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Seven Tips For Securing A Career In Cultural Heritage

26 November 2019

Written by Glyn Jones, Careers Consultant at UCL Careers.

As part of Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Themed Week, we held an event on Careers in Cultural Heritage on 14 November 2019. Four panellists joined us for a Q&A discussion, sharing their insights from the experiences they’ve had during their time in the industry.

Here are the top tips that we took away from the event:

1. Pursue your passion

Tellingly, each panellist told us why they love what they do. They were passionate about various things including research, history, volunteering or arts and literature, all of which allow them to contribute to the industry in which they work. Pursuing your passion will not only contribute to your drive in the workplace, but means you’re more likely to enjoy your role. Make sure that you can demonstrate this passion, through attending relevant talks and events, carrying out research or even going on to do a postgraduate qualification.

2. Find a skill that you are good at

Having a desirable skill that you are good at, which you’re able to evidence during an application process, can give you an advantage when applying for opportunities. Some of the panellists mentioned how they utilise particular skills that they are good at and tailor this towards opportunities for which they are applying. Demonstrating your suitability for a role through this particular skill allows you to carve out your own area of expertise within an industry.

3. Gain relevant experience

Relevant experience can be crucial in job applications. Through this, you’re able to demonstrate your understanding of the sector, the day to day responsibility required for the role and how you are well equipped to do this. Work placements as part of a Masters are excellent opportunities to gain these experiences, as are internships and volunteering opportunities.

4. Be adaptable

Show that you can turn your hand to multiple tasks to demonstrate your adaptability and broad skillset. Panellists highlighted the importance of being able to work with a range of different collections, taking on more management responsibilities through their roles and juggling multiple projects across different locations. Whatever the work involves, showing a can-do attitude and being able to adapt to changing circumstances is a valuable skill for this sector.

5. Make the most of development opportunities

The Cultural Heritage industry seems to be fiercely competitive, therefore panellists were keen to emphasise the importance of making the most of developmental opportunities when they come around. This could be gaining further experiences within your organisation, taking part in training offered by your employer, pursuing further education or undertaking a

traineeship. All these opportunities will enable you to further your knowledge as well as giving you valuable practical experience.

6. Push yourself

All panellist spoke about the importance of working hard and showing a commitment to the work that you do. Push yourself; this commitment can lead to the opportunity to take on more responsibility and gaining further skills, which may prove useful later on in your career. The panellists said this with the caveat that with a long career ahead of you, you should make sure to avoid burnout.

7. Network

Networking can be important in many different sectors. Building contacts and professional networks can be crucial in getting valuable insights and hearing about future opportunities within certain industries. The picture painted by our panellists was of a highly competitive industry that has stiff competition for each vacancy. Through your networks, you will be able to set yourself apart to gain valuable insights that can give you the edge when applying for vacancies.

You can read our other post-event blog from Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Week: Careers in Museums

If you want to speak to one of our Careers Consultants about your career, please book an appointment via MyUCLCareers

UCL Careers Themed Weeks 2019: Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage Top Tips from Gina Koutsika

19 November 2019

Written by guest writer, Gina Koutsika, Creative & Skills Director at V&A Museum of Childhood.

Panellist on Careers in Museums Panel, 11th November, 2019.


It was a great pleasure to be on the ‘Careers in Museums’ panel at UCL and to see so many students wanting to work in museums. For those that could not make it, here are my top 4 tips to succeed in the museum sector:

  1. Learn about yourself, your needs and your preferences. Working in museums is fulfilling and rewarding. You are surrounded by passionate and interesting colleagues, significant – and sometimes astoundingly beautiful – artefacts that can reveal so many different stories and you create memorable, life-changing, enjoyable experiences for and with the public. However, working in museums requires – not only at the start but throughout your professional journey – a lot of personal sacrifices. It requires to invest a lot of your personal time; a lot of your energy and the pay is for some roles less than the national average. It is important to be confident that working in a museum is really what you want to do and that it worth the personal cost. Alternatives include being a museum supporter, museum consumer and a museum volunteer, while having a different career.
  2. Develop your competencies and skills. Volunteer in different roles and in a variety of museums. Get to know the sector and gain hands-on experience, which is often more valuable, than academic knowledge. When I started and while working full-time, I was volunteering in both my own organisation (at another department) and in another museum. It was exhausting but also exciting and it enabled me to build on my skills and experiences, which led to a promotion.
  3. Grasp any opportunity that comes your way and seek to create your own opportunities. Be open, available, and willing to support others. It’s important to make connections, take up training and networking opportunities. You may even want to source a mentor. There are a number of networks you can join for free, and museum membership organisations, like ICOM, MA, GEM, VSG as well as subject -specialist network, that usually have a discounted student membership. There are also bursaries to attend conferences and training days, and it is worth saving up and investing in your professional development.
  4. Regularly, visit museums and exhibitions and observe how visitors engage and interact. Note what worked and what did not. Think about what you may have done differently and your reasoning for it. Talk to the front-of-house staff and learn from their experiences in the galleries. Keep a log of your visits and who you meet. Keep up with the latest developments in the sector through newsletters, research papers, books. Read widely and outside the museological literature.

UCL Careers Themed Weeks 2019: Media Week

Skye AAitken14 November 2019

Want to work in the media industry? Find out more at Media Week!

A lecture theatre full on students with panelists sitting on stageAre you thinking of working in the Media industry after your degree? Or is this simply a sector that you would like to explore further? We have put together a number events in the final week of November to enable you to take things further through a spotlight on this diverse and exciting sector.

Monday 25 November

The week kicks off  with an evening insight into Publishing, where people working in a range of roles from editing, agency and rights will take your questions. We are excited to have speakers from Bloomsbury Publishing, LBA Books, UCL Press, Rakuten Kobo and DK (Penguin Random House), working in a variety of roles.

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

Tuesday 26 November

We will take a look at what it’s like to work within Advertising, Marketing and PR. Professionals working in advertising agencies, consumer and corporate PR and marketing will be discussing their careers, the difference between the various areas and some of the exciting projects they have worked on. Panelists will also offer tips on how you can make your first steps into each of these areas.

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

Wednesday 27 November

We are delighted to have News Associates running a journalism workshop exclusively for UCL students and recent graduates. This is an interactive session aimed at those looking to pursue a career in UK based journalism.

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

Thursday 28 November

We finish the week on  with an incredibly exciting line-up focused on the Film, TV and Radio industries. Joining us will be BBC TV and radio presenters, a junior music manager and a film director. We expect this to be a popular event so don’t miss out!

See event details and sign up to attend on myUCLCareers.

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

Did you want to explore things a bit further before the panels? Take a look at Prospects.ac.uk to see just how many roles there are within the Media industry. Prospects also breaks down the different roles within Advertising, Marketing & PR.

UCL Careers Themed Weeks 2019: Top 5 Lessons From Government & Policy Week

Skye AAitken1 November 2019

Written by Colm Fallon, Careers Consultant, UCL Careers

You may have missed Government & Policy Themed Week 2019, but don’t fret, you can access recordings from this year and previous year’s events and related resources by heading to our website.

Panelists sat on chairs on stage

It’s impossible to sum up all of the valuable insights shared throughout the week, but here are 5 things we learned from Government & Policy Themed Week 2019:

  1. Rapid changes are the norm

Working in the Civil Service can sometimes resemble the TV show ‘The Thick of It’. There may be fewer expletives used, but things can change rapidly, and you have to be adaptable. For example, you may be working on and promoting one policy in the morning, but by the afternoon priorities may have shifted and you find yourself having to completely change your focus.

  1. Evidence is key

Our speakers also emphasised how working in a space where the agenda can be set and changed by forces outside of your control may not be for everyone and that’s OK! You may spend months working on a policy but due to public pressure or economic factors, it may not be implemented or may have to be adapted to meet the changing circumstances (the world as it is, not as we wish it to be). The work of advising Ministers means focusing on the evidence and that is not affected by changes in public opinion.

  1. Experience is knowledge

You can gain useful experience working on the fringes of government, e.g. public affairs, lobbyists, think tanks, charities, and so on. You’ll gain an outsider perspective on how government works. Importantly, working in the Civil Service means being apolitical, you need to be impartial and able to provide policy arguments, not political arguments. If you have political ambitions you may be better off gaining experience outside or of course working directly with parliamentarians and political parties. Some MPs would suggest that working completely outside of and removed from politics can be beneficial. Learning about business, people and the world can help you better serve your constituents.

  1. Change takes time but the results can be very rewarding

Influencing policy is being a voice in the discourse, one of many. Although it can be difficult to be heard the most rewarding aspect is seeing the impact on individuals of the policy changes you’ve fought for and implemented. It’s important to realise that change takes time, and the key to success is to make sure that the long term impact is understood and prioritised over short term gains and personal biases.

  1. Everyone gets imposter syndrome

Imposter syndrome (feeling like a fraud who will be found out at any moment), can be common and it’s a normal way to feel. Be kind to yourself, have realistic expectations and remember that learning is a process. No one can be expected to know everything right away. The key to success is to work on upskilling and build relationships with colleagues and mentors. Utilise your network for support and advice, most people would have been through the same experiences as you at some stage.

 

Out&Proud Research Event. What We Learnt And How We Can All Be Better Allies

Skye AAitken1 November 2019

An event stage with a screen set up

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

On Friday 11th October, UCL Careers ventured east to Clifford Chance’s Canary Wharf office. We were attending a special panel event devised to launch the Out&Proud research from UK Trendence Research, a leading student-focused research firm. Poignantly released 50 years after the Stonewall riots, the research was 9 months in the making and aimed to delve deep into the experiences of LGBT+ students and graduates in higher education. The research saw 4100 young people take part from 122 universities across the UK, with 91% aged 18-29. Of respondents, 19% were graduates now in employment.

The research itself is fascinating and we won’t attempt to fit all of its findings into one blog post so what we’d recommend is heading over to the UK Trendence Research website and requesting access to the report. We promise it is a truly valuable report which sadly includes some shocking and eye-opening statistics. From a career standpoint, the report highlighted how those who are open about their sexuality in the workplace are 12% more likely to report an improvement in wellbeing. Here are some of the more damning findings from the report:

  • 1 in 3 LGBT+ students have experienced hate crime and/or sexual assault
  • LGBT+ students 38% more likely to report depression
  • 6% more likely to report a decline in wellbeing when starting university

We were treated to two fantastic panels; firstly, a panel made up of allies from organisations who sponsored the research and secondly, from a selection of LGBT+ figures from a broad range of careers and experiences. Allyship – providing support as an ally even if you do not identify as LGBT+, was a recurring theme throughout the day, with a number of speakers emphasising that the fight for equality and respect for LGBT+ people is a responsibility that shouldn’t rest solely on their shoulders.

Four panelists sitting on stage with a screen behind them

Tips for being an ally:

  • Tanya Compas, an award-winning youth worker and LGBT+ Case Worker, explained how even something as simple as including your pronouns in your email signature can help to create an inclusive environment.
  • Tiernan Brady, Global Head of Inclusion for Clifford Chance, spoke about how progress is not linear and by no means inevitable. We can’t assume it’s only the older generations who discriminate against LGBT+ individuals, in fact recent Galop research into attitudes in our society has shown that the age group most likely to think of LGBT+ people as “immoral” are aged 18-24. He also implored allies to remain vocal supporters and not to assume the fight is over. As Tiernan put it, “if we take our foot off the gas, we stop and then we lose the progress we have fought for”.

Another common theme throughout the day was the importance of intersectionality. Zee, a final year undergraduate student from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), who was on the second panel explained how “what’s diverse for a gay white man is not diverse for a black trans woman.” There are a number of examples in the Out&Proud research which hone in on this, with an LGBT+ Muslim student explaining how coming from a heteronormative background, steeped in religion and culture, leaves them living a double life. For this reason, it’s important to remember the diverse backgrounds and added difficulties that can arise from this conflict.

Rhammel Afflick, Director of Communications for Pride in London, told us his coming out story – writing an article for Huffington Post in which he came out publicly, what Rhammel found most surprising wasn’t that he received homophobic abuse, he unfortunately expected that. It was the fact he received racist abuse despite the article focusing solely on his sexual identity as a bisexual man. This is a great example of the importance intersectionality has on LGBT+ issues.

Our 3 actions for you to take from this post:

  1. Read the Out&Proud research and be aware of what your fellow students are going through and struggling with.
  2. Engage with the UCL LGBT+ Student’s Network. It’s a great way to make friends, develop new skills, and it looks great on your CV to be involved in any engaging and proactive society.
  3. Try to reflect and constantly question how inclusive and supportive you are being as a student, colleague, family member, or friend. Like Tiernan said, progress is not inevitable and it takes all of us to make sure we keep moving.

 

UCL Careers Themed Weeks: Museums, Arts and Cultural Heritage Week 2019

Skye AAitken24 October 2019

Are you considering a career in Museums, Arts or Cultural Heritage? Then this is the week for you! Come and find out more about these sectors from professionals working in various roles within these sectors. All events are open to students and recent graduates from across UCL.

A speaker at a lectern speaking to a room full of studentsIf you haven’t attended events organised by UCL Careers before, we strongly recommend you read through our Themed Weeks page for information on what to expect, how to prepare and how to book.

Events can be extremely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!

Watch event recordings on our Themed Week archive. These include complete panel discussions and in-depth interviews with experts.

Please note that photographs, video, sound and/or written submissions taken at our themed week events may be used in future printed and electronic UCL promotional material. Photographs/video will be stored electronically as well as in hard copy. 

Events open for booking on Monday 28 October 2019


Careers in Museums

Monday 11 November 2019: 6pm-7.30pm

Come and meet representatives from the museum sector to hear about their job roles and what excites them about working in this sector. There will be a panel discussion, Q&A session, and a chance for informal networking after.

Among the museums represented will be:

View event details and book your place


Working in the Arts

Tuesday 12 November 2019: 6pm-7.30pm

Thinking about working in the Arts? Come along to this panel event and have the chance to hear from professionals currently working in managerial, creative and organisational roles within a variety of arts settings. Speakers will discuss aspects of their experiences such as: what they enjoy about working in the arts, how they got into their current role and their ‘top tips’. The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A and informal networking.

Panellists work in organisations such as:

View event details and book your place


Careers in Cultural Heritage

Thursday 14 November 2019: 6pm-7.30pm

Interested in working in the diverse world of cultural heritage? Come to a panel discussion with cultural heritage professionals, to hear about their roles and career path and to gain tips on how to get into the sector. The panel will be followed by Q&A session and informal networking.

You will hear about experiences working in:

View event details and book your place

 

UCL Careers Fairs 2019: Engineering & Built Environment Fair

Skye AAitken14 October 2019

Considering a career in Engineering?

The UCL Careers Engineering & Built Environment Fair features some of the top employers from the fields of chemical, civil and environmental, electronic and electrical, and mechanical engineering, as well as construction and the built environment.

An Employer speaking to a student at the fair

Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions as well as internships and placements so this fair is mainly aimed at final year and penultimate year Engineering, Bartlett or related students.

All students are welcome to attend in order to research companies, but there may not be suitable structured programmes on offer.

When: Monday 21 October 2019 | 5:30pm – 8pm

Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

Some employers attending include:

·      Mott Macdonald

·      RAF

·      GSK

·      Atkins

·      Bouygues UK

·      Eurostar

·      Berkley Group

·      Ministry of Defence

Plus many more!

For a full list of employers attending the fair, visit:

Engineering & Built Environment Fair

You do not need to book to attend our Careers Fairs, but you must bring valid UCL ID to gain entry.

For more information on about the fair and how to prepare, visit: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/about/events/careers-fairs

UCL Careers Fairs 2019: Early Access For Students With Disabilities

Skye AAitken25 September 2019

We want to make sure that you have every opportunity to attend events run by UCL Careers. That’s why we have a quiet half-hour, before the advertised start time, should students with disabilities or long-term health conditions wish to visit the fairs before they get very busy.

Two student talking to an employer at a careers fair

Please email careers.disability@ucl.ac.uk if you would like to visit the fairs in the quiet half-hour, before the advertised start time.

Note: Where a Fair takes place over two days, there will be different exhibitors present on each day.

Wednesday 2 October 2019
Management Consultancy

Tuesday 8 October 2019
Banking, Finance and Economics (Finance and Economics)

Wednesday 9 October 2019
Banking, Finance and Economics (Investment Banks)

Wednesday 16 October 2019
IT and Technology Fair Day 1

Thursday 17 October 2019
IT and Technology Fair Day 2

Monday 21 October 2019
Engineering & Built Environment

Monday 28 October 2019
Life & Health Sciences Fair (booking required)

Monday 28 October 2019
Law Fair Day 1

Tuesday 29 October 2019
Law Fair Day 2

Career Essentials Group Work Sessions Launching This Autumn

Skye AAitken24 September 2019

Three students around a table having a discussion

We are delighted to let you know that this Autumn UCL Careers are launching Career Essentials Group Work, a new series of lunchtime small group sessions. These sessions will give you the opportunity to work with other students on your applications, learn from each other’s experiences, share ideas and receive advice from the trained facilitator. Our new sessions are a sub-branch of our long-running and popular Career Essentials programme, which covers a wide range of career topics. With a maximum of 6 participants at each session, our new group work programme is designed to help you take practical steps to developing your own applications in a supportive environment.

Throughout the Autumn we will be running a fortnightly CV group work session from 13:00 to 13:50 at UCL Careers. In this session, you will gain feedback and tips on how to present your CV. You will also learn how to tailor your CV for the particular role you are interested in applying for and make an impactful first impression with recruiters.

The CV sessions will take place on the following dates:

Please click on the above dates to access myUCLCareers for more details about the CV sessions, the required preparation work and to book your place. Bookings will open two weeks in advance of the sessions.

Please note:

  • Places are limited to 6 participants at each session and therefore booking is essential. Only book if you are able to attend.
  • To take part in the sessions you must complete the short preparation tasks and be willing to share and discuss your work with other participants.
  • The CV session will focus upon CVs for non-academic purposes, such as job and internship applications.

In the Spring our Career Essentials Group Work programme will be expanded with further practical sessions on making speculative applications and using STAR to showcase strengths and skills on application forms. More details to follow soon.

Remember that you can also access support for UCL Careers by booking in for a 1:1 application advice appointment with us.

UCL Careers Researchers Programme – Summer 2019

Chloe JAckroyd18 March 2019


Find your future: UCL Careers Researchers EventsUCL Careers are delighted to confirm their programme of workshops and events for the summer term 2019, specifically designed for UCL’s Researcher’s community.

The programme includes workshops led by UCL Careers Consultants, for careers both in academia and beyond, to help researchers identify and develop core competencies, which are vital for competing in the job market, as well as a mix of Employer Forums and Employer Workshops that give the opportunity to hear from professionals in a range of sectors outside of academia, to ask questions, understand the job market and build business networks.

Researchers won’t want to miss the big event of the summer term – the annual full-day ‘Professional Careers Beyond Academia’ Conference. Presented by UCL Populations & Lifelong Health Domain Early Career Network & UCL Careers, supported by UCL Organisational Development, this conference will be held at the Institute of Child Health on 6th June, focusing on the field of life & health sciences and its related areas, such as UK and Global Public Health, Science Communications, Research & Development, Consultancy, Government Policy and more.

Booking on all events is now open.

For the full programme of events/workshops coming up for researchers this summer and book your place/s, please view the ‘Events Calendar’ on our Researchers page.

 

Any queries, please contact careers.researchers@ucl.ac.uk