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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  • Focus on Management 2018 is now open – APPLY NOW!

    By UCL Careers, on 13 April 2018



    Taking place on Tuesday 5th & Wednesday 6th June, this year’s Focus on Management course is now accepting applications.

    If you want to…

    • Tackle a variety of real-life business challenges through case studies
    • Gain commercial awareness from some of the top graduate employers
    • Network with various graduate employers and managers from their departments
    • Begin the transition from university student to working professional

    … then Focus on Management 2018 is the course for you!

    Focus on Management is a two-day course packed full of activities, which will give you an interactive and rewarding immersion into the world of business. Your team-working, problem-solving and presentation skills will be put to the test. You will work in teams, facilitated by a team manager, on business case studies from graduate employers.

    You will have the opportunity to meet and learn from different companies, including Amazon, the Civil Service and GSK. More organisations to be announced soon. Previous years have included PwC, P&G, Capco, Wellcome Trust, ICAEW and WaterAid.

    See what students said about the course on YouTube

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

    If you are interested in this course, you may also be interested in graduate opportunities available from our sponsor Amazon. In particular, their Leadership Development Programme is suitable for aspiring managers. Once you complete Pathways, all kinds of opportunities open up for you across the full Amazon ecosystem, including Retail, Kindle, AWS (web services), and more.

    Previous Pathway graduates are now:

    • Directors of Fulfillment Centers
    • Speciality businesses, such as Prime Now
    • Customer Service Directors
    • Senior Managers of Transportation Optimisation
    • General Managers

    But of course, as a global ever-evolving company they have numerous opportunities throughout Europe across their operations, corporate to technology business areas. See below chart for both graduate programmes and internships available in Europe.

    Working in the Charity sector: A few tips and insights

    By UCL Careers, on 11 April 2018

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

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

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

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

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

    A few highly recommended accounts to follow would be:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    By UCL Careers, on 9 April 2018

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


    Marianne Thompson – BA French and Spanish (Joint Honours)

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

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

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


    Andrew Dunn – MA in History

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

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


    Pancali Hume – MSc in International Public Policy

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

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

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


    Rohan Krajeski – MRes in Biomedicine 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Focus on Management 2018 is sponsored by Amazon



    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.

    Museums Forum

    By UCL Careers, on 1 March 2018


    Dr Danielle Thom – Curator of Making at the Museum of London (previously at V&A)

    Jack Ashby – Manager of the UCL Grant Museum of Zoology

    Stephanie O’Neill-Winbow – Family and Community Learning Officer at the London Transport Museum

    The Museums Forum was held on the 16th November, as part of the Museums and Cultural Heritage Week. The three speakers were working in various roles and at different stages of their career, and as such, there were a range of interesting ideas and views expressed.

    The panellists shared what they consider to be the most interesting and rewarding aspects of their role. Danielle, from the Museum of London, spoke about physically and emotional connecting with the past, like that time she held Michelangelo’s thumbprint. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, engaging the public seemed to be something enjoyed by all; helping someone or indeed whole families see what they see and so connect with the past.

    Stephanie shared some of the understanding she tries to impart to visitors. The London Transport Museum is not solely about transport. London has been shaped into the city it is today is because of transport. Hence, the museum is communicating the social history of London, contributing to one’s understanding of London’s development. But it’s not all about the past. Interestingly, for a museum of zoology, the Grant’s main aim is more contemporary than one may appreciate at first glance. As a university museum a primary role of the Grant Museum is to make UCL’s academic research relevant and enjoyable to the public, for example various art exhibitions interpreting current research.

    Whether past or contemporary, they also enjoy applying their creative skills as they adapt displays or create exhibitions for the public. Museums are reliant on visitors for their continued existence, and so there is an increasing need to be creative and develop new practices in their public engagement. This experimentation and subsequent learning can be very exciting. A word of warning from Danielle though; the work of a curator can be quite menial at times (crawling through cupboards, carting trolleys, etc.) so be prepared to get stuck in.

    It was suggested that the difference between those who get jobs in this area and those who don’t relates to understanding the reason why museums do the activities they do. Through some work experience one can easily learn how to write documentations, labels, school workshops, how to deliver family learning sessions etc, but an applicant needs to demonstrate an understanding of the reason and strategy behind the display or event. So when you are next visiting a museum think about why the museum chose to organise and communicate this material, and not another, in the way they did. Don’t be afraid to ask someone in the museum.

    There were further important messages around transitioning into a substantive position. Stephanie shared her challenges in securing permanent employment. While volunteering she demonstrated her determination and her ability, “if something needed to be done, I’d do it”, and so the organisation advised her to become a freelancer. There were no permanent positions but they could hire her for projects. This was not what she wanted, but she tried it out. She started out delivering school sessions, but after a time was running the whole family programme. She believes this ‘jump’ in level of role was solely down to going freelance. She believes it would have taken her years longer to get to the same level if she had of secured a permanent position from the beginning. From this experience, she was able to gain a part time role that led directly to a full-time permanent position. Danielle suggested that one should thread the fine line between being flexible and strategic. Don’t get so narrow in your specialism that you lose the ability to be a generalist. Don’t be too niche and so close opportunities off. Equally, if you don’t have a particular area of expertise think carefully about how you will position yourself. Perhaps this could be supplemented with by some experience communicating or educating the public in art, history, and so on. PhDs are not generally a prerequisite but can help (showing motivation and research skills), however you may end up working in an area outside of your topic of study. Danielle suggested that museums with more of an art focus, compared to social or scientific focus, tend to expect applicants to hold a PhD.

    Leicester museums job desk which is updated on a Thursday afternoons was highlighted as the best job site for this area of work.


    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

    Working in the Arts Forum

    By UCL Careers, on 1 March 2018



    Victoria Hogg – Co-Founder, Duck Duck Goose Improv

    James Baskerville – Junior Specialist, Christie’s

    Jo Knox – Learning Assistant, Royal Academy of Arts

    Jenny Cooper – Freelance Arts Facilitator

    Daniel Slater – Head of International Collection Exhibitions, Tate

    Dr Marquard Smith – Programme Leader, MA Museums & Galleries in Education, Department of Culture, Communication & Media, UCL Institute of Education

    Bryan Cooney – Director of: Exhibitor/Marketing/Brand/Sponsorship/Guests, MCM London Comic Con 

    The Working in the Arts Forum was held on the 14th November as part of the Museums and Cultural Heritage week. Seven speakers from various different roles in the Arts came to give students an overview of how they started out in their field of work, how their work has progressed and general helpful tips of how to get in to the industry.

    The panellists discussed that it is advantageous to always make the most of all opportunities that you find come your way. The first job that you may find may be a volunteering role (an example) at a small local gallery once a week. Be flexible and open to the possibility of working a part time or internship job with a job that you find less interesting to pay the bills. This opportunity may lead in time to a full time position in an industry or employer that you are keen to work for. The panel also discussed that volunteering may prove problematic for students who financially are unable to volunteer full time to gain experience. Part time volunteering was suggested. It was also discussed that the first role found may not necessarily be a role that is a first choice, however it may get students in to the industry, gaining experience and meeting people who may in the future higher for roles that maybe of interest.

    All of the panellists agreed that networking was a great way to expand opportunities, be it online or networking face to face. Opportunities may present themselves at the time or through a connection that students have made by building relationships. Using tools such as social media. Twitter was discussed as good way of keeping up to date with events within companies.

    It was discussed that it is easy to become deflated, especially at the beginning as students may receive no responses to opportunities that they have applied for. Keeping up persistence and knowing that they may not be successful immediately in the beginning. Discussions were also given to knowing how crucial it is to know the sector. There is no excuse for not knowing this in 2017. The internet is a huge resource.

    The panel discussed the need to be proactive. If students are not sure about how to apply, finding out by contacting the place of interest. When applying think about using any transferable skills that may have been accumulated already, such as any work or volunteering, even if you think it is not relevant to the job that you are applying for. Skills will have been built throughout university such as, leading on projects, teamwork and communication skills.

    The panellists then discussed that some people are lucky, they know what they want to do. Many people are not sure. Learning is the key, learn what you like. If you are not sure what you like, try a variety of different options. Some of the panellists discussed that they did not know what they wanted to do after leaving university. It was discussed and advised that it is really advisable to think about what you are good at, what are your best skills? One panellist discussed that he had no plan when he left university and that he spent his first year of work doing everything for experience, working in galleries, internship, working manual labour.

    Closing thoughts were be strategic, try to plan, pursue what you love.  Finding out what you love and figuring out how to get money from it. Every job you do is a pathway, everything will help, be adaptable to situations. Thinking outside the box, thinking and talking about art and creative ideas even when you are not at work.


    Museum careers – the freelancer perspective

    By UCL Careers, on 1 March 2018

     Emma Shepley – Freelance curator and museum consultant 

    Confession – I have been a museum freelancer for just one year. Until last autumn I had been in permanent museum curatorial and managerial roles for over twenty years. I was running a London museum, managing a team and prodding multiple projects and priorities along every day. I was also regularly recruiting freelancers for projects I wanted to do myself but didn’t have time.  My role was hugely rewarding, but when I was ready to go, I absolutely did not want to move straight to another intensive plate-spinning job, so I went freelance and started off by taking on a project from the museum I was leaving. It has proved one of the best career moves I have made.

    Museum freelancing is largely seen as an option for much later in your career – not when you are starting out. This is true to an extent – you’ve got to be at least somewhat expert and experienced to convince someone to pay you to do something! But it is good to think ahead and realise early on that you can progress your career by working flexibly around the structures of permanent jobs.

    Freelancers are most common in the fields of museum learning, marketing and evaluation – where employing external people to promote, deliver and evaluate programmes is established practice across the sector. But freelancers and contractors are also employed by many museums to develop, research and deliver galleries and exhibitions, train staff, review collections, write policies, apply for funding and provide interim support at every level. Freelancing might well be an option for you once you have:

    • Developed expertise and experience in specific areas of museum work
    • Good networks of colleagues and contacts who know and trust you
    • Identified a stream of likely work
    • Explored the personal and financial implications of the change

    My year of freelancing has transformed my professional practice and has been so positive that I’d suggest that every museum professional give it a go at some point in their career. The range of new experiences, colleagues and collections that comes with delivering work for clients as a contractor, not a permanent employee, is thoroughly refreshing.

    Another benefit if you have worked in one organisation for many years – you may feel institutionalised, only able work your museum magic because you know everything and everyone backwards. Freelancing is great for testing this assumption and gaining greater insight into the differences and similarities that museum staff experience everywhere.

    There are cons of course. The major one is financial insecurity – permanent museum jobs offer regular salaries, pensions and a range of perks from training budgets and season ticket loans to Christmas parties and a biscuit tin. You have to fund your own training as well as the risk of periods of unemployment and clearly define the fees you will and won’t work for.

    A few years in to your museum career, you may look around and realise that you need to be as flexible and dedicated to making your next move as you were in getting that first elusive first job. So keep evaluating your strengths and priorities to find out which roles work to bring your most authentic self to work, keep your passion for museums alive and enjoy the challenge.



    Steering your career towards South East Asia

    By UCL Careers, on 1 March 2018

    At the recent Global Careers Series event at UCL, we were joined by a panel of speakers who discussed their experience and tips for students and recent graduates looking to find work experience, or a more permanent job, in South East Asia.

    We were lucky enough to hear from:

    • Shamini Darshni Kalimuthu, Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia (and currently on sabbatical at SOAS);
    • Peter Gibbinson, Regional Head of Standard Chartered;
    • Yong Chaulet, UCL Alum (Previously Thai Embassy, ExxonMobil Thailand, Bangkok Public Relations);
    • Amy Wong, UCL Student with previous internship experience at the Singapore Government; and
    • Ally Hawley, Ex-Student Recruitment in Malaysia.

    Here’s what one of our panellists said about their top tip for finding work in South East Asia:

    “My top tip for students looking to work in South East Asia would be use your network – I found my job in Kuala Lumpur through an ex colleague I stayed in touch with. As a student here in London you’re likely to have classmates from South East Asia who you’re studying with right now. Use their knowledge and experience of the region when applying for roles. Also remember to continue to develop your network throughout your time at university and after you graduate, make use of your university’s alumni platform and LinkedIn, both can be used as an excellent resource when seeking work in a particular region!” 

    Expanding Your Network at UCL
    As our panellist said, if you’re interested in finding out more about working in South-East Asia, make sure you utilise UCL’s strength as a university with tens of thousands of alumni based all over the world.

    Have you started to take advantage of UCL’s alumni mentoring network? If not, consider signing up and looking for mentors in countries and industries that appeal to you. There is a whole range of knowledge and advice to be gained from using this system. You can find out more and sign up here.

    Want to learn more about this region?
    Luckily, there is a range of useful websites out there to help you. For example, Goinglobal (which UCL subscribes to) contains guides to finding work and making applications in Singapore and Vietnam. Another useful resource, Prospects, contains guides to Malaysia and Singapore.

    Additionally, Gradlink have a dedicated section for South East Asia, including advice for working in different sectors in Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.

    Jobs Boards

    • JobsDB job listings in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Hong Kong
    • Indeed Malaysia internships in Kuala Lumpar
    • JobStreet for jobs in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia

    Other considerations
    Working abroad can be an enriching and exciting experience, but there are a few things you might like to think about before embarking on a trip of a lifetime. Will you be comfortable with being away from familiar surroundings and your established support network? Will you be able to adapt to a different culture? You might find it useful to look at a website such as Just Landed to gain an insight into the expat experience in your chosen destination.

    You’ll need to be careful that your entry visa covers any work you may do while in another country, guides such as Internations  can be a useful starting point, but make sure you also check official sources such as the embassy website of your intended destination.

    By UCL Careers, on 1 March 2018

    We had 15 organisations involved in International Development Week including governmental departments, charities, NGOs and private companies which shows the scope of opportunities which exist if you decide this is the sector for you.

    Our week started with a panel discussion bringing together representatives from Care International, Department for International Development (DFID), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Oxfam, PwC and was chaired by Dr Priti Parikh, Programme Director for MSc in Engineering for International Development.

    Our panellists working in diverse capacities from a humanitarian co-ordinator to a consultant shared their experience and insights to give students an insiders’ perspective of what to expect. Read Top Tips from Industry Experts on how to stand out.

    Laying the foundation for an understanding of the sector, Dr Callum Leckie presented an overview of the types of roles available, qualifications required, and how and where to gain experience. We were joined at the event by UCL alumni who’ve worked at British Pakistan Trust, The Hummingbird Foundation, MSF, Plan International, Save the Children, Wateraid and The World Bank for informal networking to answer questions on a one to one basis.

    Read Breaking into International Development and Working in International Development – Alumni Case Study.

    The Week drew to a close by highlighting graduate schemes with DFID, Charityworks and Mott MacDonald who also offer internships. A consistent message throughout has been the importance of volunteering and this can be undertaken in the UK via Volunteering Service or overseas with VSO.

    A student has summed up the Week: “It was directly focussed at our current stage in life as students and encouraged me to think about next steps. I have really enjoyed International Development Week and am looking forward to now seeking out more opportunities to find out more and get involved.”