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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  • Archive for the 'finding employment' Category

    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.

    Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage Week 2018

    By UCL Careers, on 9 November 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The panel discussion will be followed by Q&A.

    Panellists include:

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

    Book your place at Working in Arts and Culture

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

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

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

    UCL Alumni attending include:

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

    Book your place at Meet the Alumni

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

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

    Panellists include:

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

    Book your place at the Cultural Heritage Forum

    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

    Five Tutoring Tips For Recent Graduates

    By UCL Careers, on 17 July 2018

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Never stop making mistakes

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

    This could not be more wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

    2. Always show your thought process

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

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

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

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

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

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

    3. Don’t promise results

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

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

    4. Be prepared to walk away

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

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

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

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

    5. Communicate!

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

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

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

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

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

    Working in the Charity sector: A few tips and insights

    By UCL Careers, on 11 April 2018


    The average person can spend up to 90,000 hours working during their lifetime. That is a lot!

    So it would certainly be “nice” if this was something we enjoyed and it had a social mission attached to it. Traditionally, this falls within the realms of charities/ NGOs/ non-profits. Commonly referred to as the “third sector” – the other two being the private sector and public (government) sector.

    However, ultimately, all sectors are serving society and communities in one-way or the other. With the advent of business models of social entrepreneurship the lines between sectors is getting blurry. Therefore deciding our role as a contributing member of society often gets more difficult. Below I share some tips on how to make this easier.

    What concerns me?
    The time spent at university is formative. We join societies, take various academic courses and can (hopefully) begin to see what is the difference we want to make in the world. Is it environmental?, Perhaps race-related issues? Or maybe, animal-welfare?,  Or a little bit of both. Studying geography during my undergraduate I began to see my main concern was the interaction of humans and nature and, more precisely, the role we play in shaping nature.

    Be part of the discussion
    A great way to transition from academic to the practical is by attending events and seminars. Maybe even engaging in debate and to see what is being said and challenging viewpoints. For me, joining Twitter (in 2010) was quite a game changer.  I was able to follow organisations and people around the globe and navigate my way around conflicting schools of thought. Particularly when it came to overseas work, environmental impact and efficiency (or lack of) within the charity sector.

    A few highly recommended accounts to follow would be:

    @whydev https://twitter.com/whydev?lang=en committed to getting aid and development work right
    @NPRGoatsandSoda  https://twitter.com/NPRGoatsandSoda Global Health and development blog
    @ThirdSector_Hub https://twitter.com/ThirdSector_Hub Information and think pieces about the UK Charity Sector
    @CharityClarity https://twitter.com/CharityClarity_ for information and think pieces about the UK Charity Sector

    Volunteer/ Freelance
    So you have attended seminars, actively followed and tweeted, maybe even engaged in an online discussion. What now? How to get some hands-on experience?  If the summer holidays are coming up- your best bet would be to volunteer.

    Yes, It can be a classic chicken and egg scenario (we need a better analogy for these vegan times). But you might feel your CV seems like it is lacking some experience, so who is going to take you on? Here is where approaching smaller charities directly will help. You can even start by volunteering at your local charity shop. Most of them are run 100% by volunteers.

    By approaching small charities you (1) ease their burden by committing a few months (2) can see a project to completion and build up your CV. What is imperative here is commitment. Small charities make up 82% of all voluntary organisations in the UK. However; they have few resources at hand and trustworthy, local individuals are invaluable to them.

    Here is a great report showing how small charities are more adaptable and instrumental in localised change. (access the report)

    After I completed my degree I volunteered and did a various freelance projects at a number of organisations. I picked up skills on: fundraising, donor-database management, filming and editing videos and lastly, writing impact reports.

    What am I good at? What now?
    Which brings me back to being a bit introspective- figuring out what you are good at? What did you enjoy most from the volunteering and actively pursing that.

    I realised two things (1) I wanted to do something within the NGO sector and (2) I wanted it to be related to what I had studied- primarily agriculture and climate change. However, I was also interested in NGO accountability and transparency. So I needed an organisation committed to this.

    I was warned this is quite niche and perhaps difficult in terms of professional mobility. However, to stick by my choices, I moved back to my parents’ home to save on rent and also did various retail jobs and paid freelance work to support me.  Through twitter I found an excellent book project to work on and in 2014 our book, Sustainable [R]evolutions was published by North Atlantic Books.

    Keeping yourself challenged?
    Since working at Green Shoots, my role has evolved. Besides working on an agriculture skills project, I now also manage a healthcare program in Myanmar. Working in charities, especially small charities, offers flexibility and we are able to stay challenged by taking on new things.

    That should be a relief if we are going to spend 90,000 hours working!

     

    Why previous years’ participants think you should apply for Focus on Management 2018!

    By UCL Careers, on 9 April 2018

    We contacted students who have previously participated in Focus on Management to see how they’ve been getting on since the course. We saw that they were thrilled on the last day of the course … but how has completing Focus on Management impacted them and their career? Here’s a selection of the responses we received:

     

    Marianne Thompson – BA French and Spanish (Joint Honours)

    “I was recently able to draw upon the invaluable experience that I gained from this course at an assessment centre for an international investment bank. I believe that it was my exposure to business case studies during Focus on Management that best prepared me for this process, and I was successful in gaining a place on the competitive summer internship.

    I would highly recommend the Focus on Management course to anyone who is thinking about applying for internships or graduate schemes, as it is the perfect introduction to the kind of work you will be expected to complete at assessment centres, as well as providing you with the skills and knowledge to impress employers in the future.

    The diversity of the business case studies presented, along with the intensive nature of the course, means that you are always kept on your toes and you are constantly being challenged in new ways.”

     

    Andrew Dunn – MA in History

    “Focus on Management was marketed as an opportunity to network with some of the brightest sparks of UCL’s student body – and they were! It was a practice run at many of the exercises that one might find at an assessment centre. The opportunity to work with other students to solve these exercises helped me develop a greater awareness of my own skills as a leader and team-worker.

    Shortly after taking part in Focus on Management, I put the skills learnt to the test during an assessment day. I’m pleased to report that I must have picked something useful up, as I was subsequently offered a position! I strongly recommend any student at UCL to have a go at Focus on Management … you won’t be disappointed!”

     

    Pancali Hume – MSc in International Public Policy

    “I found out about Focus on Management after seeing an email about it from UCL Careers and there was a part of me that almost didn’t apply – but I am so happy that I did!

    …the course prepared me for my upcoming assessment centre at a professional services company far better than my individual research or any practice interviews I did. It challenged my thinking and allowed me to practice vital presentation skills and teamwork exercises in a realistic context.

    I would recommend Focus on Management to all UCL students as I sincerely believe this is the prime time to be thinking about leadership and creating concrete goals to champion and lead change in our generation.”

     

    Rohan Krajeski – MRes in Biomedicine 

    “Since completing the Focus on Management 2017 course at UCL, I took up a position as a Research Assistant in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.

    The skills I developed on the 2017 course is useful for my current work. The ability to effectively work with others has led to a number of collaborations with other research groups within the institution, and we are now looking further afield with abroad collaborations, particularly in the US.

    Skills developed in effective planning and commutation has helped me complete high volumes of work quickly and reliably – only 6 months into my work I am shortly ready to submit two papers for academic publication, as well as writing a number of neuroscience articles for local and national neuroscience associated magazines.

    Most vitally, skills developed in public speaking (and in listening/reflection) has greatly affected my current work. I am due to present my research from Oxford at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum in Berlin, Germany. Plus additional talks are scheduled for the UK, such as at UCL in May 2018.

    I think it is also important to note, that when I was applying for my work at Oxford, I had only recently completed the Focus on Management 2017 course. I was able to integrate the skills mentioned above into my interview and presentation prep. for my job advertised – I think it made all the difference.” 


    Inspired by the words of previous years’ participants? – Apply now

    Go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/focus for more details and application instructions.

     

    Focus on Management 2018 is sponsored by Amazon