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
  • Want to contribute?

    Please read our Guest Blogger Policy

  • Start the New Year off right if you’re planning on applying for a Grad Scheme

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 8 January 2016

    Highly sought after by UCL students, graduate schemes have been seen as being the gold medal upon completion of your degree. However only a limited number make it through as competition is tough. On average, there are 85 applications for every single graduate scheme position. 

    Myth: a degree will be enough. Employers are now looking for more from students. HSBC noted: “We recruit up to 1,500 graduates on to one of our 70 graduate programmes around the world. For those jobs, globally, we receive around 100,000 applications. As 90% have a 2.2 or a 2.1, it therefore takes something extra to stand out.”

    The conversion rate from landing that internship in the company you want to work for to securing a place on their graduate scheme can be as high as 70-80% in some companies! Every company wants the best candidates, so do apply early. Some may fill positions whilst recruitment is still happening. Don’t leave it to the last minute to apply. Also, come and get your application reviewed by one of our specialist application advisors.

    Only 7-10% of graduates who enter the workplace do so through a formal graduate scheme, so how do you maximise your chances at success? Preparation is incredibly important. We’ve put together a handy timeline of things to do, whether you’re a first year or a finalist who hasn’t even thought about what you are going to do when you finish.

    UCL Study Level Spring Term (January – April 2016) Summer Term(May – August 2016) Autumn (2016)(Sept 2016 onwards)
    First/Second year going into Penultimate year > Start looking at careers/jobs you may be interested through Careers Tagged

    > Clarify Visa options in the UK (if international students)

    > Research jobs in home country or country you wish to work in (UCL login needed to view this link)

     

    > Apply for internships/gain work experience during the summer through UCL JobOnline > Career Planning

    > Attend Careers Fairs and Employer Events

     

    Penultimate going into Final year  > Gain relevant work experience either through internships or experience within that sector

    > Identify your hard skills from your soft skills and compare this against their competencies and develop your skills

    > Apply for internships for summer through UCL JobOnline

    > Attend our Global Citizenship Employability Programme
     

    > Attend our Focus on Management course

    > Look at company websites, many open applications for their graduate schemes between July – September.

    > Gain work experience during the summer

     

    > Career Planning

    > Attend Careers Fairs and Employer Events

    > Identify Graduate Schemes & Apply

    Final year becoming a Recent Graduate > Apply for graduate level jobs / schemes – some companies have rolling deadlines. You can find most of these via the companies website or through UCL JobOnline > Apply for graduate level jobs via UCL JobOnline

    > Target unfilled Graduate Schemes via the companies websites or through UCL JobOnline

    > Attend the UCL Jobs Market 2016 event (more information coming soon)

    > Join UCL Careers Graduates  (once your course finishes)

    > Follow steps above

     

     

     

    We’re also open all year round so whether you want to talk about career options, have an application checked or have gained an interview and want to practice, we can help. Our website has a comprehensive amount of information for each step and you can pop-in personally and speak to one of our information team who can help.

    And even if a graduate scheme doesn’t float your boat, we can help you find your future in your chosen career path as a vast number of our alumni go on to work within Charities, NGOs, Media, Law and Science sectors.

    Good luck!

    The Engineering Fair is coming….

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 16 October 2015

    Considering a career in Engineering?

    The UCL Careers Engineering Fair features some of the top employers from the fields of Chemical, Civil and Environmental, Electronic and Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering, as well as Construction and the Built Environment.

    Engineering
    Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions as well as internships and placements so this fair is mainly aimed at final year and penultimate year Engineering, Bartlett or related students. All students are welcome to attend
in order to research companies, but there may not be suitable structured programmes on offer.

    When: Monday 26th October 2015 | 5:30pm – 8pm

    Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

    Some employers attending include:

    > Balfour Beatty
    > Fluor
    > GSK
    > Jaguar Land Rover
    > Mott Macdonald
    > TargetJobs Engineering
    > Transport for London- TFL

    Plus many more!

    You do not need to book to attend our Careers Fairs, but you must bring valid UCL ID to gain entry.

    For more information on about the fair and the employers attending, visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs | #UCLCareersFair | @UCLCareers

    The Engineering Fair 2015 is kindly sponsored by TargetJobs Engineering.

    The IT and Technology Fair is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 8 October 2015

    Want to find our more about careers within IT and Technology?

    The UCL Careers IT and Technology Fair features some of the top employers in Consultancy, Big Data, Software, Cloud Computing, Telecommunications, Financial Technology and many more.

    IT and Tech Fair
    Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions, internships and, in some cases, 1st year spring programmes. The fair is open to all year groups but there may not be structured programmes on offer for all students. Some roles will be open to students studying computer science or a related technical discipline, but others will be open to all with an in interest in technology.

    When: Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd October | 5:30pm – 8pm

    Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

    Some employers attending include:

    Day 1
    > EE
    > Fidessa
    > IBM
    > KPMG
    > Microsoft Corporation

    Day 2
    > Cisco
    > Expedia.com
    > Fujitsu
    > Morgan Stanley
    > SKY

    Plus many more!

    You do not need to book to attend our Careers Fairs, but you must bring valid UCL ID to gain entry.

    For more information on about the fair and the employers attending, visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs | #UCLCareersFair | @UCLCareers

    The IT and Technology Fair 2015 is kindly sponsored by EE and Cisco.

    Our Banking and Finance Fair is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 2 October 2015

    Interested in a career working with Banking or Finance?

    The UCL Careers Banking and Finance Fair features some of the top employers from a wide variety of sectors including Investment Banking, Professional Services, Retail and Corporate Banking, Economics, Consulting, Investment Management Actuarial, Insurance and many more.

    Banking and Finance
    Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions, internships and, in some cases, 1st year spring programmes. The fair is open to all year groups but there may not be structured programmes on offer for all students.

    When: Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th October | 5:30pm – 8pm

    Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

    Some employers attending include:

    DAY 1
    Amazon
    Bloomberg
    Barclays
    FTI Consulting
    Goldman Sachs
    JP Morgan
    M and G Investments

    DAY 2
    Deloitte
    Deutsche Bank
    Financial Conduct Authority
    Lloyd’s of London
    PwC
    Santander
    UBS

    Plus many more!

    You do not need to book to attend our Careers Fairs, but you must bring valid UCL ID to gain entry.
    For more information on about the fair and the employers attending, visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs | #UCLCareersFair | @UCLCareers

    The Banking and Finance Fair 2015 is kindly sponsored by PwC.

    Our Management Consultancy Fair is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 30 September 2015

    Considering a career in Management Consultancy?

    The UCL Careers Management Consultancy Fair features some of the top employers from a wide variety of Consultancy sectors including Strategy, Financial, Brand, Technology and HR.

    Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions and in some cases internships and placements.

    Management Consultancy

    The fair is mainly aimed at final year and penultimate year students. Other years are welcome to attend in order to research employers, but there may not be suitable structured programmes available.

    When: Wednesday 7th October 2015 | 5:30pm – 8pm
    Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

    Some employers attending include:
    Accenture
    The Boston Consulting Group
    EY
    IMS Consulting Group
    Oliver Wyman

    Plus many more!

    You do not need to book to attend our Careers Fairs, but you must bring valid UCL ID to gain entry.

    We will be holding Fair Prep sessions – keep an eye for an Alert about these!

    For more information on about the fair and the employers attending, visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs | #UCLCareersFair | @UCLCareers

    The Management Consultancy Fair 2015 is kindly sponsored by Accenture.

    Top 5 tips on how to ace the Law fair

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 9 November 2014

    The Law fair isn’t too far away, Norton Rose Fulbright give their top 5 tips on how to ace the law fair:

    1. Have a plan

    Law fairs are often very large and can be overwhelming. Know which firms you want to speak to and find out where the firm’s stand is to ensure that you have time to speak with them.

    1. Come prepared

    Do your research before you go to the law fair so that you can ask meaningful questions that can’t be found on the firm’s website!

    1. Be Confident

    Don’t be afraid to speak to everyone from all levels of the firm. Speak to graduate recruitment, trainees and associates, as this will provide you with a better understanding of the firm.

    1. Bring a pen and a notebook

    Note down any interesting things you’ve learnt about the firm. This will come in handy during the application and interview process. Make sure to take note of all important dates and deadlines.

    1. Follow up

    Ask for business cards so that you can follow up with any interesting conversations you had or questions you may have at a later date.

    The UCL Law Fair 2014 is on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th November and is kindly sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright and The University of Law

    Make an impact at the Law Fair

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 7 November 2014

    Now that term is underway and the leaves are falling the Law Fair season has kicked off and will continue nationally until December!  Imogen Burton, Director of Business Development at The University of Law gives her tips…

    So what are Law Fairs all about?

    It’s a great opportunity Law Firms have to make themselves prominent and attract the best students. It is also students’ best opportunity to meet and talk to Firms before deciding where to apply.

    The University of Law will be at Law Fairs with other providers, again to attract students and give an insight into what the courses are all about and the choices that need to be made. For students it’s an opportunity to compare providers but also students can make use of the wealth of careers advice staff manning the stands can offer. The University of Law also has an award winning online resource the Future Lawyers Network which contains employability advice and tips on the whole job application process at www.law.ac.uk/futurelawyers/.

    The trick is not to treat the Fair as just a freebie opportunity (and there are many weird and wonderful stress balls, memory sticks and sweets on offer!) but as an important career networking opportunity.

    My Top Tips for success are;

    Preparation – plan your line of attack. Who is attending? Research your top choices. Think of good questions to ask which will show you have researched the firm

    Make an impact – Look smart, arrive early, be enthusiastic and prepared to engage.

    Follow up – after the Fair follow up on leads and information you obtain. Firms may keep a note of the names of anyone who stands out and be looking out for them in applications.

    Remember the best freebies from a Law Fair are business cards and details of people and organisations to add to your network!

    The UCL Law Fair 2014 is on Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th November and is kindly sponsored by Norton Rose Fulbright and The University of Law

    Employment Opportunities within the IT & Technology Sector

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 16 October 2014

    There are a wide variety of opportunities in the IT & Technology sector. Check these out …

    Industries that fall under the IT umbrella include:

    • computer programming;
    • computer consultancy;
    • computer gaming;
    • computer networking activities;
    • computing facilities management;
    • data processing;
    • data hosting activities;
    • internet service provision;
    • telecommunications;
    • web portals.

    Within these industries, there are many spheres of work available to graduates, including:

    • art and design;
    • design and development engineering;
    • electrical and electronic engineering;
    • financial management;
    • human resources management;
    • information technologies;
    • marketing and PR;
    • operational management;
    • project management;
    • production management;
    • strategy and planning.

    The IT and computing sector is forecast to continue to expand, and to be a key element of business growth. Employment in the sector over the next decade is projected to grow nearly five times faster than the UK average.

    Who are the main graduate employers?

    Many of the largest companies in this sector are organisations that play multiple roles. The sector varies immensely in occupational scope and breadth, and so do employers.

    In the private sector, big employers are typically international companies such as Accenture; Capgemini; Cisco; Cognizant; IBM; Infosys; Logica; Microsoft; Tata Consultancy.

    In addition, however, over half of IT professionals find roles outside of the IT industry. Other industries that are big employers of IT professionals include:

    • financial services
    • major retailers
    • telecommunications
    • public sector
    • manufacturing
    • games development

    Many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industry provide a range of specialist services, particularly in consultancy and technical roles. Common jobs for graduates are software designers and engineers; web developers and producers; computer analysts and programmers; web designers, IT consultants; help desk technicians.

    What are the key issues in the IT sector?

    With the current situation in the global economy, business is operating in a climate of uncertainty, and this makes companies reluctant to make major decisions. Infrastructure and technology upgrades are not always a priority. This is considered by far the biggest pressing issue for UK IT firms.

    The sector is highly innovative, but also subject to constant technological development. This can present a significant challenge in ensuring businesses and staff are able to adapt to constantly changing technological requirements.

    The fast-moving nature of parts of the industry, and the continuing growth of the sector means that many employers are experiencing significant skills demand. Recruiters reported difficulties recruiting software developers and programmers and web designers, and found the following skills most likely to be in short supply: .NET, ASP.NET, Dynamics, SharePoint, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, C# and PHP. The sector also reported gaps in sales skills, business skills, higher level technical skills and sector knowledge.

    Data security, privacy and intellectual property issues are all important in the sector and businesses spend significant resources to deal with current requirements and to be prepared to adapt to a changing legislative landscape.

    Source: Prospects

    The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco

    “But I’m not studying computer science – can I still work in IT & Technology?”

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 15 October 2014

    The answer is YES!

    IT & Technology is a broad sector which encompasses a multitude of roles and types of companies. In addition to the programming and developer roles typically associated with the sector there are also a wide range of other positions: project managers, business analysts, consultants, salespeople. For these roles, employers state that deep technical knowledge is often not initially required; what is important is an interest in technology, a desire to learn and possessing business-orientated skills such as communication and project management.

    Melanie Baldo graduated from UCL in Italian and Management Studies and is now a Project Manager at Bloomberg. Melanie states: “I never for one minute imagined when I graduated with a degree in languages that I would be working for a financial data company running some of their most complicated and important projects with high profile clients.”  Whilst in the Technology sector, Melanie’s role focuses on client relationships and project management and she encourages students from non-technical backgrounds to apply. Many technology based roles do not require a technology background and companies often provide training for these positions.

    The UCL IT & Technology Fair gives you the opportunity to discover how IT & Technology underpins business and the diversity of opportunities available.

    The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco

    IT and computing: Employment trends

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 15 October 2014

    The IT industry is continuing to expand rapidly. Employment opportunities are continuing to increase at all levels and in different industry sectors.  Employment in the IT sector is expected to grow at 2.19% a year, almost 5 times faster than the predicted average growth for the UK.

    The IT sector is looking very positive for the future;

    • Increase in use of personal devices – this means a greater need for IT and telecoms professionals who are able to understand the vulnerabilities of underlying architecture and infrastructure and to develop new security solutions.
    • Development of sustainable IT to minimise the environmental impact of technology.
    • Growth is predicted to be strongest in highly skilled areas – software professionals, ICT managers, IT strategy and planning professionals.

    What skills are needed?

    Employers do recruit graduates with non-IT degrees into consultancy and business analysis roles, where they can apply a broad technical knowledge to commercial environments. More technical roles such as network engineers, software developers and programmers do require graduates with relevant technical degrees such as computer science, information systems and software engineering.

    The ‘soft’ skills required are:

    • Communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills
    • Teamwork
    • Organisation and planning
    • Problem solving
    • Commercial awareness and customer focus
    • Enthusiasm and motivation
    • Adaptability, flexibility, willingness
    • An ability to learn new skills quickly

    There is a skills shortage in this sector. The skills that graduates often lack are;

    • Business skills
    • Higher level technical skills
    • Sector knowledge/experience
    • Technical skills: programming languages, operations systems knowledge, network and infrastructure understanding and development skills.

    Research shows that employers want to attract high quality recruits to IT and computing, which means postgraduates, and specifically doctoral graduates, are very well placed to take advantage of this skills shortage. Doctoral study is not essential although it can provide an edge in an increasingly competitive job marketplace. A doctorate degree still needs to be supplemented by continuous personal skills development.

    It is predicted that the skills shift that is already taking place in the IT and computing sector from the UK to lower cost countries will continue to create challenges in terms of career paths and skills development.

    Source: CRAC

    The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco