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Succeeding at Assessment Centres | CareersLab

9 December 2019

Written by Joe O’Brien

Have you wondered what happens at assessment centres? Do you know how to get ahead of the competition? In this video, UCL Senior Careers Consultant Raj Sidhu, shares his top 4 tips for assessment centre success with you!

This is the laat episode of 2019 but make sure to check back in January 2020 as we’ll be adding new episodes every week on the UCL Careers YouTube channel and right here on the UCL Careers blog.

If you’re a UCL student or recent graduate and you have a question you’d like Raj to answer in a future CareersLab video then please email us at careers.marketing@ucl.ac.uk.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and the UCL Careers Newsletter so you never miss an episode.

Interview with an Alum: Kam Hussain, BA Geography 2016-19

28 November 2019


Interview with Kam Hussain, UCL alum and entrepreneur. Written by Joe O’Brien

Hi Kam, tell us about where you are in your career and how you got there?

I work in an AI tech startup and was head-hunted as I impressed at an Edtech startup which was based in the same co-working space. I interned (and freelanced) at said Edtech startup in three stints, across 15 months between penultimate and final years at UCL. In between, I also interned at a FoodTech startup. These opportunities were provided by UCL Careers (via the Santander Scheme).

Can you tell us what services you used during your time at UCL?

I found UCL Careers Extra super helpful and have worked with UCL Changemakers to improve UCL Careers services. I also visited a Careers Consultant to get my CV checked.

What path did you take to start your own business?

I started at UCL Innovation and Enterprise in October 2016. I began with their 8 week programme called ‘Bright Ideas phase 1’ (Now, ‘Explore’). I began ideating my business idea. In term 2 of my first year, I completed another 8 week programme ‘Bright Ideas phase 2’ (now included within Explore). I developed a prototype using sewing machines from Institute of Making! I pitched at the end of both programmes. In summer of 2018, I completed ‘Launch’ – Another 8 week programme. I had to overcome my fear of selling and began speaking to retailers and potential buyers to assess whether people would buy my bags. Now that I’ve graduated I have a clear vision. I genuinely went from no business experience and no fashion background, with only a picture in my head, to a full fledged business with real people buying and using my products every day!

What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve had to learn in creating your own business?

Understanding that no matter how much support I get from family, friends, peers, investors and other businesses, I will always carry the ultimate burden and risk. So it’s important to ensure that your mental health is prized, and that you make the decisions to keep you happy. You have to make sure you never lose sight of your vision or integrity for others, as you’ll always be the one to face the repercussions. After a while make sure you recruit a co-founder! Going solo is the toughest I have found.

If you could give 1st year Kam some career advice, what would that be?

If you get rejected, it’s because you’re not right for that role in particular at that time. Perhaps there isn’t a culture fit at all. At the end of the day, it was never meant for you. It doesn’t mean that you’re not as educated, or as competent as those who got the role. It’s all relative, learn from the rejection, and pivot to a different industry or role if needed. Your time will come, so be gracious.

Can you tell us why having a social impact is important to you as an entrepreneur?

If there was no social focus to my brand then I would become what I hate. I’d become a money-motivated business man. I’m in pursuance of something much greater than money alone, that’s why I care as much about HOLSTRAP Foundation as I do with the brand itself. I’m of Bangladeshi origin and in 2013, there was a collapse of a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It killed around 1100 people, and injured a further 2500. It hit home. I want to change the narrative. It’s not all about the big heritage brands, or the newer fast fashion brands that pay pennies to children and don’t care for the wellbeing of their outsourced workforce. This is the alternative. Beautifully handmade luxury in London, with sales proceeds empowering workers in developing countries. It’s deep rooted within me to make people’s lives easier or better. 

Where was your favourite place on campus when you were a student at UCL?

My favourite place on campus was the Paleography Reading Rooms in Senate House! The tobacco sofas contrasting with the clean white desks; the surrounding walls neatly filled with books of palaeography, with beams of sunlight shining through. Inspiration. Far away from the hustle and bustle of main campus. Peace. The UCL Senate House Hubs were a good spot too.

Finally, where can readers find your products?!

My Products are available to pre-order through my crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. The campaign ends 11:59pm on 6th December 2019. Thereafter, it’ll be available through www.holstrap.com | @holstrap on all socials. 

Museums, Arts & Cultural Heritage Week 2019: Careers in Museums

Skye AAitken25 November 2019

Written by Shally Sawhney, Skills Officer at UCL Careers.

We invited four different speakers from various roles and institutions within the Museum sector to give students an insight into what it is like to work in the field.

  • Alison Boyle – Keeper of Science Collection at the Science Museum
  • Moa Taylor Hodin – Learning Coordinator at Museum of London Docklands
  • Gina Koutsika – Creative & Skills Director at V&A Museum of Childhood
  • Vanessa Meade – Curator of Exhibitions and Interpretations at Geffrye Museum

Our fantastic panellist gave some great advice and here are some top tips for students looking to get into the sector.

On volunteering and getting experience:

A common theme throughout the panel was the importance of volunteering in the sector. All our panellist recommended this as a great way to get experience and to figuring out what you what kind of roles you enjoy most. Volunteering in a museum can also help when applying for roles, especially as people you know within the museum may be able to support you with your application. One of our panellists regularly volunteers at the museum she works in which gives her the opportunity to learn new skills and also meet people from both front of house and back of house.

On getting into the Sector:

The Museum sector can be a hard sector to get into. It can be competitive, some roles have hundreds of applications and you have to really want the job. Our panellist advised to be persistent, keep applying and be prepared to travel. Local museums are a great opportunity to get experience. One panellist said there are lots of different avenues into working in museums and recommended joining different networks to widen the number of people that you know. Leicester University’s museums job desk which is updated on a Thursday afternoon was highlighted as a great job site

On showing your passion:

All our panellist love working in the sector – there are challenges that they face but the rewards are far greater. Their advice to students is to show your passion and say yes to opportunities.

‘Take every opportunity you can. Ask for feedback and show your passion.’

‘You might have a lot of applications but if you are passionate then keep going.’

‘Take every opportunity that is given to you, just go for it’

‘Give different things a go, you might get asked what has inspired you’

 

We also had some excellent questions from our audience – we’ve included the top 3 questions and what the panel had to say:

Audience Questions:

Do I need a doctorate to work in a Museum?

You can get promotions without a doctorate, it certainly can help but you do not absolutely have to have it. It is more important to have relevant contact experience (especially for a curator role). A Doctorate might be useful later on in your career but experience is definitely more important. One panellist decided to do an MBA instead, which she felt, was more useful for her in running museums. Many institutions are keen on the practical experience to support all the theory that you may have learned.

What are you looking for in applications?

Different organisations recruit in different ways. Make sure that your experience is relevant and that you have tailored it to the job description. Keep it super clear and easy for the person reading it to see how great you are. Some institutions use a points system where they measure your essential skills and desirable skills, so look at having those essential skills ticked off – really spell it out and have practical examples for everything. Try to give different examples (something that stands out), look at the experience that you can adapt and the skills that you are able to transfer. Some applications are now looking at behaviours as key competencies rather than skills.

What support is there for professional development in museum roles?

There is a lot of learning on the job and HR will have a variety of training opportunities, although some people will pay for their own training and development. Make the most of your managers and the team around you, find out if there is a mentoring programme and if there is, apply to access it. If you’d like to attend a conference or an event, sometimes organisations such as the Museum Association may offer you a grant so that you are able to get a ticket.

UCL Careers Fairs 2019: Law

Skye AAitken21 October 2019

Interested in a career working within Law?

The UCL Careers Law Fair features top employers including Solicitors, Barristers’ Chambers, Course Providers and Professional Services.

Most of the organisations are keen to speak to both Law and non-Law students.

Students talking to employers at a UCL Careers fair

Employers will be hiring for training contracts, pupillages and some other graduate roles, and in some cases for vacation schemes and placements. This fair is primarily aimed at penultimate year law students and final year non-law students from any other degree discipline with an interest in pursuing a legal career.

Other years are welcome to attend to research firms, and find out about open days and insight sessions, but we recommend you research which firms are offering these in advance.

When: Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th October | 5:00pm – 7.30pm

Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

Some employers attending include:

Day 1

Day 2

·      Clifford Chance

·      Allen & Overy

·      Freshfields

·      Linklaters

·      Slaughter & May

·      CII

·      Simmons & Simmons

·      Herbert Smith Freehills

·      The University of Law

·      Mayer Brown

·      Winston & Strawn

·      Government Legal Profession

·      Cooley

·      Dechert

·      Baker McKenzie

·      Mishcon de Reya

Plus many more!

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

Law Fair Day 1
Law Fair Day 2

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

The Law Fair 2019 is kindly sponsored by Deloitte (Day 1) and The University of Law (Day 2)

UCL Careers Themed Weeks: Government & Policy Week 2019

Skye AAitken8 October 2019

21 – 24 October 2019

Interested in a career that makes a difference? Government & Policy week is your chance to hear from those working at the heart of government; people who influence policy; and leaders in the public sector.

If 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.

Speaker in front of students


Introduction to Policy in Government

Monday 21st October 2019: 1 – 2pm

Join us for a ‘fire-side’ chat; where Nicola Benton, International Climate Negotiator with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is in conversation with our own UCL Careers Consultant, Raj Sidhu

View event details and book your place


Careers in the Heart of Government

Monday 21st October 2019: 5.30 – 7pm

Hear from speakers working across the UK Civil Service. Guests from the FCODEFRADExEU, and DfT will talk about their careers to date. This event will include Q&A and a networking opportunity.

View event details and book your place


Influencing Policy

Tuesday 22nd October 2019: 5.30 – 7pm

Hear from representatives of some of the shapers of public policy. This event will include Q&A and a networking opportunity. Speakers include Localis (think tank), Universities UKUnite the UnionOfcom, and Waltham Forest Council.

View event details and book your place


Implementing Policy Workshop

Wednesday 23rd October 2019: 12 – 2pm

Guests from the Civil Service will guide you through the policy making process. You will work through a group exercise; designing and evaluating policy options to recommend for implementation. You will receive feedback throughout this process and guidance on how to approach policy recommendations.

View event details and book your place


Careers in International Relations: an introduction

Wednesday 23rd October 2019: 3 – 4pm

Admissions professionals from Columbia University (SIPA)Georgetown School of Foreign ServiceThe Fletcher School (Tufts) and Johns Hopkins SAIS will provide an overview of careers in the field of International Relations. You will learn about the types of roles and organisations involved, the experiences and educational requirements to succeed, and how you can start a rewarding career in this area.

View event details and book your place


Careers that make a difference

Thursday 24th October 2019: 5.30pm – 7pm

A carousel event made up of table discussions giving you the chance to meet representatives from a range of public sector employers and discuss their work, the challenges they face, as well as explore jobs and graduate schemes open to you. This event will conclude with optional informal networking. Confirmed guests include: Teachers, Social Workers, FrontlineUnlocked, and more to be announced.

View event details and book your place

UCL Careers Fairs 2019: IT & Technology

Skye AAitken8 October 2019

Want to find out more about careers within IT and Technology?

The UCL Careers IT & Technology Fair features some of the top employers in consultancy, big data, software, cloud computing, telecommunications, financial technology and many more.

A student looking at the camera smiling at a fait

Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions, internships and, in some cases, 1st year spring programmes.

The fair is open to all year groups but there may not be structured programmes on offer for all students. Some roles will be open to students studying computer science or a related technical discipline, but others will be open to all with an interest in technology.

When: Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 October | 5:30pm – 8pm

Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building and Jeremy Bentham room on Day 1.

Some employers attending include:

Day 1 Day 2
·      Morgan Stanley

·      Goldman Sachs

·      GSK

·      Bank of America

·      Ocado

·      Deloitte

·      Twitter

·      Nissan

·      ITV

·      Tesco

·      Vodafone

·      McKinsey & Company

·      Cisco

·      BP

·      Lloyds Banking

·      American Express

Plus many more!

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

IT & Technology Fair Day 1

IT & Technology Fair Day 2

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

The IT and Technology Fair 2019 is kindly sponsored by Cisco (Day 2).

Cisco logo

One-to-one Employer-led Coaching With Graduate Recruiters

Skye AAitken1 October 2019

Student sat opposite an employer getting advice

UCL Careers have invited a wide range of graduate recruiters, who have volunteered to offer one-to-one coaching on writing applications (CVs, cover letters, personal statements etc.) and preparing for interviews through role-playing based practice interview sessions.

  • All one-to-one employer-led coaching must be booked in advance through your myUCLCareers account.
  • Bookings for each session will open two weeks before it is due to take place.
  • A returnable £10 cash deposit will need to be left at UCL Careers before you are able to book a place at any coaching session online

For more information, visit the one-to-one coaching page on our website.

For email alerts on when you can book a place at specific events, we recommend that you update your myUCLCareers email preferences to sign up for our  ‘Event update’ emails. You can also subscribe to our Newsletter.

UCL Careers Fairs 2019: Banking, Finance and Economics

Skye AAitken1 October 2019

Interested in a career working in Banking, Finance, or Economics?

The UCL Careers Banking, Finance, & Economics Fair features some of the top employers from a wide variety of sectors including Investment Banking, Professional Services, Retail and Corporate Banking, Economics, Consulting, Investment Management Actuarial, Insurance and many more.

An employer talking to a student at a careers fair

Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions, internships and, in some cases, 1st year spring programmes.

The fair is open to all year groups but there may not be structured programmes on offer for all students.

When: Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 October | 5:30pm – 8pm

Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

Economics zone on Day 1 only
The zone will ONLY be open to Economics students from 5.30 -7.00pm. If you are an Economics student/graduate visiting this section of the Fair please join the queue at the north end of the North Cloister where  you will be asked to show your ID card.

The rest of the Fair will be open to all current UCL students and graduates from the past 2 years from 5:30pm – 8:00pm.

Some employers attending include:

Day 1

Day 2

  • Bank of England
  • Teach First
  • HSBC
  • PwC
  • EY
  • Ofcom
  • Government Statistical Service
  • Deloitte Economic Consulting
  • G – Research
  • Goldman Sachs
  • National Rail
  • Sky
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Greensill
  • Citi
  • Bloomberg

Plus many more!

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

Banking, Finance and Economics Fair Day 1
Banking, Finance and Economics Fair Day 2

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

The Banking, Finance & Economics Fair 2019 is kindly sponsored Greensill (Day 2).

 

UCL Careers Fairs 2019: Management Consultancy

Skye AAitken25 September 2019

Considering a career in Management Consultancy?

The UCL Careers Management Consultancy Fair features some of the top employers from a wide variety of consultancy sectors including strategy, financial, brand, technology and HR.

Image of a student talking to an employer at a careers fair

Employers will be hiring for permanent graduate positions and in some cases internships and placements.

The fair is mainly aimed at final year and penultimate year students. Other years are welcome to attend in order to research employers, but there may not be suitable structured programmes available.

When: Wednesday 2 October 2019 | 5:30pm – 8pm

Where: North and South Cloisters, Wilkins Building

Some employers attending include:

  • Accenture
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • PwC
  • Oliver Wyman
  • EY
  • Unilever
  • Capgemini
  • Teach First

Plus many more!

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

Management Consultancy 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: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/about/events/careers-fairs

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.