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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    My summer of love with Lynda

    By S Donaldson, on 8 August 2016

    LovePhoto from Ruben Ulset

    At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog about how valuable the online-learning platform Coursera can be for your career. And now for what might be an even bigger love-in: Lynda.

    Oh, Lynda. How did I ignore you for so long? I guess I was too busy, too caught up in my own world. But then right when I needed you, you were there.

    Ok. I’m getting ahead of myself. Who or what is Lynda? Lynda is a website containing online tutorials from experts in lots of useful stuff – especially, but not limited to, software skills. UCL has bought a subscription to it, so anyone with a UCL login is able to access the site.

    I’ve recently started working through some Lynda tutorials myself, and they’re great! So practical and well made, and each session is broken into bite-size chunks to make them easier to follow.

    In terms of up-skilling to further your career, Lynda is a wonderful tool to have. Employers are often keen that their new recruits can hit the ground running. So if you think your target job will require skills you’re currently lacking – maybe coding skills, Photoshop skills, or anything really – Lynda may be able to help you fill those gaps. And even employers who are ready and willing to train you up from scratch will appreciate the motivation demonstrated by starting your learning early.

    But what if you’re not sure which skills you’ll need? Lynda has created ‘learning paths’ for different roles. These are playlists of tutorials to work through, starting from the basics upwards. So whether you want to become an Agile project manager or a music producer, it’s worth seeing if Lynda can help you get there.

    You can even put together your own learning lists. Handily, UCL’s digital education team have already made some for you, including this fab one on careers skills, ranging from CV-writing, to pitching projects and products. So if you’ve got some spare time over the summer, why not check them out, and see if you love Lynda as much as I do!

     

    Modern Languages & Its Unexpected Career Paths

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 8 February 2016

    By Andrew Scott – Head Fashion Buyer

    I had never given much thought to modern languages until high school, but then why would I when it was never something which had been included in my curriculum? That soon changed the moment I sat down in my first French lesson. The whole concept had me gripped from that moment, as I started to enjoy learning in a way which I never had before. Language combines the theory of traditional core subjects with a hint of personal expression which you only get through art based subjects providing the middle ground I unknowingly required.

    Needless to say I excelled in language and it was a natural step for me to carry this on through to college and then university.

    For me, the novelty of studying modern languages and the sense of accomplishment which came with it never wore off, so I guess I was one of the lucky ones who came out of university with a clear sense of direction.

    Immediately out of university I explored the typical avenues of employment such as translating and interpreting, although I knew this wasn’t a long term career path and I soon moved on to a role within an international company. Whilst I enjoyed this fast paced environment, I couldn’t ignore the pull to get involved in the world of fashion, which was the industry my parents both operated in.

    I was surprised how strongly the industry demanded my language skills in many different areas, which gave me a much wider choice of career than I had ever thought. I am now the head fashion buyer of Infinities Menswear, a role which constantly demands my language skills and takes me all over Europe. On a daily basis I speak on the phone with our global suppliers and regularly attend international fashion shows and buying meetings. The ability to communicate with people in their own dialect goes a long way in terms of building relationships and it is personally enjoyable to use my languages in practice.

    Thinking back to my university days, I never would have predicted that I would have the career I have today and I feel very fortunate to think that I have been able to combine my two passions in life in such a way.

    I fear that many people believe modern languages commands a very narrow career path, which is a misconception I am keen to correct for anyone considering or currently studying modern languages. In reality, a modern languages qualification provides you with an edge over the competition in a wide range of roles within a multitude of different industries.

    The world is your oyster, learn how to communicate in it!

    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

    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!

    What career skills were you shouting about in 2015?

    By S Donaldson, on 6 January 2016

     

    Are you sick of 2015 countdown lists yet? No? Good, because here’s another one.

    Have you heard of Coursera? It’s great. It allows you to take free online courses in pretty much anything, and those courses are taught by university experts. In fact, UCL careers consultants helped deliver a course in Employability Skills in 2014 and 2015.

    And now the good people at Coursera have put together a handy list of 2015’s most coveted career skills. When you complete a course you receive a certificate, and get the option of posting said certificate to your LinkedIn profile. By assessing courses with the most certificates posted to LinkedIn, Coursera have worked out the top 10 skills people most wanted to show off to recruiters last year. It’s a nice measure of what’s hot with employers right now, with ‘digital marketing’ coming out on top, and ‘data science’ featuring heavily in the top 10. Check out the full list here.

    And to be notified when the employability skills course runs again, visit the course page and add it to your wish list.

     

    S Donaldson, UCL Careers Consultant

    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

    What are you getting out of your work experience?

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 21 October 2015

    Recently there was an interesting article in the Independent about “Work experience for students – are placements really all they’re cracked-up to be?”  The article, although a little pessimistic, provides a good insight into the fact that not all work experience is equal in terms of the benefits provided for students.  It all depends on factors such as duration of experience, type of organisation and whether it is a structured experience.

    The Office 001EG Focus/Flickr.com/CreativeCommons

    Undertaking any form of work experience – internships, placements and insight sessions – will be beneficial – the key is knowing what the benefits are.

    For example, if you were to embark upon a short bout of work experience – one or two weeks – you are unlikely to gain much in terms of skills development.  However, you will learn a little bit about the industry the company is in and what it is like to work for that company (e.g. is it a small, tightly knit team where everyone mucks in, or is it a large company with formal organisational structures where you have a well-defined role). From this experience you can start to understand more about your own preferences around working culture and environment.  You will also be starting to develop a personal network of contacts who may be useful for your future career aspirations.

    You might also gain similar benefits from events and insight sessions run by companies to enable students to gain knowledge about a particular industry and the roles available in it. Law, media, finance and management consultancy firms run these type of sessions to introduce students to the sector, what roles are available and what skills would be needed to succeed.

    With a longer internship of around six to twelve weeks you will be testing out an area of work or industry that you are interested in. You will increase your understanding about the company and how it fits into the sector.  For example, you’ll gain insight into what differentiates it from other companies and how this influences how the company operates within the market. The work you do within the internship will enable you to demonstrate to future employers which skills you used outside of your studies. You may improve your technical skills within your internship and it is likely that you will begin to develop and demonstrate your “softer skills” such as how you operate within a team, how you manage a project, how flexible and committed you are, and how you communicate with your colleagues. If the work is demanding, you will gain insight into what skills you need to improve.  Even if the work is not as challenging as you would like, by reflecting on the experience you will become more self-aware and begin to understand what you most enjoy and what you do not want to do. You will start to form a realistic impression of what type of role and environment might suit you.

    If you secure a place on a structured summer internship scheme such as those run by large finance, consultancy and technical firms, the work will be of a similar nature to a graduate role and there is likely to be a training component to your internship. Undertaking an internship on a summer scheme in these sectors can sometimes lead to candidates being offered a place on a graduate scheme once they have graduated.

    For internships in small or medium sized companies, or schemes where you rotate, you may gain experience within more than one area of the company and gain a more meaningful understanding of how different areas of the company slot together.

    For year long internships or placements, you will gain a much deeper insight into the industry you are working in and heightened self-awareness. For a placement that forms part of your course, you will have the opportunity to integrate academic theory into practice.  You will become more expert at any technical skills you use and continue to develop your “soft” skills. You may, by now, have worked out for sure whether you want to continue in that role/industry or you may have decided to use the transferable skills you have gained in other sectors.

    For any opportunity where you have had to undertake tasks or projects, you will increase your confidence and you will be better able to demonstrate your abilities to future employers.

    Where you have had to go through a recruitment process (e.g. application, interview, assessment centre) you will have gained valuable experience in how to navigate the process and if you have asked for feedback along the way, you will be able to use that to help you improve next time you apply for a role.

    You will (hopefully!) have also been able to earn whilst you have been strengthening your knowledge, skills and confidence. By law companies must pay the National Minimum Wage for an intern unless they are exempt (for example if they are a registered charity).  There is an exemption of payment if the experience is a placement as part of an academic course. Be informed – see information on the National Minimum Wage.

    For more information on the benefits of the different types of work experience and how to make the most of the opportunities see the information about internships and work experience at Target Jobs, Prospects and the resources at Careers Tagged – work experience.

    – Rochelle Symons, Placements and Vacancies Manager, UCL Careers.

    Operations Officer: Inspire Me

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 10 October 2015

    As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Laura Davies, UCL Alumnus (BSc Human Science, 2013 and MSc Technology Entrepreneurship, 2014) and Operations Officer at BaseStone, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to get into the sector. basestone.laura

    How did you get into your role?

    I’m Laura, I am the Operations Officer at BaseStone. BaseStone is a tool for architects and engineers to capture and communicate data more effectively. It connects people and data in construction, reducing costs and mistakes on projects.

    I found out about the role through a mentor of mine. She knew the founder of the company and knew that they were looking for someone to help them grow the business. The majority of the team was made up of software developers so they were hiring for new employees on the business side.

    I chose this career because of the opportunities for growth. There was a huge amount of potential for me to develop my own skill set, confidence and abilities in so many areas. I think I recognised that the business was at a really interesting point – the technology was in demand by the industry and there were many customers in the pipeline.  But there was a need for all of the pieces of the puzzle around the technology to be put in place – I wanted to be the person to do that! It was an exciting challenge and I knew that this would give me a breadth of experience like no other.

    What are the best things about working in your role?

    I think working with the a team that care so much about what they do is my favourite part of the job. Everyone is so passionate about our mission – bringing change to the construction industry. We work very closely together so it really helps that we all get on!

    The work is also interesting. What we are doing is quite ground-breaking – we’re disrupting an ancienct industry. It’s really interesting to be part of the change. I get to go out on construction sites to visit our users. So I have been on Crossrail sites, seeing London’s future infrastructure being built which is pretty cool too.

    As part of my role, I work with a huge range of people – from graduate engineers to important industry figures. It’s great to have that diversity

    Biggest success in your role?

    I am really proud of the community we have built around what we are doing. As the industry is quite old fashioned, we’ve developed our own community of disruptors. We hold events to champion disruption and discuss the future of the built environment. The last event had over 120 attendees and caused a real stir in the industry.

    What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

    The biggest challenge is having to hit the ground running with things you’ve never done before. But technology is a really supportive industry – there are mentors, events, free courses and many meetup groups that you can get advice from.

    It’s a challenge but it pushes you to realise your full potential. It provides an excellent springboard for your career.

    What top tips would you pass on to a student interested in this type of work?

    Developing your network is the single most important thing. As I mentioned, the world of startups and technology is friendly and supportive. People will generally be happy to have a coffee or call with you if you reach out to them. So don’t be afraid to ask!

    I would recommend getting some experience in a startup before you jump right into one. I did the UCL Advances Summer Internship Programme in my second year of university. You get a paid internship for 8 weeks in a small company – I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

    You can also develop yourself and build your skill set. I did the CodeFirst:Girls coding course which gave me coding skills that I still use today. There are many free courses like this in London, for both men and women to develop skills in tech. UCL Advances also do many events and workshops.

    Good luck!

    To find our more about working in a startup, either come in an speak to a Careers Consultant or visit UCL Advances.

    What are the five skills most sought after by today’s graduate employers?

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 5 October 2015

    This guest post is from the team at WikiJob, the UK’s largest graduate jobs forum.

    As a graduate it is important to know what type of skills potential employers are really looking for, aside from the competencies specific to the position. Put simply: if you understand this, you can prepare a stronger application than other candidates.

    Your degree is far from the only factor that will determine how suitable you are for a role. Employers and HR professionals will be looking for a combination of transferable skills and evaluating how you have acquired these during your academic studies and work experience. But what are the most important skills for today’s employers –  and how can you relate them to a specific opportunity?

    How to Market yourself Event

    These are five skills that are among the most valued in the current graduate workplace:

    Communication

    Written and verbal communication – specifically the ability to convey information clearly and concisely – is fundamental to any job role. In your application, make sure that you provide examples that demonstrate how you have used persuasion and negotiation skills. One of the most effective ways to showcase your talents in written communication is via your cover letter, CV and application documents. Be concise, use a clear structure and focus on results achieved.

    Analytical Abilities

    Analytical skills are crucial in many different occupations; not just data-based or technical roles. Within the workplace, you’ll need analytical skills to review business processes and identify improvements, or perhaps complete market research to explore avenues for growth. Employers may assess analytical or numerical competency through a psychometric test.

    Here are other examples of when analytical skills might be needed at work:

    > To review large amounts of quantitative or qualitative data, and produce a report or presentation based on the results;
    > To solve a problem, evaluate viable solutions and select the right one for the business;
    > To apply critical thinking and analysis to tasks in design, marketing, programming or system management;
    > To get the most out of Excel for data analysis.

    Teamwork

    All employers, regardless of the organisation, will look for graduates who can demonstrate the ability to work cohesively with others, solve problems collectively and work effectively in a team. It may seem simple, but your ability to get along with people is a trait you should make clear in your application and subsequent interview. Demonstrate how you can contribute to a team, provide ideas to improve services, or show how a team you were in improved performance after receiving constructive criticism.

    Commercial Awareness

    Understanding the world of business and how organisations work together is a vital skill in employment, as commerce is increasingly multinational. Commercial awareness means understanding not only how the business operates but how it can be influenced by competitors and suppliers, and how businesses have to evolve to meet the changing demands of customers.

    Time Management

    Graduate roles often include many different responsibilities, and employers will look for candidates who can address multiple and often conflicting deadlines which routinely arise in the workplace.

    As such, ensure that your application addresses how you manage your time well. This could relate to your studies and perhaps a period of work experience or voluntary work. Show how you prioritised to get the most important things done within your deadline.

    Are there other key skills which should have made the list? If so, please let us know by adding a comment below.

    – James Rice, Head of Digital Marketing, WikiJob

    Find out how Skills4Work at UCL can help you gain these skills employers are looking for: http://skills4work.net/

    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