UCL Careers
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    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 'Tips and hints' Category

    Working in International Development – Top Tips from Industry Experts!

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 21 February 2018


    If you’re considering a career in international development, you might already be aware that this is a competitive sector to break into. As part of International Development Week we have asked some of our themed week contributors, with experience in this sector, to tell us some of their top tips.

    1. Joshua Adams, Europe Policy Analyst, UK Department for International Development.

    ‘Make sure to use the full breadth of your experiences in applications – formal and informal education, training and learning, workplace experience, sports groups and social collectives. I’ve seen a range of examples from touring rock bands to UN youth panels used in applications. As long as the narrative from situation to result, and what was learnt in between, is well formed, you can easily demonstrate the transferability of important skills. This is particularly relevant for competency based applications!’

    1. Alexandros Yiannopoulos, Humanitarian Coordinator covering Middle East, North and Southern Africa in Oxfam’s Global Humanitarian Team.

    ‘There is no substitute for experience, this is a catch 22 situation which frustrated me when I set out at the beginning, but now looking back and making decisions on who to employ at whatever level of seniority, experience counts and becomes the litmus test.  There have been times when I have made a decision when someone had done an excellent interview, not to recruit them because they did not have the right level of experience for the role.  For entry level roles, get voluntary experience that is relevant, this shows that you have commitment and drive towards the role you would like and are applying for.’

    1. Katie Bisaro, Careers Consultant and Deputy Head, UCL Careers, and former Programme Manager at Save the Children,

    ‘My biggest recommendation for working in the sector, or more specifically when you are breaking your way into the sector, is to stay on people’s radar- the sector moves rapidly and opportunities can come up very quickly, so keep yourself at the forefront of your contacts’ mind’

    1. Soha Sudtharalingam, International Development Consultant, PwC.

    ‘You can’t change the world on day one, whilst the work is exciting, be prepared to get your hands dirty when you first join. There’s a lot of admin that needs to be done, i.e. reporting as donors require them.’


    Follow the news and be aware of political changes, political economy is key in decision making and this cascades down to every level of work you do.

    Be prepared to be humbled, it’s a humbling experience when visiting the field. Don’t go in knowing it all.

    Network, network, network! You only broaden your insights if you talk to people outside your circle who bring new ideas and ways of thinking.’

    If you missed our International Development Week events then visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers and look out for themed week event recordings.

     

    Breaking into International Development

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 14 February 2018

    What do you imagine when you think of working in International Development? Maybe you envisage working on the ground in a remote, developing part of the world to address issues such as poverty, disease and education. This image of front line work provides the visible and public face of International Development but have you considered the wide range of roles and functions required to support the successful execution of projects on the ground? These support roles may be less visible but could provide a good foothold into International Development. For example, policy, advocacy/outreach, human resources, finance, IT.

    If you’re considering a career in this rewarding sector you will probably want to start preparing yourself sooner rather than later as International Development is a competitive field to break into.

    Here are a few tips to help you with this.

    • Have a clear idea about the kind of development work you want to do. This is likely to involve investigating the different roles within International Development and considering which of these roles might be a good fit for your academic background, experience, skills and career interests.
    • Think about specialist or technical skills/qualifications/experience that might be required and consider how you might acquire these.
    • Gain experience and build networks/contacts through volunteering activities, involvement in fundraising or campaigning activities, blogging etc…
    • Commitment to/experience of International Development is essential and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to secure a graduate position without having relevant experience (voluntary or paid) on your cv.
    • Consider gaining relevant/transferrable experience and qualifications outside the International Development sector. It’s not unusual for professionals to transition from the commercial sector into international development a few years into their career.

    To find out more about careers in International Development, including opportunities to meet employers and alumni working in this sector, please visit:

    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/about/what_we_offer/events/themed-weeks/development

     

    Five top tips for launching your career in the charity sector

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 6 February 2018

    Anjali Dwesar manages Charity Apprentice  – an online course run by international development charity Child.org. Charity Apprentice is a free 10-month course that anyone can do in their spare time to gain the skills needed for a career in the charity sector. A combination of online learning and real-life challenges, the course has been designed by charity professionals and covers topics ranging from effective advocacy to social enterprise to fundraising strategy to sustainable development.

    Anjali is here to give you her five top tips for launching your career in the charity sector.

    1. It’s all about the skills and experience
      The charity sector is extremely competitive, and landing a job in the sector isn’t based on good intentions unfortunately. In order to stand out amongst the other candidates, it’s really important to build up your skills and experience during your time at university and beyond. You need to demonstrate to employers that you’re qualified for the role and that you’re going to make a success of it. Of course, you must demonstrate passion for the cause of the charity – but ultimately, it’s your skills and experience that will get you the job.
    1. Find out what you’re good at
      The sector is hugely diverse, and there are such a wide variety of jobs available. Saying that you want to work for a charity is not enough – you need to think carefully about your skill-set and what you can bring to the sector. It’s not just campaigners, fundraisers or volunteer managers that the sector needs – there are jobs in designing, coding, project management, and many more. Explore the team page of charity websites and look at the kinds of jobs available – you might surprise yourself!
    1. Be impact-driven
      I’ve met some of the most passionate and inspiring people in the charity sector. Yes, it is a lovely place to work but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! If you’re working in the sector, your job is to make the world a better place and that’s hard work. You need to demonstrate in your applications that you’re driven by the question: how can I make the most impact in my job?
    1. It’s not what you know…
      Don’t rely on the big charity recruitment websites – smaller charities might not have the budget to post their opportunities on there. Make sure you’re using lots of different tools to find out about job vacancies, both online and offline.  Use LinkedIn, Twitter (#charityjobs), Facebook groups, attend charity networking groups, events etc.
    1. Don’t give up!
      You might not get your dream job straight away, but all experience you gain will be valuable. Say yes to opportunities and work hard – you will get there!

    To find out more about Charity Apprentice, visit  charityapprentice.org.

     

     

    Is a job in the media industry for you?

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 28 November 2017

    Has the Media industry caught your eye as the next step after your degree? This week we are putting the spotlight on this diverse and exciting sector.

    Perhaps you already know that PR is for you, or are you considering which role might suit you best within Publishing? Perhaps you have already tried your hand at documentary making!

    We have some fantastic speakers who have kindly given up their time to come and share their experiences as part of Media Week.

    The week kicks off on Tuesday evening with an insight into Publishing, where people working in a range of roles from freelance editing to trade marketing will take your questions. We are excited to have speakers from Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan Children’s Books, Pearson Education join us.

    On Wednesday we will take a look at what it’s like to work within Film, TV and Radio. Again, this is an incredibly diverse industry so we have been sure to have a range of speakers including a director, commercial and freelance producers.

    On Thursday we’re delighted to have the UK’s number one ranked NCTJ journalism school News Associates join us to run a journalism workshop.

    Finally on Thursday evening we welcome speakers from the BBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Macmillan Cancer Support, Periscopix, Redscout and WPP to talk about the fast paced world of Advertising, Marketing & PR.

    Of course working in the Media is not all about partying with celebs! As with any job, there’ll be the good stuff and the more challenging parts. It’s important to consider what your expectations of working in a media role are. If you are looking for a 9-5 job, then it might not be for you! It often involves hard work and long hours, and at weekends. That said it can be positively challenging and rewarding. UCL Careers’ Media Week events give you the chance to find out what a ‘day in the life’ is really like and whether it might be for you.

    We appreciate the events have booked up quickly but we’re really pleased to say we will be recording each event and also writing a short blog, so if you’re not able to join us in person, you can still find out more. We will specifically break down the different areas and provide some top tips. A look at Prospects.ac.uk shows just how many roles there are within the Media industry. Prospects also breaks down the different roles within Advertising, Marketing & PR. Check out the different job profiles and watch this space for our next Media Week blogs!

     

    Would you like to work in a museum?

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 14 November 2017

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    Danielle Thom – Curator of Making at the Museum of London

    It was never my original plan to be a curator. As an undergraduate at Oxford University, I’d spent much of my history degree faffing around with journalism internships and trying to make it in magazines. As it turned out, I was a terrible journalist, and thus spent my first year post-graduation trying to stay afloat in the Sea of What Do I Do Now. I signed up for an MPhil, trying to recapture the bits of university that had appealed to me – research, 18th century history, material culture – and was persuaded to switch to History of Art for the visual training it would offer. Lacking savings, a scholarship, or family funds, I spent the rest of the year working in a cold-calling office, saving up the commission I earned to pay my way through an MPhil.

    My master’s degree, at the University of Birmingham, was invaluable for several reasons. It allowed me the opportunity to confirm, once and for all, where my interests lay. It gave me the chance to do in-depth research, at a level beyond that expected of undergraduates. And, crucially, there was an element of work experience embedded in the programme, which allowed me to work on a small exhibition in a voluntary capacity, co-curating a display of prints at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. At the end of the year, that experience turned out to be vital in getting me my next job, as a junior Curator with the National Army Museum, in Chelsea. I had wanted to stay on and do a PhD, but – again – funds were lacking. I figured that working in a museum was the best thing to do, and this job allowed me to live at home with my parents, save up money, and gain additional, important, experience in the field.

    And that’s how I ended up at UCL, in part because my PhD supervisor there, Tom Gretton, was recommended to me by my MPhil tutor; and in part because I still needed to live at home to make ends meet. I worked part-time retail for the first year, squeezing in shifts around time in the library and archives. This isn’t intended to be a tale of woe – I’ve been extremely lucky – but it’s important to realise that the entry route into museum careers isn’t always plain sailing for those who lack economic and other forms of privilege. Finally, however, I managed to secure AHRC funding, which covered me for the remaining two years of the programme, and freed up my time so that I could take on additional volunteering, one afternoon per week.

    Six months after finishing my doctoral thesis, in 18th century British print culture, I managed to secure a job on the Assistant Curator Development Programme at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was a bit of a culture shock, fresh from a PhD, full of self-importance and used to autonomous research – to suddenly be responsible for fairly mundane, even menial tasks, such as counting dead beetles (for pest control purposes) and shunting objects around on trollies – but it was as essential a part of my education as the PhD had been. I was assigned to the Sculpture department, which wasn’t then my area of expertise, but I figured that it was an opportunity to develop a new body of knowledge, and took advantage of the resources available to me. I’ve been working on a book manuscript, about an 18th century British sculptor, and was able to do a month-long curatorial fellowship at Yale University while researching that. I co-curated a pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as well as curating several smaller displays, and travelled all over Europe and the US as a courier for artworks. I also applied to, and was accepted for, the New Generation Thinker scheme, which is run jointly between the AHRC and BBC Radio 3, giving me the opportunity to make radio documentaries and appearances. I took advantage of every opportunity presented to me, although not all of those were easy projects, and sought things out rather than waiting for them to come looking for me. I’ve learned that in the museum world you can’t be shy about singing your own praises, as odd and obnoxious as it may feel to do so, because it’s rare that someone else will do it for you.

    The assorted experiences which I’d gathered while working at the V&A enabled me to get my current job, as Curator of Making at the Museum of London. I’ve been in post for the last six months, and here I’m responsible for the historic decorative arts collections (such as jewellery, ceramics and sculpture), and also for developing collections and displays that reflect contemporary making in London today. I’m involved in the exciting redevelopment of the Museum of London, which is building an entire new museum at West Smithfield. I’m also still (!) working on my book manuscript, and occasionally make an appearance on the radio, continuing my 18th century researches while forming new networks in a less familiar field.

    Overcoming misconceptions about the fast stream and civil service – a UCL students insight

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 19 June 2017

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    UCL masters student Georgina Evison

     

    Throughout my undergraduate degree the Civil Service Fast Stream was no more than a blip in my peripheral vision. I vaguely heard friends mention that they were applying – a couple even said it was their dream post-uni job – but it never particularly piqued my interest and so I never enquired exactly what it was.

    This was out of the idea that I didn’t want to go into politics – an idea that I now understand represents a distorted view of what the Civil Service actually is.

    During one of the first weeks of my Masters degree, when I saw the Civil Service Fast Stream representatives on the UCL campus, it would be dishonest of me to pretend I walked over to them for any other reason than they were giving out free coffees.

    About to go to work and feeling a bit sleepy, I thought I’d have a quick chat and be on my way; the thought that I might actually end up quite interested in something new didn’t cross my mind. The two women I spoke to explained about the various schemes and I began to understand the breadth of opportunities available within the Civil Service Fast Stream.

    Before this, I had for some reason imagined that the Civil Service Fast Stream would essentially involve lots of admin and one single path for graduates. After a few minutes and lots of questions, I filled out a survey asking how likely I had been to apply to the Civil Service Fast Stream prior to speaking to the representatives (not at all likely) and now (somewhat likely!) and continued on my way to work – coffee in hand.

    I admittedly then forget about our conversation for a couple of days, at which point I discovered I had missed the deadline to complete the initial stage of the application.

    Mildly disappointed, but with the thought of applying next year in mind, I didn’t give the Civil Service a great deal of thought until I received an email mid-January. I had completely forgotten that in filling out the survey I would be entered into a competition to shadow a senior civil servant for a day – the detail hardly registered in my mind given my minute chances of winning.

    As a Human Rights Law Masters student, the opportunity to shadow a civil servant in DFID (Development for International Development) was basically a dream prize, and when I looked up the bio of Ellen Wratten – who I would be shadowing – I looked on in awe at the list of accomplishments.

    To be honest, I was a bit surprised that someone who had done so many cool things worked for the Civil Service. The day itself was an eye-opening experience to the realities of working not only in DFID, but for the Civil Service generally.

    I arrived at 22 Whitehall and was given a quick tour before attending an event to celebrate and share the accomplishments of four different global development think tanks. The event was opened by MP James Wharton who gave a short speech about the various global development challenges that DFID is engaging with in order to try and positively impact on the lives of some of the poorest people in the world, in line with DFID’s goal to “leave no one behind”.

    Everyone that I was introduced to seemed to do something different, and they all had a few encouraging words for me when I explained about my own career aspirations. Having the opportunity to talk to Ellen afterwards made me see that despite the image of government that we see in the media – politicians standing up and giving speeches – it’s really the hundreds of civil servants working hard behind the scenes that are responsible for many changes.

    I also realised that there isn’t a “type” of person that works in the Civil Service, something which a few of the people I spoke to alluded to as becoming increasingly important. The range of educational and employment backgrounds from which civil servants have come from is remarkable and definitely changed my perception of both the type of work that civil servants do, and the type of people who apply.

    I’m grateful that I had this opportunity because otherwise the Civil Service Fast Stream would have remained a bit of a mystery to me, when in fact it’s something that I will enthusiastically apply to now. I would encourage anyone who was like me to just have a look and learn a bit more about the Civil Service Fast Stream because it’s easy to discount it as “not for you” when in fact there’s probably an opportunity to interest everyone.

    __

    Profile – Georgina Evison

    Georgina is studying a Masters in Law, specialising in Human Rights law at UCL. From 2012-15 she studied law at the University of Bristol. In the year between her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees she did an internship with an NGO in Nepal for 4 months and then moved to Paris to work as an au pair and English tutor and improve her French. Georgina grew up in Sheffield but moved to Toronto when she was 11, and moved back to the UK for university. She is interested in human rights law issues – particularly relating to privacy and security law, freedom of religion, and children’s rights. Outside of academics, she likes reading, languages, running, and cooking. Upon finishing her Masters she’d will be working for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse as a paralegal.

    Summer Internship Opportunities Exclusively for UCL Students

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 8 February 2017

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    UCL Careers Summer Internship Scheme

    We will be advertising paid summer internship opportunities exclusively available for UCL students and graduates to intern at London-based Small – Medium Enterprises (SME).

    “I didn’t have any defined expectations, but I really didn’t expect to have such a wonderful time. I was/ am so happy to go in to work every day because I really loved the company atmosphere, and really respected and got on well with my co-workers. I feel like I wasn’t treated like an intern or the youngest member of the team (which I was), but was given responsibilities and respected on an equal footing. I learned a lot of things that I had no real comprehension of before the internship. I genuinely feel like I was helping out as well.”
    Vesa Popova – UCL BASc Arts and Sciences – graduating 2018

    _

    In association with Santander Universities, we are providing subsidised funding for internships, paid at the London Living Wage, across our summer scheme.

    The subsidized funding will support the training allowance for UCL students or recent graduates to work as interns with small-medium-sized businesses for 6 or 8 weeks full-time during the 2017 summer vacation period (June – September).

    Internships will be available in a range of sectors including:

    • Consultancy
    • IT/tech
    • Engineering
    • Arts/Culture
    • Life Sciences/Health
    • Finance
    • Social Sciences/Media

    Applicant Eligibility

    You will need to be eligible to work in the UK full-time during the internship. If you are on a visa, your visa must cover the full duration of the internship.

    Please note: UCL Tier 4 Postgraduate (Taught and Research) students are not permitted to work in excess of 20 hours per week for the full duration of their degree programme. This includes the summer vacation period. UCL is unable to issue a visa for the Summer Internship Programme therefore UCL Tier 4 Postgraduate students are not eligible for this scheme.

    It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are eligible for the scheme and comply with UCL sponsorship duties and visa regulations before submitting an application. It is the responsibility of the business to check their intern’s eligibility to work in the UK taking into account the above regulations.

    The Timeline

    • Internships will be advertised on the UCL Talent Bank website from mid-February to Friday 31st March.
    • You will need to submit your CV, and a tailored cover letter online for each application you make.
    • Follow us on social media to hear about each role as it goes live Twitter and Facebook search: UCL Careers
    • Each employer will receive a shortlist of the best applications for their role. They will then invite UCL students and graduates to interview.
    • Prospective interns should know if they have a place on the scheme by mid-May, so please bear this in mind when making vacation plans.
    • Once the employer has made an internship offer and you have accepted that offer, UCL Careers will send both you the intern, and the employer, an agreement letter each to fill in and return to UCL Careers.
    • Funding for the internship will not be released to the organisation until we have these completed letters returned.
    • Internships will commence as follows:
    • 6 weeks starting 12th June and ending 21st July 2017
    • 8 weeks starting 12th June and ending 4th August 2017
    • 6 week starting 10th July and ending 18th August 2017
    • 8 weeks starting 10th July and ending 1st September 2017

    Get involved and get that internship!

    • Prepare: Keep an eye out for our CV and cover letter writing workshops at the end of February, as advertised on our Careers Essentials webpage: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/essentials
    • Perfect: When you know which internships you want to apply for, you might want to book in for an Applications Appointment to make sure your application documents are competitive with other applicants’.
    • Apply: Register on our UCL Talent Bank website with an up-to-date CV.

    NOTE FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY IN CONTACT WITH A COMPANY ABOUT AN INTERNSHIP:

    If you are already in contact with a small-medium-sized company who is hoping to offer a summer internship to you, which would benefit from some financial assistance, please encourage them to contact us by sending an email to Laura: l.radford@ucl.ac.uk

    The proposal form we will ask all companies to complete about their vacancy will ask the question of whether they already have a student or graduate in mind to hire. If the company and the internship proposed meet our criteria, the internship will be reserved funding without having to be advertised.

    Lastly, if you know of an organisations who you feel would be interested in participating in this scheme, please direct them to further information for employers here: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/careers-employer-engagement/2017/01/09/ucl-careers-summer-internships-scheme/

     

     

    Are you interested in real-life experiences of students and graduates looking for work?

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 7 February 2017

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    Are you following The Great Grad Job Hunt channel on YouTube? It’s a great project which aims to help students and graduates discuss job-hunting and will create an online series that documents the real-life experiences of students and graduates looking for work.

    Tania, a post graduate from UCL, on understanding e-trays, how they work and where to find them – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOJb4BrNpTo

    In this video Tania, a UCL graduate, talks about how you can practice e-tray exercises before an interview or assessment centre and the online tools available for this.
    You might be interested to know that UCL Careers has access to Assessment Day, the online resource mentioned here, which provides a practice e-tray activity as well as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, inductive reasoning, logical reasoning and diagrammatic reasoning tests. To register ans access the subscription-based test materials on the Assessment Day website for free, all you will need is your UCL email address. Recent Graduates should read the information about “Email for Life” on the Alumni Relations website for details on accessing your UCL email account after graduation.

    You can also find other resources to practice assessment centres and psychometric tests by logging into Careers Tagged: http://www.careerstagged.co.uk, and follow The Great Grad Job Hunt Here  where they’ll be covering CV tips, interview preparation and much more.

     

    Green Shoots Link-Up

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 1 February 2017

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    As part of Charities and NGOs themed week, we have asked one of the London-based charities attending the Link-Up event to introduce themselves to you in advance.

    Muneezay Jaffery tells us about her charity Green Shoots Foundation and the internship opportunities available to UCL students. (The photo shows two interns in the Green Shoots Office in Lavender Hill.)

    Please tell us about your charity
    Green Shoots Foundation is a small charity set up in 2010, by Jean-Marc Debricon, who aimed to make use of his finance and banking background for more worthwhile and long-term projects. In the past seven years, our small team has established three main programs in seven countries. Our work pertains to skills training, be it medical for HIV treatment in Myanmar, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan or agriculture skills in Cambodia and the Philippines. We also facilitate educational loans for social entrepreneurship in India.

    Green Shoots started out with a microfinance focus but very quickly developed into adopting a skills-based approach. We believe investing in people and, then making loans, improves livelihood opportunities and brings about sustainable transformations. For example, our work in Cambodia for the past three years has focused on updating and bringing sustainable agriculture skills to government run schools in rural areas. Now, as we transition to the next stage, we are taking an enterprise approach and will focus on the cultivation of agri-business ideas. In all our countries of operation we work with trusted local partners rolling out projects on the ground.

    What activities have previous UCL interns been involved in whilst volunteering at Green Shoots and what can an intern expect when they first start?
    UCL interns have been instrumental in helping us with fundraising in the UK. This can involve everything from managing the database of trusts and foundations, to writing grant applications and researching new opportunities. With a recent intern, we have diversified our fundraising strategy to include the approach of “twining” with local schools. This has proven to be successful as we approach local primary schools to buddy up with schools in Cambodia, exchange letters and photographs but also fundraise with us throughout the year.

    How have interns developed their employability whilst they have been working with you?
    By working in fundraising candidates, especially those interested in Global Development or charity sector careers, learn the basics of grant writing- what makes a good application and how to structure proposals. Transferable skills such as time keeping, being organised, and writing formal correspondence are also ways interns have developed their employability. Our office environment is quite friendly and laidback. As we share it with another charity, interns are able to participate in team meetings and contribute towards day-to-day running. Whilst at Green Shoots they also get the opportunity to attend relevant training events, panel discussions and make use of networking opportunities.

    What advice would you give to UCL students and graduates who may be looking to set up a charity or similar organisation?
    Although it might seem out-dated, when it comes to setting up a charity or deciding on a project, thinking in terms of Theory of Change and working backwards is a good way to start. By this I mean, knowing the impact you want to make and then figuring out how to go about it.  This approach also helps tremendously with decision making for activities, setting realistic and achievable goals and constantly thinking about how to measure and report them.

    Being transparent and accountable towards the individuals we work with and to donors we raise funds from should be the first rule for being involved in the charity sector and I always find fundraising is a good way to understand that relationship.

    Find out more:
    http://www.greenshootsfoundation.org/

    The Green Shoots Foundation will have a stand at the Charities and NGOs Link Up event this Thursday alongside other organisations including Oxfam, The Children’s Trust, The Challenge, Ark Teacher Training, CharityWorks, Unlocked Graduates, UCL VSU, Sustrans, UCL Amnesty International Society


    *Sign up to attend this event via your My UCL Careers account


     

    Employer Insight Profile: FINIMIZE ‘Financial news for everyday people’

    By Chloe J Ackroyd, on 4 November 2016

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    Scott Tindle, Co–Founder & Head of Content of Finimize

    How did you get into your role?

    I co-founded Finimize, our financial news start-up, in 2015. After graduating from university I worked in equity sales at Barclays but after 7 years there I decided I needed a change. I wanted to do something more entrepreneurial. Around the same time, an old friend from university was starting to work on a new project called Finimize – and he needed someone with a finance background. There was a gap in the market for a financial news resource that was brief and not full of jargon – but still provided readers with the sophisticated information they wanted to know. So now, every weekday (and on Sundays!) I curate and explain the two most important financial news stories of the day and send it out to our subscribers.


    What are the best things about working in your role?

    I love the entrepreneurial aspects of working at Finimize. Co-running a small business means I get to do so many different things, from finding new stories to talking to investors – no two days are ever the same. Another definite pro is being able to shape the company’s destiny and take it wherever we want to go. Because Finimize is something that we have personally created it also means that its success is hugely rewarding – to know that we’ve made something that tens of thousands people appreciate and read is amazing.


    What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

    Time! As an entrepreneur the most valuable commodity you have is your time and prioritising my time to get the most out of it is my biggest challenge. There are so many things I could be doing at once that I have to be disciplined and structure my day effectively. There’s also a lot of uncertainty that’s inherent in running a small business – dealing with that on a personal level can be stressful and is a big change from working at a big company (which can also be stressful, but often in different ways).


    What top tips would you pass on to a student interested in this type of work?

    Broadly speaking, there are two typical routes into the startup world. One is to dive in straight after university and look for internships or a junior position in a start-up. Another is to gain a bit of experience in a bigger company, acquiring skills and knowledge at a bigger company before switching tack to a startup. The benefit of the latter is that you learn a lot at big firms and you can bring that knowledge and experience with you to a small company. But jumping right into the startup world can also be the right move. There’s no “adjustment” to make later on and, especially now, the startup ecosystem is so well developed that you can gain relevant, high quality experience without working at a big traditional firm. In short, you have to figure out what’s right for you and run with it!!

     


    More about Finimize:

    Finimize is financial news for everyday people that strives to demystify finance by making financial news easy to understand, succinct and relevant to its readers. The email takes just 3-minutes to read each day, never uses any financial jargon and is a useful tool for students preparing for job interviews. Learn more and sign up here.