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 'UCL' Category

    Your part in the Graduate Outcomes survey

    By UCL Careers, on 10 July 2018

     

    Graduate Outcomes

    If you are about to graduate, or you’ve graduated over the past year, at a point in the not-too-distant future, you will be asked to take part in a government-backed survey called Graduate Outcomes. This replaces the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE for short).

    Graduate Outcomes, like DLHE, asks about what you have gone on to do after your graduation and a range of other questions that will build up a picture of where graduates work and study, how much they typically earn and what industry sectors they prefer. Unlike DLHE, Graduate Outcomes will take place quite a long time after you graduate.

    It’s a detailed survey that takes a little time to complete, but its results will be exceptionally useful to prospective students, universities and government agencies in understanding graduate career paths and the labour market.

    Why are we telling you this?

    We want to introduce the survey to you so you are aware that you will be asked to take part. You will receive a link to the survey by email, fifteen months after graduation, so if you have just completed your course, you’ll hear from the survey company in September 2019.

    Why is the survey such a long time after graduation?

    The time lag is to enable earnings data from the tax system to be linked to the survey results. Previously, earnings were declared by graduates themselves. In this way, the survey result will be more robust.

    Respond to the survey

    When the time comes, please respond to the email link or to the follow up phone call and complete the survey. The survey company will be persistent in calling, as response targets for Graduate Outcomes are high, so responding promptly will save the need for continuous calls.

    Your career journey

    Remember that as a UCL graduate you can still use UCL Careers support in finding work and progressing your career, for up to two years after you’ve finished your course. Take a look at our website for more information about our services for graduates

    If you have any questions or would like further information please contact us on careers@ucl.ac.uk or visit the Graduate Outcomes website.

    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

     

     

    Breaking into International Development

    By UCL Careers, 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

     

    The Big Volunteering Fair is this week – 6th and 7th October

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 4 October 2016

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    Come along to the Big Volunteering Fair and find out why over 2000 UCL students took part in volunteering last year. The fair is taking place from 12 noon – 3pm in the Wilkins South Cloisters.

    Organised by UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, there will be more than 80 different charities and student-run community projects to have a chat with:

    On Thursday 6th October we’ll have Oxfam,The Hackney Pirates, Girlguiding UK, UCL Marrow, Action Tutoring, East European Advice Centre, Fitzrovia Youth in Action, Generating Genius, Hackney Community Transport, Housing Justice, IntoUniversity, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, Refugee Therapy Centre, UCH Cancer Fund, World Literacy Foundation, UCLU Mathomaniacs, Save the Children, CoppaFeel! UCL, and more.

    On Friday 7th October we’ll be joined by Age UK Islington, Camden Community Connectors, Code Club, Handel & Hendrix in London, International Debate Education Association, Kids Adventure, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, StreetDoctors, The Royal Institution, West Euston Time Bank, UCLU Teddy Bear Clinic, Heath Hands, Prison Advice and Care Trust, Westminster Befriend A Family, Bloomsbury Festival, Science4Kids and more …

    Volunteering is a big part of student life at UCL; it’s a good way to get to know London better, meet new people, and experience the world away from the lecture theatres, labs and libraries. You’ll also boost your chances of finding paid work.

    For more details, visit uclu.org/volunteer-fair

    Public Health Partnerships & Programmes Manager at Body & Soul: Inspire Me

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 31 August 2016

    As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Bianca shares her insight into how volunteering helped her to secure he rcurrent role at Body & Soul, an Islington based organisation that supports children, families and young people who have or are closely affected by HIV.  Here she talks to us about how the skills she developed while volunteering at UCL helped her get her current role.  For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, visit https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-careers/ and search #SMEProfile.

    bianca_karpf

    “Volunteering is a win-win situation really. You are helping charities to be sustainable and supporting people in need but you also gain great life and work experience and are doing something meaningful with your time.”

    Bianca Karpf graduated from UCL’s MSc in Medical Anthropology in 2013. As a student, she volunteered with HIV charity Body & Soul, with the Council for At Risk Academics , and for international health charity Medact.

    Where are you currently working?
    I’m currently working as Public Health Partnerships & Programmes Manager at Body & Soul, a charity which supports children, young people and families living with or affected by HIV. My role involves public sector engagement, making evidence-based cases for statutory investment, project management and development and measuring impact within the charity.

    I am also about to start a new volunteering role as at Food Cycle, a charity tackling food insecurity through providing nutritious hot meals to those in need through surplus food donations from local businesses. I will be cooking meals and developing their community outreach.

    What useful skills and experiences did you gain as a volunteer when you were at UCL?
    So many! Patience was a key one for working with people on a frontline basis but also exercising empathy and being non-judgemental is an important skill to build trusting relationships with service-users. The experience of seeing how resilient and hopeful people can be even when they have lived through extreme hardship and terrible life experiences. I also learnt how to multi-task as I was juggling multiple commitments at the same time.

    How has volunteering helped you in your career so far?
    Volunteering as a research assistant during my time at UCL led to paid employment when the charity got a grant to develop the research. It also was great experience when I applied for research jobs in West Africa the following year.

    Volunteering at Body & Soul inspired me to write about HIV and the voluntary sector in my master’s dissertation. That knowledge and the fact that I was already known to the charity as a hard worker and a loyal volunteer definitely helped me to get my current job here at the charity.

    What would you say to UCL students considering whether or not to volunteer?
    Volunteering is a win-win situation really. You are helping charities to be sustainable and supporting people in need but you also gain great life and work experience and are doing something meaningful with your time. It is a great way to break out of the student bubble, and an antidote to restlessness! Volunteering puts your own problems into perspective and introduces you to people from a really broad range of backgrounds.

    You can volunteer in such a wide range of capacities that there is sure to be something that is your fit. It can be frontline and working with children or vulnerable adults, or you can volunteer/intern in an office gaining valuable work experience. At my current place of work we have volunteer complementary therapists, handymen, phone support volunteers and fundraisers so search what is right for you. Volunteer fairs are a great way of chatting to people from the charity and finding out about a broad range of organisations.

    Interested in finding out more about volunteering? Visit UCLU Volunteering Services Unit’s webpages.

    Head of Adult Services at Body & Soul: Inspire Me

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 26 August 2016

    As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Adrian shares his insight into how volunteering helped him to secure his current role at, Body & Soul, an Islington based organisation that supports children, families and young people who have or are closely affected by HIV.  Here he talks to us about the skills he developed while volunteering at UCL helped him get his current role.  For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, visit https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-careers/ and search #SMEProfile.

    “I became a much better communicator after volunteering. Volunteering also allowed me to put a lot of what I was writing about in my dissertation into context.”

    Adrian Deen graduated from UCL’s MSc in Science, Technology and Society in 2014. We recently spoke to him about how his student volunteering experiences have influenced his career so far.

    Where are you currently working?
    I’m the Head of Adult Services at Body & Soul, an Islington based organisation that supports children, families and young people who have or are closely affected by HIV. My role involves planning and programming the workshops and events that take place on our Tuesday service evenings. I also liaise with our member’s medical teams, attend conferences and do casework on practical issued our members might face.

    What volunteering were you involved with whilst you were at UCL?
    Whilst at UCL I volunteered at Body & Soul and it was off the back of volunteering that I was encouraged to apply for the job that I now do.

    I also volunteered at CORE Arts – an art school in Homerton for people with severe and enduring mental health problems. I also volunteered at the Grant Museum of Comparative Anatomy as well as for The Parent House – an Islington based charity for asylum seeker parents.

    What useful skills and experiences did you gain as a volunteer when you were at UCL?
    I became a much better communicator after volunteering. Volunteering also allowed me to put a lot of what I was writing about in my dissertation into context.

    How has volunteering helped you in your career so far?
    Volunteering has had a direct impact on my career – again, got my current job through it.

    What would you say to UCL students considering whether or not to volunteer?
    Absolutely do it! University (and school in general) can be a very self-absorbing pursuit. You tend to spend long hours thinking about your own thoughts, writing these thoughts down and usually getting told they’re good. Volunteering or just doing anything for anyone else can be an incredible humbling thing, it’s grounding which, for students can be a very good thing.

    Make sure you volunteer at a charity that actually means something to you. Volunteering for the sake of it is no use to anyone, especially not the people/organisations who need enthusiastic volunteers to continue doing the work they do.

    Interested in finding out more about volunteering? Visit UCLU Volunteering Services Unit’s webpages.

     

    Environmental Careers Week: UCL sustainability staff share their experiences

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 18 February 2016

    As part of UCL Careers Environmental Careers Week, we asked members of staff around UCL about their environmental jobs, what motivates them and what tips they’d give to recent graduates.

    Evan Landy, Sustainability Officer

    Evan

    What does your role consist of?

    My role covers three main areas of sustainability at UCL. I use the RICS Ska sustainable fit-out tool to embed sustainability into refurbishment projects throughout the estate – this involves designing in measures to drive energy efficiency, waste reduction, procure environmentally friendly materials and to maximise occupant wellbeing within refurbished spaces. I also spend time auditing and assuring both construction and occupational activities to monitor and reduce our operational environmental impacts and risks. Lastly, I am involved in driving the UCL Estates Biodiversity Action Plan to monitor and improve biodiversity on site through designing in green roofs to new building projects and incorporate biodiversity enhancements elsewhere around campus.

    What got you interested in the environment?

    I always enjoyed spending time outside as I was growing up, whether it was outdoor sports or wildlife watching and when it came to thinking about my career, the only thing I wanted to do was to contribute to the multitude of challenges that I began to realise were affecting the environment. I have been lucky enough to experience some of the most spectacular sights and sounds on the planet – from watching blue whales in the Atlantic Ocean to trekking up Mount Kenya and ultimately I am driven by such experiences and wanting to do my bit to protect that for future generations. I think it is important to realise that economic development is inevitable which brings challenges and also opportunities as new technologies, research and collaboration can help ensure this is done more sustainably than in the past.

    What tips would you give to someone interested in this field?

    I think it is really important to gain experience in all walks of life, work with and understand the needs of different people and why being sustainable might not be at the forefront of everyone’s agenda. Ultimately, not everyone is going share the same passion for the environment as you so it is critical to understand what else can drive sustainability – often there are tangible benefits such as costs and wellbeing that need to be identified and communicated effectively. Most importantly though, I would say that there is no conventional way in to a career in sustainability – although it helps to have a degree in an environmental discipline for some roles, it is often not a prerequisite and please do not be put off if you have other skills as we need talented environmental writers, artists, lawyers, economists and people across all industries to work together towards resolving the worlds environmental and sustainability challenges.

    Jennifer Hazelton, Strategic Research Facilitator for the Environment Domain

    Jennifer

    What does your role consist of?

    My role is multi-faceted and involves working with academics right across the UCL Schools, Departments, Institutes and other research groupings. I help to identify, publicise and coordinate opportunities for funding in environment-related areas, particularly where there is an interdisciplinary element which could not be provided within an individual unit. I look after the publicising of UCL Environment research, including the Environment Domain website, twitter feed, blog site and emails, keeping up to date with what is going on across campus. I liaise with colleagues in professional services such as Research Services, UCL Press, Web and Marketing, Estates and Information Services in order to support UCL’s environment-related research and the Domain.

    What got you interested in the environment?

    I have always loved the outdoors, having grown up surrounded by lots of open space in Northumberland. The role of the environment in the health and wellbeing of me, my family, friends and the rest of humanity has gradually become clearer; so too the impact we, individually and collectively, have on everything from our immediate surroundings to global systems. The power of nature is awe-inspiring, and humankind has shown remarkable adaptability and resilience in the face of environmental hazards, but equally we pose our own threats to the world around us. A desire to understand the relationships between people and their environment led me to study Geography as an undergraduate, and everything I have done since.

    What tips would you give to a current student keen to work in this field?

    I think the attributes which I have that helped me get to this position are having an interest in almost every field of study. I work with academics from all  disciplines and need to be able to broadly grasp what they do and find linkages or gaps between them. At school I enjoyed all subjects, then went on to study a degree which provides an excellent base for most environment-related disciplines. I then took a job as a Research Assistant, where I was able to study part time for my PhD, and gradually moved across from a purely research role to a professional services position when I realised that I didn’t want to be involved in a single line of research. My advice would be to remain open minded and take opportunities that present themselves, even if they differ from what you might have planned (I always wanted to be a school teacher!)

    Ciaran Jebb, Sustainability Officer (Energy)

    Ciaran

    What does your role consist of?

    In my role as Sustainability Officer (Energy), I am supporting improvements to UCL’s energy management and the energy and carbon performance of the University’s construction and refurbishment projects. At the moment I’m working to improve our energy billing and making sure we’re meeting our legal obligations for things like our buildings’ Display Energy Certificates as well as our own sustainability reporting. I’ve only just started at UCL, but I’m looking forward to helping implement energy saving initiatives in collaboration with UCL’s departments and getting started on UCL’s Living Lab project, supporting research which uses the campus as a test bed for research.

    What got you interested in the environment?

    I have always been interested in renewable energy, and while studying Chemistry as an undergraduate I worked on developing new materials that can be used to improve solar technology. I’m a keen cyclist, even in London, and I believe there should be no difference between living comfortably and living sustainably. I want to help create positive environmental change and for the last two years I’ve been an active member of my local Green Party. This gives me the chance to talk to lots of people about living sustainably, and how that can improve their wellbeing and our shared environment.

    What tips would you give to a current student keen to work in this field?

    My advice is not to be afraid of changing your mind and taking a non-direct path to do what you want. After graduation I worked in accountancy for several years, before deciding to pursue my interest in sustainability. And although it’s been a big change, the skills I developed have been really useful in my current role – I still deal with a lot of numbers. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting experience. Because I started on a non-environmental career path, the volunteering I did outside my job was essential in allowing me to make the jump into an environmental role. And remember that sustainability is an incredibly broad area, and increasingly opportunities will appear in organisations and industries that would never have considered it important before.

    UCL Career’s Environment and Sustainability Week took place in the week commencing 8th February. Make sure you join us next year for a similar programme of events: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto/environment