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

  • 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.

    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/

    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.

    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.

    How to prepare for our Careers Fairs…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 30 September 2015

    Every year UCL Careers holds a number of Careers Fairs to help you talk to employers and find out first hand what they are looking for. You will get more out of the Careers Fair if you spend a little time preparing…

    Be aware that there will be a mixture of all kind of employers from many different sectors exhibiting each day and you might find an employer that you had never really considered before becoming a favourite for you. To help you prepare effectively we’ve put together some handy tips to get you started

     

    UCL Careers Fair

    Before the fair

    > We strongly encourage you to do some research on the exhibitors before the fair: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs

    > As well as reading the exhibitor profiles, click through to the organisation’s own website to find out more about them.

    > After your research, decide which exhibitors you particularly want to talk to, and you will be able to ask more informed questions. It can be difficult to understand the difference between big companies within the same sector.  Often it is the cultural aspects that make a real difference in the working environment and this can only be appreciated through talking and interacting with representatives at the Careers Fairs.  Try to prepare some questions in advance and think about the main points that you would want an organisation to know about you – it can help you feel more confident.

    > Come along to one of the preparation sessions organised by UCL Careers (starting w/c 5th October).

    At the fair

    > At the fair, each exhibiting organisation has a stand and their representatives are there to answer your questions about what the organisation does, what jobs they offer to final year students and graduates, what internships/placements they provide to earlier year students, and any other opportunities that they offer.

    > Shows motivation in a competitive job market esp. if you refer to attendance in applications/ interviews

    > Often particular insight re. staff experience relating to specific projects they’ve been involved in or training they’ve had can be used as ammunition that can be a real differentiator when answering motivation based questions – ie lots of first hand information not available on any website that other candidates might not be able to offer.

    > Wherever possible, try to talk to someone on the stand instead of just picking up a brochure. Use the opportunity to ask your questions face-to-face.

    > If you are feeling a bit nervous about approaching your first choice organisation, it can be a good idea to visit some other stands first to practise your technique.

    > If you are given a business card, make a point soon afterwards of noting on it anything that it would be useful to remember. Have they suggested you email them with further questions? Did they give you advice on their recruitment process?

    > Even if you have a ‘hit list’ of exhibitors, consider other organisations at the fair that are less well known. They might be offering just what you are looking for.

    Remember to bring your UCL ID or GradClub ID card as you won’t be able to enter the fair without this!

    Other hints and tips

    > Remember that many of the opportunities are available to students of any discipline

    > If you want to have a CV ready to hand over, arrange an appointment at UCL Careers before the Careers Fair to ask for some CV feedback

    > The fair may be busy when you arrive – don’t be put off. People tend to congregate by the entrance, so head to another part of the fair where it will probably be quieter

    > Avoid walking round the fair with a group of friends. The exhibitor may not realise that you are interested in them, and you could miss out because your friend happens to be more talkative than you!

    > If you feel overwhelmed, and don’t know what to do or where to start, make sure you visit the UCL Careers for help.

    > Staff on the exhibitor stands are often relatively recent graduates who can tell you what it is really like to work in their organization.  They may even refer to particular projects that they’ve been involved in or training that they’ve had –all of which is great information for you to use when you apply for a position at their company.  This insight is not available on any website and creates a unique impression when it is your time to apply.

    > In a competitive job market, it can make a difference to refer to any interaction with employers during the application process

    For further information about the fairs, please visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs

     

    Life and Health Sciences Week is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 11 November 2014

    Life and Health Sciences Week is a week of events designed to help you find out more about opportunities in this sector, including information on routes in, how to gain valuable work experience and how to make effective applications.  Locations for each event will be provided when booking.

    Please Note: Events are popular and booking for each will close when it is fully booked or, at the latest, 1 working day before the event. We recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.

    Book now: Log in to your My UCL Careers account to book a place at any of these events.

    Applications and CVs for Life and Health Sciences

    Monday 24 November 2014

    1 – 2pm

    Are you applying for jobs or courses in life sciences and want to stand out from the crowd? This talk will provide advice on how to write effective CVs, covering letters, motivation statements and answer tricky application form questions.

     

    A Career in Medicine

    Monday 24 November 2014

    5:30 – 7pm

    Are you considering applying to medicine as a graduate? Get advice from doctors, medical students, medical schools admissions managers and careers advisors. The event will begin with a brief talk on medical training and the career paths of doctors after medical school. Then there will be a panel discussion, with opportunities to have your questions answered by the panel.

     

    Careers in Public Health

    Tuesday 25 November 2014

    5:30 – 7:30pm

    Want to get some key tips about how to break into this competitive sector? Meet a panel of experts from areas including public health policy, health protection and surveillance, and advocacy and communications. The panel discussion will be followed by a networking event. Speakers confirmed include Anthony Nolan Trust, Global Alliance for Chronic Disease, Results UK and the Stroke Association.

     

    Biotech and Pharmaceutical Careers

    Wednesday 26 November 2014

    5:30 – 7pm

    Interested in working in the biotech or pharmaceutical industry and want to find out more? Come to this event to hear directly from professionals working in industry, discussing their career paths, ways to get into this area, and how to progress your career.

    There will be a panel discussion followed by an opportunity to network informally. Panellists will include representatives from KPMG Life Sciences Consulting, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Diabetes Care, and the Institute of Clinical Research.

    Book now: Log in to your My UCL Careers account to book a place at any of these events.