UCL Careers
  • Welcome

    The UCL Careers team use this Blog to share their ‘news and views’ about careers with you. You will find snippets about a whole range of career related issues, news from recruiters and links to interesting articles in the media.

    If you are a researcher, we a specific blog for you.

    We hope you enjoy reading the Blog and will be inspired to tell us your views.

    If you want to suggest things that students and graduates might find helpful, please let us know – we want to hear from you.

    Karen Barnard – Director, UCL Careers

    UCL Careers is part of The Careers Group, University of London

    Accurate at the time of publication
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    Please read our Guest Blogger Policy

  • The Big Volunteering Fair is this week – 6th and 7th October

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 4 October 2016

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    Come along to the Big Volunteering Fair and find out why over 2000 UCL students took part in volunteering last year. The fair is taking place from 12 noon – 3pm in the Wilkins South Cloisters.

    Organised by UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, there will be more than 80 different charities and student-run community projects to have a chat with:

    On Thursday 6th October we’ll have Oxfam,The Hackney Pirates, Girlguiding UK, UCL Marrow, Action Tutoring, East European Advice Centre, Fitzrovia Youth in Action, Generating Genius, Hackney Community Transport, Housing Justice, IntoUniversity, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, Refugee Therapy Centre, UCH Cancer Fund, World Literacy Foundation, UCLU Mathomaniacs, Save the Children, CoppaFeel! UCL, and more.

    On Friday 7th October we’ll be joined by Age UK Islington, Camden Community Connectors, Code Club, Handel & Hendrix in London, International Debate Education Association, Kids Adventure, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, StreetDoctors, The Royal Institution, West Euston Time Bank, UCLU Teddy Bear Clinic, Heath Hands, Prison Advice and Care Trust, Westminster Befriend A Family, Bloomsbury Festival, Science4Kids and more …

    Volunteering is a big part of student life at UCL; it’s a good way to get to know London better, meet new people, and experience the world away from the lecture theatres, labs and libraries. You’ll also boost your chances of finding paid work.

    For more details, visit uclu.org/volunteer-fair

    Public Health Partnerships & Programmes Manager at Body & Soul: Inspire Me

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 31 August 2016

    As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Bianca shares her insight into how volunteering helped her to secure he rcurrent role at Body & Soul, an Islington based organisation that supports children, families and young people who have or are closely affected by HIV.  Here she talks to us about how the skills she developed while volunteering at UCL helped her get her current role.  For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, visit https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-careers/ and search #SMEProfile.

    bianca_karpf

    “Volunteering is a win-win situation really. You are helping charities to be sustainable and supporting people in need but you also gain great life and work experience and are doing something meaningful with your time.”

    Bianca Karpf graduated from UCL’s MSc in Medical Anthropology in 2013. As a student, she volunteered with HIV charity Body & Soul, with the Council for At Risk Academics , and for international health charity Medact.

    Where are you currently working?
    I’m currently working as Public Health Partnerships & Programmes Manager at Body & Soul, a charity which supports children, young people and families living with or affected by HIV. My role involves public sector engagement, making evidence-based cases for statutory investment, project management and development and measuring impact within the charity.

    I am also about to start a new volunteering role as at Food Cycle, a charity tackling food insecurity through providing nutritious hot meals to those in need through surplus food donations from local businesses. I will be cooking meals and developing their community outreach.

    What useful skills and experiences did you gain as a volunteer when you were at UCL?
    So many! Patience was a key one for working with people on a frontline basis but also exercising empathy and being non-judgemental is an important skill to build trusting relationships with service-users. The experience of seeing how resilient and hopeful people can be even when they have lived through extreme hardship and terrible life experiences. I also learnt how to multi-task as I was juggling multiple commitments at the same time.

    How has volunteering helped you in your career so far?
    Volunteering as a research assistant during my time at UCL led to paid employment when the charity got a grant to develop the research. It also was great experience when I applied for research jobs in West Africa the following year.

    Volunteering at Body & Soul inspired me to write about HIV and the voluntary sector in my master’s dissertation. That knowledge and the fact that I was already known to the charity as a hard worker and a loyal volunteer definitely helped me to get my current job here at the charity.

    What would you say to UCL students considering whether or not to volunteer?
    Volunteering is a win-win situation really. You are helping charities to be sustainable and supporting people in need but you also gain great life and work experience and are doing something meaningful with your time. It is a great way to break out of the student bubble, and an antidote to restlessness! Volunteering puts your own problems into perspective and introduces you to people from a really broad range of backgrounds.

    You can volunteer in such a wide range of capacities that there is sure to be something that is your fit. It can be frontline and working with children or vulnerable adults, or you can volunteer/intern in an office gaining valuable work experience. At my current place of work we have volunteer complementary therapists, handymen, phone support volunteers and fundraisers so search what is right for you. Volunteer fairs are a great way of chatting to people from the charity and finding out about a broad range of organisations.

    Interested in finding out more about volunteering? Visit UCLU Volunteering Services Unit’s webpages.

    Head of Adult Services at Body & Soul: Inspire Me

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 26 August 2016

    As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Adrian shares his insight into how volunteering helped him to secure his current role at, Body & Soul, an Islington based organisation that supports children, families and young people who have or are closely affected by HIV.  Here he talks to us about the skills he developed while volunteering at UCL helped him get his current role.  For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, visit https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-careers/ and search #SMEProfile.

    “I became a much better communicator after volunteering. Volunteering also allowed me to put a lot of what I was writing about in my dissertation into context.”

    Adrian Deen graduated from UCL’s MSc in Science, Technology and Society in 2014. We recently spoke to him about how his student volunteering experiences have influenced his career so far.

    Where are you currently working?
    I’m the Head of Adult Services at Body & Soul, an Islington based organisation that supports children, families and young people who have or are closely affected by HIV. My role involves planning and programming the workshops and events that take place on our Tuesday service evenings. I also liaise with our member’s medical teams, attend conferences and do casework on practical issued our members might face.

    What volunteering were you involved with whilst you were at UCL?
    Whilst at UCL I volunteered at Body & Soul and it was off the back of volunteering that I was encouraged to apply for the job that I now do.

    I also volunteered at CORE Arts – an art school in Homerton for people with severe and enduring mental health problems. I also volunteered at the Grant Museum of Comparative Anatomy as well as for The Parent House – an Islington based charity for asylum seeker parents.

    What useful skills and experiences did you gain as a volunteer when you were at UCL?
    I became a much better communicator after volunteering. Volunteering also allowed me to put a lot of what I was writing about in my dissertation into context.

    How has volunteering helped you in your career so far?
    Volunteering has had a direct impact on my career – again, got my current job through it.

    What would you say to UCL students considering whether or not to volunteer?
    Absolutely do it! University (and school in general) can be a very self-absorbing pursuit. You tend to spend long hours thinking about your own thoughts, writing these thoughts down and usually getting told they’re good. Volunteering or just doing anything for anyone else can be an incredible humbling thing, it’s grounding which, for students can be a very good thing.

    Make sure you volunteer at a charity that actually means something to you. Volunteering for the sake of it is no use to anyone, especially not the people/organisations who need enthusiastic volunteers to continue doing the work they do.

    Interested in finding out more about volunteering? Visit UCLU Volunteering Services Unit’s webpages.

     

    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!

    UCLU Health Volunteering Fair is coming…

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 16 November 2015

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

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

    Health Fair

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

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

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

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

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

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 27 October 2015

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

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

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

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

    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.

    UCLU’s Big Volunteering Fair is here!

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 7 October 2015

    UCLU’s Big Volunteering Fair is this week on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th October, 12 noon – 3pm, South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

    VSU's Blg Volunteering Fair 2015
     
    Come along to our Big Volunteering Fair on the 8th and 9th October and find out why over 2000 UCL students took part in volunteering last year. Organised by UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, There will be more than 80 different charities and student-run community projects to have a chat with, including Save the Children, UCL Student Hospital Fun Team, Bloomsbury Festival, IntoUniversity, NSPCC, St John’s Ambulance, Camden LGBT Forum, The Conservation Volunteers, Teenage Cancer Trust, Generating Genius, Mayhew Animal Home, The Hackney Pirates, University College Hospital London, Handel House Museum, London Nightline, UCLU MEDucate, Richard House Children’s Hospice, UCL Baking Project, The Science Museum and more!

    There will be different exhibitors on the two days – you can browse the catalogues now:
    Volunteering Fair catalogue for Thursday 8th October
    Volunteering Fair catalogue for Friday 9th October

    Volunteering is a big part of student life at UCL; it’s a good way to get to know London better, meet new people, and experience the world away from the lecture theatres, labs and libraries. You’ll also boost your chances of finding paid work. We hope to see you at the Fair.

    You’ll find more information at www.uclu.org/volunteer-fair

    Programme Manager: Inspire Me

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 2 July 2015

    As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Nicola Harwood, Programme Manager at the Prince’s Trust, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to get into the Third Sector.

    “I have worked at the Trust for 3 years now, starting off supporting schools with excluded young people, and now managing a programme working with unemployed young people. I have always worked in the charity sector as I love having a job that makes a difference (as clichéd as it sounds). Seeing the difference our programmes make to young people every day makes it all worthwhile and I am not sure I could work in any other way. The best bit is seeing someone who’s struggled finding work and who’s struggled with things in the personal life, suddenly have that light bulb moment where it all comes together and they start to make positive steps forward in their life. The biggest challenge is that sometimes it’s hard to switch off. The job is so varied I can be writing a business plan for next year one minute, and supporting a young person with their personal issues the next. I love how varied it is, but sometimes it can be hard to balance my time between the two given they are both crucial parts of my role.

    My advice to anyone who’s wanting to get into working in the third sector would be to volunteer. I have complimented my career with a whole  host of volunteering opportunities starting when I was at university and continuing it throughout my career. This has not only given me more experience with working with vulnerable people, but it’s also strengthened my applications for jobs. Also make sure you have some real office experience too. My first job after graduating involved a lot of photocopying like everyone’s but it also gave me vital office experience and skills, which alongside my volunteering really helped secure that first real job.”

    To find out more about Charity roles, visit Careers Tagged. For Volunteering opportunities, visit the Volunteering Services Unit at UCLU

     

    Green Volunteering Fair – This Thursday

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 9 February 2015

    Come along to the UCLU Volunteering Services Unit’s Green Volunteering Fair and find out about a world of opportunities to get involved.

    Whether you like getting your hands dirty with a spot of practical conservation, are passionate about campaigning on environmental issues, or are just curious about what’s on offer – then come along anytime between 5 – 7pm on Thursday 12th February. You’ll find us in the Haldane Room (just off the North Cloisters – follow directions from the main library

    We’ll have a wide range of environmental organisations from across London including Groundwork London, The Conservation Volunteers, Fossil Free UCL, Project Dirt, UCLU Green Party Society, Healthy Planet, and Castlehaven Community Centre in Camden.  Staff from the Volunteering Services Unit and Green UCL will also be on hand to give advice.

    Add the Green Volunteering Fair to your calendar