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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  • Environmental Careers Week: UCL sustainability staff share their experiences

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 18 February 2016

    As part of UCL Careers Environmental Careers Week, we asked members of staff around UCL about their environmental jobs, what motivates them and what tips they’d give to recent graduates.

    Evan Landy, Sustainability Officer

    Evan

    What does your role consist of?

    My role covers three main areas of sustainability at UCL. I use the RICS Ska sustainable fit-out tool to embed sustainability into refurbishment projects throughout the estate – this involves designing in measures to drive energy efficiency, waste reduction, procure environmentally friendly materials and to maximise occupant wellbeing within refurbished spaces. I also spend time auditing and assuring both construction and occupational activities to monitor and reduce our operational environmental impacts and risks. Lastly, I am involved in driving the UCL Estates Biodiversity Action Plan to monitor and improve biodiversity on site through designing in green roofs to new building projects and incorporate biodiversity enhancements elsewhere around campus.

    What got you interested in the environment?

    I always enjoyed spending time outside as I was growing up, whether it was outdoor sports or wildlife watching and when it came to thinking about my career, the only thing I wanted to do was to contribute to the multitude of challenges that I began to realise were affecting the environment. I have been lucky enough to experience some of the most spectacular sights and sounds on the planet – from watching blue whales in the Atlantic Ocean to trekking up Mount Kenya and ultimately I am driven by such experiences and wanting to do my bit to protect that for future generations. I think it is important to realise that economic development is inevitable which brings challenges and also opportunities as new technologies, research and collaboration can help ensure this is done more sustainably than in the past.

    What tips would you give to someone interested in this field?

    I think it is really important to gain experience in all walks of life, work with and understand the needs of different people and why being sustainable might not be at the forefront of everyone’s agenda. Ultimately, not everyone is going share the same passion for the environment as you so it is critical to understand what else can drive sustainability – often there are tangible benefits such as costs and wellbeing that need to be identified and communicated effectively. Most importantly though, I would say that there is no conventional way in to a career in sustainability – although it helps to have a degree in an environmental discipline for some roles, it is often not a prerequisite and please do not be put off if you have other skills as we need talented environmental writers, artists, lawyers, economists and people across all industries to work together towards resolving the worlds environmental and sustainability challenges.

    Jennifer Hazelton, Strategic Research Facilitator for the Environment Domain

    Jennifer

    What does your role consist of?

    My role is multi-faceted and involves working with academics right across the UCL Schools, Departments, Institutes and other research groupings. I help to identify, publicise and coordinate opportunities for funding in environment-related areas, particularly where there is an interdisciplinary element which could not be provided within an individual unit. I look after the publicising of UCL Environment research, including the Environment Domain website, twitter feed, blog site and emails, keeping up to date with what is going on across campus. I liaise with colleagues in professional services such as Research Services, UCL Press, Web and Marketing, Estates and Information Services in order to support UCL’s environment-related research and the Domain.

    What got you interested in the environment?

    I have always loved the outdoors, having grown up surrounded by lots of open space in Northumberland. The role of the environment in the health and wellbeing of me, my family, friends and the rest of humanity has gradually become clearer; so too the impact we, individually and collectively, have on everything from our immediate surroundings to global systems. The power of nature is awe-inspiring, and humankind has shown remarkable adaptability and resilience in the face of environmental hazards, but equally we pose our own threats to the world around us. A desire to understand the relationships between people and their environment led me to study Geography as an undergraduate, and everything I have done since.

    What tips would you give to a current student keen to work in this field?

    I think the attributes which I have that helped me get to this position are having an interest in almost every field of study. I work with academics from all  disciplines and need to be able to broadly grasp what they do and find linkages or gaps between them. At school I enjoyed all subjects, then went on to study a degree which provides an excellent base for most environment-related disciplines. I then took a job as a Research Assistant, where I was able to study part time for my PhD, and gradually moved across from a purely research role to a professional services position when I realised that I didn’t want to be involved in a single line of research. My advice would be to remain open minded and take opportunities that present themselves, even if they differ from what you might have planned (I always wanted to be a school teacher!)

    Ciaran Jebb, Sustainability Officer (Energy)

    Ciaran

    What does your role consist of?

    In my role as Sustainability Officer (Energy), I am supporting improvements to UCL’s energy management and the energy and carbon performance of the University’s construction and refurbishment projects. At the moment I’m working to improve our energy billing and making sure we’re meeting our legal obligations for things like our buildings’ Display Energy Certificates as well as our own sustainability reporting. I’ve only just started at UCL, but I’m looking forward to helping implement energy saving initiatives in collaboration with UCL’s departments and getting started on UCL’s Living Lab project, supporting research which uses the campus as a test bed for research.

    What got you interested in the environment?

    I have always been interested in renewable energy, and while studying Chemistry as an undergraduate I worked on developing new materials that can be used to improve solar technology. I’m a keen cyclist, even in London, and I believe there should be no difference between living comfortably and living sustainably. I want to help create positive environmental change and for the last two years I’ve been an active member of my local Green Party. This gives me the chance to talk to lots of people about living sustainably, and how that can improve their wellbeing and our shared environment.

    What tips would you give to a current student keen to work in this field?

    My advice is not to be afraid of changing your mind and taking a non-direct path to do what you want. After graduation I worked in accountancy for several years, before deciding to pursue my interest in sustainability. And although it’s been a big change, the skills I developed have been really useful in my current role – I still deal with a lot of numbers. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting experience. Because I started on a non-environmental career path, the volunteering I did outside my job was essential in allowing me to make the jump into an environmental role. And remember that sustainability is an incredibly broad area, and increasingly opportunities will appear in organisations and industries that would never have considered it important before.

    UCL Career’s Environment and Sustainability Week took place in the week commencing 8th February. Make sure you join us next year for a similar programme of events: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto/environment

    Top 5 Green jobs sites: How to find a role in the environment/sustainability sector

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 4 February 2016

    Looking for a career that benefits the planet? With sustainability top on the agenda right now for every kind of organisation – from national governments to global corporations – there are more and more opportunities to find a career that aligns with your values.

    The Green Economy has hit £122bn, according to The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and, in 2013 employed more than a million people. And that’s just for specialist companies that make up what the government has called the Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services industry, and so doesn’t appear to account for the many opportunities to work in sustainability roles in charities, NGOs or companies that are trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

    So where can you find these ‘green jobs’? Well, as well as attending UCL’s Environment and Sustainability Week, which starts on the 8th February and gives you the chance to meet professionals from a whole range of organisations, from Carbon Plan to the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), you might want to check out these job sites and recruitment agencies:

    The University of London’s Jobonline also has lots of environmental type roles that are aimed at students and graduates, in it’s ‘Natural resources and Environment’ sector. To keep updated, sign up for UCLAlert!

    Here are some of the current roles:

    UCL Careers’s Environment & Sustainability Themed Week takes place from February 8th – 11th.

    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

    Government and Policy week is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 3 November 2015

    In its second year running, the UCL Careers Government and Policy Themed Week’ is approaching! Below you will find a run down of the range of events organised to inspire and engage those who are interested in a career within the public sector, as well as those who are yet undecided.  This is your chance to meet with organisations in this sector – to hear from and network with a range of guests from recent graduates to senior officials.

    The events below are open to students and recent graduates from all degree disciplines and all of the events below are now bookable through your ‘My UCL Careers’ account.

    Careers that Make a Difference: Leadership Roles
    Monday 16th November | 12 noon – 1pm

    Come and meet an exciting range of organisations deliver a panel and Q&A on their leadership roles in the public sector.

    Confirmed speakers so far:

    • NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme
    • National Graduate Development Programme
    • Think Ahead

    Careers at the Heart of Government

    Tuesday 17th November | 5.30pm – 6.30pm

    Hear from a panel of speakers working at the heart of government, in departments like The Treasury & GORS.  Learn about alternative, non-Fast Stream, career paths into government roles.

    Case-study Workshop: The Civil Service Social Change Challenge

    Wednesday 18th November | 2pm-3.30pm

    Are you looking for the opportunity to excel as a future leader, the chance to improve the country and to be tested intellectually?

    Find out first-hand what it’s like to tackle the biggest issues of today in this interactive policy workshop.

    Influencing Policy

    Thursday 19th November | 12 noon – 1pm

    Chaired by the editor of w4mp jobs, at this event you will hear from representatives of some of the leading shapers of public policy.

    Confirmed speakers so far:

    • Chatham House
    • Counterpoint
    • Action Aid

    *The events are on a first come first serve basis so please book early to guarantee a place and to see room details.*

    Events are now bookable through ‘My UCL Careers’

    Museums and Cultural Heritage Week is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 26 October 2015

    Considering a career in or want to find out more about the Arts, Cultural Heritage and Museums sectors? Then this is the week for you! All events are open to students from all degree disciplines. All events take place during week commencing 2nd November 2015 and need to be booked via your  ‘My UCL Careers’ account.

    Arts Management Forum | 2nd November, 5.30pm-6.30pm
    Confirmed panellists include:
    > Dr Michael Hall – Curator and Dealer
    > Marion Crick – Head of Collections Management, Victoria & Albert Museum
    > Eleni Duke – Owner/Founder, Curious Duke Gallery

    Museums Forum | 3rd November, 5.30pm-6.30pm
    Confirmed panellists include:
    > Frances Jeens, Jewish Museum
    > Dr Neil Wilkin – Curator (European Bronze Age collection), The British Museum

    How Volunteering can start your Career in Museums & Cultural Heritage (run jointly with VSU) | 4th November, 5.30pm-6.30pm

    Confirmed panellists include:
    > Marta Mrozek – Collections Management, The British Museum
    > Stephen Wilson – Education Manager, Benjamin Franklin House
    > Carly Lawrence – Volunteer Supervisor, Handel House Museum
    > Charlotte Frearson – Undergraduate/Fieldwork/Museums Placement Administrator – UCL Institute of Archaeology
    > Oliver Peachey – Volunteering Administration & Partnerships Coordinator, VSU

    Cultural Heritage Forum | 5th November, 5.30pm-6.30pm
    Confirmed panellists include:
    > Dr Joe Flatman – Head of Central Casework and Programmes,English Heritage
    >Alison Richmond – Chief Executive, Icon, Institute of Conservation
    > Dr Gai Jorayev – Research Fellow and Senior Heritage Management Consultant,  Centre for Applied Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology

    All events need to be booked via your  ‘My UCL Careers’ account.

    A day in the life of a Programmatic Account Manager : UCL Alumni

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 3 March 2015

    Ahead of UCL Careers Media week, Grace, UCL Geography Graduate,  gives us her insider’s view on what a Programmatic Account Manager does.

    After studying a Ba Geography degree at UCL for 3 years and finishing with a 2.1. I had no set idea what career I wanted to pursue. After toying with a few career paths I was informed by a recruiter that my life was destined for digital marketing. My recruiter promised I had the ideal transferrable skills; good balance of numeracy and writing, some experience in the online world (marketing an event on social media and getting involved in a blog) and an eagerness and confidence to learn and get stuck in.

    I was intrigued by this suggestion but also slightly hesitant because I didn’t know what this industry was all about. One of the first roles I was put forward for was for a ‘Programmatic Account Manager’ position with a small but growing company called Periscopix and since then I have not looked back! One of the most exciting aspects of my job is that no day is the same, however here is snippet of my working life here at Periscopix!

    First things first:

    In a nutshell my role is to purchase online advertising space on behalf of my clients. I buy this ad space using DoubleClick, a bid managing platform owned by Google. I select inventory that will be relevant for my client and only enter an auction if the ad space fits the criteria I’ve chosen. This auction then takes place programmatically, i.e. as a page loads DoubleClick will work out who has selected this particular criteria and who has the highest bid and that person will serve the ad. So you’ve got the gist.. how does my working day pan out?

    Quick Check:
    Programmatic display is still a baby in the online arena. This fledgling industry is thriving YoY and it’s exciting to be catching the wave of such a ground-breaking practice. As with such young systems it is constantly developing, although this is all in the name of improvement, it is difficult to always stay on top of new features, settings and changes. Thus every morning we will spend 15 minutes looking into our clients’ accounts to check everything seems in order, examining performance and making bid adjustments where necessary.

    New client – handover:

    Then it’s straight to a meeting room for a sales handover. Eeeek very exciting! A member of the sales team confirms a fitness clothes retailer wants to launch programmatic buying with us. In this internal meeting we discuss what their goals are, what they know about programmatic buying and what they expect to get out of it. It seems relatively standard, they know a little about online display advertising, they are keen to gain brand awareness and quality traffic to their site. Meeting over and it’s straight to the desk to begin thinking about what targeting will be the most relevant and responsive to launch with.

    Within around 3 months of working at Periscopix I began being solely responsible for a client from handover. This means I am in control of every aspect of an account. I am in charge of designing the campaign, building the account, ad trafficking, reviewing the set-up, optimising the account on an ongoing basis and, of course, managing all client contact.

    This autonomy is unusual for a digital marketing company, but having ownership of an account means I have so much vested interest in the performance, I know the client and the account inside out and I have fantastic variety in my day-to-day working life.

    Ad trafficking:

    A couple hours of this day I am spending ad trafficking. This is necessary every once in a while with new clients and also existing clients wanting to change theirs up. Today is because a travel agency client has decided to carry out some rebranding. With the industry-wide developments mentioned earlier, the set-up process of uploading ads is always changing. This means there is always a new system to crack and new ad requirements to get to grips with and this process can be a challenge. With internal support from within the team and Bid Manager Support readily available when the job is done it is always a rewarding feeling finally seeing the shiny new ads uploaded into the interface we use. J Especially as they get slicker by the month!

    Lunchtime!
    The size of Periscopix is growing really fast and the average age of an employer is 27. With an open plan office and new starters every month it is really fun to just sit in the kitchen and meet new people. I was surprised at how quickly I made really good friends here. Often we will take a stroll to borough market or saunter to Potter’s field, a walk is often needed after the free posh coffee, toast and the array of fruits we stock up on in the mornings!

    Client meeting:

    After lunch I have a meeting with a B2B client that sells mobile analytics. The meeting is taking place at the client’s offices in central London. I am looking forward to the catch up as I have great relationships’ with all my clients, something that is nurtured since handover. It is easy to get on with clients whilst working at Periscopix because our USP is our transparency and commitment. We only have a handful of clients each to ensure we are able to commit time to working on the accounts. Plus we are sharers; we want the client to know what we are doing, why and how we are doing it and what we are planning.

    Optimisation:

    Aaaah it’s nearing the end of a busy day and I get to optimise! This is the back bone of our job, pouring ourselves into our accounts to tease out trends and work out where to go from here to progress the accounts even further. We have a dozen optimisation tasks we can tackle to improve accounts. My favourite part of my role is finding the gems during optimisation sessions; sites that outperform others, user lists that are responding really well and discovering fascinating insights using lookalike modelling to provide clients with useful insights into who their target online market really is. We foster a test and learn ethos here at Periscopix and so as long as your tests are based on data, anything is acceptable. This freedom and encouragement means although you have in mind what your clients expect, you also get to explore and test what you find interesting.

    Home time!
    As always the day went too quickly! However its 17:31 and I am out of the door. The directors, Simon and Marc, believe efficiency and productivity stems from a happy workforce and Simon says ‘there is nothing worse than watching the clock and having a boring job’. Hence the company are forever trying to strike a balance of being busy but getting it all done in the working hours – which is a refreshing change from the nightmare graduate schemes I hear about from my friends. Now it’s time for a quick gym session (read: sauna) – membership subsidised by the company of course!

    To find out more about UCL Careers Media Week, visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/getinto

    Considering the charity sector? The pros and cons

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 22 January 2015

    Aaron Marchant from All About Group, gives us his take on the pros and cons of the Charity sector. Don’t forget to register for our Charities and NGOs week starting w/c 2nd Feb 2015!

    When hunting for a career, many students don’t consider the charity and not-for-profit sector, choosing instead to focus on other career routes. Here are some pros and cons about working in the sector which might give you something new to think about.

    Salary

    Ok, so you probably won’t be earning huge amounts of money as soon as you graduate. Starting salaries tend to average between £20,000 and £25,000. These can rise over time to £40,000+ after five to ten years, with the potential to go even higher.

    Working environment

    Working in the not-for-profit and charity sector often results in an interesting and varied working day. If you choose to work in a support-based role, you’ll be moving between locations and coming into direct contact with clients. This type of work will be especially hands-on – you could be working on outdoor projects or helping vulnerable members of society. Alternatively, you might be based in an office, liaising with support workers and other industry professionals. This would involve the sorts of things you would expect from most office environment, such as more regular hours.

    Something different

    If you’re interested in making a real difference to society, or you want to work abroad, then charity work is something you should consider. For example, if you choose to work in International Aid & Development, there will be plenty of opportunities for travel. These might range from short trips to assess a situation to working abroad on long term projects. Closer to home, you’ll be able to make noticeable differences to the communities around you.

    Open to everyone

    Whether you’re doing a law degree, considering a job in the creative arts, or working on a new app, there is something for everyone in the not-for-profit sector. For example, if you’ve been considering graduate finance jobs, the charity sector needs financiers just as much as other companies do. You’ll be able to put your skills to good use whilst giving back to society. Similarly, a creative student might be interested in running community theatre or putting on art events. Whatever your background, there’s more opportunity in the sector than meets the eye.

    The bare bones – pros and cons

    Pros:

    • Challenging
    • You can make a difference every day
    • Variety of working options
    • Opportunities for travel and working abroad

    Cons:

    • Can often be emotional
    • Relatively low potential earnings
    • Sometimes stressful

    The not-for-profit and charity sector, therefore, has a lot to offer. Whether you’re someone who is passionate about helping others, want to use your knowledge in a social context, or just wants to try something different, it’s a career well worth considering.

    Aaron Marchant works at www.allaboutcareers.com, a careers advice service for students and graduates

    Register for the UCL Careers Charities and NGOs week here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/getinto

     

    Industry Insights from Biotech and Pharmaceutical Careers

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 12 December 2014

    On 26 November 2014, UCL Careers brought together a panel of industry professionals to talk about their careers, share advice for students and graduates hoping to get into the Biotech and Pharmaceutical field.

    Linsey Chrisman, has written a selection of their key insights and advice. The panel were:

    • Dr Jane Bentley, Executive Director Project Management & Global Oncology Operations Lead, Worldwide Clinical Trials / Institute of Clinical Research
    • Richard Bolton, Service Owner, IT Director, GlaxoSmithKline
    • Adam Manhi, Assistant Manager, Healthcare & Life Sciences, KPMG Life and Health Sciences
    • Tony Ring, Operations Manager, Abbott Diabetes Care

    What’s happening in the industry?

    • It is an unstable time in the industry with companies reluctant to commit to long term spending and hiring on temporary contracts. Most of the hiring that’s happened at Tony’s facility in the past year has been on temporary contracts. Roughly a third of temporary hires get permanent jobs with the company.
    • Big pharma companies are shrinking the number of people they employ directly in the UK. Increasing amounts of work, including research and development, is being contracted out. Many jobs are still there – but they are in the smaller organisations which have contracts with big pharmaceutical companies, not in the big companies themselves.
    • Many small biotech companies are ‘virtual ‘, ie. a few founders without physical office space or a lab, and contract lab work out to other organisations. This might be contract research organisations or just organisations that have lab facilities, such as research institutes and universities.

    Ways to get in

    • Companies in this sector are often looking for graduates to work in IT. This can be a way in to other roles.
    • Work in manufacturing can be a way in to roles in Research and Development and Quality Assurance.
    • Many companies use agencies to hire temporary staff. Research recruitment agencies that work with this sector, register and keep in touch with agencies proactively.
    • Contract research organisations often take on staff to help compile reports for regulators. These positions may not be advertised, so consider applying to organisations speculatively or registering with recruitment agencies.
    • Don’t get hung up on graduate schemes! There are very few in this sector. No one on the panel had ever done a graduate scheme. They all built experience in a combination of internships and temporary entry level jobs before getting into the job they were aiming for.

    What are the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?

    • There are regulatory changes on the horizon. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) is expected to start requiring all of the raw data from clinical trials to be supplied to them in set formats. The UK MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency) and other regulatory bodies are expected to follow suit. It could be resource intensive to get the data to conform to mandated formats and companies are concerned about the costs.
    • Richard said one of the biggest challenges he saw in the industry was that ‘it’s getting harder to know what you know’. In other words, research and clinical trials produce vast amounts of data, and it’s a big challenge to store and organise it in a way that’s meaningful and useful, not just to the team that produced it but to other people within the company and regulators.

    Please see the speaker profiles here. You can also get more information on this field on the Life and Health Sciences Week web page.

    – Linsey Chrisman, Information Officer, UCL Careers