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Prepare for our Career Fairs…

Weronika ZBenning5 October 2016

Every year UCL Careers holds a number of Careers Fairs to help you talk to employers and find out firsthand what theyre looking for. To help you prepare effectively we’ve put together some handy tips to get you started:

Before the fair

  • Be aware that there will be a mixture of all kind of employers representing the sector exhibiting each day and you might find an employer that you had never really considered before becoming of real interest to you.
  • We strongly encourage you to do some research on the exhibitors before the fair at: ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs where you’ll find a listing of exhibiting employers.
  • As well as reading the exhibitor profiles, click through to the organisation’s own website to find out more about them.
  • After your research, decide which exhibitors you particularly want to talk to in order to ask more informed questions. It can be difficult to understand the difference between big companies within the same sector.  Often it’s the cultural aspects that make a real difference in the working environment and this can only be appreciated through talking and interacting with representatives at the Careers Fairs.  Try to prepare some questions in advance and think about the main points that you would want an organisation to know about you – it can help you feel more confident.
  • To help with this, why not come along to one of our Fair preparation workshops organised by UCL Careers

At the fair

  • Each exhibiting organisation will have a stand and their representatives are there to answer your questions about the organisation itself, the nature of the job opportunities available to final year students and graduates, what internships/placements they provide to earlier year students, and any other opportunities available.
  • Wherever possible, try to talk to someone on the stand instead of just picking up a brochure. Use the opportunity to ask your questions face-to-face.
  • If you are feeling a bit nervous about approaching your first choice organisation, it can be a good idea to visit some other stands first to practice your technique.
  • If you are given a business card, make a point soon afterwards of noting on it anything that it would be useful to remember. Have they suggested you email them with further questions? Did they give you advice on their recruitment process?
  • Even if you have a ‘hit list’ of exhibitors, consider other organisations at the fair that are less well known. They might be offering just what you’re looking for.

Here are some additional top-tips:

  • Remember that many of the opportunities are available to students of any degree discipline
  • If you want to have a CV ready to hand over, arrange an appointment at UCL Careers before the Careers Fair to ask for some CV feedback
  • The fair may be busy when you arrive – don’t be put off. People tend to congregate by the entrance, so head to another part of the fair where it will probably be quieter
  • Avoid walking round the fair with a group of friends. The exhibitor may not realise that you’re interested in them, and you could miss out because your friend happens to be more talkative than you!
  • If you feel overwhelmed, and don’t know what to do or where to start, make sure you visit the UCL Careers stand for help.
  • Staff on the exhibitor stands can often be relatively recent graduates who can tell you what it’s really like to work in their organisation.  They may even refer to particular projects that they’ve been involved in or training that they’ve had – all of which is great information for you to use when you apply for a position at their company.  This insight is not available on any website and creates a unique impression when it is your time to apply.
  • In a competitive job market, it can make a difference to refer to any interaction with employers (including specific names) during the application process

Finally, remember to bring your UCL ID card as you won’t be able to enter the fair without this!

For further information about the fairs, please visit: www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/fairs

UCL Jobs Market 2016: save the date!

Weronika ZBenning25 May 2016

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The UCL Jobs Market 2016 is coming up on 8th June: a chance to meet employers with jobs, internships and training opportunities available with a Summer/Autumn start!

From big prestigious graduate schemes to smaller organisations and recruitment agencies offering a diverse variety of graduate jobs within finance, consulting, engineering, technology, media, sales & marketing and charities & non-profits.

When: Wednesday 8th June, 2:00-4:00pm

Where: Mahatma Gandhi Hall, Indian YMCA – 41 Fitzroy Square (near Warren Street Tube)

Employer confirmed so far include:

AlphaSights

Costello Medical Consulting

Deloitte

DWP

EG.1

EY

Frontier

Gorkana

Sapient Nitro

TeachFirst

We Think Ahead

…plus many more.

 To stay up to date with new employers as they are added, check our website at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/jobsmarket

No registration is required! If you wish to attend, simply turn up at any time while the event is running but be prepared to queue to get in as the event will be popular.
 As this event is only open to current UCL students and recent graduates, please remember to bring valid UCL ID with you as you won’t get in without it. For information about valid UCL ID, please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/eligibility.

 

How to make the most of the IT and Technology Fair by EE

ManpreetDhesi20 October 2015

UCL students and recent graduates are in the midst of Careers Fair season and one of our Fair sponsors, EE, have shared some top tips ahead of the IT and Technology Fair happening this week:

> Prepare by finding out information about the company, to use as a conversation starter – it will also show you’ve put the effort in
> Aim to get email addresses or LinkedIn connections
> Handing out paper CVs will have limited impact
> Don’t bombard your contacts with emails after the fair
> Try to think of appropriate questions in advance to shape the conversation

To get more indepth tips on how to prepare for the IT and Technology Fair, have a read of our “How to prepare for our Careers Fair” post

The IT and Technology Fair 2015 is kindly sponsored by EE and Cisco and takes place on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd October, 5:30 – 8pm, North and South Cloisters.

Corporate Cult? We try to work with everyone.

PhilHowe11 June 2015

George Monbiot’s recent article in The Guardian, “How a corporate cult captures and destroys our best graduates”, raised some interesting questions about graduate recruitment at the UK’s top universities. At UCL Careers we recognise not all organisations have equal resources, and that it is our responsibility to give non-profits, public sector organisations and SMEs every chance to promote their career opportunities to UCL students and graduates.

The article criticised several Russell Group universities and, although his researchers did not contact UCL and nor were we criticised in the article, we wanted to share what we are doing to ensure students and graduates find out about and have access to more than just City careers.

The article accused leading universities of passivity in the face of “love bombing” from large corporates, suggesting they should be doing more to counter this. UCL Careers devotes considerable time and resources to initiatives alerting students to alternative career options, and encouraging non corporates to come on to campus. Looking at our events this week, we are working with 23 employers on our Global Citizenship Employability Programme, of which 50% are charities, SMEs or public sector bodies, including Think Ahead (a graduate programme for mental health social work) Ark Schools (an educational charity) and Bartonia Care (a healthcare scheme for the elderly). Likewise, looking at the employers collaborating on our Focus on Management course, these include the Civil Service Fast Stream, Researchers in Schools and Repositive (an SME working for efficient and ethical access to genomic data), alongside several large corporates. Finally, just over 25% of the employers attending our Jobs Market, are from the public and charity sectors, or are SMEs.

We developed our themed weeks specifically to raise the profile of sectors such as Charities and NGOs, the Environment, and Museums and Cultural Heritage, and to place them on an equal footing with our Careers Fairs which feature more corporate career paths. Unlike our Fairs where organisations pay a substantial fee to attend, our themed weeks are completely free of charge for employers.

This year’s themed week programme comprised 26 individual events covering six sectors, and over 1,300 UCL students attended. They heard from expert speakers at organisations such as Amnesty International, Save the Children, the NHS Graduate Programme, the Institute of Conservation, the National Theatre, the V&A Museum, Global Alliance for Chronic Disease and the Stroke Association. Some weeks, such as Charities and NGOs, almost entirely featured SMEs, charities and public bodies, but even weeks such as Life and Health Sciences had representation from non corporates at every event.

The UCL Careers Twitter hashtag #uclinspireme highlights a range of career opportunities which UCL students and graduates may not be aware of- and where employers may not have the resource to promote them on campus. This includes a series of blogs written by people in less publicised graduate jobs including fashion PR, market research, and child safety, as well as highlighting less common vacancies such as “Epidemiology Intern”, “Content Marketing Executive”, and “Fundraising and Marketing Graduate Trainee”. Students can follow @uclcareers, or search for the hashtag #uclinspireme, to keep up to date with these.

We also make a great effort to involve charities and SMEs in our placements, internships and vacancy services. Smaller organisations are put off by fees to access university students, but are also often worried about attending high profile events and receiving huge numbers of applications, which they don’t have time to process. We set up our shortlisting service, UCL Talent Bank (which takes much of the legwork out of recruitment) specifically to engage smaller employers and bring their vacancies to UCL students’ and graduates’ attention. Since Talent Bank started, we have advertised around 175 roles for non corporates, including Rainforest Foundation UK, the Institute for Sustainability and homelessness charity Providence Row. Talent Bank is free of charge for employers.

Talent Bank is a service for all UCL students and graduates but we are also tasked with sourcing internships for specific courses at UCL, one of these is the BASc Arts and Sciences. Over the two years we have been working with these students around 65% of the internships they secured were with either SMEs or charities.

Finally, we often arrange for employers to visit departments to talk about relevant career opportunities. In two examples from this year, two panel discussions in the School of Public Policy involved representatives from Oxfam, VSO and Macmillan Cancer Support, while a recent panel event at the Institute of Education featured a large UK based charity, an international development organisation, the director of a small business and a self-employed consultant, the idea being to demonstrate to students the variety of the types of careers they could aspire to.

The Guardian article praised the Careers Service at the University of Cambridge for trying to “counter the influence of the richest employers”. It lauded their policy of imposing a fee on rich recruiters and using the proceeds to make it easier for non profits to recruit at the university. Almost all leading UK universities charge fees for recruitment services to larger organisations, and UCL is no exception. First and foremost, these fees have to represent good value for the companies who pay them or they won’t recruit here, and the many students who are interested in careers such as finance, law, consultancy, IT and engineering will miss out. That said, we consciously invest any surplus from these activities into services for all students, including the initiatives listed above.

We don’t believe our role is to make value judgements about particular career paths, and nor will we tell you that you should or shouldn’t pursue a particular job based on our own ethics. We do believe we have a responsibility to marry our knowledge of the many different careers UCL students pursue, with the availability and interest of particular employers when delivering our events and services. We hope this overview provides reassurance that we don’t just promote one type of career, but we are always interested in hearing from students and graduates if there are particular employers or sectors you want to see more of.

– Phil Howe, Employer Engagement and Business Development Manager, UCL Careers.