What’s it like to be on a UCL Alumni Panel?
By ycrnf01, on 16 June 2014
As a UCL alumnus, you probably appreciate that job searching can be quite daunting. You are also most likely aware of the anxieties and importance associated with that dreaded term – ‘networking’. UCL Careers have made the process as easy, effective and enjoyable as possible, with a focus on employers and students both getting the most out of participation. I had the opportunity to see the mutual benefit in taking part during a UCL alumni panel and networking event, run during the successful Employability Summer School. With over 70 willing and eager UCL students, I joined more than 15 alumni from a range of employers including TFL, PWC and TeachFirst.
The value of networking can’t be understated. It can generate leads and openings, create worthwhile business relationships and offer up personalised information in a short space of time. Enthusiastic and talented students are aware of this and actively seek opportunities to talk to top employers, find out as much information as possible and learn more about how they can develop their skills within a specific industry or company.
As Marketing Communications Intern at UCL Careers, I was best placed to bridge the gap between encouraging students of the benefits in engaging with the alumni panel but also to offer, hopefully, useful insights about my own career path as well as answer general questions about what it’s like to work in marketing.
As per previously sent-0ut instructions, all alumni were greeted and briefed fifteen minutes prior to the event, with introductions and mini-networking in a separate room. The event then began – we were split in to two rooms and a semi-formal approach was taken with students grouped in 3’s and 4’s with one alumnus per group. Ten minutes was then allowed for discussion before we moved around and spoke to a new and eager group, with a total of an hour and six rotations.
This was a great opportunity to give a little information about myself, UCL Careers and the marketing industry and then take some well-thought out questions from motivated and genuinely interested students who appreciated the information given. Many took notes and asked articulate follow-up questions to which I was able to provide more detailed answers. A comfortable and enjoyable experience, I feel the students left with an impression employers, and UCL Careers, was engaged and approachable.
Concluding the event, we were given two drinks tokens and an opportunity to mingle in a more relaxed setting with all the students, other alumni as well as UCL Careers staff in the downstairs bar area. This was a great way to discuss topics in more detail and highlight to the students relevant aspects of our roles and companies.
Attending panel events are a great way to give back to UCL Careers if you are a past student as well as maximising your company’s profile with talented and eager UCL students from a range of disciplines. Well-organised and engaging, the events usually take a few hours of your time but offer huge and lasting personal and organisational benefits in return.