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.

    The SPRINT Development Programme for female students – sponsored by RBS and EY – is back!

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 4 December 2014

    SPRINT is a bespoke programme designed to support the professional development of women at the early stages of their career.

    Across 4 action packed days, you will learn how to:

    • Use your personal power
    • Use assertiveness positively
    • Build your image, networking skills & confidence
    • Enage with inspiring role models & industry professionals
    • Gain access to a network of mentors and peers to keep you on track to achieve your goals.

    dates: 7th-9th January & 16th February 2015

    UCL graduate, Clemency Sherwood-Roberts (BA Anthropology, 2013) took part in the SPRINT Programme in July 2014. Read what she has to say about the benefits of the programme below. Find out more and apply via your MyUCLCareers account by noon on Friday 5th December.

    Why did you apply to the SPRINT programme?
    The SPRINT Programme stood apart from any previous career events I had attended whilst at university because it did not just focus on the classic topics of networking, CVs and matching skills to jobs. It also looked at personal and professional development through looking at being a woman entering the workplace, focussing on how to stand out and define yourself individually through the beginning stages of a career.

    What was your highlight from the programme?
    The Home Group. Before the course had even begun you were sat next to a group of like-minded young women who would support you and each other through the four days and beyond. Your own little network created immediately, so pick where you sit wisely!

    What did you gain from the programme?
    The largest gain I took away from the SPRINT Programme was a sense of perspective on who I am as a potential recruit. I was able to assess what I have achieved so far, what I can offer professionally and can utilise certain tools to effectively and successfully progress with this knowledge. I can revisit these tools over and over through the years, from basic prioritisation methods to dealing with different types of people who will cross my path.

    Why would you recommend it to other students?
    I did the SPRINT Programme having already spent a year in employment and it was still able to offer me so much. I struggle to see any reason why a female under/postgraduate wishing to progress into a corporate/commercial career should not do this programme. People pay hundreds in the work-force for training that matches the quality of SPRINT. On top of that, you also hear other women’s career stories. Each day there is the opportunity to learn from a mentor from one of the sponsoring companies. To have such insight and exposure whilst still an undergraduate, with so much opportunity still available to you, is truly invaluable.

    Careers in the Education Sector: Employer Forum for PhDs and Researchers

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 4 November 2014

    The aim of this event is to help PhD students and other researchers with their career planning by providing an opportunity to question, to hear from and network with employers that come from a variety of roles within the Education sector, who are PhD holders themselves. The panel of speakers will give tips on how research students can use their qualifications and experiences to enter this field as well as information about their sector.

    When: 27th November 2014 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm

    Panel of speakers will be:

    Mark Llewellyn – Director of Research, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

    Marek Kukula – Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich

    Mary Henes – London Regional Director, The Brilliant Club

    Rosalind Mist – Head of Education Policy, The Royal Society

    Steve Heggie – Institute Manager, UCL Eastman Dental Institute

    Steve Cross – Head of Public Engagement, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement

    To find out more and to read the speakers’ biographies please go to: http://courses.grad.ucl.ac.uk/course-details.pht?course_ID=2462

    Research Students book here

    Research Staff book here

    Learn how to ‘Polish your Presence’ at Bloomberg HQ

    By Irrum Ali, on 3 July 2014

    As well as perfecting your CV and interview technique, the next step is to ‘Polish you Presence’ by making sure you’re creating the very best first impression when meeting employers or even after you’ve landed your first job. UCL Careers run events, in conjunction with top employers, which can really take your ‘personal brand’ to the next level. I went along to one of these events to learn more.

    On Friday 30th May, more than 30 UCL students had the opportunity to learn and practice why and how creating a lasting impact is important with a productive morning at Bloomberg Headquarters. The event was a dynamic and interactive mix of sessions, presentations as well as a networking event with real Bloomberg recruiters – an opportunity that proved invaluable to all students whether they were job searching or not.IMG_5461b

    Hosted at Bloomberg’s prestigious and impressive offices in Moorgate, the chance to be in a real-life fast-paced business environment allowed us to get in a professional frame of mind and make the most out of the event. It was a great opportunity to get a glimpse in to corporate life and a flavour of what a large company like Bloomberg has to offer (including plenty of free snacks and coffee as well as a delicious lunch!).

    The morning kicked off with an opportunity to get to know fellow students with an ice-breaker to set the tone for the sessions to come – a few questions about ourselves, job searching and meeting employers to which we all held up coloured cards as our answers. Feeling more relaxed and knowing more about why other students were here, we jumped in to the information-packed three 30 minute sessions presented by Clare Williams, Head of Leadership, Learning and Organisational Development:

    • The Resilience Factor

    The first session focused on the abstract side of job searching and working life; dealing with difficulties is an aspect which many can be unprepared for. We were given tips and tools on how to deal with negativity, anxiety and reacting to adverse circumstances which will prove useful in the future, whether in a job rejection scenario or a tough working situation. Encouraged to think about our reactions to situations, we got under the skin of how we could rewire our beliefs to make ourselves tougher and more resilient.

    • Polished Elevator Pitch

    How do you tell an employer, in thirty seconds, what you’re all about? What you’re good at and what you can offer? We were helped to create our own pitch, with useful pointers and examples of how to ideally sell ourselves to anyone. We even got the chance to trial it out with other students before the lunch networking event and get useful feedback. This was really worthwhile as I created a pitch to use whenever I get the opportunity to speak with employers.

    • Building your Reputation

    The last session tied the above together and described what it means to build a reputation as a good candidate throughout your career. We developed a personal mission statement – something I had never considered – which highlighted strengths, skills and values important to remember throughout my career and useful to put in practice day-to-day. This would be the foundation of our ‘personal brand’ – being authentic to ourselves but conforming to the company or industry we are in.

    After a review of all thIMG_7728ree sessions, we were briefed about using our newly created pitches in the up-coming networking lunch with a small presentation by the HR Manager on how to connect successfully with employers.

    The final hour was a chance to put the morning in practice and chat to a range of Bloomberg employees, from a range of departments, about their job role, their way in and general career tips. It didn’t matter what we were interested in or applying to – it was all useful and relevant! Networking alongside other students, I had the chance to speak to some very engaging, knowledgeable and helpful people and successfully left with a business card!

    Interested in attending? YOU CAN JOIN TOO! Events are free and open to all UCL students and graduates. Take the step to sign up to UCLAlert! and find out about fantastic opportunities, like this, first!

    The Sprint programme is back this July!

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 23 June 2014

    The Sprint Development Programme for women undergraduates and graduates, sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland, Microsoft and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is back!

    So what is Sprint?
    We all know that students have a tough challenge balancing their academic studies along with trying to attend as many events as possible but Sprint, a bespoke programme designed by the Springboard Consultancy in partnership with Oxford University & Cambridge University to support the professional development of female undergraduate and graduates, offers something very unique.

    Building on the success of the Springboard programme for experienced women at work, Sprint was developed & delivered to address real issues faced by most undergraduate & graduate women. Research carried out by Oxford University indicated female undergraduates and graduates tended to possess strong negative perceptions of careers within industries such as Financial Services, Engineering and Technology, as well as a lack of confidence, assertiveness and access to relevant role models which often led to them deselecting themselves from such industries.

    Originally pioneered at the University of Cambridge and more recently at the University of Oxford, the 2013 summer programme was held at City University for their students, but was also piloted to UCL students studying in the Department of Management Science & Innovation to great success & is now returning to City University in July 2014 – it’s open to students across all courses at UCL, City and Kingston Universities.

    What will I experience on the programme?
    The programme is very intensive & geared towards building female undergraduate & graduate confidence and giving students access to strong peer & professional networks. Students will be put through their paces with lots of practical exercises designed to improve self awareness and esteem, taught how to identify & use personal power, use assertiveness positively, build their own image, confidence & networking skills and engage with inspiring industry role models.

    It’s a great opportunity for female students to experience some very bespoke development, get access to employer mentors and to an ongoing network of graduate and employer peers, which they will be able to utilise both during university and afterwards throughout their career – all for free!

    Student participants from UCL’s Department of Management Science & Innovation who took part in last summer’s programme threw themselves into what proved to be an incredibly intense but ultimately rewarding four days, experienced increased confidence both personally and professionally, got ongoing access to an employer mentor, and the opportunity to be part of the selective but growing Sprint community!

    When is it?
    Co-sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland, Microsoft and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the Sprint Programme will be held on 29th, 30th, 31st July and 1st September 2014.

    Those shortlisted must be able to attend all four dates!

    How to apply?
    Applicants will need register through their My Careers Service account AND submit a CV and a 300 word letter explaining why you, as a female undergraduate or graduate student, deserve a place on the Sprint Development Programme.  Any questions to Weronika Benning w.benning@ucl.ac.uk or Charlotte Turnbull c.turnbull@ucl.ac.uk.

    Deadline for applications is 6th July 2014 but early application advised!

    Applicants will be shortlisted according to how well they evidence having thought about their future career and demonstrating effectively why they wish to participate in the course, and how it will meet their development needs.

    This event is aimed at women but open to students from all years at UCL.

    View further details on the programme and book now through your  My Careers Service account (search for Sprint in the events calendar).

    The biggest and best national graduate recruitment fair in London will take place on 18 June

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 31 May 2014

    This blog post orginially appeared on the Develop your Career blog

    Senate House will host  The London Graduate Fair from The Careers Group and TARGETjobs – the biggest and best national graduate recruitment fair in London.

    The Careers Group, University of London is organising the event sponsored by TARGETJobs. It will take place at Senate House between 11am – 5pm on Wednesday 18 June 2014.The London Graduate Fair

    The event is free and open to current students and recent graduates from any institution. All visitors can pre-register in advance to save time on the day of the event.

    Up to 3,000 visitors are expected to attend the fair, which makes this event the perfect opportunity for organisations to fill current vacancies and graduate schemes and get the pick of the best candidates for the coming year’s recruitment cycle.

    Up to 80 companies and institutions will be promoting their opportunities. The exhibitors list includes names such as Dennis Publishing, Hitachi, KPMG, Oracle, Tesla Motors, Royal Air Force, Kobalt Music Group, etc. A range of recruiters and academic institutions will also be present. See the full list.

    Students and recent graduates will get the opportunity to find 1000s of vacancies and graduate schemes, meet representatives from top employers, network with recruitment teams or explore further study options. Visitors will also have the opportunity to get free CV and Application Form advice from careers consultants.

    This is what previous visitors say about the Summer London Graduate Fair:

    Much better than other fairs, more diverse and more employers.’

    Layout, organisation and advice all very good.’

    Useful seminars and career talks not found at other fairs.’

    Everybody in one place, great face-to-face contact.’

    Interested students, recent graduates and other jobseekers can find more information about the event on the website.

    Organisations who would like to join as exhibitors are welcome to contact events@careers.lon.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7863 6050 to book their stand.

    Find the London Graduate Fair on twitter – #LondonGradFair

    For more information about our events please visit our website.

    The Small Companies Big Jobs Fair – Tuesday 3rd June

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 22 May 2014

    Thinking of entering enterprise or starting your own? Then ‘The Small Companies Big Jobs Fair is for you!

    When: Tuesday 3rd June 1-5pm

    Where: North Cloister, UCL Wilkins Building

    There will be companies from an array of sectors offering internships, placement and job opportunities covering marketing, advertising, web development, digital music and production to name a few. Find out what it takes to get started and whether you have the right CV to get hired by attending one of the sessions on;

    •       Lessons from working in Start Ups: The good, the bad, and the awesome;
    •       Mistakes when starting up – and how to avoid them;
    •       Supercharge your CV – land that start up interview.

    To keep up-to-date on who’s coming and more details head on over to: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/summerevents

    The Small Companies Big Jobs Fair is brought to you by: UCL Management Science & Innovation, UCL Careers, UCL Advances, Silicone Milkroundabout, FATJIL and the National Association of Colleges & University Entrepreneurs (NACUE)