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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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    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

    Using a science PhD to build a marketing career

    By S Donaldson, on 12 June 2015

    John Paul gained a PhD in Cell Biology from Manchester University. Here he tells us about his current role in pharmaceutical marketing, as an account manager at Circa Healthcare.

    How did you move from academic research to marketing?

    After my PhD I worked for three and a half years as a post-doctoral researcher. In the last year of my post-doc contract I started to weigh up my options. My boss had offered me a contract extension and future assistance in developing grant proposals to obtain my own funding so I could start the process of being independent/having my own projects and students. However, I was having reservations that setting up my own research group and constantly applying for grants wasn’t for me. Having an outgoing and sociable personality, I decided that I should look for a role that would use my scientific background but also allow me to interact with people rather than with plastic dishes and cells (I spent lots of hours in cell culture labs!).

    I looked into many roles in which scientific knowledge would be useful in communications; advertising/marketing was just one. I was very lucky in that I obtained a job in a pharmaceutical advertising agency due to a family connection.

    What does a normal working day look like for you?

    I’m generally office based, although I probably travel to meet clients or attend extended brand meetings at least once a month. I work within the accounts team and am a point person for both national and global pharmaceutical brand managers. My roles include developing strategic (short and long-term) marketing plans for the products and defining the tactics that need to be developed to drive the marketing initiatives. I then work with my creative team (writers, designers, web developers etc) to create the tactics, on time and within budget, and liaise with our clients to ensure, prior to being released to market, the content created communicates the messaging they desire.

    What are the best things about working in your role?

    No two days are the same; working on a variety of products with different marketing campaigns and product life cycles ensures there is a variety in my workload, which keeps things interesting.

    What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?

    All clients have budget limitations and it is often challenging to manage expectations, or to explain to clients that when they change the project scope and we need to do something different to meet the new needs, that we most likely need to re-estimate the project or adjust timelines – although this may sound like what would be expected, it is often not the case. Ensuring projects stay on budget (and on timeline) is essential not only for clients but also for your team and your agency’s business – if you constantly go over budget you are a less profitable company, and if you constantly fall behind timelines your clients will not be happy for very long. As such keeping projects on budget and on timelines is challenging but essential to maintaining good business practice.

    Is a PhD essential for your role?

    No, although a scientific background has been very useful to help understand on a molecular level how products work/how they stimulate their effect in comparison to competition (helps to define differentiating factors). Although a science degree is not essential, all employees need a degree; most of my colleagues in the accounts team hold business and/or marketing degrees.

    What skills do you use from your PhD in your current role?

    The majority of the marketing managers I work with are doctors, and some are even specialists (e.g. cardiologists), who have transitioned into a business and marketing role. As such my degree allows me to engage in detailed scientific discussions on the products and the market competition with clients, which I believe they appreciate, as many account leads do not have a scientific background. Also being able to develop concise but detailed presentations (verbal and written) are skills I refined during my PhD studies and use regularly now.

    Where do you see yourself going from here?

    Becoming an account supervisor, and so being responsible for more strategic development projects/less tactical projects, leading pitch projects and presentations and managing a team of lower level account personnel. Following this, progression to director of client services – i.e. overseeing all account personnel and management of client relations.

    What top tips would you pass on to a PhD student/post-doc interested in this type of work?

    More and more pharmaceutical and healthcare agencies are looking for people with science degrees when recruiting for new account team members so just apply! Be confident and direct; demonstrate your passion to join the organization and the ability to communicate scientific matters clearly. Although having a science background is great, having some knowledge of business practice and basic marketing would be very helpful and also very appealing for employers. If time permits there are great courses online which can assist with this, and there are some great books out there for people who need to know the basics.