers advertise positions when recruiting UCL students, recent graduates and researchers.

    There are over 16,000 opportunities each year on myUCLCareers, so if you want to make sure that you don’t miss a relevant work opportunity then sign-up to receive daily or weekly vacancy digests by email. You do this by updating your profile in myUCLCareers and you can refine what you see and receive.

    Please visit our website for all other careers service information.

     

    8 Key Skills for a Career in Social Work

    By UCL Careers, on 31 October 2018

    Frontline: Changing Lives

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At least half a million children in England don’t have a safe or stable home. These children and their families face some of the worst life chances, but social work, as one of Britain’s most challenging and rewarding sectors, has the power to change this.

    Social workers are highly trained professionals. Their wide skillset reflects the variety and diversity of their work:

    Communication

    Few careers will bring you into contact with such a varied range of people as social work. The families supported by social workers come from every kind of background and community. Good communication skills are essential to even consider a career in social work, but these will also improve as you become accustomed to engaging others in a wide variety of settings.

    Curiosity

    Social workers support families in complex and difficult circumstances. Professional curiosity refers both to the ability and will to explore what is happening within a family, without making assumptions or taking things at face value. It’s crucial to learn how to engage with families, to listen in a compassionate and empathetic way and to ask questions that will generate useful answers.

    Collaboration

    Social workers work alongside diverse professionals, including teachers, doctors and the police. The ability to collaborate effectively across professions and teams is vital to ensuring that children and their families get the best support possible. A career in social work will develop your ability to work in a team and you will learn how to collaborate with a wide variety of people.

    Leadership

    Social work is a collaborative effort. A key role of social workers is to help families recognise the need for change and work with them to create a plan for change. Social workers are also advocates for the children and families they work with. From direct work with families to providing your professional opinion in safeguarding reviews or at court, you will need to be able to construct a persuasive argument and influence the decisions of others.

    Reflexivity and self-reflexivity

    Helping families find creative solutions to their problems requires an open mind and an awareness of different ways of thinking and behaving. These skills will enable you to recognise your own biases and identify holistic solutions to problems. You will also have to get and give honest, critical feedback and respond to it constructively.

    Wellbeing and self-care

    In order to provide support and care for others, you must first take care of yourself. You will have to develop your resilience by putting coping mechanisms and self-care strategies in place to better manage emotional challenges.

    Professional boundaries

    Social work is a challenging profession and sometimes social workers can feel that their work is never complete. What’s more, the deeply personal nature of working with vulnerable families can lead to strong emotional investment. Setting boundaries is critically important – with families, colleagues and fellow professionals – so that you can carve out important time for self-care to ensure your own wellbeing as well as that of those that you support.

    Analysis of risk and uncertainty

    Safety of the child is paramount in social work, but risk is rarely straightforward or predictable. An incorrect assessment could endanger a child’s life, or it could separate a child from their family unnecessarily. Learning to analyse the facts and make confident professional judgements in complex, uncertain situations is crucial in this role. You will become accustomed to factoring risk assessments into your everyday decisions and develop professional behaviours that minimise risk for families and yourself.

    Frontline’s Leadership Development Programme is a new path into social work, taking outstanding graduates and developing the skills outlined in this article, to turn them into great social workers. Frontline offers hands-on experience through practice-based learning, in addition to practical and academic training, tailored to your needs.

    Social work isn’t easy but if you think you’re up to the challenge, Frontline could be for you.

    You can register your interest on: www.tfaforms.com/392296

    You can follow Frontline’s Facebook for events and updates.

    Want to discuss your options with a careers professional? Book a guidance appointment with one of our staff: ucl.ac.uk/careers/about/advice

    Government & Policy Sector Resources & Research

    By UCL Careers, on 26 October 2018

    Government & Policy Week icon showing Houses of Parliament

    Government & Policy Week might be over, but for you it could be the start of an exciting career in this sector. As part of UCL Careers’ Government and Policy Themed Week we have created this guide to provide a list of useful resources to help prepare you for the events and to continue your research into the sector.

    Whether you want to join the Civil Service Fast Stream, work for your local authority, specialise on policy within a think tank, charity, union or pressure group, or pursue one of the hundreds of options within the public sector, this sector can be a rewarding and challenging place to start your career.

    Key starting points

    Finding information on the range of different graduate level roles available will help you get a better understanding of your different options and how to succeed once you get there. Using Careers Tagged, an online careers resource UCL Students have access to, we have compiled job profiles to inform and inspire your search.

    These will provide key information on areas such as:

    • Main duties / responsibilities for the role
    • Expected salary information (starting and potential earnings)
    • Professional development, training and career prospects
    • Typical working hours
    • Entry requirements (formal qualifications and skills)
    • How to get work experience
    • How to identify key employers and where to search for job vacancies
    • Case studies of people working in these roles

    View job profiles on Careers Tagged:

    Professional organisations and other bodies

    Many public sector professional body websites will produce career guides aimed at student / graduate level jobseekers, providing an insider’s view on how to start your policy career. They will also provide information for their members on areas such as events, news on current trends and future developments for the sector.

    Keeping up to date with news through sites like these is useful for building your commercial awareness which recruiters look for in job applications.

    The Careers Tagged Government & public sector professional bodies listing below will highlight major players in this sector and explain what sorts of information each one provides that might be useful to you when planning your policy career. They will also provide support with navigating these sites to find the student focused content.

    Employer directories and job vacancy sites

    Through ‘myUCLCareers’, thousands of organisations target UCL students and graduates by advertising a range of job vacancy types including work experience / internships and full time graduate level roles.

    Try some of following searches on the myUCLCareers Vacancies tab:

    • Current government and policy sector job vacancies (using the ‘Occupational area’ filter for ‘Policy and Government’
    • Quick search for terms such as: Policy; Politics; Political; Future Leaders; Security; MP; Community; Council; Westminster; Strategy.

    Employers may also promote recruitment / networking / skill development events both on and off campus. View and search upcoming events on myUCLCareers.

    On your account you can also use the organisation search tool to identify recruiters by ‘occupational area’ who have a connection with UCL Careers.

    Many recruiters won’t directly target UCL students through myUCLCareers, so it’s also worth expanding your search by looking through listings of the government and policy sector:

    Students’ Union UCL

    Club and societies and UCL are another great place to get a taste of government & policy. Taking part in events and society committees can showcase your enthusiasm to future employers and give you access to informative and fun events, often featuring partners from this sector. Search the Students’ Union UCL website for all available clubs and societies. Here are just a few:

    Government & Policy Sector Themed Week

    If you missed some events during our annual Government & Policy sector week or would like a reminder of what happened, the Themed Week resources section of our website will provide a mix of lecturecast recordings, speaker profiles and event summaries which will include top tips from all those involved with the week. Current resources are from last year’s programme but content from this years events will be published soon.

    Government & Policy Sector Mentoring

    Following the Themed Week, you might also want to explore the ‘UCL Alumni Online Community’ to identify UCL graduates who are now working in this sector and who are happy to provide support for UCL students.

    We hope this gives you a good start for researching this varied and critically important sector. Don’t forget, these rules can be applied to any sector you choose, so let your curiosity guide you! If you need any further help, whether you want to discuss options, improve your applications or anything else, visit the UCL Careers website to see how we can help.

    Government & Policy Week: Working in Policy Analysis & Think Tanks

    By UCL Careers, on 12 October 2018

    Guest blog from Andy Norman, Research Analyst at Centre for Progressive Policy

    Profile photo: Andy Norman, Research Analyst at Centre for Progressive Policy

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A job in policy analysis in a think tank can offer something special to those who are lucky enough to follow this career path: the chance to improve the lives of people up and down the country. Yet while it is always important to keep this ultimate goal in mind, the role of a policy analyst can be a few steps removed from the impact you are striving for. So if you want to see the direct impact on people’s lives on a daily basis that is often found in charity work or front-line services, then perhaps policy analysis is not for you. But what this job does offer you is an opportunity to make genuine improvements at a systemic level.

    The day to day role of a policy analyst in a think tank is varied. Much of the job involves researching a specific topic – for example, healthcare or education – identifying problems and coming up with innovative policy solutions. One day you could be pouring over government datasets to extract key insights, the next you could be leading a focus group seeking the opinions of members of the public.

    Coming up with practical, evidence-based policy solutions to some of society’s most complex problems, however, is really only half the job. The best think tanks work hard to ensure that their recommendations are actually implemented. A policy solution can be fantastic on paper, but if it never leaves the pages of a report then its impact will always be zero. That’s why a big part of what think tanks do is to work with policymakers throughout the process of researching and writing a report to make sure that the ultimate policy recommendations have a good chance of being effectively implemented.

    Unfortunately, think tank policy analyst vacancies are extremely limited and so competition is tough. A tried and tested route into the industry is via an internship, usually paid the living wage. But think tanks often receive hundreds of applications from eager graduates for their internships so learning how to stand out from the crowd is key. Proving that your analysis skills are top notch is of course important. But showing that you are able to think innovatively to find new solutions to stubborn problems is crucial. But, in the end, what think tanks want to see from their applicants is a belief in and commitment to the kind of societal and economic change they are working towards.

    While the work of think tanks can seem complex and confusing from the outside, the essence of what we do is actually very simple. Ultimately, those that work in think tanks analyse how the world is today, imagine how they want it to be in the future and devise policy solutions to provide a bridge between the two.

    Government & Policy Week icon showing Houses of ParliamentInterested in a career that makes a difference? Government & Policy week is your chance to hear from those working at the heart of government; people who influence policy; and leaders in the public sector.

     

    What’s happening?

    Monday 22 October 13:00 – 14:00: Intro to Policy: what are my options?

    Monday 22 October 18:00 – 20:00: Careers in the Heart of Government

    Tuesday 23 October 18:00 – 20:00: Influencing Policy

    Wednesday 24 October 12:00 – 14:00: Civil Service Workshop

    Thursday 25 October 18:00 – 20:00: Careers that make a difference 

    To find out more, visit the Government & Policy Themed Week page on our website and register to attend these events via myUCLCareers.

    From History Masters Student to Startup Project Manager

    By UCL Careers, on 21 September 2018

    ClickMechanic Logo

     

     

    This guest feature from car repair startup ClickMechanic shows us that your degree doesn’t have to dictate your job after university. Kurt, ClickMechanic employee and UCL alum shows us what skills you can transfer from your degree to your work. In his words:

    “I would tell everyone, choose your degree and career around what you love and have a real passion for.” Kurt – Project Manager, UCL Graduate: German Language and History MA

    Why UCL?

    “I came to UCL for two primary reasons: the course modules, which resonated strongly with my interests, and for the world-class lecturers. Further to that it was great to have the experience of living in another place for my postgraduate studies. I am glad I opted to come to UCL, it ended up being a great experience and offered a fantastic opportunity to kickstart my career.

    Due to the setup of the course there was a wide range of modules to choose from, and as such an opportunity to learn from lecturers with a variety of interests. All were very passionate about their subjects and had a wealth of knowledge to share. I could tailor my curriculum in the way that I hoped, focusing on twentieth century German history as well as sociolinguistics. Along the way I was also able to broaden my horizon by taking modules in European history and twentieth century modern art.

    With UCL being a campus university it meant it was easy to build connections with people  from all across the planet and hang out. An added bonus is of course being right in the middle of Central London. There’s a never-ending stream of things to do nearby, and not necessarily expensive if you knew where to go. It’s a great way to make a start with exploring this vast city.”

    Work after UCL

    “After graduating, I decided to stay in London for a little longer and actually managed to find another place to stay via someone I met at UCL. I got on with finding a role in marketing, a field I had already worked in prior to coming to UCL. On the job hunt, I swiftly found a role at ClickMechanic, the company I still work for. I actually found the job ad on Tumblr of all places and, with my enthusiasm for all things tech and automotive, decided to pursue it.

    My initial role was a general marketing position: creating copy for the site, managing social and email channels, handling the pay-per-click ads, and managing customer relations when needed. Being the first employee to join the founders and the only one with any in-depth technical knowledge of cars, meant that I was an integral part of building ClickMechanic’s quote engine, which I still work on to this day.

    My course at UCL centred around German language and history, which doesn’t exactly match up with the jobs I ended up pursuing but it’s clear my studies enabled me to refine a lot of skills that gave me an edge when looking for a position.

    Current role at ClickMechanic

    In my day to day now, as a Project Manager, I work on a variety of projects that necessitate a deep understanding of our product, customers and marketing principles. I help communicate between teams, taking a pivotal role in briefing our software developers on updates to our complex system to help push growth.

    In my role there is a lot of data to get my head around, both qualitative and quantitative. It’s the interpreting of all this data where my postgraduate studies at UCL has proven to be very helpful. As in doing postgraduate research, the amount of information and different types of information you have to interpret is complex in most growth-oriented marketing roles, and requires a real attention to detail.

    Understanding what is important and what isn’t helps to make informed data-driven decisions that ultimately make ClickMechanic’s product better. I help build the narratives around the data to explore, explain, and ultimately change things for the better with the evidence we assess. This data analysis is vital for many roles, especially in marketing. It’s clear for me that UCL helped nurture an analytical way of thinking, and contributed to building my career in marketing.”

    Need advice on what you want to do after graduating? UCL Careers can help.

    Visit our contributors website: ClickMechanic

    Career Lessons from Love Island 2018

    By UCL Careers, on 24 July 2018

    Remember that time we changed your lives with the three key career messages we took from last year’s Love Island? Well, it was such a great idea, it brought us such a lot of professional respect, and it gave us such an excellent excuse to watch Love Island at work*, that we thought we’d do it again before this year’s show comes to an end:

    1) Show me the evidence
    If you transcribed all of Georgia’s Love Island communications, uploaded them into NVivo or Wordle, and created a word cloud, it would look something like the below: 


     

     

    But did that convince us she was loyal or honest, babe? No. In fact, rather the opposite. It was her actions – staying true while Josh was in Casa Amor, leaving the villa with Sam – that eventually won us over.

    Although some may not like to admit it, employers are no different to Love Island viewers. They need evidence to be convinced. So what can you do? Well, it’s wise to use employer language in applications. If your target employer has asked for leadership skills, explicitly tell them when you’re talking about leadership skills. It makes their job easier. But rather than simply declaring what a fantastic leader you are in your own opinion, why not provide examples of how you used your leadership skills, and what you achieved with them? This evidence-based approach will help you feel more comfortable promoting yourself, and the employer feel more comfortable believing you.

     

    2) Negative experiences can be valuable

     Laura, Laura, Laura. Our hearts have broken for you not once but twice. Should you regret your missteps? Should you lament moments spent with Wes and New Jack as wasted time? No! For through those relationships you learned what you do not want, and that allowed you to see what you do want – a mature carpenter and model who has kissed Britney Spears – more clearly.

    When I speak to students and graduates about their past internship or placement experiences, they often view them as useful only if they turned out to be exactly the right role, with the right employer, for them. Of course that’s a wonderful result, but it’s not the only useful one. There is value in all of your past experiences as long as you take the time to reflect and draw it out. What was it you didn’t enjoy about a role? The task? The colleagues? The environment? And which elements did you enjoy? Exploring these questions is crucial in getting to know yourself, and deciding what your next step will be.

     

    3) A little role play can help

    Oh hell, when surfer New Laura entered the house, Dr Alex made a real hash of the one relationship that seemed to be working for him. But he saved it by role playing a first meeting at a bar with Alexandra, and now they’re living happily ever after together**.

    Maybe a little role play can help you too. Interviews are a crucial part of an application process, but they’re a relatively unusual scenario many people have limited experience with, especially in the earlier stages of their careers. So when you have an interview coming up, we advise getting as much practice as possible. Set up mock interviews with your friends and family, especially those who have knowledge of interviews and/or the field you’re entering. And book a mock interview with one of our careers consultants, who can help you role play in a safe setting, and then provide feedback to improve your performance for the real thing.

    *If my boss is reading this then obviously I’m totally joking

    **Correct at time of writing.

     

    Written by Sophia Donaldson, UCL Careers

     

    Five Tutoring Tips For Recent Graduates

    By UCL Careers, on 17 July 2018

    Robert Lomax is a teacher and author. He writes about education at RSL Educational.

    Whatever job you dream of, there’s a fair chance that you’ll find yourself doing a few other things along the way.

    One of the most common “along the way” jobs, particularly in London, is private tuition. It’s something that I started doing when I was a postgrad, just to keep the wolf from my door.
    I enjoyed teaching so much that I’m still doing it now.

    I’ve always had fun during my time as a teacher, but there are a few things that I wish I’d known when I started: things which would have made my work less stressful and more successful, and which I only discovered through making mistakes.

    I add more detail to some of these ideas in this article.

    1. Never stop making mistakes

    The natural instinct for any teacher is to be terrified of mistakes: you think that you need to be infallible, or you will lose your students’ respect.

    This could not be more wrong.

    Once children realise that their teacher is just as able to make a fool of themselves as they are, they discover that there isn’t a great wall standing between their state of ignorance and your adult knowledge: a wall they will have to fling themselves against for years before smashing through.

    Instead, they learn that it is possible to be a successful adult and still get things wrong. This is a tremendous motivation.

    On the one hand, the belief that anything short of perfection is a kind of failure can make children feel like giving up.

    On the other hand, a more skilful, more interesting version of their own imperfection can seem like a thing worth aiming for.

    Of course, if you are going to make mistakes, at least make sure that you …

    2. Always show your thought process

    The greatest gift that a teacher can give a child is not their expertise. A book will be able to offer the same information, and Youtube probably does too.

    The most important thing you have to offer is your way of thinking.

    Let your students see your mind in action! Let them explore your thought patterns, challenge them and copy them.

    One of the very best ways to do this is to work alongside your student. Rather than setting them a task and reading the newspaper for ten minutes, do the same work as them, at the same time.

    When you compare your answers – perhaps even marking each other’s responses – they will be inspired by the things that you do better.

    What’s more, on the rare occasions when they do something more effectively than you, it will be as motivating as any other experience in their school career.

    3. Don’t promise results

    There are no “supertutors” – just teachers, some of them with a few more tricks than others, and some with a better instinct for relating to children. Nobody knows the magic key which can ensure a particular outcome for a child.

    Promise to do your best, but be honest: don’t offer guarantees. In the end, only your student has the power to achieve what they want to.

    4. Be prepared to walk away

    Sometimes you won’t be the best teacher for a student you’re working with. If you start to realise this, don’t panic and struggle against it. It happens to all tutors sometimes, however experienced they are.

    Tell the child’s parents, explaining things clearly. You might offer to help them through the transition to a new tutor. In almost every case, they will be grateful for your honesty.

    Very rarely, you will need to end your relationship with a client because they treat you poorly and make your life difficult. Don’t feel guilty about declining further work from them, and don’t feel trapped by a sense of obligation to their child. There are plenty more tutors out there.

    Whatever the reason, never let things drag on miserably. It’s no good for you or your student.

    5. Communicate!

    From the outset, talk to your clients! There are very few difficulties which can’t be managed well if you already have an effective pattern of communication.

    What’s more, parents are most likely to worry about their children’s education if they don’t know what’s going on.

    When you start working with a new family, send the parents frequent emails. Remind them what homework you have set. Perhaps send a weekly update, highlighting their child’s strengths and explaining where you are seeking improvement. If your student has done something especially good, let their parents know and encourage them to echo your own congratulations.

    After a few weeks, you’ll probably find that you can reduce your level of communication. When a client understands your approach and feels able to trust you, you will have the freedom to do your very best teaching.

    Robert Lomax is a teacher and author. He writes about education at RSL Educational