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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  • Erasmus+ funding available for EU internships

    By UCL Careers, on 15 January 2019

    Thinking of undertaking an internship in the EU this summer? Perhaps you’re looking for an opportunity or you’ve already secured one. Either way, you may be eligible to receive the Erasmus+ Traineeship Grant to help you with the costs associated with interning outside of the UK.

    Last year Tanja Hann returned home to Germany to undertake an internship in a research institute. She told us more about the experience…

    “The Erasmus+ Traineeship Grant allowed me to undertake an internship where I found out what real work in a research laboratory looks like. I have always wanted to become a research scientist, but never really had any actual experience with this. Of course, I also had occasional doubts – what if the job is not right for me? What if it is totally different from what I imagined? The internship definitely helped me to get a better impression of what type of career I want to pursue and erased any doubts I had about whether this path would be right for me.”

    How did you find your internship?
    The internship was not compulsory to my degree programme – it was fully up to me to decide where to apply. Sourcing the internship was more straightforward than I initially expected. I knew roughly what I wanted to do and what expectations I had and so I just started searching online. I quickly found a couple of research institutes that raised my interest and then proceeded to search for individual research groups. When I found the website of the laboratory I eventually worked with, I knew their work would be right for me – so I just contacted them and was lucky enough to receive a positive reply!

    What did you do during your internship?
    My internship took place in a research laboratory which is focussed on gene therapy. I was able to get involved in several ongoing projects, which was a really valuable aspect of my experience. One of the projects hadn’t yet reached the experimental stage and I was able to contribute to planning it from the very beginning. This involved reading many research papers on the topic and coming up with an overall project objective. This experience not only taught me how to be a scientist “behind the scenes”, but also gave me the opportunity to learn experimental procedures within another, larger project. The tasks I completed were typical for a cell and molecular genetics laboratory and involved cloning, Western analysis, qPCR, transfection of mammalian cells and even iPSC development.

    Why did you choose to undertake an international internship?
    The country in which my internship took place was not new to me – however, given the international background of the research institute I worked with, I came into contact with many different cultures at once. My co-workers and I often found ourselves discussing differences between languages, cuisines and even day-to-day habits. This not only taught me to look at things from a different perspective but was also a lot of fun!

    What skills did you develop during the internship?
    Naturally, working in a research laboratory for two months taught me a lot of experimental techniques relevant to my field of study, as well as the process of planning an advanced research project. However, I learnt so much more than that. During the internship, I wrote a scientific report on all of my accomplishments during the time – this was a really valuable experience and improved my scientific writing skills. On top of that, I believe that working with a variety of people in the laboratory really boosted my communication and teamwork skills, as well as critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    Has the experience influenced your plans for the future?
    The whole internship experience strengthened my desire to pursue a career path in this industry by giving me a much better impression on what this type of work actually involves. I feel like I am more prepared for life after university now and it all seems much less scary!

    What tips do you have for other students thinking of doing an internship overseas?
    My main tip for students considering going overseas would be: be open to everything. Your experience will (most) likely not be precisely what you imagined and it would be pretty boring if it were, right? You will learn so many things and gather valuable experience – for your studies, your career and your personal development. Another tip I would give to virtually anyone with high career aspirations is: do not be afraid to dream big! You will only have a chance to succeed if you are unafraid to try so do not let anyone, including yourself, tells you what you cannot do!

    You don’t need to be doing an internship in a research institute to receive the Erasmus+ Traineeship Grant – all sectors are eligible! If you’d like to apply for the grant, have a look at the Funding page on the Global Internships Programme website to find out more.

    Photo from Tanja Hann 

     

    Are Graduate Schemes Still Open?

    By UCL Careers, on 11 January 2019

    Which can I apply for? Are graduate schemes right for me?

    If you haven’t applied to a graduate scheme already, you might be asking yourself some of these questions. There’s no need to worry. If you want to find a programme, there are still plenty currently taking applications. You might even decide that graduate schemes aren’t worth it. After all, one in six graduates leave their first employer within the first two years.

    Which graduate schemes are still open?

    Prospects

    Many of these programmes are still taking applicants. Others take on graduates on a rolling basis. So who’s recruiting students? Prospects have put together a handy online tool where you can search open graduate schemes. Use their filter options to reveal graduate programmes which you can sort by industry and location.

    So which employers are still looking for current students and recent graduates? Here’s a little taste of the ones that are still open, from a range of sectors.

    Find out who’s still taking applications on the Prospects search tool.

    Clearly employers are still searching for students to recruit, so do some research across the web and try and meet as many graduate recruiters as you can at our events.

    Are graduate schemes right for me?

    It is easy to feel pressured into applying for a graduate scheme – but these schemes are not your only choice. Most employers (including those who run graduate schemes), hire graduates on a continuous basis.

    You only need to check the current vacancies on myUCLCareers to see this for yourself. You can search other major jobs boards, such as LinkedIn or Indeed, including the term “Graduate” and you will see plenty of graduate roles that aren’t part of a particular scheme.

    This is particularly true for organisations who are not large enough to warrant a graduate scheme. This is why international organisations which hundreds of staff are much more likely to have schemes on offer. Working for a company like this might not suit your goals, so don’t be afraid to look elsewhere for graduate jobs. Read more about the difference between a graduate job and a graduate scheme on Gradtouch.

    Further study is another popular choice, with 30% of UCL graduates in 2016 securing further study courses after six months.

    Full-time work (49%), Part-time work (9%), Work and study (1%), Study (30%), Due to start work (1%), Unemployed (2%), Other (8%)

     

     

    How can I improve my applications? (for all graduate jobs)

    All graduate jobs, whether part of a graduate scheme or not, want you to demonstrate your motivation, desirable qualities, skills and experience.
    One of the best ways to do this is through volunteering and work experience. By finding an internship or other work experience you will show your motivation to employers, gain useful real-world experience, and learn more about that particular role or sector.

    You might realise that you don’t enjoy a particular sector as much as you expect. This means you can look for something different when you graduate. If you love the job, you’ll be able to demonstrate your awareness of the sector to future employers. It’s very common for people who do internships while they study to secure a job with the same employer when they graduate.

    Have work or volunteering experience? Let graduate recruiters know what you learned using examples. Be sure to tell them how you can apply those lessons when working for them. It’s what you’re aiming to do after all!

    In your final year or recently graduated?

    It might be time to start looking at what’s available and applying.

    Our careers consultants can help you review your CVs and applications in one-to-one advice sessions and mock interviews. These will give you the confidence you need to evidence your best qualities when applying.

    Graduate schemes often use recruitment tools such as assessment centres and psychometric testing to filter applications. Although these can seem intimidating, the more you know about them, the less scary they become.

    UCL Careers run a range of workshops, talks and employer-led events through the year. These include mock assessment centres, employer networking and application sessions. Any of these could help with your graduate job applications, so see the full events calendar and book your place.

    Remember, UCL Careers is here to support you, no matter what stage your at in your career planning; whether you’re applying to graduate schemes or any other kind of work or further study. Find out more about what UCL Careers can offer you.

    Interview with BAFTA Television Programme Manager, Kam Kandola Flynn

    By UCL Careers, on 8 January 2019

    First of all, what does BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) do?

    Our mission is to bring the very best work in film, games and television to public attention, and support the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. We do this by identifying and celebrating excellence, discovering, inspiring and nurturing new talent, and enabling learning and creative collaboration.

    BAFTA Trophy

    In addition to our Awards ceremonies, we have a year-round programme of learning events and initiatives that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes.

    The UK boasts a wealth of talented people who could make a huge contribution to the continued excellence of British film, games and television. We want to ensure that this talent is nurtured and supported, so that talented individuals have the opportunity to succeed whatever their background, and – through accessing the expertise of their peers and established practitioners – reach their full potential.

    And what do you do at BAFTA?

    At BAFTA I work within the Learning and New Talent team who work with practitioners from the television, film and games community to discuss and define creative excellence in order to share the tools with wider audiences to make better film, games and television.

    I manage and programme our television industry activity which ranges from industry focused debates and lectures addressing issues of the day, to craft-led masterclasses, panel events, Q&As, exclusive screenings and new talent initiatives. The aim is to share insights and expertise into the craft of programme making from BAFTA winners, nominees and the best minds in TV with a wider audience to develop knowledge, skills and talent. I also nurture BAFTA’s relationships with industry practitioners to ensure we are reflecting and supporting the work of the television industry, as well as working on our new talent initiatives which aim to discover, nurture and support the skills and development of the next generation of talent.

    What did you do previously?

    I studied media and cultural studies at Nottingham Trent University graduating in 2001, during which I did lots of work experience in media-related environments such as hospital radio and being a production runner for shows such as Big Brother. I also thought it would be useful to build up my administration/office skills, so I also pursued part-time work that would get these skills up to scratch. After I graduated, I moved to London and got a job as a runner in post-production then secured my first media job working for a company that programmed the in-flight entertainment for airlines. However, I knew that I wanted to work in television, so I applied for a role at Carlton TV (now ITV) working with a producer as an administration assistant – so putting those admin/office skills to good use! Then I moved on to Channel 4 as a commissioning assistant before joining BAFTA as a regional programmer, which eventually led into my current role (after a short stint working on the Edinburgh International Television Festival).

    What do you enjoy about your role?

    BAFTA rewards excellence in screen arts, and I love having the opportunity to not only work with practitioners at the top of their game but also supporting talent and skills development in TV, especially at a time where the industry is working so hard to try and level the playing field for anyone from any background or experience to be part of it.

    What are the current challenges facing this sector?

    The television workforce is not as representative of society in general as it could be. There has been a recent focus on diversifying the workforce and levelling the playing field across the sector in technical, production and editorial roles – so there are lots more opportunities around than there used to be not only to get into the industry but also to sustain a career.

    With recent “Digital Disrupters” (as they are referred to in the business) such as online streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Facebook, the challenge is to make shows that appeal to younger people. There is an eagerness to find stories that will engage and be relevant for this demographic.

    What are common graduate routes into the industry?

    As an industry we have many routes in but for graduates there are training schemes and apprenticeships – you can find out about some of these via ScreenSkills the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based creative industries. All broadcasters like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5 advertise their opportunities online, and places like the Unit List and Talent Manager promote jobs.  However, you can also get in via junior roles such as runners, researchers or production assistants. Everyone has their own routes.

    What would be your top tips for getting into this industry?

    1. Build your network! As much as possible in your own relevant area of interest. This should include peer-to-peer relationships, as these may be your future collaborators.
    2. Get as much work experience as you can – including developing ‘soft skills’ (like teamwork and communication) as these are important. Be hardworking, nice and talented (or at least two of those!)
    3. Make content – e.g. short films, interview led pieces – as this shows passion and your creative eye.
    4. Think about your own unique selling points – e.g. if you have an interest in cooking or medieval art or can speak Italian then hone that knowledge, be passionate – this knowledge will come into use.
    5. Don’t be afraid of stepping sideways in job roles – take your time to develop skills and knowledge
    6. Be flexible if you can – it is largely a freelance industry. See everything as an opportunity.
    7. Although London has been traditionally been the place to be, content hubs are expanding and growing all over the UK in places like Salford, Bristol, Leeds and Glasgow. These will be great places to start your career and build up your skills.
    8. Think outside of editorial roles, and into craft areas where there are particular skills gaps such as visual effects or editing. E.g. see BAFTA’s Television Craft Awards for a range of potential roles.
    9. Check our BAFTA Guru for insights from industry professionals at.
    10. Be you – that’s the best quality you have.

    BAFTA offers internships as well as permanent and freelance roles in administration and event production – to see what currently is being offered, they advertise on the BAFTA Jobs website and on Twitter and Facebook

    Written by Sally Brown – Careers Consultant at UCL Careers

    This blog was written as a follow up to our Media Themed Week. Find out more about upcoming Themed Week events on our website.

    Insights from the ‘UCL Careers: Insights into Publishing’ event

    By UCL Careers, on 4 January 2019

    UCL Careers recently hosted a panel event around getting into publishing and understanding what a role in the industry involves. Here’s what our panellists had to say:

    Hannah Ray, Editorial Director at Macmillan Children’s Books

    ‘Editing means different things in different companies. My role as Editorial Director is around 30% creative and 70% business-focused – such as costing and selling strategies. Highlights include having the opportunity to work with both established authors and new talent. Challenges include working to deadlines when there are so many people involved – such as when people get sick and there are many people waiting for the book.’

     headshot of Hannah Ray
    headshot of Allie Collins

    Allie Collins, Editor at Bloomsbury Sport/Freelance Editor

    ‘When you work freelance, you have more control over your own time and projects. Conversely, working in-house means you get to see books through from start-to-finish. Sometimes a challenge as an editor is managing authors’ expectations – such as the design of the front cover –  so often you need to act as a mediator.’

    Tom Atkins, Freelance Proof-reader  

    As a freelance proof-reader you come in at the end and cast a slow lengthy glance over the proof pages – so you get to work with paper and pencil! It is great if you love spotting flaws – like spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes and any minor plot inconstancies. Working freelance can be lonely though, and you don’t have guaranteed work or a pension – not to mention that you have to do your own tax returns!’

    headshot of Tom Atkins
    headshot of Ella Kahn

    Ella Kahn, Literary Agent at Diamond Kahn and Woods

    As a literary agent you are at the beginning of the process – essentially a manager for authors. You may work with a range of publishing houses – both large and small. You often will meet editors for coffee and lunch to build up a picture of what they are currently looking for in a commission. It is both a sales and editorial role and you have a close relationship with the authors you represent – often being both a nanny and a lawyer for them. You might get over 50 submissions from authors a week, but only take on 1-2 people a year. Highlights include working with authors and championing them to get the recognition they deserve. Challenges are dealing with rejection – on both sides. You have to handle turning people down and getting turned down by publishers.’

    Top ten tips on getting into publishing

    1. Have passion: this is a very competitive industry. Everyone’s CV is impressive, so tailor your cover letter and light up when you talk about the industry in your interview. It is not enough to say ‘I love books’ and don’t have an overly romantic view of the industry – there is a lot of business to it such as profit and loss. So show you have negotiation skills and that you can use an Excel spreadsheet. Communication and relationship-building skills are also vital. Show transferable skills.
    2. Understand the importance of networks: start to meet people now, whether this is professionals or peers also pursuing this industry.
    3. Do your research: when applying to publishing houses, learn about the books they publish – look at things like Amazon rankings and understand the different genres.
    4. Ask insightful questions at interviews: good examples include “What is coming out soon?” “Which books are you most excited about publishing in the next year?”.
    5. Be aware of current trends: Know who the big authors in your genre of interest are.
    6. Consider taking a job in a department that is not your first choice: once your foot is in the door you might be able to change departments.
    7. Follow key people on Twitter: try searching hashtags such as: #askagent #askapublisher and #ukya
    8. Want to work freelance? you might want to start in-house as it is very rare editors will work with freelancers they don’t know. You can start doing freelance work on the side.
    9. An MA in publishing can be useful: it gives you a great overview of the different areas, but it is not a pre-requisite, as publishing is trying very hard to be inclusive. If you want to do a professional course, ensure it is an industry recognised one.
    10. Keep going! Be resilient and thick skinned – you will get interviews. Learn from interviews you fail at and ask for feedback and put it into practise.

    Want to learn more?

     

    How to get into publishing

    By UCL Careers, on 4 January 2019

    What is considered ‘publishing’?

    publishing: the occupation or activity of preparing and issuing books, journals, and other material for sale (n.) 

    To put it simply, publishing is about making concepts public; connecting people who create content with people who need that content.

    Roles in publishing exist across the media industry, involving not only the production of books and journals but also magazines, newspapers, business media, musical scores and graphics – to name a few! As our world becomes more technologically advanced, new multi-media formats also contribute to shifting industry opportunities, challenges and career paths.

    Publishing is a competitive industry, with notoriously few advertised entry-level positions. Whilst some organisations recognise this and are developing routes into the industry for a wider pool of candidates, these remain highly sought-after. The most common routes into publishing include postgraduate qualifications, work experience placements, graduate training schemes, networking and personal recommendations. Candidates with a strong work ethic and transferable skills developed via experience in other sectors, are also well regarded.

    What careers can I have in publishing?

    A career in publishing can vary depending on both the sector and department you work in.

    Some of the more common sectors of publishing include:

    • Academic
    • Consumer
    • Educational
    • Professional
    • Scientific and technical

    Within these sectors are a wide range of departments. For example within the book publishing industry, typical departments include:

    • Contracts: working with editors and literary agents or the author to negotiate the terms of the contract.
    • Design: reviewing the book and liaising with editorial and marketing to create a visual identity and oversee its implementation – from the jacket to the cover and interior.
    • Digital: creating, implementing and maintaining new and existing web initiatives, including the organisation’s own web offering, online features and marketing campaigns.
    • Editorial: acquiring and editing a manuscript, and seeing it through to publication.
    • Managing Editorial: overseeing the whole editorial process, including working with both editorial and production to keep an eye on schedules for both the finished product and wraparound materials.
    • Marketing: creating and producing creative campaigns, using methods such as digital and print advertising, social media and events, to promote and share the book with consumers.
    • Publicity: from author signings to social media schedules and pitching to newspapers, television and radio, the team are the vital connection in promoting the book to the media.
    • Production: overseeing the manufacturing process, from manuscript to book. This could include typesetting, working with suppliers and printers, and budgeting.
    • Rights: managing the licensing of the rights of any original publication both at home and abroad. Common examples are translations, audio editions, sequels by other authors etc.
    • Sales: working with outlets to ensure the book is readily available to consumers, such as online, bookshops, supermarkets etc.

    These are all on top of ‘business-as-usual’ operations, such as Human Resources, IT, Finance etc.  Many organisations will also have additional departments such as audio, digital production (e-books), in-house distribution, packaging etc.

    If you’re interested in finding out about the different functions of each department, you could check out this handy guide by Book Jobs. You could also explore the different teams at Penguin Random House, the largest of the ‘Big Five’ publishing houses.

    What qualifications do I need?

    Whilst MA courses in publishing are available (including at UCL!) and are an effective way to start building a network of contacts, it’s certainly not a requirement to work in publishing. If you’re considering a postgraduate course, it’s just as important to think about you want to gain from the experience, and weigh this up against the cost implications and other ways to reach the same goals, such as work experience. There are also some technical roles where a related degree would be valuable – such as a designer or digital engineer.

    It is also a common misconception that the publishing industry focuses on hiring English or Literature graduates. In fact, it’s experience and drive that are vital proof of your motivation and skills for a career in the industry.

    How do I get a graduate job?

    There is no ‘one route’ into this industry, and it entirely depends on the type of role you are looking for. Some organisations highlight the importance of work experience when they hire for entry-level roles. Work experience is a great way to work with professionals in your area of interest, make connections and build up your skill set. Other organisations will readily accept candidates with experience in other fields that has given them transferable skills – think of it as the back door in.

    Spent time working at a digital marketing agency? That could have set you up with the skills you need to succeed in the digital team at a publisher. Getting jobs in the industry can also be influenced by referrals and recommendations, so it is useful to start building up your network as soon as possible.

    Publishing Graduate Schemes

    Although graduate schemes in publishing are gradually becoming more common, competition tends to be high for a limited number of places.  Current schemes include but are not limited to:

    • The BAME Trainee Programme from HarperCollins, a twelve-month rotational traineeship around the business in London. Last year, applications for places starting in October 2018 closed in mid-April.
    • The Cambridge University Press Graduate Programme, a fifteen-month rotational programme experiencing different business streams. Last year, applications for places starting in September 2018 closed in February.
    • The Scheme from Penguin Random House UK, six-month editorial traineeships for applicants from a BAME or socio-economically disadvantaged background. Last year, applications for places starting in September 2018 closed in May.
    • The Fresh Chapters Traineeship at Hachette, a twelve-month BAME traineeship, half of which will be spent in editorial, and the other half in another department. Last year, applications for places starting in October 2018 closed in early July.

    Work Experience

    A slightly less competitive way to ‘get a foot in the door’ is through work experience. Many organisations run work experience or internship programmes – and if they don’t advertise them directly, there’s no harm in getting in contact and seeing if something can be arranged. Current work experience opportunities include but are not limited to:

    • Oxford University Press runs an eight-week internship programme for graduates throughout July and August. In 2018, the deadline for applying was in March.
    • Penguin Random House has a summer internship that runs throughout July and August. In 2018 applications closed in April. They also recruits four times a year for paid two-week work experience placements. The Spare Room Project supported by Penguin Random House, also matches interns from outside London with people in the book industry who live in the capital and can offer them a place to stay.
    • Hachette run Fresh Chapters, an eight-week internship programme in editorial, marketing or publicity as well as ongoing one week placements (advertised via Facebook and Twitter).
    • Harper Collins offer an internship programme of up to six-months as well as four-week work experience opportunities (advertised via Twitter).
    • Bloomsbury have a paid internship programme, with four intakes per year across Marketing, Publicity and Editorial. Recruitment for April 2019 will begin in February 2019.
    • Blake Friedmann offer three-month internships on a rolling basis. They also run the Carole Blake Open Doors Project – a two-week, all-expenses-paid shadowing scheme for students from under-represented backgrounds.
    • The Guardian offer two-week work experience placements in the Guardian and Observer Editorial departments, across a range of desks, typically between March-June and October-December. Applications for 2019 opportunities will close on 7 December 2018.
    • Dorling Kindersley offer internship and work experience placements. Check back for opening times for 2019 internship opportunities, work experience applications are received on a rolling basis.
    • The Publishers Association occasionally recruits for internships and short work experience.

    In fact, a lot of organisations will invite applications to work experience schemes via their websites. Remember not to disregard the smaller, more independent, publishing houses – their schemes are normally less over-subscribed and in some cases can last longer than an average fortnight placement.

    You can also use social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – to gather information and make industry connections. For example, if you want to work as a Literary Agent, follow both the literary agencies and the literary agents! You can also follow accounts dedicated to sharing jobs and opportunities such as:

    @publishersassoc

    @PubInterns

    @BookJobsUK

    Find out more about upcoming Themed Week Events or catch-up on events you missed on the Themed Week archive.

    Develop your global mind-set with an international internship

    By UCL Careers, on 5 December 2018

    Global Intern in Slovakia

    Jan Hradicky in Slovakia

    Global Intern in Kenya

    Jingyi Zhang in Kenya

    Global Intern in USA holding a flag

    Nora Venin in USA

    UCL’s Global Internships Programme is fairly new, with the first participants undertaking internships in summer 2018. Students went all over the world, from Belgium to Japan to USA, with internships in SMEs, large companies, charities and government offices.

    100% of participants said they would recommend undertaking an international internship to their fellow students, with the most common piece of advice being “just do it!” So if you’d like to intern overseas next summer, read on…

    How can you be part of the Global Internships Programme?

    Secure an internship which is sourced and managed by UCL Careers – these are called ‘exclusive internships’ and UCL Careers are busy trying to source opportunities just for UCL students. They will be advertised from 6th February and will be available to browse via your myUCLCareers account.

    Apply for funding to help cover the costs of going overseas – depending on the location and duration of your internship, you may be eligible to apply for the Global Internships Bursary or the Erasmus+ Traineeship Grant. The latter is for internships in the EU and UCL has lots of funding available so perhaps think about heading to Europe next summer! Details will be provided in the spring term.

    What can you do over the Christmas break to get started on your global internship journey?

    1. Start exploring possible internships! Have a look at GoinGlobal, TargetJobs and Prospects for information about working in various different countries. Look for opportunities on myUCLCareers under the ‘Vacancies’ tab.
    2. Make some applications! You can book an appointment with an Applications Advisor to talk through your applications, whether they are for particular opportunities or speculative approaches.
    3. Think about funding! Hopefully you will be eligible to apply for the bursary or grant, however if not (or if you are unsuccessful) then you will need to have a plan in place for how to finance your internship. Start thinking about all of the costs of going overseas and how you will cover these – you can use Numbeo to help you.
    4. Prepare to go! You don’t need to do this part just yet, but there is no harm in thinking about it. There will be lots to do, from getting a visa, securing accommodation and preparing to work in your target country, particularly if it is new to you. You can use Hofstede’s Country Comparison tool to see how your culture is similar or different to the country you plan to go to!

    The Global Internships Programme webpages are currently being updated and will be available very soon. If you are interested in any of the above, sign up to our mailing list and we’ll ping you an email when we open for applications.

    Getting in to Publishing isn’t a breeze – but it is worth the effort!

    By UCL Careers, on 27 November 2018

    VINTAGE This guest feature from Konrad Kirkham, Senior Production Manager at Vintage (Penguin Random House) and UCL alumni, discusses how he launched his career in publishing, why working in publishing does not necessarily mean working in editorial, and what a role in the production team of a publishing house involves.

    So, how do I get into Publishing?

    This is a question I am often asked, especially by people on work experience.

    Personally, getting in to publishing wasn’t a breeze. I was fortunate enough to take one of a couple of popular routes in, which was to undertake an MA course in Publishing Studies (the other being extensive work experience). These are offered by quite a few universities across the country. Whilst I wouldn’t say it’s a pre-requisite, the MA gave me a great insight into the business side of publishing, set me up with a lot of contacts across the network, gave me a 6 week block of work experience and introduced me to a great group of friends – whom I’m still in contact with today. It helps to know as many people as you can in Publishing, so I was glad the MA gave me that.

    After my MA, I was lucky enough to be freelancing from my previous job, during which I spent a solid year interviewing for any role I could find (it’s not easy getting your foot in the door and I’m afraid to say does require hard graft), before eventually landing a job in production at Pan Macmillan. The MA came in handy here, as one of my MA buddies already worked there and gave me the intel on the job, as well as put in a good word for me. Like I said, it pays to know people! What I did learn from this, was not to be disheartened when I was declined jobs. They are all super competitive, so getting an interview and honing my interview technique was good enough in some cases.

    As frustrating as it is, Publishing isn’t that easy to get in to, nor is it cheap. If you’re not doing an MA, you might need to spend weeks working for a small wage. There are some schemes being introduced to help graduates, but they are highly competitive and still far and few between. Whilst there are people who manage to get a job without the MA or without work experience, you probably won’t find many.

    What can I do to give myself a better chance at securing a role then?

    My advice would be to work hard, learn about the industry and keep your options open. Don’t limit yourself to looking for the mainstream editorial, sales or publicity/marketing roles. There’s so much more to publishing. For instance production, design, foreign rights (sales of foreign language editions), inventory (warehouse/stock management), sales operations (focusing on the logistics behind the sales), contracts, finance, working for a literary agent. The list goes on! There’ll be less competition for these roles, and once you have a foot in the door, it’s much easier to move jobs within a company. I’ve known many colleagues who have started in one area, and moved after a year or so. The industry is keen on developing people’s careers and having in-depth knowledge of different areas is a huge bonus.

    And if I pursue a career in production, what can I expect to be doing?

    The production department provide the link between the creative teams and sales, and the printer. Our job is to make sure the books look good, are produced to a high standard, don’t cost too much to make, and are delivered on time.

    In the life cycle of the book, the production team will get involved very early on. Editors will ask us to cost up a project before they’ve even bid for a new title (or are coming up with ideas for new in-house books). We then work closely with them to discuss formats, finishes, paper types, special inks etc., and get the costs from the printer to make sure the book will make margin. Once a book is acquired, we will provide schedules to the editors/designer and sales teams to make sure that they know when we require text/cover files, or any other artwork needed, and be in regular contact with the printer whenever any of the book specifications change.

    Once a book is ready to send to the printer, dependent on the book type, we might organise for colour proofs to be sent in for us to check and adjust if necessary, or work with the printer to troubleshoot any issues that may arise during print production. We will then make sure that the books are delivered to the correct destinations, at the required dates, and process printer invoices once the books have delivered.

    What do you particularly enjoy about working in production?

    Production is a really fun, varied, and exciting department to work for. We work with most other departments in some way or another, and get the chance to create some really beautiful books! We’re the team everyone comes to for advice, and are ultimately in charge of the final product. I’ve worked across both children’s and adult production departments, so have been able to produce a huge variety of formats, from glittery board books, to complex children’s novelty books, or standard black and white fictions books. I’ve also worked on massive brands and authors, such as Julia Donaldson, Chris Ridell, Where’s Wally, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and more recently Murakami, Jo Nesbo and Nigella! There’s always new developments happening in the printing world, which gives us the opportunity to try some really fun things. Plus there’s always the added bonus of potential trips to China or Italy to go and see books as they come hot off the press!

    Sounds exciting! Any last words?

    Hopefully this has given a little bit of insight in to the publishing world, and that it’s not all just about editing a book. If you’re really committed to getting in to the industry, it’s definitely worth the effort. You’ll be surrounded by hugely passionate people, and have the chance to work in a really rewarding job. Good luck!

    Media Week is now on! Hear from professionals across this sector with events on broadcasting and publishing still to come.

    Wednesday 28 November 18:00 – 20:00: Get into Broadcasting: Film, TV and Radio

    Thursday 29 November 18:00 – 20:00: Insights into Publishing

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

    Get into Broadcasting – UCL Careers Panel Event

    By UCL Careers, on 23 November 2018

    (As part of the Media Themed Week)

    What is considered ‘broadcasting’?
    Film / Radio / Television

    What types of careers can I have in broadcasting?
    Many of the roles in this industry are freelance or contract-based, with people working on lots of different projects over varying amounts of time. Although often seen as a glamorous sector, the hours are often long and competition for roles are fierce. But many roles offer the chance to be creative, work with people and to use your research skills.

    There are many roles, below are just a few of them:

    However, there are lots of roles that you might also find in other industries such as accountants, commercial lawyers, business strategists and human resources.

    What qualifications do I need?
    For the majority of roles, you don’t need any specific qualifications – just enthusiasm, passion and drive. However, some more technical roles may need a related degree – such as a broadcast engineer. You may need to start building up a portfolio or a showreel for some of the creative roles.

    How do I get a graduate job?
    There is no ‘one route’ into this industry, and it entirely depends on the type of role you are looking for. Some people find it useful to start off being a ‘runner’ this can be in production, floor, location or post-production. These roles will allow you to work with the professionals in your area of interest, make connections and build up your skill set. As a lot of roles are done through referrals and recommendations, it is useful to know as many people as possible.

    Some broadcasting companies offer internships, schemes and work experience such as:

    Why should I come to the panel event on the Wednesday 28th November?
    This will be a chance to hear from professionals in the field talking about their experiences and giving advice about getting into this industry. There will also be time to ask questions and to meet them in person afterwards. Panellists include:

    • Film director
    • Freelance radio and TV presenter
    • Correspondent / investigative journalist for BBC Newsnight
    • Trainee Script editor for ITV

    What is also interesting, none of them studied film, radio, media or TV at university!

     

     

    Volunteering in Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage

    By UCL Careers, on 20 November 2018

    Government & Policy Week icon showing Houses of Parliament As part of the Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Themed Week, John Braime from the Students’ Union UCL volunteering service discusses top volunteering opportunities in the museums, arts and cultural heritage sectors:

    Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Volunteering

    London is full of heritage and cultural organisations, many of them small museums or charities that rely on volunteers to keep them going. If you’re considering a career in the heritage or cultural field, or if you just love museums and galleries, then there is plenty to choose from. Here’s a selection from the current vacancies list of Students’ Union UCL’s

    Volunteering Service – you’ll find many more on our volunteering directory or drop us a line at volunteering@ucl.ac.uk.

    The Weiner Library

    The Wiener Library is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. The Wiener Library has a strong tradition of working with volunteers. Our volunteers are vitally important to us as an organisation and we could not achieve what we do without them. We are currently recruiting for the following volunteering roles: Blogger, Book Reviewer, Events Assistant, Photographer (photographing our collections and events), Tour Guide (delivering public tours of our exhibition and archive) and Translators of German to English (translating original testimony for an upcoming education website.

    Leighton House Museum

    The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea owns and runs two historic Victorian homes near High Street Kensington, Leighton House Museum and 18 Stafford Terrace. We are looking for volunteers for both properties, at 18 Stafford Terrace for room guides on either a Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday afternoon and at Leighton House Museum for activity volunteers to help deliver family based activities and learning volunteers to help deliver school workshops.

    London Canal Museum

    London Canal Museum is dedicated to educating and inspiring our visitors with the history of London’s canals – how they’ve shaped London’s development, the ordinary people that lived and worked on them, as well as the entrepreneurs who profited from them. We want to pass on the heritage of the canals so that future generations can learn about London’s industrial and social past. We’re currently recruiting Front of House Volunteers.

    The Foundling Museum

    The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity, and celebrates the ways in which artists of all disciplines have helped to improve children’s lives for over 270 years. Our team of volunteers are a huge part of the Foundling Museum, having being instrumental in establishing the Museum prior to its opening in 2004 and continuing to contribute to its success today. We pride ourselves on welcoming a diverse range of individuals who choose to share their time and expertise with us. The Museum could not function without them.

    John Braime

    Volunteering Manager, Students’ Union UCL

    The Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Themed Week is now over, but details of other upcoming themed weeks can be found on our website. These include Charities and NGOs and Sustainability. Recording of previous years events can also be found on our Themed Week Archive.

    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.