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Reflections on Summer School 2014

By Irrum Ali, on 26 June 2014

It’s over! UCL Careers has just finished running the two week Employability Summer School as part of the Global Citizenship programme. Taking place over two weeks, from 2 – 13 June, we saw over 70 penultimate and final-year students, from a whole range of different departments, go through the fortnight building upon their skills as well as improving their confidence in the job hunting process. With over 20 interactive events tackling a whole host of topics, it was an intense first-time experience for many – the days were jam-packed with information, guidance and plenty of opportunities to put it all in to practice.

What did they do?

Beginning with an ice-breaker to get things going, students kicked off the programme with a day looking at how to connect with employers – a session rounded off with an opportunity to chat with a UCL Alumni panel and network afterwIMG_9961ards. The following day’s workshops focused on CV and applications as well as interview techniques and ended with a chance to speak to start-up businesses at the Small Companies Big Jobs fair. The week was then split in to sessions full of tips on online job searching, psychometric testing, mock assessment centres, post-graduate study and international job hunting with plenty of 1-1 coaching interspersed. Throughout the week, mornings were spent with varied plenaries from Capco and Save the Children which were engaging and insightful.

Week two followed a differed flavour with a group ‘job searching’ session and an opportunity to put everything they had learnt in to practice at the annual UCL Careers Jobs Market. The students then divided up over the next three days with some attending the case-study-centred ‘Focus on Management’ and others developing strengths-based skills at the ‘Marketing yourself as a Global Citizen’ strand. The last day was dedicated to action-planning and forward thinking as well as a chance to celebrate the past two weeks – rounding out a successful programme of workshops with an HEAR accreditation and a well-deserved lunch.

What did they build their confidence in?

On their first day, students took a ‘confidence measure’ which got them thinking about how they felt in regards to their personal situation. With a score of one to five, they marked their self-confidence in:

  • Connecting with employers
  • How to write a good CV
  • Filling out applications
  • How to succeed at interviews
  • How to find relevant jobs
  • Making decisions about their future careers choice

They then filled this same indicator out on the last day and compared them both – the idea being that they’d hopefully see an improvement from their first day. It is safe to say that there was a huge improvement! Every one of these pointers saw the numbers rocket from a score of around 1-3 to a confidence-inspiring 4-5 by the final day. Proving the value of all they had picked up over the two weeks, students felt that going forward, they were more ready and able to approach the job search armed with the right information and resources, as well as the support of UCL Careers in the months and years ahead.

Well done class of 2014!

What did students think IMG_0289of the Summer School?

 “The best course I’ve done at UCL! It has increased my confidence in connecting with employers and finding job that suits my strengths and personality as well.”

“Enjoyable, interactive and applicable to real life.”

“Finally someone turned the lights on in a pitch black room!”

“UCL Careers is a great asset to the university – use it!”

Want to find out more about this unique opportunity to hone your employability skills? Visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/students/skills/summerschool

Throughout the year we run many events aimed at supporting students and recent graduates in all parts of their job search. Find out more: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/students/skills/calendar

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