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Want to be a Management Consultant? Then start thinking like one!

UCL Careers26 September 2014

Management Consultancy is a popular career choice for Management Consultancy Fairmany graduates and competition for places on graduate schemes is fierce.   A good degree (1st or 2.1) is a pre-requite together with a range of high level skills such as the ability to gather and analyse complex information, solve problems, think creatively, present information clearly and concisely and manage projects.  However, many graduates will meet these criteria, having developed these skills through a range of experience and activities – what can you do to stand out from other applicants?

Selectors will be looking not only at your ability to do the job but also your passion for wanting to do the job. So what sort of things can you do to demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm for management consultancy?   Well, showing a genuine interest in business and the wider environment in which organisations are operating is essential. Just mentioning a couple of companies that you’re interested in will not impress – demonstrating that you’re already thinking like a management consultant will!       Think of organisations you’ve experienced yourself – maybe as a student, a consumer, an employee, a patient. Did you spot any inefficiencies or poor processes? What could be changed and how? What might be some of the barriers to change? Carry out a SWOT analysis on different organisations (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).  Starting to identify and work on your own mini case studies will be excellent preparation for the selection process which will include working on a business case where you will be expected to present recommendations based on your analysis of a range of information provided to you.

Preparation is key to success so:

Attend the Management Consultancy Fair. This event offers an excellent opportunity to research the industry, find out what differentiates consultancies, industry sectors they specialise in, clients they work with and to find information that’s important to you personally that might not be easily accessible on websites.

Analyse your skills and collect evidence to demonstrate how you have applied these skills. Search for ‘management consultancy’ here for links to professional bodies, industry news sites, job vacancy sites, and more

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what Management Consultancy is, what it involves and why you think you will be well suited to it.   Using the same link and searching for ‘management consultancy’ here you can gather a wide range of resources and tips to help you prepare for the selection process including links to practice case studies.

The UCL Careers Management Consultancy Fair on Wednesday 1st October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Accenture

How to secure a job in a Small/Medium Sized Enterprise : Case Studies

UCL Careers28 March 2014

Want to get a job in a SME but have no idea where to start? We collected a few different case studies of how students at UCL have got into SMEs.

Case study 1

Aim: Secure Job in the Charity Sector

Starting point: Experience in management and IT and also an MA in Human Rights at UCL

Method used to secure a job in an SME:

  • Studied the sector in detail – further knowledge was acquired
  • Maximised personal networking and contacts
  • Gained further knowledge, contacts were used to facilitate informative industry interviews
  • Focused job search further by understanding the sector
  • Applied to positions that needs core strengths in order to get an interview
  • Structured the applications on what the employer wants and highlighting strengths
  • Applied to jobs

Result: Succeeded in securing a job in the charity sector

 

Case study 2

Aim: Secure Electrical and Electronic related job

Starting Point: MSc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in the UK and previous work in home country

Method used to secure a job in an SME:

  • Identified problems with previous application by getting advice from career consultants
  • Focused job search for vacancies that were in-line with my strengths i.e. languages and understanding home country culture
  • Sent speculative applications to employers that would be interested in my strengths
  • Applied to short term and long term internships
  • Spent additional time on understanding the job description and person specifications in order to apply to  the right jobs
  • Kept on applying

Result: Secured an internship with a company that is expanding in my home country and the potential of a job in the future

 

Case Study 3

Aim: Secure job in security, policy in Think tanks, NGOs or government body

Starting point: MA in Politics, Security and Integration

Method used to secure a job in an SME:

  • Dedicated additional effort as was required by the industry and the employers observation and research showed that low number of  advertised jobs were available
  • Researched related websites to get the news about the industry and find out the names of relevant employers
  • Strengthened personal support network to keep up job hunting momentum – long process
  • Cancelled plans to travel and focused on job hunt – times management
  • Managed time to ensure priorities
  • Attended job fairs organised by the career service to expand possibilities
  • Made new contacts and strengthened existing contacts
  • Applied for internships and jobs related to my strength and skills

Result: Found an internship in-line with my strength first and carried on applying then found exactly the right job overseas

 

Case Study 4

Aim: Graduate job in computer software

Starting Point: MEng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Method used to secure a job in an SME:

  • Went  to  a few niche job fairs for entrepreneurial companies that required specialist skills and expertise
  • Made new contacts by networking, LinkedIn
  • Discussed options with careers consultants
  • Applied to relevant internships and jobs constantly

Result: Secured a job with an application developer

For further help with getting work with an SME, pop in to see us at UCL Careers or sign up to UCL Talent Bank.

What is the Global Citizenship Summer School Employability stream?

UCL Careers26 March 2014

Ok, I know what some of you may be thinking. Two weeks? In early June?  What am I going to get out of this? What will be expected of me?  How does this beat spending time with friends, reflecting on the year, or just getting outside after exams?!?!

If you’ve got your dream job or internship lined up for the summer, then the answer is pretty simple: it may not.  But if you’re wondering what to do next, don’t have any work lined up, and are feeling some dread about what’s to come after your time at UCL – chances are you’ll be feeling that way even if you do spend the first few weeks of June out in the park.

So why don’t you put that time to good use?  Why not take part in workshops and projects, with a group of like-minded students, learning key skills to help you get a job or internship? If you can’t banish that dread, why not at least harness it to achieve something positive?

BackgroundInternational Flags

In today’s job market, getting a good result from UCL will work in your favour. However, a UCL degree alone will not land you the graduate job you want. These days, it is your experience, motivation, skills, and importantly, how you market all of these, which can make the difference between getting a job and having your CV being binned at the application stage.

So, how will UCL’s Summer School Programme help you?

Over two weeks, UCL Careers will help you explore and build your skills in various aspects of your career: from planning, to applying, to interviewing, to researching wider issues that will serve you well as you progress onwards from your first job.  Not only will you learn from each other, but you will gain priority access to over 40 employers who are looking to recruit students, now, for paid opportunities.  You will also get 1:1 time with these employers, as well as with a range of experienced careers consultants, giving you feedback and insight into how you are marketing yourself in the world of work.

So, how will all of this unfold?

Week One

Summer School 2013

In week one we will be breaking down the career essentials, looking at everything from how to plan your career, to how to put together a CV, to how to engage with employers effectively, to how to approach assessment centres.  Some of the key questions we will tackle will be:

How can I….?:

  • make decisions around career choice?
  • personalise my CV to a specific employer?
  • really use LinkedIn to get jobs?
  • sound credible at interviews?
  • do well on online aptitude testing?
  • stand out from the crowd at assessment centres?
  • really connect with employers?

We’ll approach these through workshops, team work, plenary speakers from a range of sectors – from the humanitarian field to banking and finance – intensive employer-led feedback, and debriefing sessions with careers consultants.  All of this will prepare you not just for putting this into practice in Week 2, but for your career journey long ahead.

Week 2

Jobs Market 2013Week Two will kick off with the Jobs Market, where you will get priority access (ie. first in the queue ahead of all other students) to over 40 employers who have immediate vacancies in 2014.  With the intensive preparation from week 1, you’ll be well placed to have meaningful conversations with them which will hopefully lead to a role for you.

For the rest of the week, we’ll push you to dig deeper and really test your careers skills.  Working in teams, you will carry out a Labour Market Research project, where you will explore key themes of Global Citizenship,  such as ethics, how to market yourself in an increasingly transnational jobs market, and how to identify companies and sectors at the cutting edge of global workforce.  You will also apply the skills you’ve learned to a wider global picture, and then present back to a panel who will give you intensive feedback, helping build your presentation skills and confidence for when you have to do this in the real world.

Finally, we’ll end the week with drinks and a chance to unwind before the weekend.

Register now!

If that’s not enough to grab your attention, you can also put this on your CV to show employers just how serious you are about your career, and why they should hire you.  Attendance in 70% of these sessions will count towards our HEAR.

REGISTER NOW – TO SECURE YOUR PLACE YOU NEED TO BRING A £20 DEPOSIT TO UCL CAREERS, ULU Building, 4th Floor.

Five tips for getting started in green communications and advocacy

UCL Careers6 February 2014

Alex Green works on UCL’s Environmental Sustainability team, with a focus on communications and stakeholder engagement. Previously he worked for an international development charity and interned at a climate change campaigning organisation. Here he shares some tips for getting into the sector.     

1.       Get experience:

It’s a predictable point, but essential. Luckily there are a growing number of paid internships and graduate placements in the sector, such as those promoted by environmental recruiters Change Agents. That said, especially when it comes to the NGO sector, your best bet in getting work experience is unfortunately still through volunteering or unpaid internships. If you’re unable (or unwilling) to work your socks off for the price of a sandwich, there are still some other routes to getting the experience that’ll be essential for you to get started.

  • Take full advantage of opportunities to get experience alongside your study. Getting involved in societies or campaigning and advocacy organisations like People & Planet or Amnesty is a fantastic way to get a taste of the highs and lows of working to create positive change.
  • Fit your experience around your work or study. There are a growing number of micro and virtual volunteering opportunities available. These may consist of blogging, copy editing or research from the comfort of your own room, or one-off opportunities at the weekend. Have a look at what UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit has on offer and search sites like Do-it.
  • Go it alone. Care about an issue? Write articles for your local or student newspaper, start an online petition and get out there and start organising. There’s no better way to develop essential skills, while making a really positive impact.

2.       Learn how to really communicate and persuade:

An essential part of jobs in this field is about persuading busy, disinterested, often ill-informed people to engage with complex issues, and then give you their time, money or support. This is no mean feat. I certainly haven’t cracked it, and when you look even at large NGO campaigns, you realise that few others have either. That said, it’s essential that you’re able to simplify complex issues, bring the facts to life and most importantly, enthuse people into action. Visit great websites like Talking Climate to read up on the theory and get practice by creating opportunities to write and speak about the issues you care about.

3.       Start making connections:

For better or worse, connections are often the key to getting your foot in the door. It’s a small world and you’ll find that if you’re part of campaigning groups or societies, it’s brilliant (and terrifying) how often you’ll later encounter these people in your working life. If you’re volunteering or interning, always take advantage of opportunities to go to events and engagements. What starts as an awkward conversation over rubbish canapés may end up as a brilliant surprise opportunity. And don’t be afraid of being a little opportunistic; while emails are easy to ignore, get someone on the spot and they’ll likely be a lot more helpful (although always be nice about it – you may meet these people later and you’ll want them to remember you as enthusiastic and personable).

4.       Develop a diverse range of skills:

Especially in a small organisation or team, being a generalist is a distinct advantage. So get loads of strings to your bow. You may want to develop skills in web design, learn to take a mean photograph, get experience of making short films or sharpen up your use of social media (to name just a few). These skills will likely make you invaluable to your employer, potentially save money on outsourcing work and will generally give you something fun and creative to do alongside the more everyday aspects of your job. What’s great is that you can develop these skills in your own time. It’s practically guaranteed that they’ll come in useful and could easily be what sets you apart from everyone else in getting that job. Check out the Sustainability Team’s ‘Green Resolutions’ short film to see an example of how multimedia skills have be used to communicate the scale and diversity of environmental action at UCL.

5.       Consider whether your passion for the environment will survive the transition into work:

This is a slightly odd one, and won’t apply to everyone. But it’s important to acknowledge that there’s a world of difference between caring about the environment and working an environmental job for 35 hours a week. Unless you’re very lucky, you’ll find a fair amount of your energy is funnelled into Excel spreadsheets, trying to make the printer work, etc. and you may need a certain amount of resilience to retain the passion that got you started in the first place. There are a huge variety of roles, employers and ways of working out there. Find the approach that suits you and makes best use of your enthusiasm for the subject! And even if you don’t get your ideal job straight away, remember that it’s a step towards that goal. Hopefully that’ll make the spreadsheets a little easier to handle.

For more information about Environment Week, head on over to the website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/students/events/getinto/environment