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10 questions with award-winning UCL Careers Extra student

Rachael Richardson-Bullock23 June 2021

Read time: 5 minutes

Written by George Barker, Medicine MBBS BSc, 2021

George Barker winning an award

We sat down with award-winning UCL student (soon to be Medicine MBBS BSc graduate!) George Barker to discuss how his experiences with UCL Careers Extra has empowered his achievements while studying at UCL, including winning TargetJobs 2021 LGBT+ Undergraduate of the Year Award.

1.) Where are you from?

I grew up on the Wirral, in the North West of England.

2.) Why did you choose UCL?

I had visited London before coming to UCL on a short holiday and absolutely loved it. It’s the centre where so much happens in the UK, which is both an excellent thing and can also be a bit daunting when you come from somewhere so far away up North. And I had to make a decision, is that something I want to move closer to? I wanted to move to a new city and I wanted to move to a bigger city. I wanted that city to be global and multicultural, have opportunity and have a community that I would feel welcomed by. So I set about thinking about where I wanted to go to university. I didn’t quite feel that Oxbridge was for me (even though the school perhaps tried to push us in that direction). UCL is a research intensive Russell Group university in the heart of London, it teaches subjects from a wide variety of faculties so you can meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. I applied to some other London universities but UCL was very much my top choice. Also, the course structure was one that worked better for me, and there was the integrated BSc that all students get to do (which isn’t the case in all universities). The hospitals that UCL is affiliated with are some of the best in the UK, with specialists from Europe and the world, and is also research intensive. I was interested in being involved in academia and not just learning to become a doctor but how to be a clinician scientist as well. There’s also a wide variety of extra-curricular activities, plus the fact UCL offers full body dissection, which I still think is the best way to learn anatomy.

3.) Have you always wanted to pursue medicine as a career?

I think there was a time in school when I was strongly considering a career in astrophysics. I’d always been interested in space and physics and thoroughly enjoyed it through secondary school. And then I started to gain more of an understanding of health care and veterinary care and working as a doctor or a dentist, and eventually, after doing some work experience within a clinical skills centre at my local hospital, decided to pursue medicine.

However, I was able to combine the space interest a little bit. In my third year I did an integrated BSc in Medical Sciences with Physiology. I did a module in extreme environments, which included space medicine and how medicine is important clinically for astronauts and cosmonauts. It’s that Applied Physiology, where you take the body and put it in an abnormal environment that I find quite interesting. So that interest in physics and space is still very much there.

4.) What extra experiences have you undertaken during your studies? 

In addition to your integrated year you get to pick in your final few weeks an area of medicine you’d like to spend more time on, to gain a deeper understanding and expose yourself to a specialty that you haven’t done before. So I decided to do half of mine in anaesthetics and then spend two weeks down in Plymouth in this regional Hyperbaric Centre for the South West and South Wales. We treat diving emergencies and give them emergency recompression.   

I’ve also been involved in other things outside my studies – charity and volunteering. I volunteered with Sexpression UK for 7 years in total during my studies. It’s a peer-led, student-led, UK wide charity that provides relationship and sex education sessions to secondary school children. We go out and teach informative, non-biased, inclusive, comprehensive relationship and sex education. When I was at school sex education was usually taught by a teacher who was not overly enthusiastic, and with the content not really being applicable to me or including me in the way I would have wanted, I came away with more questions than answers. And when your questions aren’t answered at a time when you are young, trying to work out who you are, it’s really difficult. You don’t know where to turn to get accurate, correct information that’s also supporting you, not saying horrible and nasty things. So, I wanted to make sure that wouldn’t happen to other people – hence my involvement in Sexpression UK. I was heavily involved at UCL, running the branch, then I became the Externals Director and later the National Director of the charity itself. I became a Trustee of the charity as well – my term finished in September 2020.   

That was an incredibly interesting experience that I never thought that I would get at university, and there’s lots of things about coming to UCL that I would never have thought I’d end up doing. But I’m ever so glad I did.  

5.) How has the Careers Extra team helped you?

Sexpression UK and charity work has always been important to me but it’s a small charity, with no paid members of staff, just students volunteering their time. Trying to balance that with medicine and balance it against needing some sort of funding in order to live in London can be a real challenge, especially when during the summer I was volunteering and didn’t have the time to do paid work. UCL has a variety of different ways to support people. The UCL Careers Extra Bursary provided me with financial assistance over the summer. Additionally, I’ve used the UCL Careers appointments for medical students to talk about different opportunities in medicine and some of the more non-traditional routes through medical training. I found that to be a real benefit in trying to navigate through quite a complex training structure.

6.) Are you a member of any student societies at UCL?

Yes, for 7 years, I’ve been part of the MDs comedy revue, the medical school’s comedy sketch troupe. We do sketch and song and dance about medicine, hospitals, UCL and everything else. I guess some of the highlights would be we went to Edinburgh and sold out a show there and got nominated for an award. We’ve done some collaborative shows and we actually officially reopened the Bloomsbury theatre twice. I think it’s really important to have a creative outlet, a way to express yourself artistically, and I found it a wonderful way to relax with like-minded, creative people. It’s good fun and I think if we’re having fun, then the audience probably has a bit of fun as well.

7.) How did the LGBT+ award come about?

I had heard about the award before but had never applied. I started applying this year, just to get more information about it. I was hesitating about it – the prize was a law internship, so I assumed it would go to a law undergraduate or someone else from a non-STEM background. So I thought maybe there was no point in applying. Then I got a phone call from the people at Targetjobs and they reassured me it was designed to be for everyone. I had to do an online personality test, then an online logic assessment, then there was a virtual crystal maze social event, after which there was an assessment centre with two stations – the first one a competency based interview and the second one a case study. I didn’t hear anything for a while, then found out I was in the final, which was a nice surprise at a time when there weren’t many nice things going on in the world and most of my days were filled with revision for my finals. And the day after my final written paper there was an online awards ceremony, hosted by Rachel Riley from Countdown. I tuned in and found I’d won, much to my surprise!

So that’s how it came about and how I have acquired a law internship. It’s not something I’ve explored before, but one of the things I’ve enjoyed, both within and outside of UCL, is doing different things I wouldn’t have otherwise done. It’s run by Clifford Chance, and a donation was also made to Sexpression UK by Clifford Chance, which was really good news when so many voluntary organisations and community groups are really struggling in terms of raising donations.

8.) What single achievement are you most proud of from your time at UCL?

There’s two – academic and non-academic. Academic wise it was securing an Academic Foundation Programme offer, which is a relatively competitive combined clinical and academic job for two years and that’s kind of my first job as a doctor in a location I’m really happy with and rotations I’m looking forward to. I think that as a working class, first generation student, I’m not the kind of person that is normally proud of their achievements (it’s maybe not a very northern thing), but I am really, really made up that I’ve been able to do that and to show that even though the odds were really not in my favour, if you put the graft in and work at it you can do it. Having done that means a lot to me.

In terms of non-academic, I think it’s confidence. If you had told me when I left school that by the time I finish university I’d have had the confidence to get up on a West End stage, perform to a West End audience, singing, in a dress, doing solos, I would have absolutely laughed (or run away). I ended up taking some singing lessons supported by a bursary from the medical school – it’s called the Heller bursary to do something artistic and learn something artistic. So I’ve been having singing lessons and I just got up on stage and sang my heart out. I think the story there is to have the confidence to do something outside your comfort zone, learn a completely new skill. That confidence is something that I did not have coming into university and apparently now I do. And doing that and making people laugh, I think is very important, especially in times like these.

9.) We’ve talked about what you’re planning to do when you graduate, but you’ve also mentioned it’s quite a complex career path. Tell me a little bit more about your plans.

There are a number of training paths in medicine that you can go in at one end and pop out the other end. For me, it’s not something I want to rush my way through to complete as fast as possible, I’d rather do interesting opportunities. I will probably take at least one year out, perhaps a couple to pursue interesting opportunities inside and outside of medicine. I also want to travel, which I’ve not had the opportunity to do. There are interesting opportunities in terms of extreme medicine, I’d also like to practise somewhere that isn’t London. In terms of specialty training, I think the two that stand out would be anaesthetics and sexual health and HIV but that’s by no means set in stone and I’m happy for that to change. You start to understand the topics you like and the topics you don’t. It’s also important to know more about the jobs I will like, and find out which fits best for me and my life.

10.) What one piece of advice would you give to a new student just starting at UCL?

UCL is full of so many different opportunities, be that through your course, outside or your course, through UCL itself, through the student’s union – make the most of them and go out and try and find out more about them. There are so many it can be difficult to find what’s available. When you have done that, try something, give it a go. Being a student is the time to find out what you like, what you don’t like, what you enjoy doing. And UCL is able to offer so much of that. It doesn’t have to go brilliantly, but it is a time of your life to try new experiences – you may end up surprising yourself. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new.

7 Signs That You Should Consider a Career in Accountancy

Rachael Richardson-Bullock17 June 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Tom Bilby, Marketing Executive, The Accountancy Partnership

3 students sitting and talking in front of a whiteboard.

Right, let’s get this straight – being a successful accountant isn’t all about tricky mental maths and crunching numbers.  

Sure, numerical skills are an important part of the role, but there’s more to accountancy than working out percentages without the help of a calculator. 

Fear not though! Attending university means it’s likely you’ve already got an entire arsenal of tools under your belt that should certainly not be overlooked or undervalued.  

Here are 7 signs that a career in accountancy might just be your cup of tea:  

1. You’re strict about hitting deadlines

If ‘deadline-crusher’ is your (double-barrelled) middle name, you’re halfway there already. As an accountant, you’ll be dealing with tight deadlines on a regular basis. Organisation and the ability to prioritise whilst staying cool, calm and collected under pressure are all vital accountancy attributes.

2. You take an analytical approach to problems

When faced with a task or problem, an accountant needs to be able to switch into analytical mode in order to navigate an effective solution. This is something university students are well-practised in thanks to all that lateral thinking and research.

3. You know how to budget and save cash

Were you the envy of your peers for being able to budget your student loan down to the last penny every month? No? Either way, there are lessons there that you now have experience of, whether you’re a budgeting wonder or not. That skill will serve you well when it comes to offering clients advice on how to nurture their cash flow, spend wisely and cut costs efficiently.

4. You ain’t afraid of no test

Ongoing exams come hand-in-hand with a career in accounting but hey, as a (former) student, you must be well-versed in the world of studying and revision by now. If you don’t mind another few years of qualification-chasing, you’ll be just fine.

5. You have Dragon’s Den on series record

Although you might not want to own your own business, it does help to have an entrepreneurial streak, or at least an empathy for it. That way you’ll understand your clients and help them identify ways in which they can grow their own ventures.

6. No mistake flies under your radar

A major part of an accountant’s job is helping clients reduce the risk of errors across their accounts and bookkeeping. So, you’ll need a keen eye for errors and anomalies, and the ability to be proactive in putting them right.

7. You have an endless supply of patience

As an accountant, you’ll spend a fair amount of time communicating with clients about their financial situation and the status of their business. At times, this might be a high-pressure role as clients come to you with stress or worries about money.

Sometimes what is second nature to you can be quite complex to a non-accountant, so when having these conversations, you’ll need to be patient and willing to explain things multiple times if needs be.

You ready for it?

Do some, or all of these, sound just like you? If so, it might be time to start seriously considering hopping onto the very first rung of the accountancy career ladder!

Don’t worry if that ladder starts to wobble, there are plenty of resources and channels of support out there to help you keep your balance and carry-on ascending.

The Accountancy Partnership is an online accounting firm for small businesses. Learn more about our approach to changing the profile of modern accounting!

How to get the most from a panel or networking event

UCL Careers28 January 2019

Going to a panel or alumni event will give you the opportunity to meet and hear from a range of speakers. They will be able to provide insight into their industries, and stories from their own careers that might prove to be invaluable when starting your own career.

To get the most out of attending a panel or alumni event, we’ve got a few tips to help you before, during and after the event.

Before

Research the speakers and their organisations. There’s plenty of easy ways to find out about companies and their opportunities, as well as the speakers themselves.

Start with LinkedIn to find out about the speakers and the organisations. On LinkedIn, there’s also a fantastic feature attached to organisations that shows you which alumni from UCL work there. It should prove useful to see which UCL graduates work for the organisation, as well as their roles. You might also be surprised to see the wide range of degree backgrounds that our graduates have within a single organisation!

There’s also Glassdoor, a helpful resource for finding reviews as well as other information such as salaries and even past interview questions.

Lastly, do a search on Google and look through the news to see what has recently been written about the companies in relevant news feeds.

If you’ll be attending an alumni networking event, consider what you wear to event to help you make a great first impression.

During

Take notes during a panel event, whether it’s simply to keep a list of websites or events that speakers recommend, or advice that you’ve found insightful.  This may also assist with asking questions, as you might want to follow up with questions on something that was said during the event.

At an alumni event, try to engage in a conversation with an alum. A simple tip is to ask open questions to begin with such as “How did you start working for …”, as this cannot be answered with a short yes or no, and that will help your conversation start flowing quickly.

For any type of event where you can network, always try to connect with people that you are interested in speaking with. Sometimes the connection will be the start of a longer conversation and potentially lead to future opportunities.

After

Within the first couple of days after the event, reach out to your new connections via LinkedIn or email. If they’re a working professional, remember that their time may be limited so be considerate when asking for advice.

What are your next steps? Is there a new jobs board to sign up to, or a networking event worth signing up for? Aim to have two or three simple actions that you plan on following up and set a simple deadline for each action.

As great as a panel or networking event is, the true value often comes once you capitalise on what you have learnt through the event.

Want to attend an exciting panel or networking event? The UCL Careers Themed Weeks give you the chance to meet professionals in a range of exciting sectors such as Charities & NGOs and International Development.

By Jai Shah – Careers Consultant

Why previous years’ participants think you should apply for Focus on Management 2018!

UCL Careers9 April 2018

We contacted students who have previously participated in Focus on Management to see how they’ve been getting on since the course. We saw that they were thrilled on the last day of the course … but how has completing Focus on Management impacted them and their career? Here’s a selection of the responses we received:

 

Marianne Thompson – BA French and Spanish (Joint Honours)

“I was recently able to draw upon the invaluable experience that I gained from this course at an assessment centre for an international investment bank. I believe that it was my exposure to business case studies during Focus on Management that best prepared me for this process, and I was successful in gaining a place on the competitive summer internship.

I would highly recommend the Focus on Management course to anyone who is thinking about applying for internships or graduate schemes, as it is the perfect introduction to the kind of work you will be expected to complete at assessment centres, as well as providing you with the skills and knowledge to impress employers in the future.

The diversity of the business case studies presented, along with the intensive nature of the course, means that you are always kept on your toes and you are constantly being challenged in new ways.”

 

Andrew Dunn – MA in History

“Focus on Management was marketed as an opportunity to network with some of the brightest sparks of UCL’s student body – and they were! It was a practice run at many of the exercises that one might find at an assessment centre. The opportunity to work with other students to solve these exercises helped me develop a greater awareness of my own skills as a leader and team-worker.

Shortly after taking part in Focus on Management, I put the skills learnt to the test during an assessment day. I’m pleased to report that I must have picked something useful up, as I was subsequently offered a position! I strongly recommend any student at UCL to have a go at Focus on Management … you won’t be disappointed!”

 

Pancali Hume – MSc in International Public Policy

“I found out about Focus on Management after seeing an email about it from UCL Careers and there was a part of me that almost didn’t apply – but I am so happy that I did!

…the course prepared me for my upcoming assessment centre at a professional services company far better than my individual research or any practice interviews I did. It challenged my thinking and allowed me to practice vital presentation skills and teamwork exercises in a realistic context.

I would recommend Focus on Management to all UCL students as I sincerely believe this is the prime time to be thinking about leadership and creating concrete goals to champion and lead change in our generation.”

 

Rohan Krajeski – MRes in Biomedicine 

“Since completing the Focus on Management 2017 course at UCL, I took up a position as a Research Assistant in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.

The skills I developed on the 2017 course is useful for my current work. The ability to effectively work with others has led to a number of collaborations with other research groups within the institution, and we are now looking further afield with abroad collaborations, particularly in the US.

Skills developed in effective planning and commutation has helped me complete high volumes of work quickly and reliably – only 6 months into my work I am shortly ready to submit two papers for academic publication, as well as writing a number of neuroscience articles for local and national neuroscience associated magazines.

Most vitally, skills developed in public speaking (and in listening/reflection) has greatly affected my current work. I am due to present my research from Oxford at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum in Berlin, Germany. Plus additional talks are scheduled for the UK, such as at UCL in May 2018.

I think it is also important to note, that when I was applying for my work at Oxford, I had only recently completed the Focus on Management 2017 course. I was able to integrate the skills mentioned above into my interview and presentation prep. for my job advertised – I think it made all the difference.” 


Inspired by the words of previous years’ participants? – Apply now

Go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/focus for more details and application instructions.

 

Focus on Management 2018 is sponsored by Amazon

 

 

My summer of love with Lynda

uczjsdd8 August 2016

LovePhoto from Ruben Ulset

At the beginning of the year I wrote a blog about how valuable the online-learning platform Coursera can be for your career. And now for what might be an even bigger love-in: Lynda.

Oh, Lynda. How did I ignore you for so long? I guess I was too busy, too caught up in my own world. But then right when I needed you, you were there.

Ok. I’m getting ahead of myself. Who or what is Lynda? Lynda is a website containing online tutorials from experts in lots of useful stuff – especially, but not limited to, software skills. UCL has bought a subscription to it, so anyone with a UCL login is able to access the site.

I’ve recently started working through some Lynda tutorials myself, and they’re great! So practical and well made, and each session is broken into bite-size chunks to make them easier to follow.

In terms of up-skilling to further your career, Lynda is a wonderful tool to have. Employers are often keen that their new recruits can hit the ground running. So if you think your target job will require skills you’re currently lacking – maybe coding skills, Photoshop skills, or anything really – Lynda may be able to help you fill those gaps. And even employers who are ready and willing to train you up from scratch will appreciate the motivation demonstrated by starting your learning early.

But what if you’re not sure which skills you’ll need? Lynda has created ‘learning paths’ for different roles. These are playlists of tutorials to work through, starting from the basics upwards. So whether you want to become an Agile project manager or a music producer, it’s worth seeing if Lynda can help you get there.

You can even put together your own learning lists. Handily, UCL’s digital education team have already made some for you, including this fab one on careers skills, ranging from CV-writing, to pitching projects and products. So if you’ve got some spare time over the summer, why not check them out, and see if you love Lynda as much as I do!

 

Modern Languages & Its Unexpected Career Paths

Weronika Z Benning8 February 2016

By Andrew Scott – Head Fashion Buyer

I had never given much thought to modern languages until high school, but then why would I when it was never something which had been included in my curriculum? That soon changed the moment I sat down in my first French lesson. The whole concept had me gripped from that moment, as I started to enjoy learning in a way which I never had before. Language combines the theory of traditional core subjects with a hint of personal expression which you only get through art based subjects providing the middle ground I unknowingly required.

Needless to say I excelled in language and it was a natural step for me to carry this on through to college and then university.

For me, the novelty of studying modern languages and the sense of accomplishment which came with it never wore off, so I guess I was one of the lucky ones who came out of university with a clear sense of direction.

Immediately out of university I explored the typical avenues of employment such as translating and interpreting, although I knew this wasn’t a long term career path and I soon moved on to a role within an international company. Whilst I enjoyed this fast paced environment, I couldn’t ignore the pull to get involved in the world of fashion, which was the industry my parents both operated in.

I was surprised how strongly the industry demanded my language skills in many different areas, which gave me a much wider choice of career than I had ever thought. I am now the head fashion buyer of Infinities Menswear, a role which constantly demands my language skills and takes me all over Europe. On a daily basis I speak on the phone with our global suppliers and regularly attend international fashion shows and buying meetings. The ability to communicate with people in their own dialect goes a long way in terms of building relationships and it is personally enjoyable to use my languages in practice.

Thinking back to my university days, I never would have predicted that I would have the career I have today and I feel very fortunate to think that I have been able to combine my two passions in life in such a way.

I fear that many people believe modern languages commands a very narrow career path, which is a misconception I am keen to correct for anyone considering or currently studying modern languages. In reality, a modern languages qualification provides you with an edge over the competition in a wide range of roles within a multitude of different industries.

The world is your oyster, learn how to communicate in it!

Book now: Sprint Development Programme for female students sponsored by RBS and Microsoft

UCL Careers12 January 2016

Sprint is back at UCL this February, after yet another successful year. 

WHAT IS SPRINT?

Sprint is a well-established development programme for undergraduate and graduate women at the early stages of their professional development, from all backgrounds and ages. It provides a tool kit to help female undergrads be empowered to achieve their potential. The programme enables participants to take hold of their personal ambitions and develop a network of mentors and peers. Whilst the programme is open to all, those at the beginning of their career or with little work experience will benefit the most.

Originally pioneered at University of Cambridge, with more recent programmes run at the University of Oxford, UCL and City University have co-hosted a number of successful programmes.  The results have been amazing – over 90% say the programme has changed their lives and they feel more positive and better in control of their career decisions as a result.

This winter the programme will be hosted at UCL and across four action packed days, the programme will cover a range of key development topics, with the aim help you to:

  • use your personal power and influence
  • identify your values, attitudes and direction
  • manage your time effectively
  • learn how to use assertiveness positively
  • build your image, networking skills and confidence
  • engage with inspiring role models and industry professionals
  • gain access to a network of mentors (provided by sponsoring companies) to help you achieve your goals

The programme is co-sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland and Microsoft.

WHEN IS IT?

16th, 17th, 18th February and 22nd March 2016 at UCL.

Here’s what two attendees from last year had to say about the programme:

“Such a positive experience, which was helpful both personally and professionally.”

“I didn’t want to go to Sprint – my friend talked me into signing up with her! I’m so glad I listened to her.  Sprint was a wonderful experience.  I found a sense of community with the women in our group and a sense of relief that I wasn’t alone in the challenges I faced.  Sprint reminded me of the tools I already had and gave me new ones as well.  I can’t wait for what comes next!”

HOW TO APPLY?

Applicants will need to submit a CV and a 300 word letter detailing why they wish to participate in the course.

Applicants will be shortlisted according to clear evidence that they have thought about their future career, why they wish to participate in the course, and how it will meet their development needs.

Whilst the programme is open to all, those at the beginning of their career or with little work experience will benefit the most.

Please email your application to Kathryn Goodfellow (k.goodfellow@ucl.ac.uk) and Rhiannon Williams (rhiannon.e.williams@ucl.ac.uk).

The deadline for applications is 9am on 25th January 2016 and successful candidates will be informed within a week of the closing date.

For more information please visit www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/sprint

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!

What career skills were you shouting about in 2015?

uczjsdd6 January 2016

 

Are you sick of 2015 countdown lists yet? No? Good, because here’s another one.

Have you heard of Coursera? It’s great. It allows you to take free online courses in pretty much anything, and those courses are taught by university experts. In fact, UCL careers consultants helped deliver a course in Employability Skills in 2014 and 2015.

And now the good people at Coursera have put together a handy list of 2015’s most coveted career skills. When you complete a course you receive a certificate, and get the option of posting said certificate to your LinkedIn profile. By assessing courses with the most certificates posted to LinkedIn, Coursera have worked out the top 10 skills people most wanted to show off to recruiters last year. It’s a nice measure of what’s hot with employers right now, with ‘digital marketing’ coming out on top, and ‘data science’ featuring heavily in the top 10. Check out the full list here.

And to be notified when the employability skills course runs again, visit the course page and add it to your wish list.

 

S Donaldson, UCL Careers Consultant

Getting into Publishing – Event Round-up and Top Tips

UCL Careers9 December 2015

Our Getting into Publishing panel discussion on Tuesday 1st December 2015 provided attendees with fantastic insight into this sector including industry trends and hot topics, typical roles and responsibilities and how to stand out as an applicant. Catch up on key points from this discussion below and read about the panellists in attendance here.

> Panellists extolled the  benefits of gaining work experience in smaller and/or independent publishers where you can get varied hands on experience and insight. There are very limited places on graduate schemes with major trade publishers (for example, only 4 places at HarperCollins) so being open to working in different roles in a wider range of publishing companies is encouraged at the start of your publishing career. Building up wide ranging work experience in different types of publishing companies is a positive. Don’t just go for trade publishing (it is considered by many the most glamourous) but consider other types, such as scientific manuals and journals, academic press or working at literary agents.
> Useful resources recommended for finding out about companies and hot topics in publishing are the Writers and Authors Yearbook, Bookseller (especially the jobs board) and The Society of Young Publishers. A useful event is the Futurebook annual conference.

> Don’t focus too much at this stage on getting a particular role in a particular company – it’s about trying to get a starting role. It’s a lot easier to change jobs within the industry once you’re in and move between imprints within a parent company. Try to be well-rounded and open to different roles at the start. At the very least, you’ll be able to appreciate what each job role does even if you aren’t good at it when you try it yourself – what makes someone good at one area (i.e. production) makes them terrible at another (sales)! agents.

> Be aware that you will start from the bottom, despite having a degree. Be humble and be prepared for the coffee making and photocopying, but also be enthusiastic and curious about what is going on more widely in the company. During any work experience strive to make the most of it and have a good attitude, as hiring often happens by referral and a remembrance of an awesome intern when vacancies come up in the company (“We have a editorial assistant job coming up – why don’t we contact X to see if they are still available, they were great!”)

> Build your awareness of which books and publications are linked to which publishers, their body of work, key successes. An industry trend is that many major publishing houses have acquired lots of smaller companies (called imprints).

> Key skills required for publishing roles are relationship management, project management and attention to detail. Relationship management examples were given of sending each bookstore manager a personalised book choice with an individual note, maintaining relationships with authors and with key individuals in different internal departments. A suggestion for building relationship skills is to listen to conversations during any work experience and see how publishing professionals deal with situations / respond to clients. Project management is also an important skill as essentially you will be looking after several projects simultaneously, for example various book launches.

> Nobody mentioned reading when discussing their jobs. Panellists stressed that you have to love reading to do the job but you won’t just be sat reading all day, there are lots of other parts of the role involved which make the reading happen for other people.

> Panel quote: “the written word is our life blood” – applications with any spelling or grammar mistakes will not be considered!

> Social media: look at your own presence and make it appealing (and free of bad English!) but also follow people in the industry and at the companies you’re applying for – learn about them, what they like, what they’re interested in, what they’re reading

> Some key industry changes and hot topics include
– the move to Open Access publications– academic publishers have been ahead of trade with this (and are with more new trends)
– major publishing houses have acquired lots of smaller companies (called imprints)
– e-books and digital are no longer seen as a separate division but is part of standard publishing
– Amazon has totally changed book purchasing but recently Bookouture are an interesting company to watch as a innovative competitor to Amazon
– publishers think of the customer as the end reader and not the bookstore, as buying tends to be much more end-consumer led
– budgets and cost are increasingly important as books will only be published if likely to be successful
– self-publishing is more prevalent but tend to be lower quality publications than those  published by established publishers.

> Two of the panellists now work as freelancers. With freelance work, you have to have an established base of clients and credibility, but your hours are your own. Most people move to freelance editing after building up contacts and a reputation in the industry.

– UCL Careers Media Week Team