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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    Please read our Guest Blogger Policy

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    Environment and Sustainability Week coming soon

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 1 February 2016

    If you’re passionate about the environment, UCL Careers’ Environment and Sustainability Week from 8th Feb is a must.

    Whether you’re looking for a volunteering position while you study, want to find out more about how to work in conservation and biodiversity, or are keen to develop your networking skills to break into this competitive sector, there’s an event for you. As well as the chance to meet a really diverse range of professionals, from Green Alliance to the National Geographic Wild, we’re also very fortunate to have Forum for the Future coming in to deliver a practical workshop on System Innovation, so you can get stuck in to solving some of the greatest sustainability challenges.

    For those of you who know you want a career that benefits the planet but aren’t yet quite sure what that might look like, our Green Careers Discovery Evening on Tuesday 9th February offers a lively and dynamic introduction to a whole range of different areas of work via group speed-networking. With organisations such as the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Mott Macdonald and Ofgem represented, this is a great chance to get to know people working in exciting environmental roles and hear their tips for how you can launch your career in the sector. We’re even offering a workshop on networking skills the day before to help you make the most of this valuable opportunity. And once you’re ready to apply, you’ll want to make sure your CV is up to scratch, so we’re putting on a workshop to help you see your CV through the eyes of the environmental sector employer.

    So what are you waiting for? Sign up and find your path to a fulfilling career in sustainability. Places are strictly limited so early booking is recommended.

    Networking with Organisations and Professionals

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 29 January 2016

    ALMOSTThe UCL Careers Charities & NGO’s themed week is approaching and we have a host of charities and non-for-profit organisations taking over the UCL Careers library on Thursday, 4th February to answer all of your questions at our networking event. Networking can be an incredibly powerful tool in your job search so it’s important that you do it right. Below are some useful tips to consider before attending the event.

     

    1. Do your research.

    There will be a full list of all the organisations that will be attending the Charities & NGO’s Networking Event on the events page of the UCL Careers website, so make sure you do your research about the organisations that are attending. Find out who they are, what they do, any of their recent projects, etc. Not only will this help you build the basis of your conversation, you can impress them with your knowledge of their organisation, and remember: first impressions count.

    1. Have a goal/purpose

    It’s always a good idea to set some goals before the event to help you stay focused. Think about what you want to find out at the event and the reason you want to attend e.g. finding out more about a particular role, advice on getting into a particular sector. When doing so make sure this information isn’t available on their website, meaning you will come away with some really valuable information!

    1. Prepare some questions

    The key to be being interesting is to be interested. So ensure that you prepare some good questions ahead of the event. This way you can structure your conversation giving it purpose and flow and avoiding any awkward silences. In the charity and non-for-profit sector your passion is incredibly important so may sure you ask some thoughtful questions that reflect your interest. The networking event will be a rare opportunity to ask questions that you normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to ask so preparation is key.

    1. Don’t ask for a job!

    Networking is about gathering information – not asking for jobs. This is a classic mistake which people tend to make and does not go down well with employers. Instead you should use this opportunity to discuss ideas and present your skills as people are much more likely to respond to your enthusiasm and understanding. Talk to the professionals about how to find vacancies and how to keep updated with their recruitment opportunities. This may help you to discover unadvertised vacancies as well as getting some tips along the way whilst maintaining professionalism.

    The UCL Careers Charities & NGO Networking event will take place from 5.30 – 7.00pm on Thursday 4th February. For details of how to sign up please visit the following link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto/charitiesandngos

     

    Charities and NGOs Week is around the corner: 1st-4th February 2016

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 26 January 2016

    Though important, there is so much more to working in the charities and NGOs sector than shaking a tin, volunteering or delivering aid to those in need on the frontline.  Many charities and NGOs are run as professional businesses that carry out functions such as research and lobbying, as well as raising and redistributing funds.  In the pursuit of addressing human or environmental needs, the sector can be intensely competitive in terms of attracting media attention, funding and other resources.  Most non-profit organisations rely on paid staff as well as volunteers and the sector attracts intelligent people with a passion for their work.

    UCL Careers Charities & NGOs Week aims to dispel some of the myths that surround working within this sector.  Through a series of four events, the themed week will provide students with an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the the diverse range of roles available to them, from campaigning and policy work to international development and disaster relief.  The interactive session on how to prepare persuasive applications will help students to demonstrate their motivation and enthusiasm and ultimately increase their chances of job success.  The final event in the series will provide an excellent opportunity to network, be inspired and pick up some top tips from the experts, who are currently working in the sector.

    For further details about UCL Careers Charities & NGOs Week including how to book:
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto/charitiesandngos

    Book now: Sprint Development Programme for female students sponsored by RBS and Microsoft

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 12 January 2016

    Sprint is back at UCL this February, after yet another successful year. 

    WHAT IS SPRINT?

    Sprint is a well-established development programme for undergraduate and graduate women at the early stages of their professional development, from all backgrounds and ages. It provides a tool kit to help female undergrads be empowered to achieve their potential. The programme enables participants to take hold of their personal ambitions and develop a network of mentors and peers. Whilst the programme is open to all, those at the beginning of their career or with little work experience will benefit the most.

    Originally pioneered at University of Cambridge, with more recent programmes run at the University of Oxford, UCL and City University have co-hosted a number of successful programmes.  The results have been amazing – over 90% say the programme has changed their lives and they feel more positive and better in control of their career decisions as a result.

    This winter the programme will be hosted at UCL and across four action packed days, the programme will cover a range of key development topics, with the aim help you to:

    • use your personal power and influence
    • identify your values, attitudes and direction
    • manage your time effectively
    • learn how to use assertiveness positively
    • build your image, networking skills and confidence
    • engage with inspiring role models and industry professionals
    • gain access to a network of mentors (provided by sponsoring companies) to help you achieve your goals

    The programme is co-sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland and Microsoft.

    WHEN IS IT?

    16th, 17th, 18th February and 22nd March 2016 at UCL.

    Here’s what two attendees from last year had to say about the programme:

    “Such a positive experience, which was helpful both personally and professionally.”

    “I didn’t want to go to Sprint – my friend talked me into signing up with her! I’m so glad I listened to her.  Sprint was a wonderful experience.  I found a sense of community with the women in our group and a sense of relief that I wasn’t alone in the challenges I faced.  Sprint reminded me of the tools I already had and gave me new ones as well.  I can’t wait for what comes next!”

    HOW TO APPLY?

    Applicants will need to submit a CV and a 300 word letter detailing why they wish to participate in the course.

    Applicants will be shortlisted according to clear evidence that they have thought about their future career, why they wish to participate in the course, and how it will meet their development needs.

    Whilst the programme is open to all, those at the beginning of their career or with little work experience will benefit the most.

    Please email your application to Kathryn Goodfellow (k.goodfellow@ucl.ac.uk) and Rhiannon Williams (rhiannon.e.williams@ucl.ac.uk).

    The deadline for applications is 9am on 25th January 2016 and successful candidates will be informed within a week of the closing date.

    For more information please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/sprint

    Getting into Publishing – Event Round-up and Top Tips

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 9 December 2015

    Our Getting into Publishing panel discussion on Tuesday 1st December 2015 provided attendees with fantastic insight into this sector including industry trends and hot topics, typical roles and responsibilities and how to stand out as an applicant. Catch up on key points from this discussion below and read about the panellists in attendance here.

    > Panellists extolled the  benefits of gaining work experience in smaller and/or independent publishers where you can get varied hands on experience and insight. There are very limited places on graduate schemes with major trade publishers (for example, only 4 places at HarperCollins) so being open to working in different roles in a wider range of publishing companies is encouraged at the start of your publishing career. Building up wide ranging work experience in different types of publishing companies is a positive. Don’t just go for trade publishing (it is considered by many the most glamourous) but consider other types, such as scientific manuals and journals, academic press or working at literary agents.
    > Useful resources recommended for finding out about companies and hot topics in publishing are the Writers and Authors Yearbook, Bookseller (especially the jobs board) and The Society of Young Publishers. A useful event is the Futurebook annual conference.

    > Don’t focus too much at this stage on getting a particular role in a particular company – it’s about trying to get a starting role. It’s a lot easier to change jobs within the industry once you’re in and move between imprints within a parent company. Try to be well-rounded and open to different roles at the start. At the very least, you’ll be able to appreciate what each job role does even if you aren’t good at it when you try it yourself – what makes someone good at one area (i.e. production) makes them terrible at another (sales)! agents.

    > Be aware that you will start from the bottom, despite having a degree. Be humble and be prepared for the coffee making and photocopying, but also be enthusiastic and curious about what is going on more widely in the company. During any work experience strive to make the most of it and have a good attitude, as hiring often happens by referral and a remembrance of an awesome intern when vacancies come up in the company (“We have a editorial assistant job coming up – why don’t we contact X to see if they are still available, they were great!”)

    > Build your awareness of which books and publications are linked to which publishers, their body of work, key successes. An industry trend is that many major publishing houses have acquired lots of smaller companies (called imprints).

    > Key skills required for publishing roles are relationship management, project management and attention to detail. Relationship management examples were given of sending each bookstore manager a personalised book choice with an individual note, maintaining relationships with authors and with key individuals in different internal departments. A suggestion for building relationship skills is to listen to conversations during any work experience and see how publishing professionals deal with situations / respond to clients. Project management is also an important skill as essentially you will be looking after several projects simultaneously, for example various book launches.

    > Nobody mentioned reading when discussing their jobs. Panellists stressed that you have to love reading to do the job but you won’t just be sat reading all day, there are lots of other parts of the role involved which make the reading happen for other people.

    > Panel quote: “the written word is our life blood” – applications with any spelling or grammar mistakes will not be considered!

    > Social media: look at your own presence and make it appealing (and free of bad English!) but also follow people in the industry and at the companies you’re applying for – learn about them, what they like, what they’re interested in, what they’re reading

    > Some key industry changes and hot topics include
    – the move to Open Access publications– academic publishers have been ahead of trade with this (and are with more new trends)
    – major publishing houses have acquired lots of smaller companies (called imprints)
    – e-books and digital are no longer seen as a separate division but is part of standard publishing
    – Amazon has totally changed book purchasing but recently Bookouture are an interesting company to watch as a innovative competitor to Amazon
    – publishers think of the customer as the end reader and not the bookstore, as buying tends to be much more end-consumer led
    – budgets and cost are increasingly important as books will only be published if likely to be successful
    – self-publishing is more prevalent but tend to be lower quality publications than those  published by established publishers.

    > Two of the panellists now work as freelancers. With freelance work, you have to have an established base of clients and credibility, but your hours are your own. Most people move to freelance editing after building up contacts and a reputation in the industry.

    – UCL Careers Media Week Team

    UCLU Health Volunteering Fair is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 16 November 2015

    Calling all students interested in volunteering in the medical sector – UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit is holding it’s first ever Health Volunteering Fair on Thursday 19th November, 5-7pm.

    Come and find out more information on the many diverse roles available and how you can make a real difference to people’s lives through volunteering. Exhibitors include Centra Volunteering, Hestia, The Camden Society, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Centre 404, Resources for Autism, VoiceAbility and more.

    Health Fair

    The team from UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit will also be on hand to answer your volunteering questions.

    The event is catered, so you won’t need to miss dinner!

    You’ll find us in the Haldane Room, off Wilkins North Cloisters, from 5 – 7pm.

    Tell us you’re coming via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/527398120769848/

    UCLU’s Awesome Autumn Volunteering Fair – Thursday 29th October 2015

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 27 October 2015

    At UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, we’ve got so many activities on offer that we couldn’t fit them all into one fair- so we’re having another one on Thursday October 29th, 12 noon – 3pm, Wilkins South Cloisters.
    AWESOME AUTUMN page image

    With 40 different recruiters, including: Age UK Camden, English Heritage, Westminster Befriend a Family, London Youth Games, Marchmont Community Centre, North London Cares, Parkinson’s UK, National AIDS Trust, London Air Ambulance, Macmillan Cancer Support, Camden Citizen’s Advice Bureau Service, The Foundling Museum, Latin American Disabled People’s Project, The National Autistic Society, and more.

    Volunteering is a great way to discover London, meet new people and learn new skills whilst making a difference – so come along and find out what it’s all about.

    Don’t miss out! To find out more, visit www.uclu.org/volunteer-fair

    How to make the most of the IT and Technology Fair by EE

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 20 October 2015

    UCL students and recent graduates are in the midst of Careers Fair season and one of our Fair sponsors, EE, have shared some top tips ahead of the IT and Technology Fair happening this week:

    > Prepare by finding out information about the company, to use as a conversation starter – it will also show you’ve put the effort in
    > Aim to get email addresses or LinkedIn connections
    > Handing out paper CVs will have limited impact
    > Don’t bombard your contacts with emails after the fair
    > Try to think of appropriate questions in advance to shape the conversation

    To get more indepth tips on how to prepare for the IT and Technology Fair, have a read of our “How to prepare for our Careers Fair” post

    The IT and Technology Fair 2015 is kindly sponsored by EE and Cisco and takes place on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October, 5:30 – 8pm, North and South Cloisters.

    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.

    Could you be a winner at the 2016 Undergraduate of the Year Awards ?

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 13 October 2015

    Last year, UCL had 4 finalists and 2 winners, at the Undergraduate of the Year Awards and this year there are 11 Awards up for grabs to identify the top undergraduates in:

    Computer Science & Analytics;

    Management;

    Law;

    Mathematics, Economics and Finance;

    Engineering;

    Construction, Engineering and Design;

    Future CFO of the Year;

    Future Business Leader;

    Female Undergraduate of the Year

    Male Undergraduate of the Year

    *NEW* Future Civil Service Leader of the Year

    ugoty-generic

    The rewards are great: winners’ prizes include exclusive internships, lunches with directors and trips to the USA, South America, the Far East and continental Europe and the final ten students in each Award will be invited to the Undergraduate of the Year Awards in Canary Wharf London on 22 April, 2016 where the winners will be announced.

    If you make the final 10, not only will you be very close to a fantastic prize, you will have proved yourself to be amongst the best and most employable students in the country.

    APPLY NOW  undergraduateoftheyearawards.com  where you can also find out more about each awards criteria, read blogs from last year’s finalists and winners and watch the video footage from last year’s awards ceremony