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
  • Want to contribute?

    Please read our Guest Blogger Policy

  • Archive for the 'Careers Advice' Category

    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.

    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.

     

     

    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 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