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 'Uncategorized' Category

    LGBTQ+ Careers – SOAS Careers Service Panel Discussion

    By S Donaldson, on 21 May 2018

    LGBTQ+ rainbow flagEarlier this month SOAS Careers Service ran a discussion panel on LGBTQ+ experiences in the workplace. Sitting on the panel were LGBTQ+ professionals employed in a range of sectors; we heard from two management consultants, an artist, a charity worker, a higher education professional, a digital marketer, and a jobseeker. Three of the panellists had past experience in teaching, one had spent time in recruitment. The panel kindly shared a variety of thought-provoking views and personal experiences. The main messages I took away were:

    All parts of our identity can shape our career

    Many of the speakers felt being a member of the LGBTQ+ community had influenced their career decisions. For some that meant being subconsciously drawn to open, inclusive, and innovative environments. For others, after experiencing workplaces that weren’t diversity-friendly, their move to open and inclusive work environments was far more deliberate. Some said although their gender/sexual identity hadn’t determined the sector they’d chosen, it did influence the companies they targeted within that sector, and the types of initiatives they became involved with at work e.g. LGBTQ+ groups, and equality and diversity recruitment initiatives.

    Research was quoted showing LGBTQ+ people are more attracted to altruistic careers than heterosexual people, and the panel’s charity worker agreed their sexuality had influenced their choice; they felt they wanted to help society in part to prove their worth and overcome the stigma associated with being LGBTQ+.

    The drag artist was pretty sure their LGBTQ+ identity may have influenced their career choice….and there are specific arts funds that as an LGBTQ+ person they can apply to for their work.

    Some workplaces are more accepting than others Thumbs up featuring the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag.

    A few speakers shared experiences of working in less tolerant workplaces and countries, and the negative impacts they had. There was a feeling shared by three panellists that in the workplace, just as in the rest of society, non-binary identities such as pansexuality, bisexuality, and gender fluidity are currently less well understood and accepted than some of the other LGBTQ+ identities. With this feeling came a call for people to make fewer assumptions about colleagues’ identities.

    One speaker emphasised the importance of being out and proud in shaping less open workplaces to be more accepting. But if you’re concerned about joining an already diverse and open employer, each year Stonewall compiles a list of 100 organisations doing great work for LGBTQ+ acceptance, which is a good place to start. Here is 2018’s (huzzah for UCL at number 98). Also try speaking to people working in your target sectors and organisations. This sort of ‘informational interview’ can provide a better idea of whether a role and organisation is for you in every way, including the LGBTQ+ angle.

    The drag artist worked in a pretty accepting environment…and they emphasised the difference between working in an accepting but predominately straight environment, and queer-run, queer-owned businesses which are leading the way in acceptance, and whose policies they hope will eventually be adopted by other employers.

    The decision to be out at work is yours and yours alone

    Although all speakers were generally “out”, the panel reflected a range of experiences of being open about their sexual and gender identity at work. One panellist had not been out when working in less tolerant countries, another has been closeted as a teacher, which is a decision they now regret. The benefits of being out at work were discussed: the fact that it encourages other people to be out and confident, that it encourages straight colleagues to be more aware and accepting, and that the energy it takes to hide a major part of yourself every day at work could be better spent on doing and enjoying your actual work.

    After much deliberation, and asking tutors and family for advice, one panellist made a conscious decision to be out when working as a school teacher. They wanted to provide a proud LGBTQ+ role model to young people, which had been lacking when they were at school. Although it was terrifying at first, the projected confidence with which they were out led pupils to not see it as a big deal.

    The drag artist was pretty comfortable being out at work…but in past 9-5 office environments thought their career wasn’t helped by the fact they were, in their words, “really queer”. So they assured the audience that no one person should feel they have to be out and leading the way, you have to do what’s right for you. The panel agreed it’s an individual decision people need to make for themselves, and that personal safety and comfort must be considered.

    To hear more LGBTQ+ workplace experiences, check out Stonewall’s LGBT voices, which forms part of their mega helpful Starting Out Guide. UCL HR also have links to useful resources, including UCL’s LGBT+ Volunteering Fair. And for inspiration, check out The OUTstanding lists: LGBT leaders and allies today.

     

     

     

     

    Telling Future Employers about Non-Visible Health Conditions: The Disclosure Conversation

    By UCL Careers, on 6 May 2018

    Having the disclosure conversation can be nerve-wracking but if you’re prepared, you will have the extra confidence and control you need, ensuring the focus is on the impact and your needs.

    Before preparing, ask yourself the following:

    • Do I have to tell my employer? (see previous blog)
    • Why do I want to tell them? (is this out of obligation or will be helpful to you?)
    • How do I feel about telling them? (whatever emotional response this elicited is very normal)

    Having a plan

    Having a disclosure plan for the conversation helps you keep the things you want the employer to concentrate on. There is also a bit of reflection and research you can do to support your plan.

    When will I tell the employer?

    This could be at application stage, at interview, before a test, after the job offer is made, when you’re in the workplace. When you disclose is entirely dependent on how comfortable you feel disclosing at any of these stages. It may be worth listing pros and cons to help you decide the timing.

    Where will I tell them?

    Think about what the conversation might look like. Will you speak to someone on the phone or will you do this in person? If the conversation is not face-to-face, how might this change what you want to say? E.g. how much time will you have with them?

    What will they say?

    Pre-empt questions or concerns. Think about how you might deal with a reaction. Two big questions they will likely have are:

    • How will this affect your work?
    • What support will you need?

    How will they react?

    There are two things to remember here – they are human and may react in a way you didn’t expect, and also that you have had time to absorb this information for a while, however they might need time to take it all in. Equally, of course, they may not react at all and take the information in their stride.

    What will I say?

    As the mainstay of the conversation, keep it positive. Remind them of what you do really well and, concisely, tell them about how you currently manage your condition at university. Highlight areas of work that might impact your condition, then focus on what support you can both put into place to help you do your job the most effectively. Think about what your employer might do to help you – are there any physical changes to your desk? Is there something about your working pattern that might help? Think about ways of working you can bring from university or what you found helped you. You can make clear whether or not this would be open information or if you would like things kept private and confidential. Remember, this is not only about what you can do, but also that employers have a duty of care to take away barriers in the workplace that exist because of your condition. They do this by providing reasonable adjustments (more in the final blog).

    How will I say it?

    Keep the conversation flowing and factual. Focus only on aspects that are relevant to the role.

    How will I ask for support?

    Once the information part of the conversation is over, if you feel this is the right time, you can move on to your needs: things that will help you integrate and help you to do your job effectively. This is the research bit – once you’ve identified areas in which you’ll need support, do some research on the sorts of things others have found very useful.

    Use your resources

    At UCL Careers, we’re more than happy to talk through disclosure with you, whether you’re confused, have made up your mind or just want to do a simple role play! If you are an Undergraduate, please access UCL Careers Extra appointments; if you’re a postgraduate, feel free to book any UCL Careers one-to-one appointment and we’ll give you a steer.

    Article written by Careers Consultant, Carla King: carla.king@ucl.ac.uk

    Resources:

    Equality Act & Human Rights Commission Contact: 0808 800 0082

    Disability confident employers registered with the Department for Work and Pensions

    Workplace adjustments: Equality Law

    Science Communication and Science Policy Forum

    By S Donaldson, on 16 March 2018

    Did you come to our Careers in Science Communication and Science Policy forum earlier this month? No? Well fret not! You haven’t missed out because we’ve summarised the key points below.

    Who were the speakers?

    David Robson, a freelance writer and editor, previously at New Scientist and BBC Future, currently writing his first book THE INTELLIGENCE TRAP: Why Smart People Make Stupid Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them, which will be published in Spring 2019.

    Iain Dodgeon, Strategic Ventures Manager in the Wellcome Trust’s Public Engagement team, where he’s helped develop science-related entertainment in the form of games, TV, and films. Iain is a former medical doctor.

    Rose Gray, Senior Policy Advisor at Cancer Research UK. Rose is a UCL Chemistry alumnus, who built up a range of science communications experiences while studying, including working with Guerrilla Science.

    Sam Dick, a Science Information and Policy Officer at The Institute of Cancer Research, who completed his PhD in Structural Biology at UCL before moving into policy work via voluntary and internship roles at The National AIDS Trust and the Humsafar Trust in India.

    Aalia Kazi, an Account Manager at Incisive Health, a healthcare communications agency that focuses on policy and policy makers. Aalia is a UCL MSc Cardiovascular Science alumnus, who first joined Incisive Health as an intern after volunteering for Doctors of the World UK.

    And Jayne Hibberd, Associate Director at Galliard Healthcare Communications, whose role focuses on global communications strategies for her clients. As Associate Director, Jayne helps shape the future direction and day-to-day business of the agency.

    What do they like about working in Science Communications and Science Policy?

    Everyone agreed working with bright motivated people – whether they’re other communicators, scientists whose research must be communicated, or policy makers being communicated to – was one of the best things about working in these two sometimes overlapping sectors. Jayne values the insight she gains into her pharmaceutical company agency clients driving exciting scientific developments. As a popular science writer, David especially enjoys working with art departments of magazines on displaying stories effectively.

    Many felt being attached to science, which most of the panellists studied at university, was a draw, as were daily tasks of writing and crafting arguments, and the variety of scientific topics covered by both those communicating to the public and to policy makers. Iain mentioned working for an organisation like Wellcome, which is independent from government and commercial pressures, is liberating.

    Aalia, Rose, and Sam agreed that knowing their policy work influences real changes that impact real people’s lives is one of the best things about their jobs. Rose gave the example of having reports she’s worked on read by the secretary of state, and seeing beneficial legislation passed in part as a result.

    What are the worst bits?

    The variety of topics covered can have a downside, potentially leading to overload and stress. The hours can sometimes be long, and working late occasionally means cancelling social plans. Though the hours and deadlines seemed more of an issue for those working with clients, they were also mentioned by David when he’s scheduling interviews with researchers overseas outside of working hours due to time differences. David also commented that getting negative feedback on your writing from editors can be very tough at first, so you need to develop a thick skin.

    Aalia and Jayne have clients, and though they both value working with them, they acknowledged it can also be demanding, a bit like having multiple bosses. The client-focused nature of the work also means they both have to account for their time very precisely in order to bill clients, a different way of doing things to the other speakers.

    For those in policy, the flip side of the rewards gained when important change is effected is that it can be frustrating when something you’re passionate about doesn’t work out, or when change is only incremental. Additionally, the work is dictated in part by political whims rather than simply by the science.

    Will getting a science communication or policy qualification help you get in?

    None of the speakers had one of these qualifications so clearly it’s not a prerequisite! Those in science communication mentioned that the qualification can be a great way to build networks which may be valuable, but that the science communication world is fairly small so you can build useful networks through your working life without the qualification too. Rose commented that having a policy qualification shows motivation, but in her team at CRUK relevant policy work experience is likely to be prized above a qualification. And some people undertake a policy qualification after already working in the sector for a while in order to get maximum value from the experience.

    Any tips for those wanting to enter the sector?

    The overwhelming advice from the panel was to do stuff. Lots of stuff. Even if you don’t know where it will lead. This reflected the speakers’ career paths. Whether it was Iain leading a comedy group and securing funding for a film-making course while at university, Rose working in a hospital alongside her study and learning she didn’t want to be a medic but she did want to influence change over the NHS, or Sam volunteering in policy and outreach during his PhD and realising this was the work he enjoyed the most, all of the speakers had stories of taking a punt on something they thought looked interesting without necessarily having a ‘career plan’ in mind. In retrospect their narratives make sense, fitting together nicely into a career story. But none of them knew that at the time. They simply tried stuff, learning about themselves and the working world in the process.

    The panel also advised reaching out to people. Most will be happy to tell you about their experiences and offer advice, some may even be able to give you a job. Jayne in particular shared that she would be impressed by the motivation of someone who was proactive enough to contact a professional and show an interest in their work.

    For aspiring journalists, David extolled the virtues of starting a writing career in a small industry publication or local newspaper as a way of creating a portfolio and getting valuable feedback on your writing. He also advised being bold and pitching story ideas to publications like New Scientist who are always looking for great feature ideas. And if a pitch gets accepted, ask to be paid.

    And finally, Rose recommended visiting UCL Careers. In her words, Rose “absolutely rinsed” us when she was exploring her career options, and found our help very useful.

    Cultural Heritage Forum

    By UCL Careers, on 1 March 2018

    So what is cultural heritage?
    Cultural heritage encompasses three main areas:

    Built environment:  man-made structures such as buildings and ruins
    Natural environment: e.g. cliffs, rural landscapes or woodland
    Artefacts: E.g. Books, pottery, pictures   or paintings

     

     


    Best things about working in the sector
    Our speakers shared with us why they enjoy working in this sector. Even though they all have different roles and backgrounds, lots of similarities were clear:

    • Variety – of objects, tasks, sites and people.
    • The opportunity to influences change – in policy, in planning decisions and in people’s opinions
    • You get to argue a case – for things that have no voice of their own

    Challenges of working in the sector
    The main issue that came up time and time again was – the competitive nature of the job. It is such a popular sector to get into. Luckily, our speakers shared some top tips for getting ahead in the race. A master’s degree is not always enough to get you in.

    5 Top Tips for Students 

    1. Don’t panic if you don’t know what job you want to go into – there might be jobs you do not know exists.
    2. Network and meet as many people in the field as you can.
    3. Think about what you can offer that is different from other people – so for example getting involved in fundraising and understanding that process or working with young people
    4. Take every opportunity for experience that comes to you, whether this is volunteering, doing field work or part-time work. This can often lead to full time jobs
    5. Have confidence and patience if your first few attempts at applying come to nothing.

    Finally we opened up to some question from the students
    You talked about networking a lot – where can I meet relevant people?

    • On the masters programmes – your peers and academics
    • Talks by professionals – speak to them!
    • Create or join groups on Facebook
    • University open talks (look on their website/twitter)
    • Read professional blogs– and contact them with the personal touch “I read your blog about….what is your opinion about…I’d like to find out more….”

    How much volunteering work does it take to get a paid job?

    • It really depends on the organisation and what you do
    • Sadly, it is often being in the right place and the right time
    • However, think about helping with social media communications or online content which could be done at home. This is sometimes a skill that is lacking.

    Can you work in others roles, such as PR?

    • Yes! It actually has good links with cultural heritage e.g. exhibitions. It is a great area to get in.
    • You will have to have skills such as PR and administration anyway when working with a smaller company.
    • They really need people with a commercial or business head
    • You often need to have a problem-solving brain e.g. how can I build an apartment building on top of a roman boat – whilst preserving the boat and avoiding sinking the building…

    Many thanks to our speakers:

    Freya Stannard, Manager of the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Schemes at Arts Council England.

    Ruth Dewhirst, Education Assistant in the Charles Dickens Museum

    Dr Jane Sidell. The Inspector of Ancient Monuments for London

    Nick Bishop, Senior Heritage Consultant at Planning Consultancy Lichfields

    Think Ahead

    By UCL Careers, on 29 January 2018

    Think Ahead is a new route into social work for graduates and career-changers remarkable enough to make a real difference to people with mental health problems.

    On the two-year programme, you are paid to work in an expert team alongside clinical professions, study for a master’s degree and develop your leadership skills.

    Mental health social workers empower people with mental illness to live fulfilling, independent lives. As a social worker in community mental health services you will build relationships with people, provide guidance and therapy, arrange support and care, ensure people’s safety, stand up for people’s rights and improve community services.

    Three different UCL graduates have so far joined the Think Ahead programme. Deborah, who studied human science at UCL, initially worked in science communication, but then switched to our social work trainee programme. She said, “I really enjoy learning about people’s stories, being someone that they can talk to who can offer that kind of support in an emotional, but also practical way”.

    Think Ahead also runs three-week internships each summer in our London office, which are paid at the London living wage. Previous interns have got experience of event planning and developing our brand on campus.

    Think Ahead is looking for exceptional individuals who have the potential to become excellent mental health social workers, and go on to become leaders in their fields. We are looking for people who can demonstrate seven specific attributes and skills: leadership, motivation for mental health social work, adaptability, relationship-building skills, communication, problem-solving and self-awareness. We encourage applicants to demonstrate how experience they have gained through their degree and through voluntary and paid work matches our seven attributes.

    Applications for our 2018 programme will close on 1 February. You can find further information at www.thinkahead.org

     

     

    Stranger Careers Advice

    By S Donaldson, on 27 November 2017

    What did you get up to this weekend? I stayed in and binge-watched series 2 of Stranger Things. I know, I know, I’m a little behind. I could pretend the delay was due to my active social life or (more believably) because I had The Defenders and Transparent to get through first. But the truth is I was terrified it wouldn’t live up to series 1. I simply couldn’t bear to see Eleven et al. in a sub-par storyline. So imagine my delight when I found that not only is series 2 just as good as the first, but it’s also choc-a-block with useful careers messages – Totally Tubular! Here are three careers tips I took from the upside-down world of Hawkins:

    1) Speaking the same language helps

    “The demogorgon”, “the shadow monster”, “demodogs”, “true sight”…these are terms Eleven, Mike and the gang use to navigate the scary and weird world in which they find themselves. Without these words it would be far trickier to make sense of and communicate what’s happening around them.

    Compared to studying at university, new jobs and sectors can also feel like scary weird worlds. And if you don’t speak the language – something employers might describe as showing “commercial awareness” – they’ll be even more foreign. So before you attend a careers event and network with employers, and certainly before you make applications, try to learn a little of their language. The best way to do this is by reading relevant industry publications; the blogs, magazines and journals those working in your chosen field are reading. They’ll tell you what’s going on in a strange other world, and the correct terms to describe it.

    2) There are many ways to bring something to a team

    [Warning: this tip contains spoilers. Soz.]

    The Stranger Things kids are a motley crew, yet they’ve managed to save eachother, Hawkins, and presumably the entire world twice. Mike’s the leader, and Eleven’s contribution is obvious, sure. But what about the rest of them? Will keeps getting lost or infected, Lucas reveals the group’s secrets, and Dustin hides a demodog. Yet they all help in their own way. Without Will, the evil-root-tunnel-thingies would never have been found. Without Lucas bringing Max on board, they never would have reached those evil-root-tunnel-thingies. And without Dustin’s bond to a demodog, they’d never have made it out of the evil-root-tunnel-thingies alive.

    These sorts of teamworking skills (minus the evil-root-tunnel-thingies) are attractive to most employers. So even if you’re a Dustin or a Lucas and you don’t take up the obvious leader or ideas-generator role, you have something to add. If you find it difficult to identify and communicate your contribution, check out Belbin’s team roles for details of the less prominent but still vital roles people can play.

    3) Skills can be transferred

    Eleven’s telepathic skills were ideally suited to her first (enforced) career in espionage. But does that mean she can’t do anything else? No sir-ee, she didn’t let herself be pigeon-holed. She recognised her transferrable skills and carried them into a variety of settings, including anti-bullying campaigns, demogorgon elimination consultancy, and an internship at a vigilante start-up.

    Just like Eleven, you’ll have developed a bunch of skills throughout your university experience that will also be useful in other settings. It’s important to recognise what these skills are so you can speak confidently about them. It could be the research or writing skills you picked up along the way, the organisational skills you used to plan a project or to fit your university work around extracurricular activities, the teaching skills you used to help bring coursemates up to speed, or the communication skills you used to present your work in front of a class. If you spot a skill you enjoy using, seek out further opportunities to develop it through your university work, internships, or extracurricular activities. This will convince an employer it truly is a strength you can bring to their organisation.

    Interested in working in the Cultural Heritage sector?

    By UCL Careers, on 14 November 2017

    Read some thoughts below about getting into the sector. 

    Cultural Heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions and values (ICOMOS, 2002). Cultural Heritage is often expressed as either Intangible (such as traditions and language), or Tangible (such as buildings, works of art, and artefacts), and Natural (including culturally significant landscapes, and biodiversity). Perhaps unsurprisingly then, there are a variety of career options within this vital sector.

    How do you want to engage with cultural heritage; the maintenance, protection, promotion, teaching or communication of it, selling it, researching it, writing about it, creating products related to it, or organising events associated with it?

    Freya Stannard of Arts Council England shares her thoughts of getting into this fascinating sector:
    Working in the arts, culture and heritage sector is rewarding but can be tough. Jobs in this world are incredibly popular but more wide-ranging than you might expect. If you have already decided what path you want to take, e.g. curator of contemporary art or paintings conservator, it is much easier to focus and gain relevant experience to start you on this road. You may not have decided however and that is fine as I guarantee there are interesting roles out there that you may not yet know exist. If this is the case, make sure you continue your development by being proactive and making the most out of any opportunities that come your way.

    After taking the Masters in Cultural Heritage Studies, I did not expect, or plan to be, the Manager of the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Schemes at Arts Council England two years later. A lot of people now have Masters in the sector and it is therefore important to show employers something different. For example, whilst I was in an admin role at Tate, I took advantage of the development budget and did a Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics at the Institute of Art and Law outside of work hours. Taking on something in your own time, which shows your interest and dynamism, is something I certainly look for when recruiting.

     It is also worth thinking about the sector and responding to its issues in your own experiences. This shows you have a wider breadth of perspective and are therefore more desirable and employable. For example, since funding for arts and culture has declined from central government as well as local authorities, organisations have had to be enterprising and imaginative in their ways of making up the shortfall. Although I work at the Arts Council, I do not work on funding and I looked to gain my own experience elsewhere. I have been able to combine this with a personal interest in helping the local elder community in my borough and for nearly a year now, I have been a fundraising committee member for Link Age Southwark. I was able to do this by attending volunteer training and talking to one of the trustees. It is worth noting that gaining this relatable experience in a slightly different sector provides another perspective which will add to your unique skills.

    The key is to get out there and meet people. This will lead to more opportunities, experiences and knowledge of the sector which in turn will help develop and shape your career, often in ways you may not be able to predict!


    The following panelists were present at the Cultural Heritage Forum on Monday 13th November. If you missed this event, the audio will soon be available for you to listen back upon.

    Dr Jane Sidell. The Inspector of Ancient Monuments for London is a role that dates back to the 1800s, Today, Jane is the archaeologist with that incredible responsibility of protecting London’s most iconic sites. Follow this link to a short blog where Jane talks through some of her favourite objects and artefacts.

    Freya Stannard, Manager of the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Schemes at Arts Council England. In recent years Freya has been developing her knowledge of the legal and ethical issues around ownership of art. She is currently increasing her understanding of the global art market at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

    Ruth Dewhirst, Education Assistant in the Charles Dickens Museum. A recent MA Museums and Galleries in Education graduate, Ruth supports the museum’s efforts in preserving and communicating Dicken’s cultural significance.

    Nick Bishop, Senior Heritage Consultant at Planning Consultancy Lichfields.  Nick provides heritage advice on alterations to listed buildings, and development within the settings of conservation areas, scheduled monuments and Registered Parks and Gardens.

     

     

    Museums & Cultural Heritage Week 2017

    By UCL Careers, on 7 November 2017

    MUSEUMS

    Thinking of considering a career in Arts, Museums or Cultural Heritage? Wondering where to start? Looking for inspiration? Then this is the week for you! A showcase of fantastic events are happening at UCL in November if you are considering a career in Arts, Museums or Cultural Heritage industry. This is your chance to come and meet professionals 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 ‘My UCL Careers’ account.

    See also http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto/museumsandculturalheritage


    Cultural Heritage Forum
    Monday 13th November 2017 at 5:30pm – 7pm

    Come to a panel discussion with cultural heritage professionals, to hear about their roles and career path and to gain tips on how to get into the sector. The panel will be followed by Q&A session and informal networking. You will hear about experiences working in Historic England, Arts Council England, Charles Dickens Museum, and English Heritage.

    The panellists include:

    • Dr Jane Sidell – Inspector of Ancient Monuments for London (Follow this link to a short blog where Jane talks through some of her favourite objects and artefacts.)
    • Freya Stannard – Manager of the Acceptance in Lieu and Cultural Gifts Schemes at the Arts Council England
    • Ruth Dewhirst – Education Assistant in the Charles Dickens Museum
    • Nick Bishop – Senior Heritage Consultant at Planning Consultancy Lichfields

    Working in the Arts
    Tuesday 14th November 2017 at 5:30pm – 7pm

    In this panel event you will have the chance to hear from professionals currently working in managerial, creative and organisational roles within a variety of arts settings. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A and informal networking. Organisations represented include: Tate, Christie’s, London Comic Con and Royal Academy of Arts.

    The panellists include:


    Museums Forum
    Thursday 16th November 2017 at 6:00pm – 7:30pm

    Come and meet professionals working in the museum sector to hear about their job roles and what excites them about working in this sector. There will be a panel discussion, Q&A session, and a chance for informal networking after. Museums represented are: UCL Grant Museum of Zoology, Museum of London and London Transport Museum.

    The panellists include:

    If you are wondering about specific degree requirements for working in museums, you might find useful this blog from one of our panellists.


    The above events are on a first come, first served basis so please book early to guarantee a place. Events are bookable through ‘My UCL Careers’ (under Events).

     

     

    “TEXT!!” What can Love Island teach us about careers?

    By S Donaldson, on 17 July 2017

    Love-Island-logo

    I assume you’re watching Love Island, right? It seems we all are. And if you’re not, you’ve only missed ~40 episodes. Cancel all plans and you’ll be caught up in no time. It’ll be well worth it. Much like David Attenborough’s Planet Earth, Love Island offers new perspectives on our world, a window through which we may behold truths hitherto unknown. Obviously I’ve learned everything I know about love from the show. Most people have. But Love Island also offers wise teachings on careers. In case fans of the show have missed them, and for non-fans without 40 hours to spare, I’ve summarised Love Island’s three key career lessons below:

    1) Don’t judge a career by its cover

    I don’t mind admitting that even I, one of Love Island’s biggest fans, was at first somewhat sceptical, or even scathing, about the show. I viewed myself as above it. But how wrong I was. It took merely one episode to have me truly hooked.

    I’d stereotyped the show and the kinds of people who watch it. And it’s easy to do just the same thing with careers. What images come to mind when you think of an accountant? A psychologist? A social worker? A librarian? And what information are those images based on? Sometimes we can be very dismissive of, or incredibly attracted to, certain career paths due to commonly-held stereotypes. And if we don’t delve beneath the stereotype, we risk making ill-informed career choices. Websites like https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles give you impartial information about a whole host of job roles, so it’s a great place to check that your initial impressions are correct. We also recommend talking to people in the roles you’re interested in, and testing jobs out whenever you can. You may just find a hidden Love Island-esque gem!

    2) First choices don’t have to be final choices

    Where would Olivia (and we the viewers) be if she’d stuck with her first Love Island coupling? Cast your mind back to episode 1 and you’ll remember she was first paired with Marcel. But he wasn’t her type on paper, so she moved on to Sam, who also wasn’t her type on paper. Then she was off to Chris, who also appeared not to be her type on paper. Then she tried out Mike, who was totally her type on paper. But despite being her type on paper, she actually wasn’t too keen on him (see point 1 above), so she’s (currently) back with Chris and seemingly very happy.

    Imagine if in episode 1 Olivia had felt her first choice would have to be her final choice, that she and Marcel would have to get married and be together forever. It could have left her paralysed by indecision. Well that’s how many students feel about career decisions. They worry so much about getting it ‘wrong’ that they find it difficult to engage with career thinking at all. But worry not. Studies like this, this and this tell us that changing careers, sometimes multiple times, is pretty normal. So chill. Take some of the pressure off. Career thinking is an ongoing process. You’re not necessarily making the choice about what to do forever, just what to do next. The experiences you have in every role, and the ways you change and grow over time, will inform where you go from there.

    3) Be aware of your online presence

    It’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for Jonny. He became the show’s villain after doing what plenty of other contestants do, dumping one person for another. But when that dumpee is the nation’s sweetheart Camilla, you’re bound to be a little unpopular. This unpopularity wasn’t helped by Jonny’s social media profiles, which he’s now deleted, and has admitted portrayed him as being something he wasn’t.

    So obviously if you’re thinking of entering next year’s Love Island you should do a thorough social media audit. But what if you’re applying for a job? A 2013 survey of recruiters showed 92%, 35%, and 18% used LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, respectively, to vet candidates before interview, and 42% had reconsidered a candidate based on what they found on their social networking profiles. Unsurprisingly, profanity and references to guns and drugs were viewed pretty unfavourably by recruiters. But so were photos of alcohol consumption, and spelling and grammar mistakes, rather common features in social media profiles. So be sure to regularly evaluate your privacy settings to ensure you’re happy with what recruiters might find!

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

    By UCL Careers, 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.

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    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.