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Kick-Start Your Career with an Internship

By Joe O'Brien, on 13 April 2021

Read time: 3 minutes

Written by Nasima Bashar, Internships & Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers.

Internships are a great way for students and graduates to explore different roles, organisations, and working environments to help identify what you do (and do not) want from your future career.

Undertaking an Internship

There is a lot to gain from doing an internship, from developing transferable skills such as teamwork and time management, to adding work experience to your CV and making connections with new employers. Internships allow you to explore a new field of work and reflect on your strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to build your confidence and understand the benefits that your academic experiences bring to a working role.

Current UCL students and recent graduates are eligible to apply for an internship through the UCL Careers Summer Internship Scheme. All internships offered through this scheme will take place between June – September and pay above National Minimum Wage. Applications will open on 12th April, closing on 30th April. You can view and apply for opportunities here.

Current students and those who have graduated within the past 2 years also have access to the myUCL Careers platform, an excellent resource for careers events, employment opportunities, and volunteer positions. If you are interested in finding an internship, we recommend you check out some of the available resources including this article on Sourcing and making the most of internships and the CareersLab video Finding Internships hosted by Raj, one of our Careers Consultants. Anyone interested in learning more about sending in speculative applications to employers can click here for more information.

See the following tips for other ways to boost your career prospects before and during internships:

Create a Portfolio

For some roles (particularly those in media, fashion, or design) it’s important to have a portfolio of work to show to employers in interviews. This could include photos, drawings, examples of writing, or anything else that demonstrates your creativity and ability. You may begin compiling your portfolio during your degree but undertaking an internship can help to improve it. Not only does an internship help to increase the amount of work in your portfolio – it’s also a great way to show that you understand how to deliver a project within a budget and in line with a client brief. It is important to have your portfolio available online; including a link to it in your CV can help employers readily access your work.

Revisit Connections

It is important to revisit any connections that you may have made during your studies when looking to begin your career. Leveraging your network can allow you to identify people who are in your desired field or industry, and to set up informal interviews to learn more about your potential career path. This will remind people that you are still interested in their work and put you in a stronger position once you have graduated. Another great way to build your network is to begin speaking with potential mentors and to connect with UCL alumni who work in your field of interest. Be sure to check out UCL Alumni’s UCL Bentham Connect platform when building your network.

Build Your Online Brand

Your personal brand is how the outside world sees you, including prospective employers. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook can be powerful tools to let employers know who you are and what you do. LinkedIn is especially important to anyone looking to build their personal brand and begin their career, as more and more job applications are taking place directly through LinkedIn. Make sure your profile stands out and shows you as the accomplished graduate or student that you are!

Learn About Yourself

The first step in making an informed decision about anything related to your career is understanding yourself. If you don’t know what you want from a career, or what your strengths are, this can be very difficult. Use your holidays or time after finishing your course to get to know yourself better. Travelling, making new friends, and learning new skills, can be beneficial ways to bring out your strengths and help you discover your passions. Undertaking an internship is an excellent way to learn more about yourself whilst also trialling a potential career. Remember that guidance and support is always available through UCL Careers and if you wish to, you are able to book a short guidance appointment with one of our Careers Consultants.

Kick-Start Your Career with an Internship: Working in SMEs and Start-Ups

By Joe O'Brien, on 12 April 2021

Read time: 4 minutes

Written by Nasima Bashar, Internships & Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers.

It can be a daunting task to begin thinking about your future career whilst still at university. In the first few months of your studies, graduation can seem quite some time away. However, you’ll find that your time at university can go quickly so it’s a good idea to get a head start where you can. The ongoing global pandemic further reinforces this, as students and graduates may feel the mounting pressures to establish concrete employment plans for this summer.

There is no “right” way to plan for your future career and no correct answer to the question of where you should be in your career-planning journey at this stage. UCL Careers is here to help you, whether you have known your career ambitions for years, or you still feel confused about which career path to take. We see over 6,000 individual students a year, all who follow different and unique paths to their future careers. Wherever you may be at this stage, UCL Careers is here to help you.

A great way for students and graduates to gain experience is through taking an internship. This allows you to gain experience in a range of roles and sectors, take a holistic approach to your education, and apply the skills that you have acquired from your degree. It is important to remember that 96% of graduates switch careers within three years. While this may sound discouraging – it highlights there is no set path for you to follow on the search for your ideal career. So much choice can be overwhelming, and internships are a great way to get a taste of different opportunities. This year the UCL Summer Internship Scheme is open to all UCL students including undergraduates and postgraduates, and recent graduates. .

The UCL Summer Internship Scheme hosts a range of opportunities across various sectors. All opportunities are exclusive to UCL students and recent graduates, and pay above National Minimum Wage. Two of the most common internship opportunities as part of the scheme are in affiliation with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.

SMEs

 SMEs make up 99.8% of all London’s private sector businesses. Furthermore, employment in SMEs represents 60% of all UK employment. Students and graduate often envision working for large corporations that are well-known internationally, but it is also important to consider the benefits of working for a smaller organisation. Some of the advantages to working in a SME include:

  • Greater scope of the role.
    • Working for a smaller organisation, it is more likely that you will have a hands-on role, where you are able to quickly get stuck-in to the company’s daily routine. Widening your skillset in such a way allows you to be more competitive within the job market after completing your internship.
  • Closer working relations with your colleagues.
    • If you work for a large organisation, it is unlikely that you will come into contact with colleagues that are outside of your department. If you work for an SME, it is more likely that you will work closely with colleagues across multiple departments. Although you will be working in a specific role, this will allow you to see how other teams work and potentially allow you to identify a new area of interest.
  • More personable.
    • You will never feel like a faceless employee if you are in constant contact with the leaders of your company or organisation. A smaller team can help you to feel more welcomed, and more valued. SMEs often do many things to improve employee wellbeing, with many providing free breakfasts, fruit, drinks, and breakout spaces, etc.

Start-Ups 

Start-ups are newly founded organisations that aim to solve a problem or fill a gap in their respective sectors. By joining a young company, you will typically be involved with a diverse range of tasks, giving you great exposure and allowing you to grow with the business. You may even contribute to shaping future strategies. Some of the advantages of working for a start-up include:

  • A chance to “hit the ground running”.
    • Working for a start-up is likely to never be boring. Joining an organisation in their early stages of development means it is likely that you will be expected to do a little bit of everything. Taking on a dynamic role in a fast-paced environment will prepare you well for future opportunities.
  • Increased responsibility.
    • A close-knit working environment that is less hierarchical than a large company often enables you to take more ownership of the work that you do. As every employee plays a key role in contributing to the success of the business, you are likely to see the direct impact of your work.
  • Opportunities for growth.
    • Start-ups are always looking for valuable team-players who will stay with the company for years to come. Joining a start-up as an intern may allow you to become an essential part of a new team, and you may be given the opportunity to take on a more permanent position.

SMEs and start-ups are not a one size fits all, there are many different types and sizes of organisations to work for. Through the UCL Summer Internship Scheme, you can work a part of an organisation and explore the type of work environment that best suits you.

Benefits of Mentoring (Part 2)

By Joe O'Brien, on 25 March 2021

Read time: 4 minutes

Written by Joe O’Brien, Marketing Communications Assistant at UCL Careers

We recently reached out to a number of UCL alumni mentors and asked them questions sent in to us by our followers on Instagram. Part one of these answers was released last week and you can read it here. We hope that you’ll find the advice below useful as you navigate finding your future! Remember, these mentors are ready and available on UCL Bentham Connect should you wish to get in touch for advice!

Did you benefit personally from the guidance of an alumni mentor? If not, how could this have helped you when planning your career steps?

Joy Martindale: I didn’t! I definitely would have benefitted from the guidance of a mentor. I felt adrift at times during my MFA – I think this may be a common experience for students – when you feel like that it can be really helpful to get feedback from more than one source of support to help you get back on track.

Abhisehk Gulati: Personally, I did not get any guidance from an alumni mentor, but would have really appreciated the same. Having a mentor is a blessing, it would have helped me navigate my path and learn from their experiences. 

How important are face-to-face and virtual networking opportunities, including engaging with social media platforms, as part of a focused careers strategy?

Eeva Ellenberg: I have found LinkedIn to be an invaluable tool during my career, for finding new employment opportunities, building my network, and researching potential employers. It’s great for building your own brand, too.

Can you share any mistakes you’ve made along the way, or any tips of things to avoid?

Anne Byrne: Change can be daunting and it is easy to keep plodding along with what you know well. I’ve found that the best opportunities come through being willing to take on something new or follow a different direction.

What is the best way to approach a mentor?

Ajaz Hussain: Do your homework. Review several mentor profiles. Identify which potential mentor/s might support you with your query. Craft a message to briefly introduce yourself, state why you are reaching out and what you hope to gain from the mentor relationship. Your mentor is busy. Stay flexible and remember that you and your mentor might be from different cultures, located in different countries and time zones.

Is it hard to find a job if you only get a pass in your Masters?

Joy Martindale: A pass is still a pass! Be proud of yourself for completing your Masters and look forward not back. I think ambition and dedication to achieving your dreams and goals matter far more that what mark you achieved in your Masters.

Other people have loads on their CV and I’m struggling. What can I do to find opportunities?

Joy Martindale: There may be lots of things you are doing already that could be included on your CV. What is it that makes you tick? Where do you think your strengths and talents lie? What makes you leap out of bed in the morning? What are you curious to know more about or learn to do?  When an employer looks at a CV they want to see a rounded individual and a CV should be exciting to read for both you and your potential employer.

Dimitri Visnadi: Add your side projects or uni projects. Write about the objective of the project and your impact. You will have some relevant content in no time. For many a job like a “dog walker” may not seem worth putting on a CV but there are lots of transferrable skills to be learnt such as: responsibility, customer service, scheduling client visit, acquiring new clients. Think business and showcase your skills.

UCL is really not going well for me. Do you have any advice to improve my experience during the pandemic?

Joy Martindale: I would recommend reaching out and asking for support from UCL to talk through how you are feeling right now. There is lots of support available ranging from your tutors to Student Support and Wellbeing and alumni mentoring support.

Natasha Winnard: Try to reach out and talk to someone about what it is that is not going well. You are not alone in trying to figure out what you may need to change for things to improve.

 Did you know what kind of job you wanted before you graduated?

Conor Courtney: I think I’ve always had a clear idea of the field that I want to work in, but new experiences and meeting people from other industries always shows me that different paths and opportunities are always available, which can be really uplifting when one career path seems to not be progressing as planned.

How might connecting with a mentor boost my confidence when searching and applying for jobs?

Dimitri Visnadi: Mentors are simply people who have lived through similar situations that mentees are currently facing. During a conversation with a mentor, the barrier to the unknown gets broken down and the confidence is rising.

Michaela Clement-Hayes: You can practise! Try out presentation skills, interview questions, general business chats. It’s always good to ask others – no matter how much experience you have, you can always learn from someone else. Even if they have less experience than you, they may know things you don’t! 

Do you think lockdown will help or hinder getting a mentor?

Ajaz Hussain: Be proactive. Use the UCL Bentham Connect platform to overcome the artificial barriers that lockdown might have created. There are more mentors available than students reaching out. We’re a helping hand away. Lockdown or not you need to take (sometimes small) intentional steps towards your goals. Mentors expect you will demonstrate those professional behaviours that the workplace is seeking. Reach out. Be courteous. Stay focused. Be flexible and patient. The positive change you are seeking, will come.

Michaela Clement-Hayes: You can be more flexible. It’s not the same as F2F but it’s easier to jump on a 20-min call with a mentee, rather than drive to meet them in a coffee shop. See what works for you. But – it’s worth getting used to video calls. They’re not going anywhere and businesses expect confident employees who can talk using Teams / Zoom etc.

Why do you think it’s beneficial for students to connect with alumni mentors?

Eeva Ellenberg: Building a relationship with mentor who is working within the sector that you would like to enter is useful because you can gain insight into how they got their foot in the door. Getting that first role without much previous experience is often the most difficult part. They can put you in touch with a recruiter that they may have worked with in the past, or even a hiring manager.

Conor Courtney: I can keep this answer short- they have so much experience to offer. Reading about an industry or a job is not the same as hearing about it from someone who has experienced it.

Benefits of Mentoring (Part 1)

By Joe O'Brien, on 19 March 2021

Read time: 5 minutes

Written by Victoria Abbott, Recruitment & Selection Adviser at UCL Careers

Defined simply, mentoring is a relationship between two people with the goal of professional development. In reality, mentoring provides a multitude of benefits, which can be summarised into three broad areas; personal growth, career development and health & wellbeing. Let’s look into these more closely.

  1. Personal Growth

A mentor is key for aiding and assisting with your personal growth, providing an encouraging and empowering influence. Gaining a higher self-awareness is often the first step towards gaining valuable personal skills, which in turn help you to discover your strengths, identify resources and set goals.

  1. Career Development

A mentor is often the first step towards building essential global connections and boosting your network within your chosen industry. Mentors may have expert insight into upcoming events, internships and opportunities, as well as relevant insider knowledge. In your early career, mentors are often credited with helping graduates gain promotions and increase job satisfaction.

  1. Health & Wellbeing

Sometimes overlooked, mentors play a huge role in increasing confidence, lowering anxiety and supporting isolation. If you are feeling overwhelmed, a mentor could provide exposure to new ways of thinking, whilst allowing you to gain feedback in a safe and productive environment.

Not sure where to find a mentor?

Look no further than UCL Bentham Connect, an exclusive social and professional networking site – home to 24,000 UCL students, alumni and staff. Make global connections and find the support you need. Ask the network, find a mentor, and learn from personal and professional development resources.

You can also take advantage of our Featured Mentors – alumni volunteers, who dedicate their time to helping students and fellow graduates find the support they need. Whether you’re looking for a mentor, or just want to ask a quick question, the Featured Mentors are always happy to help.

We reached out to a number of our Featured Mentors and asked them questions sent in to us by our followers on Instagram. We hope that you’ll find the advice below useful as you navigate finding your future!

Did you benefit personally from the guidance of an alumni mentor? If not, how could this have helped you when planning your career steps?

Conor Courtney: I didn’t get a mentorship from an Alumni Mentor, but mentoring has always been so important as I’ve progressed from a student to a young professional. It always surprises me how much a mentor really has to offer, and how willing they can be to help. My most influential mentor helped me with an extra-curricular project while I was at UCL, and later went on to give me a pep-talk before an important job interview. I think what I would note about a mentor relationship is that it can always surprise you.

How important are face-to-face and virtual networking opportunities, including engaging with social media platforms, as part of a focused careers strategy?

Ajaz Hussain: Having a multi-strategy approach to networking is critical for any student (or early career professional). It is difficult to find a role, sector or career path that does not require employees to build relationships, proactively engage at work or connect with people. Every interaction (face-to-face, by phone, or online) is an opportunity to make a positive impression. Seek feedback from your fellow students, lecturers, tutors, family and friends on how you might contribute more, present yourself differently, improve your presence and influence. Get started today!

Can you share any mistakes you’ve made along the way, or any tips of things to avoid?

Joy C Martindale: I think my number one tip would be to prioritise your mental health. In my experience when I am in good mental health, I feel open and positive about reaching out to connect, network and ask for guidance. Prioritise doing the things that make you feel good, whether it is exercising, eating well, getting out in nature or staying in touch with family and friends, and the rest will follow!

What is the best way to approach a mentor?

Conor Courtney: I think the best approach is to be honest and enthusiastic. Mentors are looking to help, so be sure to tell them exactly what you want help with, or what you want to hear about, and then make sure that you really engage with their advice.

Natasha Winnard: Approach a mentor in a way that feels most natural to you. There is no right or wrong way.

Joy C Martindale: It is really easy to find a mentor through Bentham Connect: https://uclbenthamconnect.com/mentoring

Is it hard to find a job if you only get a pass in your Masters?

Ajaz Hussain: Recruiters are looking for more than just a degree. Carefully analyse job adverts, descriptions and person specifications. Identify why the company is recruiting and what specific problems they (and their industry) are currently facing. How do you meet the requirements? Think holistically. Reflect on your skills, qualifications, experience, qualities and knowledge. Some countries might ask you to provide the overseas equivalent of your ‘pass’. Do your homework and find out (from credible sources) the implications of this.

Dimitri Visnadi: In my opinion it depends on the company and more importantly the drive the candidate has. So far no one has asked me about my grades.

Other people have loads on their CV and I’m struggling. What can I do to find opportunities?

Michaela Clement-Hayes: Use your personal life and hobbies. If you want to work in marketing, set up a blog or make an Instagram account. If you want to work in customer service, volunteer for a charity on the phones, create a website for your drama group, send out a newsletter for your son’s rugby team. Take some free courses. Don’t sit still; every hour you have free is an opportunity to learn skills.

UCL is really not going well for me. Do you have any advice to improve my experience during the pandemic?

Abhishek Gulati: Stop and reflect what is not working for you. Is the root-cause external or internal, this will give you a lot of clarity and once you find out, reach out to someone who can help or you can have a conversation with, there is always a solution.

You can also get in touch with UCL Student Support and Wellbeing who can provide expert wellbeing, disability and mental health advice and support a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space, in which you can discuss any issues that may be affecting your ability to study.

Did you know what kind of job you wanted before you graduated?

Anne Byrne: Yes but that’s because commercial law is a structured career path which can often start before graduation. Lots of graduates do not know though, and connecting with mentors may give you some ideas of jobs which you would never have considered.

How might connecting with a mentor boost my confidence when searching and applying for jobs?

Ajaz Hussain: Job search can be a long, tiring and arduous process. Sometimes students send out hundreds of applications hoping for employers to respond. Likewise employers might receive many applications per vacancy and may not respond to candidates that are not shortlisted. A mentor can provide that missing feedback. Speaking with a trusted adviser can open up new possibilities. You can learn what other ways there might be to getting into the sector. Ask for introductions to insider connections. All of this can boost your confidence, while enabling you to successfully transition from academia to the world of work.

Do you think lockdown will help or hinder getting a mentor?

Eeva Ellenberg: Without the usual distractions, I think potential mentors have more spare time on their hands, and many (myself included) genuinely enjoy supporting others start/progress in their careers. So, I think it will help, as mentor availability is probably higher than it would otherwise be.

Why do you think it’s beneficial for students to connect with alumni mentors?

Joy C Martindale: Alumni mentors understand that being a student can be challenging because we have been where you are now. Alumni mentors have the benefit of hindsight and we can share all our learning from the decisions we have made along our career paths with you!

Nick Lawrie: Real life stories, neutral advice, and it’s always good to have a mentor to bounce ideas off.

Enjoyed reading the thoughts of the featured mentors? Want to find out more about what they think of these questions? Benefits of Mentoring Part 2 is out now and you can read it on our blog.

Share your Talents…with UCL Talent Bank

By Joe O'Brien, on 23 February 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Victoria Abbott, Recruitment & Selection Advisor at UCL Careers.

If you are looking for a job for when you graduate, or an internship for the summer break, try UCL Talent Bank.

UCL Talent Bank is a service run by UCL Careers which matches UCL candidates with opportunities sourced by the UCL Talent Bank team. The team actively source opportunities for UCL students and graduates, and then present applications to employers.

Anytime you submit an application via UCL Talent Bank and are unsuccessful in securing the role, one of our career professionals will provide you with tailored feedback on your application, helping you to develop your application skills and increase your chances of successfully securing a role in the future.

Typically, these opportunities are at Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and include internships, graduate roles, and part time jobs. Plus, all of the opportunities are exclusive to you as a UCL student or graduate, increasing your chances of successfully securing a role!

Keep reading for an exclusive interview with Nasima Bashar, Internships & Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers, who helps organise opportunities for UCL students via the UCL Talent Bank service.

This sounds like an amazing opportunity for students! Can you tell me a little bit more about the process and how students can apply?

Once we advertise the role on myUCLCareers, students can start their application, which typically involves uploading a tailored CV and cover letter. Once the deadline has passed, we review the applications and send the shortlisted candidates to the employer.

Students can apply for as many UCL Talent Bank opportunities as they like and all opportunities on myUCLCareers are paid in accordance with National Minimum Wage legislation.

The employer will then get in touch with any candidates whom they wish to follow up with, and progress to the next stage of the recruitment process.  If students are not invited for an interview, but were shortlisted, we ask the employer to provide feedback on the application and why they chose not to interview on that occasion.

If students are unsuccessful for a role, we can also provide individual and tailored feedback, specifying key areas that can be worked on to ensure improvements ready for the next application.

So how are UCL Talent Bank opportunities sourced compared to other roles that students may find for themselves?

We will actively source opportunities for UCL students and graduates, and present applications to employers on every occasion we possibly can, to ensure students have the best opportunities available to them.

We look for roles that will be of benefit to UCL students in terms of the skill set, support, and general wealth of experience that can be gained from working at each organisation. There are dedicated members of the UCL Careers team who seek roles for specific student groups, including engineering students, PhD and research students, and opportunities which are appropriate for all student levels across all academic disciplines.

It is a great pleasure to source opportunities where students go on to thrive in their roles and really enjoy working within a supportive and engaging workplace.

Fantastic! Are there any additional advantages to be gained from engaging with the UCL Talent Bank service?

A UCL Talent Bank opportunity is typically exclusive to UCL students, but this is not the only benefit of the service. When sourcing an opportunity, we make sure there is a good amount of support in place for our students who successfully secure the role, whether that be a supervisor or mentor who oversees the student.

We also ensure there are specific objectives and outcomes which the student can work towards throughout their time at the organisation and really try to ensure there are real benefits and tangible skills the students will gain from the opportunity.

Employers are very interested in recruiting the best talent, and UCL is the best place to do so. We have over 40,000 students within the University made up of undergraduates, postgraduates and research students and employers are fully aware we have plenty of bright students who meet their organisational needs!

Many UCL students and graduates have benefited from the scheme, which began in 2015. Sarah, UCL BSc Economics alumni, had this to say about the service:

“UCL Talent Bank is a quick and easy way to find fantastic opportunities with SMEs. As a recent graduate I found many relevant, interesting opportunities and the first one I applied for, I got! The job I have now has fast tracked my career and I’ve even started a professional qualification.” 

To begin your UCL Talent Bank search, just log-in to your myUCLCareers account and select UCL Managed Opportunities Scheme list, UCL Talent Bank to view all available opportunities.

 

 

 

5 Things to expect from Careers in the Life Science Industry Week 2021

By Joe O'Brien, on 22 February 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Dr Sophia Donaldson, Senior Careers Consultant at UCL Careers.

Starting on Monday 8th March we’re hosting a week of virtual events to help you navigate the Life Sciences Sector, and find out where you might fit within it. All events are held live, and will give you the opportunity to pose your own questions to speakers. Events are open to students, graduates, PhDs, and research staff, with full details and booking here.

Below are 5 things you can expect from the week.

  1. An overview of just how broad the Life Sciences Industry is

“Life Sciences” is a pretty loose term, right? The industry encompasses a huge range of opportunities, including roles in drug development, patenting, marketing, and selling new therapies, or communicating the latest developments in bioscience to policymakers, clinicians, and the public. We’ll kick off the week with a session at 11am on Monday 8th March from CK Group, a science-focused recruitment agency, who’ll provide an overview of the Life Science Sector, and share the kinds of roles they help companies recruit for, including roles for undergraduates, masters grads, and PhD-holders.

  1. Insight into how to use the lab and data science skills you’ve picked up from your course

Many of you will have enjoyed gaining practical experience in labs, either wet or dry, during your course. But aside from progressing within academia like your lecturers have, it can sometimes be difficult to see how these skills might translate into the workplace. So, we’re running an event to help you understand just that. In our Life Science careers in data science and the lab panel, at 6pm Tuesday 9th March, we will bring together professionals working either in lab or clinical research, or with the increasingly large amounts of data generated from them, across a range of settings. You’ll hear what their roles look like day-to-day, and gain top tips on how to follow a similar path. Organisations represented will include GSK, IQVIA, Parexel, and the NHS.

  1. Ideas for how to leave the “doing science” bit to someone else.

Many people don’t necessarily love the laboratory or data analysis elements of their study or research, and yet they still enjoy being exposed to a range of cutting-edge developments. If this sounds like you, rest assured there are plenty of ways to capitalise on your scientific knowledge and background, and stay aligned to science, without actually having to be “a scientist”. We’ll showcase some of these roles in two panel events. In Careers in Science Communication and Policy, at 6pm Monday 8th March, we bring together a range of professionals who communicate the latest life science developments to the public and policy makers. And in Biology and Business, at 6pm Thursday 11th March, we host speakers who have combined their passion for science, with roles in business, investments, and patent law. Organisations represented across these two events include CRUK, Wellcome, BBC, Incyte, and Arix Bioscience.

  1. Insight into how COVID has effected the industry

We all know the effects of the pandemic have been wide-reaching and will last for some time to come. But not all roles and organisations will be affected equally. For example, non-COVID-related health charities may be hit significantly harder than big pharma companies associated with vaccine development. We will be asking all of our speakers to share with us how COVID has impacted their role and organisation, and what they feel the lasting impact may be.

  1. A chance to experience life science sector work first-hand

You can learn a lot from hearing people discuss their roles. But the best way to decide whether or not something is for you? Try it out! We’ve organised two experiential workshops that’ll give you a taste of life sciences work. In A Career in Medical Writing  – Experiential workshop by the European Medical Writing Association 11am-12.30pm, Thursday 11th March, you’ll gain insight into the role of a medical writer, and participate in exercises to practice and improve your own medical writing skills. And in Strategy Consulting in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare – Experiential Workshop by Cambridge Healthcare Research on Wednesday 10th March, 11am-12pm, you’ll learn about the consultant journey and the kind of consulting case studies you’re likely to face in the interview process and in the job.

 

Preparations for a Sustainable Career

By Joe O'Brien, on 15 February 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Victoria Abbott, Recruitment & Selection Adviser at UCL Careers.

Sustainability is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges we face today and many of us want to get involved through impactful careers. If you want to be part of creating a more sustainable future, then keep reading to discover how you can learn more about the sector and use your skills and experiences to generate change.

Careers in Sustainability Week is designed to give you insights into the roles, rewards, and routes into this rapidly developing sector. Here you can develop your understanding of the business issues and global challenges of the sustainability sector, preparing you for a career in the field. We know that many employers are looking for sustainability conscious employees across the entire organisation – not just in ‘sustainability’ roles.

What’s happening throughout the week, and how will I benefit from taking part?

Panel Events

Hear from employers, graduates and UCL alumni at the forefront of sustainable innovation from a wide variety of roles and sectors. These bespoke panel talks include, but are not limited to:

  • Business and Consultancy,
  • Finance & Investment,
  • Infrastructure,
  • Government & Policy,
  • Heritage Management & Preservation,
  • Wildlife and Ecology Conservation and more!

These engaging events are a great opportunity to have your individual questions answered. Find our how organisations really define sustainability and take the opportunity to network, inform yourself and engage with business representatives and sustainability professionals on the issues that matter to you.

Social Media Conversations

Engaging with the Alumni Instagram Takeover of Sustainable UCL’s profile, will give you the opportunity to really connect with select UCL alumni, all of whom are currently working in sustainable roles. Ask the questions you really want answered and boost your networking skills and sustainable connections throughout the week.

Tailored workshop

This CV workshop is highly beneficial to ensure you market your strengths and experiences effectively. This will also ensure you highlight the skills you need to be competitive in the sustainability job market.

How can I prepare for Sustainability Week?

You may want to think about the following topics prior to attending any of the events across Sustainability Week. These may help to clarify any questions you would like to ask during the event, and to make sure you get the most out of the experience.

For example:

  • Have you considered how to best demonstrate the key skills and competencies in your applications for sustainability roles?
  • How important is undertaking further study, such as a postgraduate course or professional qualification, or are most roles offered with on-the-job training?
  • How can you demonstrate your passion and knowledge for sustainability to recruiters?
  • How important is undertaking volunteering and extra-curricular activities to gain some practical experience within the sector?

And finally:

  • Have you made use of your UCL Careers service to support you with any of the above? If you would like some additional assistance, please get in touch today regarding our one-to-one appointments.

Whatever your degree subject, and wherever your particular specialism, area of interest or passion lies, a career in sustainability could be your future.

For full details of all events hosted throughout the week and how to register for events, please visit the Careers in Sustainability Week webpage.

Careers in Health Week Commencing 8 February 2021

By Joe O'Brien, on 27 January 2021

Read time: 3 minutes

Written by Sylwia Wasiak-Rakowska, Internships & Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers.

Are you looking for a career that makes a difference to people’s lives? From the frontline response to coronavirus with clinical services, systems and data through to governance and diagnosis to treatment, Health Week has got it covered.

In this blog you’ll find out a bit more about each of the virtual events UCL Careers are running as part of Health Week. Make sure to book your place if you’d like to hear from and network with professionals from across this varied sector.

Throughout the week, you will learn about the different roles that are available within the sector, where future opportunities for students and graduates can be found and what you can be doing now to ensure you are best-equipped to begin your career in the health sector.

See you there!

Tuesday 9 February

Careers in Frontline Healthcare Panel, 1-2.30pm

If you enjoy working with people and want to make a real impact in people’s lives, then you’ll value our Frontline Healthcare Panel where you’ll hear from and have the opportunity to put questions to healthcare professionals and those training to work directly with patients and clients in a health focused role.

Professionals with experience in the areas of Medicine, Speech and Language Therapy and Midwifery will be in attendance, with more to be announced.

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

Wednesday 10 February

Health Careers Discovery Evening, 6.30-8.30pm

Join UCL alumni professionals, working in a range of health roles, for this discovery panel and networking evening where you will have the opportunity to hear about their experiences and their insights and connect in smaller groups for networking.

Professionals with experience in the areas of Global Health, Health Communications and Health Policy will be in attendance, with more to be announced.

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

Thursday 11 February

Data and Diagnostics Panel, 5.30-7.30pm

Challenges to health and health systems are changing rapidly on a global scale and the ways in which data and diagnostics are used to make decisions on preventing, treating and curing diseases are crucial. If you are interested in how data analytics and diagnostics are being used in the Health Sector, book onto this panel event where you will hear from professionals who are actively engaging in using data to improve our lives.

Panellists include health professionals from Aquarius Population Health, NHS Digital, Oxford Heartbeat, and more!

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

 

All Health Week events are open to UCL students and recent graduates with an interest in the sector, regardless of your degree subject.

Be sure to look out for information on live opportunities you can apply for in the Health sectors on UCL Careers Twitter feed during Health Week.

Once you’ve booked your place, why not explore our Online Careers Library for useful sector guides, job profiles and key job sites in preparation for the events?

Online Volunteering and Your Career…

By Joe O'Brien, on 25 January 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Grace Brown, Volunteering Partnerships Coordinator at UCL Volunteering.

It’s no secret that gaining volunteering experience can give you the edge when applying for graduate jobs and even be a direct link to working for a charity. Since the start of the pandemic last year, The Volunteering Service have been working with partners to promote safe volunteering opportunities online that have helped students to develop skills and gain valuable experience in the charity sector.

Student Experiences

Zainab Dar, a first year BA Comparative Literature student has been volunteering with the community organisation BUD as a Business Development and Partnerships Research Coordinator. Zainab spoke to us this month about the impact she has made and how volunteering online has been.

‘I believe it can be so fulfilling to make a change in society and improve your own skills even within the confines of your home amidst a pandemic.’

When choosing your volunteer role, it’s a good idea to consider how it can give you new insights into your academic subject and help you develop skills that you can use within your course. Our volunteering directory allows you to filter opportunities by skills, so you can search roles to develop new skills or build on existing ones.

 

Yaning, a second-year Population Health with Data Science student at UCL, has been volunteering with Med Supply Drive UK and told us about her skills development.

‘Volunteering with Med Supply Drive UK has introduced me to programmes such as Canva, Visme, Slack, and Trello. It has improved my writing and design skills, as well as my attention to detail, and has taught me how to respond productively to criticism.’

Read more stories of how students have been volunteering online this past year, the challenges, and rewards of volunteering online and how it has supported student’s skills development.

Our Top Picks

Filter opportunities to find leadership skills today on our directory and results will include amongst others a Project Leader position at Camden Carers Centre. If you wanted to develop your research skills, you’ll see roles such as this Trusts and Foundations volunteer at a hospice or a working on a Asian Food Heritage Project. For many of these roles the time you commit is completely flexible.

Whilst it’s not possible to meet people face to face just yet, there are many opportunities to creating meaningful connections and build on your communication skills through tutoring and mentoring volunteering. Volunteer with The Access Project to tutor a young person for one hour a week or become a Volunteer Buddy at Sense to support a young person with complex needs online. No prior experience is necessary as all training is provided.

Find all current online volunteering opportunities on our online directory, check out our guide to volunteering safely during the pandemic, and get in touch with any questions or to share your own experience of volunteering online.

Want to find out more about careers working in a charity or NGO? Book yourself on to the events as part of UCL Careers’ Charities & NGOs Week.

Careers Support for Students from Diverse Backgrounds

By Joe O'Brien, on 19 January 2021

Read time: 6 minutes

Written by Lee Pike, Careers Consultant at UCL Careers.

Why diversity matters

It is widely recognised that having a diverse workforce helps organisations operate more efficiently and creatively. A diverse workforce is one that includes people from different backgrounds, cultures, personalities and viewpoints.  In addition, organisations are increasingly becoming more global so diversity in terms of understanding different cultures, different ways of working and being relatable to clients from different backgrounds is a definite advantage.  

What does this mean for recruitment?

Recruiters are increasingly looking at ways to increase recruitment of underrepresented groups including women, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), LGBTQIA+ people, those with a visible or non-visible disability, and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In the ISE Student Recruitment Survey 2020 by the Institute of Student Employers, they found that 62% of 179 ISE employer members said they had ‘formal targets around attraction of different cohorts of candidates’ and 82% of respondents said they were taking actions to maximise the diversity of candidates they attract. However, this article from the Institute of Student Employers recognises that employers still have some way to go between their intentions and their actions.

What does this mean for you?

With issues surrounding diversity in the workplace becoming more prominent, there’s a growing number of opportunities available for those from a diverse background. Here’s a list of some current initiatives open to applicants from a range of diverse backgrounds:

  1. 100BlackInterns

100blackinterns offer internships to Black students from all academic backgrounds looking to get into investment banking with over 200 employers almost exclusively in London.  As with the Goldman Sachs above, although closed for 2020 entry, it’s certainly worth exploring for applying in 2021.

  1. Blind In Business

The Blind in Business Employment Service is designed to help blind and partially sighted students and graduates prepare for and find jobs within their chosen careers.  They provide support, advice and training, including how to talk to an employer about your visual impairment.

  1. Creative Access

Creative Access was set up to offer opportunities in the creative industries for young people from underrepresented groups. They work with global brands such as Apple, Tate, ITV and National Theatre.  A number of opportunities are advertised on the site.  A few of the current opportunities include:

  • Producer or Studio Researcher or Production Co-ordinator, CPL Productions (closing date 15 Jan 2021);
  • Young Board Members, Creative UK (closing date 18 Jan 2021); and
  • Collaborative Doctoral Awards, National Theatre (closing date 5 Feb 2021).

Visit the Creative Access Opportunities webpage for the full list.

  1. EmployAbility 

EmployAbility is a career management resource for disabled students and graduate. They run first year, internship, and graduate programmes, as well as vacation schemes and training contract opportunities, with inclusive employer partners.

Visit the EmployAbility Students and Universities webpage for a full list of opportunities.

  1. Exceptional Individuals

Exceptional Individuals provides recruitment and employment support to individuals with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and autism. Their resources include job boards advertising inclusive companies’ jobs specifically for neurodivergent people.

  1. Goldman Sachs Student Possibility Programme

Goldman Sachs Student Possibility Programme is an interactive multi-day program for students from low socio-economic backgrounds*.  The programme is open to students from all degree backgrounds and is designed to introduce students to the financial world through hands on experience. Although closed for 2020 entry, it’s certainly worth exploring for applying in 2021.

*Candidates who identify as first generation in their family to go to university, attended a state school (non-fee paying), or were eligible for free school meals.

  1. SEO London

If you are from a low socio-economic background or an underrepresented ethnicity group, SEO London‘s SEO Careers initiative prepares you for career success in the sectors of corporate law, consulting, engineering and technology.

SEO London partner with over 50 sponsor firms across eight leading industries and have supported several thousand alumni into internships and graduate roles since 2000. You can find help with preparing for interviews, as well as securing internships or a full-time job.  They also provide training on CVs, psychometric tests, commercial awareness, tech skills, presentation skills, assessment centres and interviews.

Find out more about SEO Careers on the SEO London webpage.

How can UCL Careers help?

Careers Extra

UCL Careers Extra is a programme of additional activities and support for UK undergraduate students (home fee status) from any of the following groups who are currently studying at UCL:

  • Neither parent went to university and you went to a UK state school
  • Care leaver
  • Carer
  • Disabled
  • Household income below £25,000 (as declared to Student Finance England)
  • Black African, Black Caribbean or mixed Black African/White or Black Caribbean/White
  • Received an Access UCL offer

Students who sign up to UCL Careers Extra will be added to a circulation list for targeted employer events and programmes. They can also apply for bursaries to help cover the cost of undertaking internships and can access preferential booking for some UCL Careers events, longer careers appointments and extra careers events that are exclusive to UCL Careers Extra students.

Support for students with disabilities/long-term health conditions

If you have a disability or long-term health condition you can do the following:

  • Request an extended one to one appointment with a careers consultant.
  • Request adjustments to enable you to access a one to one careers appointment (which all currently take place via MS Teams).
  • Request reasonable adjustments for an event or workshop you will be attending (please email at least 48 hours in advance).
  • Receive careers information for students with disabilities or long-term health conditions.

Where can I find out more?

UCL Careers has gathered information about a variety of organisations working to support different groups – you can find this in the Diversity and Inclusion section of our website.

Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority

This UCL Careers Extra web page for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students provides numerous careers-related resources relevant to students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

Find information about sector-specific resources, non-sector specific resources, students’ union UCL clubs and societies and BAME mentoring.

Disability and Health Conditions

This resource provides careers-related information for students with disabilities on a wide range of topics including

  • Organisations providing advice and support;
  • Disability positive employers;
  • Legal rights;
  • Neurodiversity and autism;
  • Job listings;
  • Internships,
  • Work experience and graduate schemes;
  • Finding work opportunities through UCL
  • Funding

Other sections on the UCL Careers Disability webpage include discussing disabilities or long-term health conditions with employers; list of appropriate blogs; and, disability support at UCL.  UCL works in partnership with MyPlus, giving you access to MyPlus Students’ Club.

Careers Extra Resources

Visit the UCL Careers Extra webpage to find out more.

Next steps

Step 1

Why not set aside some time within the next week or so to take a look at the wealth of resources available highlighted in this blog.  It’s impossible to cover everything in this article so some exploration of the links and resources mentioned will help you, whether that’s understanding your rights or finding organisations that proactively engage with, support and assist students from diverse backgrounds.

Step 2

This article ‘The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace’ on getsling.com focuses on why diversity in the workplace is essential for success. It provides 13 reasons why diversity is important to a company and helps you to understand the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Step 3

If you’re a UK (home fee status) student and meet the criteria described for Careers Extra, why not register and book an extended 1-to-1 with a careers consultant?

Whatever your background and wherever you’re from, UCL Careers is here to help you on your career journey.