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    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, 2015

    NEWSFLASH! PhDs can come to media week too!

    By S Donaldson, on 26 November 2015

    Image from Griffith College Marketing team via creative commonsNext week’s media week events are open to all UCL students – including you PhDs. We have lots of great speakers from the worlds of publishing, journalism, broadcasting, and PR and marketing. And if you don’t see yourself as a ‘media type’ you might also like to investigate the growing field of Media Analytics, discussed on Thursday 3rd Dec, where your analytical skills will be valued.

    “But I’m a scientist, is Media Week open to me too?” I hear you ask. Yes! We welcome even you scientists, and you may be particularly interested in hearing from the Freelance Scientific and Medical Editor speaking at our “Getting into Publishing” event on Tues 1st Dec, and the science graduate who now works as a BBC radio producer (she worked on ‘The Naked Scientists’!) who will be answering questions at our “Get into Broadcasting” event on Wed 2nd Dec.

    See the full line up of events below.

     

    UCL Careers Media Week

    1st-4th December 2015

    Come along to our selection of panel discussions, interactive workshops and presentations to find out more about opportunities across this popular sector. Gain tips on routes into the media industry from experienced media professionals and learn what you can start doing now to increase your chances of success!

    All of the events below are now bookable through ‘My UCL Careers’. Event venues are confirmed on booking.

    Get into Publishing: Panel Discussion, Q&A and Networking

    Tuesday 1st December, 5.30pm-7pm

    Want to get some key tips on how to break through into this notoriously competitive sector? Come and meet panellists across editorial roles and academic publishing. Confirmed panellists include:

     

    > Marta Kowalewska , Editorial Assistant, Sage Publications

    > Dr.Nina Buchan, Freelance Scientific & Medical Editor

    > Claire Palmer, Editor, Harper Collins Publishers

    > Allie Collins, freelance editor (former Editorial Director at John Blake Publishing)

    > UCL Press representative

     

    Journalism Workshop with News Associates

    Wednesday 2nd December, 1pm-3pm

    Students interested in pursuing a career in journalism can enrol on this two-hour practical workshop run by the press agency News Associates. They will get you writing an article in a mock, ‘real-life’ breaking news exercise. Feedback will be given on your work and time is set aside for careers advice. News Associates are the UK’s leading training provider of the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists) Multimedia Diploma.

    Please note that this is an interactive session aimed at those looking to pursue a career in UK-based journalism. Attendees will need to have excellent skills in both verbal and written English to ensure that they can engage effectively with the demands of the workshop.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the group size and nature of this workshop, a returnable cash deposit is required to be paid in person at UCL Careers after registering to guarantee your place. You will also need to bring a laptop/tablet with you to be able to participate in this event.

    Get into Broadcasting – TV, Film & Radio: Panel Discussion, Q&A and Networking

    Wednesday 2nd December, 5.30pm-7pm

     

    Want to get an insight into working in and with the broadcasting industry? Come along to this event to hear directly from professionals about some of the various roles in these sectors! Confirmed panellists include:

     

    > Alex Snelling, Film Director/Producer/Editor, Slack Alice Films

    > Anya Saunders, Editorial Lead, BBC Make It Digital

    > Matt Pelly, Freelance Series Producer, Director and Cameraman

    > Kate Lamble,  Assistant Producer, BBC World Service

    > Eduardo Leal, Account Director, Precious Media

     

    This panel discussion is chaired by Leiah Kwong, President of the UCLU Film and TV Society

     

    What is Media Analytics? Presentation by GroupM
    Thursday 3rd December, 1-2pm


    Media is changing. Today we are in a space where data, creative content and technology collide, where audience insight sits at the heart of the creative process, and where extraordinary intelligence and state of the art trading models help us deliver tangible output for our clients.

     

    GroupM is the world leading media advertising group. We plan advertising campaigns for some of the biggest and most renowned brands globally, and based on rich consumer data we buy the media space that reach the right target audience.

     

    In this presentation we will discuss how data, audience insight and analytics help us deliver successful media campaigns. What data do we collect? What do we know about you? How do we use this information to target the right audience? Where is the future of media taking us, and what does this mean in terms of our future talent and career opportunities?

     

    Get into PR, Marketing & Advertising: Panel Discussion, Q&A and Networking

    Thursday 3rd December, 5.30pm-7pm

     

    Professionals working in the industry will be discussing their career paths and ways to get into the sector. The panel will also be sharing tips on how to progress your career. Confirmed panellists include:

     

    > Christy Madden, Ogilvy Fellow, Ogilvy

    > Kari Shephard, Consultant, Claremont Communications

    > Sophie Orbaum, Account Director, Gerber Communications

    > Caroline Cody, Media Relations Manager, Lloyds Banking Group

    > Tom McCarron, Periscopix
    CVs/Applications for Media Careers: Panel Discussion, Q&A and Networking

    Friday 4th December, 1pm-2pm

     

    Get top tips from industry professionals on how to make your applications stand out and what you can be doing now to increase your chances of securing a role in this industry. Confirmed panellists include:

     

    > Sally Hunter, Head of Commercial Marketing, The Guardian

    > Jackie Fast, Managing Director, Slingshot Sponsorship

    > Graham Russ, Careers Co-ordinator, Creative Skillset

    > Sonia Cason-Zeif, Recruiter, Sapient Nitro

    A PhD’s career in law

    By S Donaldson, on 18 November 2015

    George KratsasDr George Kratsas has a PhD in Corporate Law and Financial Regulation from UCL, and now works as an Associate Solicitor at Ropes & Gray LLP. George spoke to UCL Careers about his post-PhD career.

    How did you move from your PhD to your current role?

    After studying law at undergraduate and Masters level, my passion for research led to me pursuing a PhD in financial regulation at UCL. During this period, I took on an interim role at an English law firm, Holman Fenwick Willan, in Brussels and taught law at Qatar University in Doha. Following my PhD, I briefly moved to Greece, my country of origin, and passed the Bar exam. In 2014, I returned to London and practiced financial regulation at Holman Fenwick Willan, first as a foreign qualified lawyer and later as an associate. I now work as an associate at an American law firm, Ropes & Gray.

    What does your job involve?

    I work in derivatives, specialising in transactional and regulatory matters. Financial regulation requires many hours of research and reviewing multiple regulatory documents. Transactional work, on the other hand, involves spending a lot of time studying a single transaction. A significant amount of time is also spent on ongoing legal training and attending conferences.

    What skills gained from your PhD/postdoc are useful in your current role?

    The most useful skills I acquired from my doctoral studies were good research practices and writing skills. It also gave me an opportunity to expand my legal knowledge. In addition, pursuing a PhD gave me time to think about what my next career step would be.

    What are the best things about your role?

    As regulations evolve, I am constantly presented with opportunities to learn and develop new skills. I also find it interesting that on a daily basis, my area of work will be addressed in the news.

    What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

    Financial regulation and derivatives are extremely technical areas. Potentially, it takes several years of practice before an individual can gain a good understanding of them. This may discourage some people from practicing them in the first place.

    Where do you see yourself going from here?

    I recently joined Ropes & Gray LLP and plan on working for the firm for the foreseeable future. In the event that my circumstances change, I may consider an in-house position at a bank or a role working for the government such as at the Financial Conduct Authority.

    What tips would you give our PhD students and early-career researchers wanting to move into your field?

    At present, there is great demand for lawyers in the financial law sector in London, especially for regulatory roles. However, previous work experience is essential for securing a job. I would advise students to apply for interim positions alongside their doctoral studies. Qualifying under English law is also vital. I would recommend that students apply early for training contracts or, for foreign lawyers, to plan ahead for their qualification via QLTS.

     

     

    6 networking tips that work for me

    By S Donaldson, on 6 November 2015

    network 2 Image from Andy Lamb

    Networking is important. It just is. But it can also be painful.

    The below networking tips have helped me, so hopefully they’ll also help people who are a bit like me. But are you like me? Do you feel social awkwardness acutely and do everything in your power to avoid it? Do you enjoy spending time with humans, but also hate meeting new ones? Do you cringe at the thought of entering a room packed with strangers, with the aim of ‘selling yourself’? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, these tips could ease your pain:

    1) Have a purpose

    Have a reason for being somewhere that isn’t simply ‘networking’. There’s nothing I find more excruciatingly awkward than milling about with a glass of wine surrounded by people I don’t know. I just end up leaving early. But if I’m actually doing something, then I find it much easier to talk to strangers, get to know people, and pick up useful contacts.

    You could see this as a ‘planned happenstance’ approach to networking – put yourself out there, get involved with things, and the networking is likely to just happen without you really noticing. For me, this has meant signing up for a course where I’d meet people in a certain sector, or volunteering at relevant events. Sometimes these events have included one of those dreaded ‘networking sessions’, which always feel far less awkward if I’ve been part of the team organising them.

    2) Latch on to a good networker

    Like it or not, it’s not always possible to ‘have a purpose’. Sometimes attending actual networking events is part of life. And it can yield results. I find networking events more productive and less terrible if I attend with a natural-born networker. The intense schmoozing might make you feel uncomfortable at times, but the good networker will ensure they (and, because you are together, also you) talk to lots of key people, and their social skills should make the whole affair less awkward for everyone.

    3) Don’t bring the whole gang

    While attending a networking session or signing up for a course with one other person (hopefully a fantastic networker – see tip 2) can give you the confidence to talk to new people, bringing a big group along is likely to be counterproductive. Enjoying complimentary drinks with friends at conferences or networking sessions is fabulous in its own way, but you probably won’t get much networking done!

    4) Be curious

    Networking events can inflict a pressure to be interesting. But it’s better (and easier) to concentrate on being interested. Sure, you should try to swot up on relevant topics and issues to do with your particular sector/company of interest, and it’s sensible to have a short elevator pitch about yourself prepared. But in reality, most people quite like to talk about themselves, and they like people who let them do it. So if you ask lots of questions and seem genuinely engaged you’re likely to build rapport, and in turn networks.

    5) Don’t expect too much

    Network 3Image from Sean MacEntee

    …or at least not too much too soon. Networking is great for your career. But if you go into each networking event expecting a promotion, you’ll be often disappointed. And if you harass everyone you meet for a job, you’ll be often avoided.

    Asking questions people can easily answer (a la tip 4) is a good start. If you come away from an event having learned about someone’s career path or what it’s like to work in a particular company, then you’ve acquired valuable knowledge for your career thinking and applications. And remember networking can be a long game. Although it might not be immediately obvious how someone can help you (or how you might help them!), building your networks is likely to pay off in the end.

    6) Follow up

    When you meet someone at an event try to follow the link up within a week. I have a friend who likes to send a small gift to new contacts. Although it works wonderfully well for her (it’s how she and I became friends), most people can’t pull it off without seeming creepy, so a brief email or LinkedIn request should suffice. It can be nice to remind them of the conversation you had, and perhaps even send them a link to something they might find interesting. This keeps the contact warm, increasing the chances they’ll remember and think well of you, and decreasing the chances you’ll feel awkward when you contact them in the future.

    Originally published on The Careers Group’s Get Hired blog.

    Insight into education and communications careers panel discussion event open for booking

    By Vivienne C Watson, on 4 November 2015

    SONY DSCInsight into Education and Communications Careers: Employer Forum for PhDs and Researchers

    Thursday 3rd December 2015 5:30pm to 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 and communications 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:

    Dr Anna Saggerson – Associate Director, Galliard Health

    Dr Alex Burch – Head of Visitor Experience, Learning and Outreach, Natural History Museum

    Dr Nandi Simpson – Operations Manager, Infection, Immunity and Inflammation Programme, UCLH/UCL National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre

    Dr Mat Hickman – Programme Manager, Informal Science Learning (Education), The Wellcome Trust

    More speakers to be added. Please see links below for further details.

    To find out more about the programme please go to: http://courses.grad.ucl.ac.uk/course-details.pht?course_ID=2462

    Research students book a place here: http://courses.grad.ucl.ac.uk/course-details.pht?course_ID=2462

    Research staff book a place here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/events/signupform/

    Find out about the specialist careers support provided by UCL Careers for researchers here: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/specialistsupport/researchers

    Leaving academia? 5 CV don’ts

    By S Donaldson, on 2 November 2015

    Warning sign

    Image adapted from Nicolas Raymond

    Academics live in their own special world when it comes to CVs. So it’s no surprise that many researchers are baffled when they try to leave the ivory tower. Here are five mistakes to avoid in your non-academic CV.

    Don’t…

     

    …be too subject-focused

    When you’re going for a post-doc or fellowship your subject of study may be all important. But when you move out of academia people will start to care more about the skills you’ve used and concrete things you’ve achieved. If you’re moving into an industry research role where your research subject is relevant, great, but for everything else a very simple PhD title should suffice.

    …use too much technical jargon

    If you’re moving into a job that has very little to do with your research area then using lots of technical terms risks 1) confusing recruiters and 2) painting you as someone who only cares about this very specific subject – i.e. the wrong person for the job.

    …assume employers understand the value of your PhD years

    Some employers actively target PhD graduates and are willing to pay a premium for them. This could be because they’re looking for particular subject expertise, but often it’s because of the skills developed during a PhD.

    But a lot of employers may not immediately see the value of the extra qualification. Try to think of your PhD years as a job, and tell recruiters about the relevant tasks you took on and what you achieved. Maybe it’s about the multiple projects you managed through to completion, the research budgets you handled, the international collaborations you were involved with, or the writing skills you displayed.

    …use the same CV for every application

    A great CV is tailored to a specific role, so it should change slightly with each application. Think about which experiences, skills and achievements are most relevant to each role; These should be the ones you emphasise the most.

    …waffle on

    Academic CVs can often run very long. But outside of academia we don’t usually want to see anything longer than two pages, and some industries will expect a one page CV.