UCL Researchers
  • Welcome

    The UCL Careers team use this Blog to share their ‘news and views’ about careers with you. You will find snippets about a whole range of career related issues, news from recruiters and links to interesting articles in the media.

    We hope you enjoy reading the Blog and will be inspired to tell us your views.

    If you want to suggest things that students and graduates might find helpful, please let us know – we want to hear from you.

    Karen Barnard – Head of UCL Careers

    UCL Careers is part of The Careers Group, University of London

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    Archive for November, 2014

    Do you want to build a successful career in finance in Asia?

    By Vivienne C Watson, on 24 November 2014

    CPA Australia will be coming to UCL on 2nd December from 1-2pm to deliver the following workshop:

    Success in accounting and finance: building your career across Asia

    CPA Australia is one of the world’s largest professional accounting bodies representing 150,000 finance, accounting and business professionals in 121 countries globally.  With teams in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Zealand and across Australia CPA are experts in local accounting graduate markets and have all the hints and tips you need to stand out.  Hayley from the London office will deliver an interactive session on career success in your home country or elsewhere abroad.

    Topics covered:

    • Developing your global mindset
    • The 5 Steps to Getting Hired
    • Opportunities overseas including internships and events
    • You and your next steps

    To make a booking please go to the ‘International Student Talks’ section of the UCL Careers website here

     

    VSU Postgraduate and Public Engagement Volunteering Fair

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 18 November 2014

    UCL Postgrads – Are you interested in making connections with local communities? Thinking about volunteering? Want to collaborate with people outside of academia? VSU PG Fair Screen

    If so, come and have some stimulating discussions at our Postgraduate Volunteering & Public Engagement Fair. There will be thirty stalls to browse, and staff from across UCL and UCLU to give advice about volunteering and public engagement. Oh, and we’ll have refreshments too.

     When: Roberts Foyer, Wednesday 26 November 6-8pm

    Exhibitors include Access Sport, Body & Soul, Carnaval del Pueblo, Doorstep Library Network, Endometriosis UK, Family Mosaic, Future Frontiers, IntoUniversity, Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice, North London Cares , Real Action, Royal Mencap Society, Sova Support Link, The Camden Society, UCL Grand Challenges and more.

    The event is jointly organised by UCL Public Engagement Unit, UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit, and the UCLU Postgraduate Association.

    To register, and to find out more about the volunteering on offer, visit https://uclu.org/whats-on/volunteering/postgraduate-public-engagement-volunteering-fair

    Bookings open for Careers in the Education Sector Employer Forum

    By Vivienne C Watson, on 3 November 2014

    Careers in the Education Sector: Employer Forum for PhDs and Researchers

    27th November 2014 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm

    The aim of this event is to help PhD students and other researchers with their career planning by providing an opportunity to question, to hear from and network with employers that come from a variety of roles within the Education sector, who are PhD holders themselves. The panel of speakers will give tips on how research students can use their qualifications and experiences to enter this field as well as information about their sector.

    Panel of speakers will be:

    Mark Llewellyn – Director of Research, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

    Marek Kukula – Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich

    Mary Henes – London Regional Director, The Brilliant Club

    Rosalind Mist – Head of Education Policy, The Royal Society

    Steve Heggie – Institute Manager, UCL Eastman Dental Institute

    Steve Cross – Head of Public Engagement, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement

    To find out more and to read the speakers’ biographies please go to: http://courses.grad.ucl.ac.uk/course-details.pht?course_ID=2462

    Research Students book here

    Research Staff book here

    How to sell your PhD outside academia

    By Vivienne C Watson, on 1 November 2014

    If you’re pursuing a career beyond academia, how can you ensure that employers really understand the value of your PhD? This is an important question, particularly if you’re thinking about moving into a field where your specific technical or specialist knowledge isn’t a requirement for the role.

    Let’s start by thinking about how employers outside academia tend to view PhD applicants.

    According to a CIHE (now NUCB) study , many employers feel that recruiting postgraduates can add significant value to an organisation.   However, PhDs were also seen as “too unworldly” and “too narrow and over-focussed”. Other concerns involved team-working, cultural fit and the ability to adapt to a non-academic environment.

    Although they might seem negative, these comments are really useful because they give you a clue as to what you’ll need to do to sell your PhD to employers who might be thinking along these lines.

    Firstly, be mindful their concerns and understand what they don’t want. Secondly, find out what they do want. The best way to sell something is to find out what the other party is buying! When you know what they’re looking for, you can provide plenty of evidence that you’ve got it.

    Research is critical here.   Your PhD is only useful to them if is in some way relevant to the role they are recruiting for, so gather as much information as possible about what’s required to do the job. If the links between your academic research and the role aren’t obvious then it’s up to you to make the match.

    The best way to do this is by understanding the transferable skills required for the job, which will be listed in the person specification. Pay particular attention to key soft skills such as communication and teamwork, and use your research activities to demonstrate that you’ve got these skills. Shift your focus away from the minutiae of your research and on to providing evidence for the skills the employer is looking for. This will help to reassure recruiters that you’re aware of their requirements and adaptable enough to make the shift into a new industry.

    Employers often mention their concern that PhDs lack commercial awareness, and it’s worth thinking about how you might prove this through your research. For example, you might have had some input into the way your budget is spent, or made contacts with industry, or you might have a better understanding of the links between academic research and commerce.

    Thinking about using your PhD to provide evidence for skills will help you to think about how you can describe the value of your PhD to a ‘lay’ audience, a question that sometimes comes up at interview. It’s best to prepare a concise (2 minute) summary. If specialist knowledge isn’t required for the role, abandon technical language and keep it simple. Focus on the skills you’ve gained from your PhD and demonstrating their relevance to the role you’re applying to.

    Above all, be proud of your achievements. Doing a PhD requires enormous commitment, resilience and determination. Don’t be afraid to spell this out to a prospective employer, emphasising that you’ll bring all the same qualities to their organisation!

    – Hilary Moor, Careers Consultant, Careers Group University of London