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Kick Start your Career with an Internship in an SME

Joe O'Brien24 February 2020

Written by Katharine Evans, Internships & Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers

On your first day at UCL, graduation was so far around the corner it didn’t even figure in your thoughts, you knew that the next three or so years would be a transformational journey. You’d be learning new skills, meeting new people, and reading a subject that you were passionate about. These years were to be your formative adult years in so many ways, and clearly the most important of these would be your career (not that we’re biased at UCL Careers). Then September 2019 arrived and you realised that the end was fast approaching. If you’re studying a postgraduate degree, then it’s likely you’ve always felt that “the real world” was just around the corner.

There’s no correct answer to where you should be in your career planning at this stage. Some of you may have had your career ambitions and route decided since you were six, and others may not yet have a clue! At times it might feel like everyone else is sorted career wise, but we see over 6,000 individual students a year at UCL Careers, and we know that there’s no standard to how your career path is!

This might sound scary, but graduate unemployment is at its lowest rate in 39 years. In part this is due to graduates filling the country’s skills gaps. A big part of this is graduates utilising their transferrable skills into roles within sectors that may not appear obvious. A great way that graduates are able to do this is by getting experience in a range of roles and sectors, and taking a holistic approach to their education, realising that simply studying at university gives one a whole range of desirable skills, regardless of the subject one reads. After all we’re working for longer than ever and moving jobs more frequently than ever before. 96% of graduates switch careers within three years.

So much choice can become overwhelming, so a great way to get a taste of different opportunities, sectors and roles is through internships, whether this be as a graduate or during the course of your studies. This year our Summer Internship Scheme in association with Santander is open exclusively to UCL Finalists and Graduates (PG and UG)

The UCL Careers Summer Internship Scheme (subsidised by Santander) hosts a range of opportunities that are exclusive to UCL. These opportunities all pay the London Living Wage, and are with SMEs based across London. SMEs make up 99.8% of all London’s private sector businesses.

Employment in SMEs represents 60% of all UK employment. But often when people think about graduate jobs they think about the large, internationally known employers. There’s no doubt that working for a bigger employer has its benefits, but there’s also drawbacks to this employment choice, and some people may prefer the chance to work in a smaller organisation. Some of the advantages to working in an SME:

  • Greater scope of role.
    • When working in a smaller organisation it’s likely that you’ll be far more hands on, and the remit of your role will be wider, you’ll be able to explore different aspects of the role and see where your strengths and passions best fit. Widening one’s skillset allows you to be more competitive within the job market if you decide to move on.
  • Closer working relations with colleagues
    • If you’re working in a department at a large organisation it’s likely that you’ll be based in an office with the rest of the department. In an SME you’re more likely to be working in an office with multiple departments and you will be able to see a range of roles in action; so although you’re working in one specific role, you’ll likely see how other staff and teams work, and maybe you’ll see that a different role is of interest to you.
  • Recognition of the interconnectedness
    • Smaller organisations are often aware of the amount of collaboration across all their teams so are far more likely to explain this to you, and you’ll see it in action, giving you an unrivalled bird’s eye view of how businesses function and how all the cogs fit together.
  • Impact and increased responsibility
    • A close-knit working environment with a less hierarchal environment often enables you to take more ownership over the work you do. As everyone plays a key role in contributing to the success of the business you’ll see the impact of your work and have a sense of pride and achievement at the fact that you are directly adding value towards the bigger picture. This means that you’ll get directly noticed for hard work and achievements.
  • More personable
    • You’ll never feel like you’re just a faceless employee if you’re constantly interacting with the leaders of the organisation. A smaller team can help you feel more welcomed into the organisation. SMEs are often seen to be doing their upmost to improve employee wellbeing, with many providing free breakfasts, fruit, drinks, and breakout spaces, etc.

An SME isn’t one size fits all, there’s a huge difference between working in a micro organisation with just 4 employees and an SME with 249 employees across 6 offices, but through the UCL Summer Internship Scheme you can spend 7-8 weeks in an organisation getting an idea of the work environment you thrive in, and the type of role you’re passionate about, and it may end up being the first step on your career ladder.

Exclusive Overseas Internships Available to UCL Students!

Joe O'Brien5 February 2020

Pictured – Winner of 2019’s Global Intern Photo Competition.

Written by Rhiannon Williams, Global Internships Manager at UCL Careers.

Would you like to spend your summer undertaking an internship overseas? Applications for the Global Internships Programme are now open!

What is the Global Internships Programme?

The programme aims to encourage students to undertake a summer internship outside of the UK. UCL Careers does this by working with employers to secure exciting exclusive and semi-exclusive opportunities for our students!

What kind of internships will there be?

We are currently finalising the opportunities for 2020 but aim to have a range of roles available. Last year we advertised internships in business development, research, marketing, teaching and translation across countries including Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, Vietnam and Singapore.

Exciting! How do I apply?

You can browse the internships via the Global Internships Programme scheme on your myUCLCareers account. If you would like to apply for any of the roles, you will need to answer a few questions and upload your CV. After the deadline has passed, UCL Careers will review all applications before deciding which ones will be shortlisted and sent to the organisation.

Ok, what’s the deadline?

The first batch of internships will go live on 12th February and close on 8th March. We will then release a second batch of opportunities on 13th March which will close on 29th March.

Sounds great, how can I increase my chances of being shortlisted?

Tailor your application! This is really important and will significantly increase the strength of your application. You can book an Applications Advice appointment at UCL Careers to have it checked before submitting it.

I’m nervous about applying for an international internship…

Undertaking an internship in a new country can be really daunting, but also really exciting! You can learn new skills and languages, expand your international network, develop your cultural awareness and hopefully have fun exploring your new environment. UCL Careers will provide you with tips and advice to help prepare you for the experience overseas.

Here’s what some previous participants said about the programme:

“My global internship was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Although it was nerve-wracking at first… if you want to learn more about the world and yourself, I highly recommend taking on an opportunity like this. Breaking out of your comfort zone is key for growing as a person, so pack your bags and off you go.”

“My advice if you’re thinking of undertaking a global internship? Don’t be afraid to face new challenges – these experiences will help you grow the most professionally and personally (and they usually make the best stories).”

“Be bold, brave and confident in yourself and never lose sight of the fact that you deserve to be in your position as much as anyone else!”

What’s next?

Make a note to check your myUCLCareers account on 12th February (and again on 13th March) to see what opportunities are available to you. We look forward to receiving your application!

Looking for Work: Be Safe, Be Smart

Joe O'Brien28 January 2020

Written by Rochelle Rozasty, Internship Programmes and Recruitment Services Manager at UCL Careers

Be smart and safe when looking for work or an internship

At UCL Careers we know that looking for work or an internship can sometimes feel daunting. Not only do you have to make time to find something that suits you, make applications and go to interviews, but you also have to ensure the legitimacy of the opportunity.

It’s important to be smart when checking out a job advert or offer. So we have put together some information to help you on our website for you as a student, as an intern and as a worker or employee.

When looking for work opportunities

As a student you may be targeted directly by some unscrupulous organisations and people who are trying to defraud you by claiming to offer work or other opportunities in an attempt to gather personal data and/or bank details. On the Payment rights and safety as a student, intern and employee page on our website, we explain what to look for and what to do if you’ve inadvertently been scammed. Further information can also be found through our parent body – The Careers Group.

When looking for an internship

When looking for an internship it’s important to make sure that not only will the internship give you a good learning opportunity but also that it is safe and has adequate insurance in place to cover you should any problems occur. We advise you to make sure you have details about the internship/placement in writing from the host organisation and you review the legitimacy of the internship, including payment. Look at the tips given on the Payment rights and safety as a student, intern and employee page on our website.

When securing a role

When you secure a role you are likely to be a worker or employee.  It’s important to know what status you are as this affects your employment rights. We’ve given you some information and signposted you to further resources about this on the Payment rights and safety as a student, intern and employee page on our website.

Your contract and if you have issues with your employer about payment

One of the things you are likely to want to know more about is what to expect in a contract and what to do if you have issues with your employer about payment. You can navigate your way through this by reading our blogs in our new UCL Careers Explains blog series.

Opportunities through myUCLCareers

Finally, just to let you know, we try to make sure the opportunities that come through our jobs board – myUCLCareers – are not discriminatory and the pay (for UK roles) meets National Minimum Wage legislation.  On occasion unscrupulous employers slip through our checks. Do let us know if you find something where the advert does not match reality and we will review what the employer has told us which may lead to us barring them from our system.

Be smart and be safe!

My Global Internship: where to start and how to find one

skye.aitken14 November 2019

Written by Rhiannon Williams, Global Internships Manager at UCL Careers.

Student on an internship stood by a river holding a camera and smilingWelcome to the second blog in our ‘My Global Internship’ series. Last week we learnt about global mindset and now we’re going to talk about how you can find an international internship, what you should think about when searching and places you can look to get you started.

Did you know students who go abroad during their studies are more likely to gain a 1st degree and be in graduate-level jobs six months after graduation? They’re also likely to have a fantastic time and build their confidence, so it’s a win-win all round! If you haven’t thought about going overseas before, perhaps because you don’t even know where to start, then we’re here to help you.

Before you start

Before you start actually finding specific roles to look at, you should think about the following things:

  1. What sort of work do you want to do and what are you aiming to get out of the whole experience?Are you looking to travel and explore a new culture (and thus open to all opportunities) or do you want to do a particular role related to your degree or career objectives? Perhaps you want to work in a large corporate environment or you want to try a smaller company or start-up where you may get more responsibility?
  2. Where do you want to go?Have you got a particular city, country or continent in mind? This may depend on your answer to question 1 as there might be particular countries or regions that are better suited to the work you’d like to do. Write down all the places you’re keen to consider – it’s worth drilling down to city-level as the experience can differ within country.
  3. How feasible is it to work in a particular area or country?You will need to think about travel and accommodation, and find out if you need a visa. Also, do you need to be able to speak the local language? Some countries are more accessible for English speakers than others, so if you don’t have a second language then perhaps start with these (but remember that the business language in some countries not on this map might still be English).
  4. What is the environment / culture like and how will you adapt to this?Whilst this is something you will prepare for once you’ve already secured an internship, it is a good idea to also research this early on because it may help when making applications.

All of the above will take both some thinking on your part, but also some research. A great place to start is the GoinGlobal website. Access this site via the Working Outside of the UK page on the UCL Careers website. You can also use the working abroad pages on TargetJobs and Prospects to help you. Make a note of your answers to the above – they might change over time as you explore new places, and that’s absolutely fine!

Looking for opportunities

Three students sat on a sofa working on laptopsAfter you’ve done a bit of thinking, next up is to starting looking for opportunities. Finding an international internship in a country you have limited experience with requires you to be proactive, but the rewards will be worth it. Here’s some places to start:

  • myUCLCareers jobs board – click on the Search tab > Vacancies and use the locations or country filter on the left to narrow down the options.
  • LinkedIn can be a valuable tool to help you find companies or contacts in countries that are of interest to you. Use the locations filter on the search function to target a particular country, or search via industry if you know what sector you want to work in.
  • General job boards such as Indeed, Reed and Google all have options to search by country and industry. org is a great platform for finding opportunities in specifically in Europe.
  • Local job boards can also be a great way to find opportunities, particularly from smaller organisations focusing on targeting local students. Search ‘job boards in x country’ to see what is recommended. For example, Welcome to the Jungle is a popular job platform in France for students to find opportunities in French SMEs.
  • Directories are a great way to help you find companies that you might be interested in working in, particularly ones you haven’t heard of yet! Sites like co allow you to search for companies by sector or location and provide general company information as well as links to jobs. If the company doesn’t have any jobs listed, there’s no harm in applying speculatively – we’ll cover this in the next blog!
  • Direct application to an organisation – this is the DIY route to finding an internship abroad. Take a look at the Careers Essentials module on guides on job huntingto help you with various stages of the job hunting process, whether at home or overseas.

So, open your laptop and start a spreadsheet – this will help you to keep track of websites you’ve explored, information you’ve found out and log some companies that you’re interested in applying to. Who knows what you might find and where you might end up going! Next time we will drill down into how to make an application, focusing on important things to consider when applying for overseas roles.

My Global Internship: what does it mean to have a ‘global mindset’?

skye.aitken6 November 2019

Written by Rhiannon Williams, Global Internships Manager at UCL Careers.

A student with sun glasses on stands in front of a view of a European cityWelcome to the first in a series of blogs aimed at helping students to find, apply for, prepare for and undertake a global internship (usually meaning outside the UK and probably your home country). We will be publishing blogs under the #myglobalinternship tag across the autumn and spring terms, so keep an eye out!

So maybe you’ve been applying for international internships already, or perhaps it’s something you’d like to start doing. Wherever you’re at, you may have come across the term ‘global mindset’ and you might wonder what this actually means.

One of the simpler definitions we like is ‘the ability to operate comfortably across borders, cultures, and languages’ and for a student to be a ‘global graduate’ they need to be able to possess a range of competencies such as team-working, adaptability, resilience and self-awareness.

Why is it important?

In an increasingly globalised workplace, employers require their staff to have intercultural competence to enable them to collaborate effectively with their colleagues and in different cultural settings (such as in a country you may not have experience before). They also need employees from diverse backgrounds to represent their client base, who can also grasp the interconnectedness of international business.

A report from McKinsey’s Global Institute shows that ‘cross-border data flows are increasing at rates approaching 50 times those of last decade. Almost a billion social-networking users have at least one foreign connection, while 2.5 billion people have email accounts, and 200 billion emails are exchanged every day. About 250 million people are currently living outside of their home country, and more than 350 million people are cross-border e-commerce shoppers’.

In addition, ‘increased global interconnectivity puts diversity and adaptability at the centre of organisational operations’ according to the Future Work Skills 2020 report. This means employers are looking for candidates who can keep up with this rate of change and collaborate virtually by working productively and effectively as part of a virtual team (e.g. one across different global sites).

What kind of experiences can you draw upon?

By studying at UCL, you are already in a great position to talk about your experiences of interacting with individuals from different cultures, given that there are over 150+ nationalities represented on campus. You can also demonstrate your global mindset by talking about the following experiences on your applications and in interviews:

  • Living abroad (during upbringing or as part of course)
  • Picking up language skills
  • Transitioning from home to London
  • Coming to London from outside of the UK
  • Representing one organisation at its interface with another in a different region/country/culture
  • Presenting papers at international conferences or in committees
  • Having an interest in current affairs, listening to/reading global business news (be prepared to back this up)
  • Independent travel
  • Sensitivity to different regional/class/cultural attitudes, e.g. travel, voluntary work, vacation jobs

Plus, if you decide to undertake a global internship in summer 2020 then that will enhance your global mindset even further! For further reading about global skills, you may enjoy the QS 2019 Global Skills Gap Report which aims  to  provide a greater understanding  of  the  gaps  between  graduate  skills  and employer expectations around the world. You can also book a careers appointment to talk about these skills and explore how you can highlight yours to future employers!

Future blogs in the series will look at:

  • How to find international internships
  • Making applications for international internships
  • Conducting video interviews for overseas roles
  • Preparing for your time abroad
  • Working in a global workplace

UCL Careers Global Interns Photo Competition Winners 2019

skye.aitken11 October 2019

Congratulations to the winners of our inaugural #UCLGlobalInterns photo competition! We had some excellent entries and it was great to see what students have been up to during their overseas summer internship.

In third place was Yagmur Arica who undertook an internship at a women’s university in Tokyo. With the caption “I feel love” we felt her photo captured the beauty of Japan, particularly with the use of vibrant colour to showcase a traditional Japanese outfit.

A female student from behind dressed in colourful traditional Japanese clothing striking a pose in front of traditional on a wet day

In second place, we liked the simplicity of Dorothy Tong’s photo from Shanghai. Dorothy says, “I experienced a different culture both socially and professionally and gained valuable analytical and communication skills. I chose to work in Shanghai as there are so many job opportunities and it is the global hub for many businesses around the world.”

A student standing in a garden in the centre of a round sculpture

In joint first place, we enjoyed the photos and captions from Anna Sarasiti and Florence Fowkes. Anna highlighted how one of the things she took away from her internship in Berlin was in fact something more associated with London! She said, “In one of the most international cities in the world, Brit, Greek and Maltese comrades have a butcher’s at the Soviet War Memorial. Of all the things I have learnt in Berlin, I was not expecting to return to London having improved my cockney rhyming slang.” We also enjoyed the adventurous side of Florence’s photo from Delhi and she encourages others to undertake an international internship: “From culture, language, work ethic to the fantastic food, I learnt an incredible amount. Could not recommend an overseas internship more. Be proactive and send out those emails!”

Students standing on the steps of a monument with the monument and sky behind themA student standing on top of a mountain with the mountain region behind her and many colourful flags to her leftWould you like to undertake a summer internship outside of the UK? Take a look at the Global Internships Programme webpages and keen an eye out for upcoming communications throughout the autumn term.

 

#UCLGlobalInterns Photo Competition

UCL Careers5 June 2019

Student with a child

This year we’ve launched an Instagram photo competition for UCL students to showcase their international internship experiences and be in for the chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher!

Getting involved is easy. All you need to do is:

  1. Either send us an email with your image and a caption to globalinternships@ucl.ac.uk or share it with us on Instagram by using the #UCLGlobalInterns and tagging @uclcareers
  2. You will receive a response letting you know that we have received your entry. Your post may be reshared on the @uclcareers Instagram account
  3. Three images will be selected on 11 October to receive a £50 Amazon voucher

Terms and conditions

  • You must be a current UCL student or recent graduate (June 2019)
  • Your image should showcase an internship experience taking place in Summer 2019
  • You must have the permission of anyone other than yourself included in the photo

By entering you give permission for UCL Careers to use the photo in future promotion of the Global Internships Programme. UCL Careers reserves the right not to award all three prizes, depending on the quality of entries. You may also be asked to provide evidence that you meet the above conditions.

What kind of entries are we looking for?

That is up to you! We want to see and read about what is exciting and challenging about your international work experience; whether that’s in the office or what you get up to in your time off. Remember to use your caption wisely. Ideally, images will be of good resolution and quality.

Can I enter more than one image?

Yes, you can enter the competition a maximum three times. However, only one prize can be claimed per applicant.

When is the deadline?

Entries must be received by 23:59 (GMT) on 6 October 2019. The top three photos will be informed by 11 October. Other entries may also be shared on the @uclcareers Instagram account.

Take control and secure your summer internship

UCL Careers24 April 2019

Written by Recruitment and Selection Advisor, Susanne Stoddart.

It won’t come as a surprise to hear that graduate employers will really value seeing some professional work experience on your CV. According to research from the Institute of Student Employers, recruiters believe graduates with professional work experience have the required transferable skills to do the job better than those without it. But we know it’s not always easy setting out to secure these opportunities. The many myths and ideas that circulate about internships – for example, that interns only carry out menial tasks but, at the same time, all internships are ultra-competitive – hardly build confidence or inspire action.

Although the summer break is just around the corner, it’s not too late to secure some professional work experience for the vacation. The UCL Jobs Market 2019 takes place on Wednesday 5th June, 2-4pm, where you can meet with employers offering summer internships in a wide range of sectors. Also, take a look at our advice on Sourcing and making the most of internships. But first, carry on reading for a couple of tips on building confidence and beating the application blues (with assistance from some self-help gurus… and Wonder Woman!).

Take Control with Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has sold over 25 million copies, and Covey’s first habit revolves around Circles of Concern and Circles of Influence. A Circle of Concern encompasses the wide range of worries a person has about life, or about a particular aspect of their life. Covey says that we should be focussing our time and energy not on our Circle of Concern but instead on our Circle of Influence, which encompasses issues that we actually have some control over.

You may be wondering what all these circles have got to do with your summer internship. Well, many of the discouraging ideas that circulate about internships are beyond your control or influence and therefore belong in the Circle of Concern. You can’t do anything about the fact that securing an internship is a competitive process, or that, maybe, you’ve never done an application for professional work experience before. There’s no point in dwelling on these concerns or letting them put you off giving it your best shot if you have a little time. It’s far better to be proactive and empowered by focussing on what you can control – your Circle of Influence – such as putting together an effective application that showcases your motivation, skills and experience in the best light. Remember, if you’d like some help with this, you can book in for a one-to-one Application Advice appointment with UCL Careers.

Smash Impostor Syndrome with Amy Cuddy

With an estimated 70% of the population experiencing it at some point in their lives, impostor syndrome is where an individual doubts the validity of their accomplishments and fears being exposed as inadequate, despite evidence that they are actually a competent, skilled and successful person. The common concern that you need professional experience to secure more professional experience can spark the fear and self-doubt characteristic of impostor syndrome and discourage internship applicants. In reality, employers don’t expect interns to have lots of professional work experience; they’re interested in motivation, transferable skills and potential. Academic achievements, extra-curricular activities – such as mentoring, playing sports or being on the committee of a student society – in addition to volunteering and part-time work are all valued successes that can showcase skills and potential.

For Amy Cuddy, banishing the impostor syndrome is all about the “power pose” – she advises that we take a couple of minutes in private to stand tall with chest out and hands on hips, just like Wonder Woman, in order to increase confidence for the day ahead. In one of the most watched TED talks of all time, Cuddy proves that body language affects not just how others see us – it also influences our own minds, reduces stress, increases confidence and impacts how we see ourselves.

Whether channelling Wonder Woman proves to be your thing or not, take control, acknowledge your achievements, showcase your skills and secure your summer internship anyway! The application effort will be worth it when you get your invitation to interview and remember, when it comes, you can book in with UCL Careers for a Practice Interview as another great way to boost your confidence and prepare.

Where will you go this summer? Funding available for internships outside of the UK!

UCL Careers11 March 2019

Thinking of undertaking an internship outside of the UK this summer? Applications have opened for UCL’s Global Internships Bursary, which provides financial support for students who have sourced their own summer internship in 2019. Grants of £500 are available and can be used to offset costs associated with working overseas such as flights, visas, vaccinations and living costs.

Applications close on 28th April (23.59). Eligibility applies. See more details and how to apply.

Magali standing on the Brooklyn Bridge

Magali Medinger, intern at the United Nations in New York

Last year Magali Medinger travelled to New York to complete an internship at an NGO. She told us more about her experience…

“My global internship was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Although it was nerve-wracking at first and sometimes challenging, if you want to learn more about the world, other people and most importantly yourself, I highly recommend taking on an opportunity like this. Breaking out of your comfort zone is key for growing as a person, so pack your bags and off you go.”

Why did you choose to undertake an international internship?

My main criteria for an international internship was to be able to work at the UN. I did not choose the country per se, as there are only two permanent Missions of Luxembourg to the UN in the world, and the spot in New York was open. Yet the fact that the internship was international, and in a new country, made the experience much more valuable. Hard work and responsibility at the workplace, combined with the immersion into a new culture and city also made it unforgettable.

What did you do doing your internship?

My tasks were many and varied, including general assistance to the diplomatic agents of the mission: assistance in report writing of meetings, tracking the activities of the different bodies of the UN, and daily general and specialised press screening. Moreover, I participated and assisted speechwriting in side events like “Children and Sustainable Development” and “Safer Roads and Inclusive Transportation”, and attended a number of high-level plenary meetings.

How did you immerse yourself in the culture of a new country?

Before going to New York, I had never been to the United States, nor had I ever really travelled to a new continent by myself. I think one of the most important things is planning. In order to immerse yourself in the culture of a country, you need to understand it first. Of course, it is also key that you leave space for spontaneous and unplanned moments, but you need to make sure you know enough about the country so as not to miss out on great opportunities.

What was the most useful part of your internship?

The conversations I had and the speeches I was able to listen to. Getting a grip of how the UN works and most importantly how the people inside this huge international organisation think and act is only possible by witnessing and being a part of it.  

What were some of the challenges you faced during your internship?

Adapting to a new environment, new colleagues and a new job. It was a lot to take in at the beginning, but the people I met there were very caring and helped me overcome most challenges. Being on your own is not easy, but you get the chance to learn a lot about the world and yourself.

Do you have any tips for other students thinking of doing an internship overseas?

Be open to everything and don’t let your fear of the unknown stop you. Observe and listen carefully, adapt to your role. Connect with people and experience the city and culture.

UCL Careers Global Internships

How to make the most of your summer

UCL Careers28 February 2019

Summer Internships Scheme

Internships are key to building experience as a student or recent graduate. Employers are much more likely to hire someone with internships and work experience, rather than someone with a generic resume, lacking experience. Many internship opportunities help set the foundation for your career. The summer is a perfect opportunity to focus on what needs doing and to gain that all important experience.

Here we explain the benefits of undertaking an internship and what you need to consider when building on your own brand, networking and online presence, along with the softer skill benefits it offers.

Undertaking an internship

You can gain a lot from doing an internship. From being able to develop common workplace skills such as team work and commercial awareness, to demonstrating work experience on your CV and making new connections with employers. You will be able to explore a field of work and reflect on your strengths and weaknesses to build your confidence, and understand how theory and research relate to practice in a work context.

Last, and not least, you will have an opportunity to earn money. Find a summer internship in our UCL Careers Summer Internship Scheme where you will be paid London Living Wage. Opportunities are live now until 24th March.  You can also browse other opportunities on myUCLCareers.

Creating a portfolio 

For some roles, especially in media, fashion and design, it’s important to have a portfolio of work to show employers at interviews. This could include photos, drawings, examples of writing or anything that demonstrates your creativity. You could use the summer to build an online portfolio in the form of a website then use the link on your CV or in future applications.

Have you connected?

If you have made some connections over the year, you can re-visit them. Leverage your network to identify people who are in your desired field or industry and set up an informational interview to learn more about your potential career path. Begin speaking with potential mentors, such as UCL Alumni and build relationships with existing mentors. This will put you in a strong position after you graduate and it will remind important people that you are both interested and interesting!

Building your online brand

Linked to networking your personal network is how the outside world sees you, including prospective employers. Sites like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook can be powerful tools to let employers know who you are and what you can do.

Learning about you

The first step in making an informed decision about anything relating to your career is understanding yourself. If you don’t really know what you want or what you are good at then this can be really hard.

Use the summer to get to know yourself a bit better. Travelling, making new friends or learning new skills through online courses can be a really good way to bring out your strengths and help you find your passion. Don’t forget, you can always come into UCL Careers for a short guidance appointment with one of our Careers Consultants.

Find yourself an opportunity through the UCL Careers Summer Internships Scheme, or through the myUCLCareers vacancies tab. Deadline for applications for roles in the UCL Careers Summer Internships Scheme is Sunday 24th March.