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Start the New Year off right if you’re planning on applying for a Grad Scheme

UCL Careers8 January 2016

Highly sought after by UCL students, graduate schemes have been seen as being the gold medal upon completion of your degree. However only a limited number make it through as competition is tough. On average, there are 85 applications for every single graduate scheme position. 

Myth: a degree will be enough. Employers are now looking for more from students. HSBC noted: “We recruit up to 1,500 graduates on to one of our 70 graduate programmes around the world. For those jobs, globally, we receive around 100,000 applications. As 90% have a 2.2 or a 2.1, it therefore takes something extra to stand out.”

The conversion rate from landing that internship in the company you want to work for to securing a place on their graduate scheme can be as high as 70-80% in some companies! Every company wants the best candidates, so do apply early. Some may fill positions whilst recruitment is still happening. Don’t leave it to the last minute to apply. Also, come and get your application reviewed by one of our specialist application advisors.

Only 7-10% of graduates who enter the workplace do so through a formal graduate scheme, so how do you maximise your chances at success? Preparation is incredibly important. We’ve put together a handy timeline of things to do, whether you’re a first year or a finalist who hasn’t even thought about what you are going to do when you finish.

UCL Study Level Spring Term (January – April 2016) Summer Term(May – August 2016) Autumn (2016)(Sept 2016 onwards)
First/Second year going into Penultimate year > Start looking at careers/jobs you may be interested through Careers Tagged

> Clarify Visa options in the UK (if international students)

> Research jobs in home country or country you wish to work in (UCL login needed to view this link)


> Apply for internships/gain work experience during the summer through UCL JobOnline > Career Planning

> Attend Careers Fairs and Employer Events


Penultimate going into Final year  > Gain relevant work experience either through internships or experience within that sector

> Identify your hard skills from your soft skills and compare this against their competencies and develop your skills

> Apply for internships for summer through UCL JobOnline

> Attend our Global Citizenship Employability Programme

> Attend our Focus on Management course

> Look at company websites, many open applications for their graduate schemes between July – September.

> Gain work experience during the summer


> Career Planning

> Attend Careers Fairs and Employer Events

> Identify Graduate Schemes & Apply

Final year becoming a Recent Graduate > Apply for graduate level jobs / schemes – some companies have rolling deadlines. You can find most of these via the companies website or through UCL JobOnline > Apply for graduate level jobs via UCL JobOnline

> Target unfilled Graduate Schemes via the companies websites or through UCL JobOnline

> Attend the UCL Jobs Market 2016 event (more information coming soon)

> Join UCL Careers Graduates  (once your course finishes)

> Follow steps above




We’re also open all year round so whether you want to talk about career options, have an application checked or have gained an interview and want to practice, we can help. Our website has a comprehensive amount of information for each step and you can pop-in personally and speak to one of our information team who can help.

And even if a graduate scheme doesn’t float your boat, we can help you find your future in your chosen career path as a vast number of our alumni go on to work within Charities, NGOs, Media, Law and Science sectors.

Good luck!

How to tackle psychometric tests

uczjsdd7 December 2015


Psychometric tests are one of the hoops some of you will have to jump through to get a job. Large employers often use these tests as a quick and easy way of cutting down the huge volume of applications they receive. So how should you tackle them? Well, firstly, don’t panic. Secondly, do prepare. And thirdly, don’t panic some more.

1) DON’T Panic

Easier said than done, right? Employers tell us that lots of people do panic. They assume they’ll fail and so they opt out of the recruitment process at the psychometric test stage without even sitting the test. And a few employers have told us that women self-select out a lot more than men. So stop doing that people! Especially female people! If you take the test you may pass and get through to the next application stage, or you may fail and not progress to the next stage. If you don’t take the test you’re certain not to progress. So give yourself a chance and take that test.

It’s quite common for employers to test verbal and numerical abilities (though not all will test both), and sometimes logical thinking too. The numerical tests can seem scary, especially if you’ve been studying a humanities degree for the past few years. But if employers are accepting applicants from all academic disciplines (and many are) then they’re clearly not looking only for maths geniuses. And some tests are designed to be extremely difficult, with too many questions for the assigned time. So people can often think they didn’t do very well and then find they passed.

2) DO Prepare

Saying that, you should probably panic a bit…but just enough to make sure you put appropriate time into preparing. Psychometric tests aren’t a walk in the park. If you’re out of practice working with graphs and numbers then you’re likely to be slow and perhaps even bad at numerical reasoning tests when you first look at them. Similarly, even if you think you’re good with words, verbal reasoning tests aren’t always straightforward, and may be harder than you expect.

But with practice you can improve. Employers often offer the chance to take practice tests before the real one. Always take them up on this. And as a UCL student or recent graduate you can try a range of practice tests through UCL Careers. These tests provide feedback on how you compare to others in terms of speed and accuracy, helping you to gauge your ability and see if you’re improving. There are also handy hints and tips to be found on careerstagged – just sign in with your UCL login and search “psychometric tests”. Always tap these free university careers resources first  – they’re great and just for you – but if you’ve exhausted them and still aren’t confident, there are websites out there that offer the option to buy more sample tests.

Another way to ensure you’re prepared is to find out as much as possible about your target employers’ tests. Psychometric tests can vary greatly, so it’s worth investigating which provider your target employer is using, and then focusing your practice on the same types of tests. It’s also useful to know whether your potential employer negatively marks their tests for incorrect answers. This information isn’t always readily available, but if you can find it, it will help you work out how to balance speed versus accuracy in your answers.

3) DON’T Panic….again

Preparation and practice will bring your performance up to its optimum level. But of course there is a peak point for every individual, past which they’re unlikely to improve. If you’ve put in the work and still not made the grade, don’t feel dejected. Different employers use different tests and different cut-off points – some much harder and higher than others – so one rejection shouldn’t put you off all employers with psychometric tests. And not all employers and roles require the completion of these tests, so think about other routes into your chosen career or employer – maybe with the help of a one-to-one appointment with a UCL careers consultant. Another bit of good news is that there may well be a trend emerging of employers moving away from psychometric tests; this year Barclays scrapped theirs completely in order to make the recruitment process faster and more enjoyable for everyone involved.


S Donaldson, Careers Consultant, UCL

Image from Boaz Arad

Press Assistant: Inspire Me

UCL Careers5 December 2015

As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Lornette Harley, Press Assistant at Soho Theatre, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to get into the sector. For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, search #SMEProfile.

How did you get into your role?Lornette
I did a degree in musical theatre and discovered that that side of theatre wasn’t really for me as much as I loved it. After my degree I got into a lot of event planning and managing which then turned into a lot PR work in the music industry and that was how I realised that I love PR. I did about 3 works on music events and PR work and then a friend of mine sent me the vacancy for the role of Press Assistant at Soho Theatre and I thought it was the perfect mixture of all the things I enjoyed doing, so here I am!

What are the best things about working in your role?
The fact that I am always learning something new and constantly meeting and interacting with new people. The people that I work with are also some of the most amazing people I’ve ever worked with. We all sit in one open plan office and the atmosphere is always great. It’s a great role that mixes my love for all things creative with the office work.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
I sometimes think it can be quite difficult to plan my day at work because I never know what’s going to happen when I get there. I’ll have an idea of what I want to get done in a day and then I’ll get a string of emails all marked as high importance and my plan goes flying out of the window. It can be quite difficult to fit in everything that needs to get done.
What top tips would you give to a student interested in this type of work?
Get into theatres, see as much as you possibly can, really immerse yourself in all things theatre so that you know what’s going on. Be aware of the press that is around as well; read the papers and magazines, listen to radio shows and watch news programmes. Also, reach out to your local theatre wherever you might be, see if there are any part time front of house roles that you can do alongside your studies if you have time. Get into a theatre and make yourself known, you never know what possibilities for moving up there might be and if you’re already in the theatre you’re in a better position that people applying from outside. Lastly, remember everyone you speak to (the industry is small and you’re very likely to work with people more than once) and be nice to everyone you come across.

To find our more about working in PR, visit Careers Tagged

The ultimate guide to video interviews

UCL Careers30 November 2015

This post originally appeared on the TARGETjobs Bloggers site

We all want to get  that brilliant job, but knowing how to present yourself to employers can be challenging, especially on video. We have chatted to Inspiring Interns about their tips to acing video interviews. Whether you’re a graduate or making a career change, this is the guide for you.

What is a video interview?

In today’s ever-changing world, video interviews are becoming more and more common. Depending on which survey you read, at least 60% of companies are now using video interviews at some stage in their hiring process. There are many books for graduates on how to excel in an interview – but what if all you have is a screen? This can actually be to your advantage. This guide will teach you how to excel in your video interview, so that you can land your dream job.

There are two different types of video interviews; Live, and One-way. A ‘live’ interview is when you and your employer talk in real time, as you would in an in-person interview. The benefit of a live interview is that you can build rapport with the interviewer, and gain an immediate sense of the company’s culture. A one-way interview is when you are sent the pre-set questions, and given a time-frame in which to respond with a video recording of yourself answering them. The benefit of a one-way interview is that you have time to think through your answers.

How to prepare for a video interview

When preparing for a video interview, the lighting is essential. You may answer the questions well, but if the interviewer is struggling to make you out you will leave a bad impression. Using lamps in your room, make sure your face is clear and well lit – open up your webcam and check how you look from the cameras perspective.

What you sit in front of when you do the video interview is very important. Your background needs to be clean, neat, and uncluttered. Remover everything you can, so that there is nothing to distract the interviewer from your answers. If you can find a plain white or cream wall, that is best.

How you dress is also important. If you are applying for an internship at a start-up that advertises a fun company culture on their website, don’t wear a suit and tie. If you are applying to a law firm, a suit and tie is best. Here is a link with a list of roles and the best way to dress appropriately to help you get hired.

Rehearsing your answers is the most essential preparation you can do to be recruited. There’s a reason actors rehearse scenes, and sport professionals train for the big race. On the day, when the spot-light is on you and it’s your turn to shine – you need to be prepared. Have a look at this list of general interview questions to practice answering. As well as rehearsing these, brainstorm other questions you could be asked, and practice your answers to those too.

TIP: It is important you sit in the chair you will be interviewed in, in your interview clothes, with the lighting on, looking directly into the camera while you rehearse. Actors rehearse their lines on set so their mind and body learn how to perform together. You need to rehearse your lines on set, so that in the interview you look natural, feel confident, and know exactly what you are going to say.

I experienced a video interview when going through the application process to get my job here at Inspiring Interns. I was surprised how well it worked! The interview went really well, and through video I got a very clear idea of Inspiring Interns, the people and the great company culture. A video interview made more sense than a standard interview as it saved a lot of time in travel. I lived in the North of England, so travelling to London would have been very time consuming. My number one tip is treat it exactly like a face-to face-interview; dress to impress, use positive body language and make sure you’re in a quiet environment.‘ – Tyler Milner Marketing Executive

Technology needed for video interviews

To conduct a video interview, you will need a webcam, headphones, and microphone – all of good quality. Most laptops come with these, but not all are good. Test the quality of yours with friends (on a skype call or google hangout). If the image or sound isn’t good enough, it is worth investing in buying a webcam or headphones with a microphone. This link compares the best webcams, and this one compares the best headphone/microphone combinations.

Ideally, be connected to the router physically rather than using Wi-Fi. If you only have access to Wi-Fi, make sure you’re not more than a few meters away from the router to ensure a strong internet connection. We recommend troubleshooting your internet connection so that you can be assured the call won’t disconnect or lag during your interview. If you have a Mac, click here for the steps to troubleshoot. If you are using windows software, click here. Also, make sure no one else will be using the Wi-Fi at the same time as your video interview. To check the speed of your internet, use Ookla Speedtest.

Based on seven years’ experience arranging interviews, some of which have been online, we often hear from employers how much they love video interviews. They save them time, while still giving a clear impression of the candidate and a sense that it’s a real interview – as opposed to a phone call.’ – Benedict Hazan, Head of Innovation

Tips and tricks for the interview 

When choosing your outfit, avoid wearing anything white. It can come across as distractingly bright. Body language speaks louder than words – if you say you are confident while slouching and shifting your gaze, the interviewer will not believe you. Posture – sit up straight, shoulders relaxed, and back. Look directly at the webcam (make sure you rehearse this while practicing your answers). Check out this link which shows poses to do before your interview to increase your confidence.

Before the interview, remind yourself how amazing you are. We live in a culture which doesn’t encourage us to feel proud of ourselves – forget about that for the moment. Who cares what society thinks. You are amazing. You’ve achieved things, felt nervous and done them anyway, and produced good work. Be proud of who you are.

Be proud of the value you can add to a company. Many graduates go into an interview hoping to get the internship, and hoping to get paid well, while feeling on a lower level than the interviewer. Realize that they are interviewing you because of the potential value you can add their company. And they’re not the only ones interviewing – you should be interviewing them as well. Ask questions to find out whether it’s a company you would actually enjoy working for. This will impress them, and give you the information you need to know whether you would want to accept the job or not.

As an internship recruitment agency we love graduates who come in passionate, confident, and asking questions to make sure the job is the right fit for them long-term. Here is Nicole’s success story to show you the internship possibilities that are waiting for you around the corner.


Setting up the space:

  • Lighting
  • Comfortable chair
  • Appropriate clothes
  • Clean uncluttered background

Equipment checklist:

  • Camera
  • Headphones and mic
  • The program you will be interviewed through (likely to be skype or google hangout)


  • Rehearse your answers
  • Do the powerful postures
  • Remember you are interviewing them too

List of Links

For more information, contact Catherine from Inspiring Interns at catherine@inspiringinterns.com

Top Tips for Group Exercises at Assessment Centres

UCL Careers26 November 2015

The cost of each graduate hire in 2014/15 was £3,396 (excluding law firms) according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) in their 2015 Graduate Recruitment Survey. Law firms are excluded as they tend to skew the figures with an average hire cost of £12,682. This figure includes marketing the vacancies and carrying out the recruitment activities. The high figure is not totally surprising, given that AGR reported 91.8% of their members use assessment centres or group selection methods in their application process. These are expensive activities, due to their intensive nature and the number of assessors required to run the activities. For this reason, only candidates that recruiters are really serious about are invited to attend. So if you do get that invitation email, you can be confident the recruiter very much likes what they know about you so far.

Mock Assessment Centre

One of the common activities at assessment centres (and one that candidates often most worry about) is the ‘group exercise’. This is essentially a time when a small group of candidates are asked to work together to debate, discuss or plan something. The activity could involve a role play exercise, when each candidate is given a brief and asked to ‘fight their corner’ (for example there could be some funding that has to be spent and each candidate has to argue for why it should be spent in their area). Alternatively, it could be that candidates are asked to debate a work-related or news-related issue from their own, genuine perspective. Or there could be a work-related briefing paper and all candidates are asked to come up with a solution to the issues presented between them.

For all these activities, the candidates will be marked by the observing assessors on the content of what is said as well as team behaviours. Here are 5 top tips on the type of team behaviours that you may wish to exhibit!

  • Speak early – if you are nervous, the earlier you can speak up, the better. The longer you leave it to speak, the more you may feel the expectation to say something amazing with your first words. This is a common fear that others have reported to us and it just compounds the nerves! So start by getting everyone to introduce themselves, or by summarising the issue. Anything, as long as you have broken your silence early.
  • Be clear and concise – speak clearly and confidently and try to say your points in the most concise way possible. Be assertive but not aggressive. If you start to waffle, you are wasting time and this will not only irritate the other candidates (who may interrupt you) but it may also mean that your assessor knocks points off your score. Start with your main statement / idea and then elaborate as necessary. Even if you do then get interrupted, at least the key idea has been put across.
  • Be respectful to the other candidates – yes, you are in competition with them but that does not mean that you need to talk over them or shout them down. It is much better to be seen as a facilitator, that keeps the conversation flowing and on track. If you feel someone is dominating the discussion, try to verbally summarise what they are saying and ask if others have anything they wish to add (adding your own ideas too). If someone is really quiet, try to bring them into the conversation by asking them if they have anything to add. Remembering and using the other candidates’ names is also a plus.
  • Use non-verbal communication – show you are actively listening to other candidates through eye contact and nodding (if appropriate!) Use your hands to emphasise important points. Also be aware of how you are sitting. Leaning forward slightly gives the impression of interest in the conversation. Also, arms uncrossed gives an impression that you are open to the ideas that are coming and happy to engage with others.
  • Demonstrate your organisational skills – take on the role of time-keeper. Keep the conversation on track and if you feel that time is running out, make sure you ask the group to move onto the next point. Summarise where you think the group has got to, and take brief notes if that helps. Maybe take on the role of summarising to the assessors at the end if that is what is required as well.

If you are looking for more information about assessment centres and group exercises, look at the UCL Careers webpages: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/information/interviews

Good luck!

– Karen Barnard, Director, UCL Careers


5 factors that affect your starting salary (and how to tackle them)

UCL Careers25 November 2015

Guest blog written by Ruth Bushi, an editor at Save the Student.

You’ve got more say in your pay than you think. Save the Student flips the lid on salaries to show you the money – and how to get it.

The good news is that having a degree stacks the salary odds in your favour: graduates go on to earn around 60% more than someone without a degree over the course of their career. While that’s a hefty bonus in the long term, take a look at some fixable factors that influence your pay from day one.

1. The going rate

Graduate salaries can fall anywhere between a measly 12 grand to more than five times that – but where you land on the scale depends on the industry you head for. Careers in technical fields are more likely to bag the bucks, with graduates in IT reporting starting salaries of up to £70,000. Pay in the Arts tends to start (and stay) much lower. Pick a career – or subject – that can work across several industries to keep your options open. Visit, What Do London Graduates Do, to get more inspiration and help inform the decision making process.

2. The route you take

Researching the going rate can give you an idea of the ballpark you’re heading into, and if there are routes or roles which could net you more. Whether you take a side-step or a full detour depends on how much starting pay matters to you. Use your Maths degree to get into accounting and you could be looking at £17k in your first year – use it for banking, and you could get twice that.

3. Demand

The fewer folk qualified to do a job, the better the pay scale – so getting further training, experience or a specialism can be strong bargaining tools for more money. If you want to play the trends, there are in-demand vocations with cash incentives open to most degree subjects – teaching is one, along with Aldi’s retail management grad scheme, which comes with a £42k golden hello.

4. Location

Big cities typically pay more, with London most likely to top the chart. You’ll pay a premium for living there, though, so it’s worth balancing the lure of better starting pay against higher rent and transport before you up-sticks.

5. Knowing how to negotiate

Asking for more cash when you’ve just landed a job might seem hideously impolite – but one of the reasons graduates earn less than they could is that they just don’t ask. Women are even less likely to negotiate (and more likely to earn less over their careers than guys doing the same job), so it’s important to know your worth.

How to negotiate like you mean it:

  • Fixating on the money at your first interview won’t give the best impression. Ask once an offer’s on the table.
  • Have compelling reasons for wanting more – whether it’s because the salary doesn’t reflect transport costs for the location or you’ve got skills that the company will profit from.
  • Be realistic: if the salary on the job ad was ‘up to £16,000’, you’ll be lucky – or ludicrous – to ask for twice that. Know the going rate, though, so you’ve got a sound basis for your pitch.
  • List what experience, solutions or qualifications you can bring to the company that other candidates can’t. If you’re super confident, you could ask for a bonus for delivering key job objectives or deadlines.
  • If your employer can’t stump up extra cash, they may be able to offer perks instead, from health insurance to travel or extra training.

There’s no shame in asking for what you’re worth – at best you get it, and at worst, you get the salary that was advertised. If you really feel the salary isn’t a fair match for your skills, it’s up to you to decide whether the business is one you can devote yourself to between now and next pay review. Once you get on the career ladder, though, the fastest way to promotions and pay rises is often by moving company – so take the long view.

Why it’s not (just) about the money

It’s unrealistic to think salary isn’t important – but it’s not the only factor in job happiness.

Doing something you enjoy sure makes it easier to go to work every day, while working with like-minded people can get you a giggle along the way.  Meanwhile, your salary will go up time, with your attitude, achievements and experience all helping to boost your pay packet.

Money isn’t the only thing a career can buy you: from training to team nights out, there are tons of ways to make it pay. Make sure you get your dues!

– Ruth Bushi, Editor, Save the Student

Guest blog written by Ruth Bushi, an editor at Save the Student. Featuring the kind of straight-talking advice you won’t get at school, the site has everything you need to know about managing money without the migraines: student finance explained, insider info on careers, plus ways to save and scrimp without the stress.

How watching films can improve your career decision making…

UCL Careers18 November 2015

Careers thoughts can creep up on you in the most unexpected places – I went to see the film Brooklyn over the weekend. It’s a beautifully observed film about emigration from Ireland to the United States in the 1950’s. If you think that’s not relevant to you, think again. The film explores different factors that affect and influence our career decision making:  the main character Eilis looks set  to follow the same career path and way of life of her family and community, however, circumstances  propel her into a completely different environment as an immigrant to Brooklyn in the United States. Here she begins to forge a different  life and career. On a visit to back to Ireland Eilis faces a difficult decision about where she sees her future. My careers thoughts from the film? Taking time to gain a reflective stance on  our career decision making and gaining an understanding  of the  different influences that shape our decisions  will help us create the careers we want. Oh,  and  having courage to explore new ideas and ways of living.

What factors are driving  your career decision making?

– Kate Woods, Careers Consultant, UCL Careers

Think Big to Enlarge Career Prospects!

UCL Careers17 November 2015

At UCL Careers, my role is to advise students and graduates on how to sell themselves on paper, bringing them closer to their dream jobs (…or closer to securing part time work to survive!). Matters of gender inequality are all pervasive, locally and globally, even when it comes to the job application process! Studies have shown that women are unlikely to apply for a job role if they don’t meet its essential criteria; men on the other hand, tend to apply for roles even when they don’t meet the specs, and yes, they do get the job in some cases! Knowing this, I feel compelled to give everyone the strength and knowledge to overcome barriers, psychological and practical that hinder their decisions in applying for great roles.

Perceived Gender differences and job applications

Last year, Tara Sophia Mohr discussed Hewlett Packard’s report for Harved Business Review, which revealed that men apply for roles even when they only meet 60% of the job’s person specification. Meanwhile, women, they found, would not apply unless they could check off 100% of the requirements. The findings did not list a lack of confidence as the main issue!

What’s going on here then? The top reason that both men and women gave for not applying was a strong belief that they wouldn’t be hired unless they met all the requirements: “I didn’t think they would hire me since I didn’t meet the qualifications, and I didn’t want to waste my time and energy.”

Belief is a powerful force. It’s the foundation upon one’s success or failure. Let’s break belief down into thought. It starts at thought. For women to have the same opportunities as men, they need to start thinking bigger. The men and women who didn’t apply had a mistaken thought that they wouldn’t be considered at the hiring stage. The problem was not a lack of confidence in applying but a “mistaken perception about the hiring process.” Now that’s eye-opening! We need to remember that recruiters are human; aspects of selection are subjective.

The study also showed that 22% of women didn’t apply because of a fear of failure. So far, limiting beliefs are a key reason for gender inequality at the application stage. Looking closer, this means there is a tendency to “follow the rules”. Mohr, women’s leadership coach highlights that during socialisation, particularly at school, there is a clear gender difference, with females being told what to do and then being awarded for it and males often “misbehaving” or breaking the rules. This correlates well to why women aren’t applying for the jobs they think are beyond their reach. This is not to say however, that there aren’t real concerns and biases when it comes to hiring—but despite these hurdles women should persevere, take risks, and think big, as these are all the qualities of highly successful people.

“First appearance deceives many.” ~Ovid.

Don’t always believe in what appears true when it comes to the guidelines for job applications. Assume nothing and interrogate everything! Like the majority of men who apply without the essential qualifications, believe you have a shot and change your thought-processes. Pay more attention to transferable skills and don’t deny yourself outstanding career prospects.

For students and graduates who fear rejection, both male and female, look closer at what you see as weaknesses – how can these be transmuted into strengths? Learn how to sell your experiences well by attending our Skills4Work programmes and numerous other events to help promote your professional image more effectively.

Attend career fairs you wouldn’t usually think of going to. There’s evidence to suggest that certain types of fairs attract more men than women. You may surprise yourself and feel motivated to apply for companies and organisations you didn’t think would recruit you because of mistaken beliefs about them and your own self-perceptions. A discussion with a recruiter or representative is a chance to leave your mark and build a connection, which may work to your advantage during the application stage. This networking opportunity can also lead to insights into their hiring processes and remove doubts you’ve attached to applying for the role.

Here’s a tip: ask questions you wouldn’t find answers to online or in a guidebook!

How thinking big can lead to big results

The solution to imagined and perceived obstacles then, is to expand one’s thinking outside the paper box of checklists and beyond fear of rejection. And yes, a certain element of this is to nurture belief in yourself and resilience towards failing.

“There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.” ~ W.E.B Bois

Write down the thoughts and fears that hold you back from applying. What action steps can you take to not internalise short-term setbacks? There is much to learn from failures. Without them you wouldn’t adapt, innovate and try something new. As leadership expert Robin Sharma says, “The riskiest thing you can do is not take risks.” Why? Because unless you do, you will not grow into your best self. So the first step is encouraging a shift in perception about failure. When you work with this fear, rather than avoid it, you have room to see the bigger picture, to think bigger and plan ahead better. Forbes author, Jenna Goudreau writes, “Women at the top aren’t fearless. They move toward their fear to continually challenge themselves.”

A long-term focus and commitment to goals is a result of this shift in mindset. Women in top managerial positions are big picture thinkers. EY’s Global Market Leader Uschi Schreiber champions ‘thinking big’ and understands very well that limited thoughts hold women back from reaching higher positions in industry. Her big successes have come through aiming high. Earlier this year in The World Post she stated that: “Using the talent of women can bring powerful positive change and increase the likelihood of better outcomes for us all.” If you feel you have the talents to do the job well, then apply for that job. It’s the employer who will lose out to the positive results you can drive, not you!

That said: take more action. Don’t react to job opportunities using your habitual thinking patterns. Use those valuable critical powers developed through academia. What can you do to frame your expertise further? Call the recruiter? Initiate contact with employees through LinkedIn?

Pause, investigate further and think creatively.

Moral of the story: Don’t always believe in what you see on the surface, challenge the rules, and explore the strong feelings you have for wanting to apply for the position that appears out of reach. Think big and feel your way to success, the rest is just noise.

– Payal Patel, Applications Adviser, UCL Careers

Project Manager: Inspire Me

UCL Careers11 November 2015

As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Durgha Ramji, Project Manager at Inme, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to pursue opportunities abroad. For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, search #SMEProfile.

Durgha RamjiDurgha Ramji (25) is Inme’s very own ambitious young person from the UK. Durgha spent her first year at UCL before transferring to the University of London Institute in Paris. Durgha has interned at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Sharekh Youth Forum in the Palestinian Territories and the Next Billion Online project powered by Google in Bangalore, India. She now heads Inme’s engagement with the outward student mobility strategy of UK HE Institutions.

Go International with UCL

I remember my time at UCL as being an opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. My friends circle had never been so diverse. There were  also lots of opportunities to learn about projects which can support a student gain international experiences through volunteering or placements. These experiences are critical in todays globalised world as employers are looking for graduates with the ability to work in multiple cultural contexts.

While at UCL I applied to The British Council’s Study India Programme (SIP) and after graduating I spent a year in Bangalore as part of Google’s Next Billion Online project (NBO). These experiences really inspired me to pursue opportunities in India. When it came to deciding whether I accept my offer of a graduate job in London or continue exploring career development opportunities in India – having had the SIP and NBO experience made the decision easy for me – it was always going to be India.

From my previous exposure to the cultural, economic and youth led start up environment I knew the responsibility, initiative and skills I would develop by leaving the UK would be invaluable and attractive to employers back at home once I returned.

Returning to a world of opportunities in India

Selected as delegate for the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, I knew I would also visit friends in India and so bought along my business plan for a student leadership programme I had submitted to the Lloyds Bank Start Up Fund. I’d got through the application round and had my phone interview in a tent on the banks of the River Ganga while working as a facilitator on an Inme rafting programme in Rishikesh.

Unfortunately I didn’t pass this stage of the Llyod’s application but I’d also shared the business plan with Inme who took up the offer and decided to explore the opportunity to internationalise their  offering of leadership programmes to international students.

And so I decided not to take my flight home and I’ve been working in India since.

Global Entrepreneurial Minds at Inme Learning Pvt Ltd

As part of my role, I am heading the entire project cycle of designing, selling, implementing, evaluating and improving an international product. I am responsible for ensuring the success of the project, anticipating and following through on opportunities and working with different departments to ensure my objectives are met.

I have found inspiring mentors in the senior Inme team who themselves come from diverse backgrounds and have extensive experience in pioneering visionary ideas and products in India. The senior team are experts in using adventure based learning, behavioural science and attitudinal and mindset training to build leadership skills.

With Inme – I believe I have discovered the most conducive environment to build my own leadership capabilities!

Skills focus

Through working with the senior Inme team my steepest learning curves has been in the following key areas:

Adaptive challenges – As a start up project making mistakes enable us to gain insights, understand our target group and adapt the product to what works best for them. I know that having the bigger picture and an overall plan is necessary but I must be ready to adapt to the context and situation.

Anticipating opportunities – When attending my first SOAS Alumni event in New Delhi I took along my programme brochure in anticipation of sharing it with fellow alumni.  In a chance meeting with a representative of the British Council we discovered a potential collaboration opportunity. Investing my time, energy, creativity, relationship building efforts and trust in multiple options and opportunities is important – I know some will fail, but some will pan out extraordinarily!

Taking risks – Taking risks with a combination of trusting my intuition and reasoning (add to this a dash of serendipity!) will leading to rewarding results for myself and Inme.

Appreciating diversity – There are many different ways, processes and methods of achieving the desired result.

Living the Generaton UK – India experience

Today, I find myself living the Generation UK – India experience – and with the project I am heading – The Global Leader Inme – I really want to inspire fellow UCL students to take the same leap I have of being at the vanguard of ambitious young people ready to work with India and innovative and exciting Indian Companies to build ties between the UK and India which go beyond simple economics.

Inme are UCL Skills4Work supporters and are delivering a workshop with Deloitte on Career Drive and Motivation on Monday 16th November 2015 at 5pm.

Marketing Assistant: Inspire Me

UCL Careers29 October 2015

As part of our #UCLInspireMe series, Nadia Newstead, Marketing Assistant at Soho Theatre, talks to us about how she got this role and shares some tips for UCL students who want to get into the sector. For more insights from recent graduates working for smaller organisations, search #SMEProfile.Nadia Newstead

How did you get into your role?

I did Drama and English at university where I threw myself into Stage Managing various productions. I did an internship as part of my degree which was my first taste of administration work. I did various box office/front of house/stage managing jobs until I got my first job as an administrator, then marketing trainee at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury and then Marketing Assistant at Soho Theatre.

What are the best things about working in your role?

I like that although it is an admin role, it is also a creative role as you get to have input on photo shoots for show images and do filming for trailers as well as coming up with fun content for the web and social media. I like helping small companies reaching the best audience possible. Marketing great shows is my way of sharing my love of theatre with others.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

The amount of shows we have on here at Soho Theatre! All the shows require the same basic  amount of attention whether they are on for one night or 7 weeks. A lot of the shows also have very small budgets so you have to try and maximise what they have to reach the most amount of people.

What top tips would you pass on to a student interested in this type of work?

Have a go! If you’ve got an upcoming show, exhibition, reading or know someone who has then offer to help them with marketing. With social media it’s very easy to get started – just know how much you have to spend and stick to it and always evaluate what did and didn’t work.

Soho Theatre currently have an opportunity to join them as a Marketing Assistant, visit UCL JobOnline to apply.

To find our more about working in a Marketing, either come in an speak to a Careers Consultant or visit Careers Tagged.