Guardian Careers Webchat

Senior Careers Consultant at The Careers Group, University of London, Laura Brammar, will be appearing on the Guardian’s live online Q&A today to answer questions from graduates about how to choose the right career path.

The panel of experts will be looking in particular at:

  • How to decide what you want in a job
  • CV and cover letter tips for school leaver and graduates
  • Which careers would best suit your personality and skillset
  • How to find your dream job

Laura Brammar has been supporting students, graduates and careers changers since 2004. By working at The Careers Group, who provide careers services for dozens of HEIs including The Courtauld Institute of Art, she has helped many graduates take a step towards career success through finding employment or another career related opportunity.

The live Q&A Thursday 26 February from 1-3pm GMT .

Find out more about The Careers Group, University of London’s employability services.

TARGETjobs AGCAS Award for Careers Service Engagement – Phoenix Education Trust & QProjects

Queen Mary Careers & Enterprise Centre, part of The Careers Group, University of London has had its nomination, Phoenix Education Trust, shortlisted by the judging panel for TARGETjobs AGCAS Award for Careers Service Engagement. The panel shortlisted six employers in total from a strong field.

The award recognises organisations who have been eQueen Mary Studentsspecially active and effective on campus in working with a service. Phoenix Education Trust is a great advocate of the QProjects Work Experience Scheme which places Queen Mary students into east London charities to deliver projects that would otherwise be delayed or not go ahead because of a lack of resources. Last year they employed maths and economics students as ‘Data Analysis Project Leaders’. A spokesperson for the Phoenix Education Trust described the students as “exceptional”, adding: “They have been competent, confident and full of ideas.”

Eluned Jones, AGCAS President, said:

“We invite HE careers services to nominate an employer with whom they work collaboratively to ensure that students are equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience that will allow them to enter, thrive in, and gain satisfaction from the world of work. This award recognises and promotes the important contribution many employers make to the work of careers services.”

The winner will be chosen by the AGCAS board and announced at the TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London on 1st April.

Response to High Fliers

The High Fliers graduate market report released yesterday, showed that the market continues to improve and that university careers services remain the key channels to graduate talent for the UK’s top employers. As the largest Higher Education careers service in Europe, The Careers Group, University of London can confirm these trends and add some further information due to the scale and diversity of our operation.

For understandable reasons, High Fliers relates to the Times Top 100 employers only. Whilst a number of our Colleges are specifically targeted by those employers, the Careers Group’s collaborative job vacancy system covers a much broader spectrum of graduate opportunities and has also shown growth of 65% from August 13 to July 14. The increase spanned every industry including arts and heritage, education, government and politics, the environment, leisure and science.

Similarly there has been significant growth in paid graduate internships beyond the Times Top 100 employers demonstrating the increased understanding that SMEs have of the value added by graduates.

The Careers Group’s Member College Wins High Impact Award for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014

Goldsmiths careers service, part of The Careers Group, University of London has won a High Impact award for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, in recognition of its contribution.

Vanessa Freeman, Senior Careers Consultant and the events’ organiser said:

From business planning to denim recycling, co-operatives to corporations, the week of enterprise events, run in collaboration with the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE), covered the practical and the creative. 

The Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign is hosted by Youth Business International, a charitable network of initiatives helping young entrepreneurs in 40 countries around the world.


The Careers Group asked to comment on getting into journalism

Member colleges of the Careers Group, University of London were recently asked to comment, by The Telegraph, on the advantages of studying in London when it comes to getting into journalism.

With Careers Consultants working with students at fifteen Higher Education Institutions across the capital, the Careers Group, University of London’s analysis is based on  observations from different types of university and different specialisms.

Telegraph blogger, Laura Maw, spoke to Karen Barnard, Director of UCL careers and Heather Campbell at Queen Mary careers service.

Karen Barnard, was clear that perseverance is key:

There are not many formal internship schemes, so you will have to send lots of speculative emails and CVs to publications that interest you. Follow up with a phone call a few days later to express your enthusiasm.”

The article also advised using The Careers Group’s paid internships in London which  provide an excellent way to gain hands-on experience in an office environment

Comment from The Careers Group, University of London is based on information from its fifteen Higher Education careers and employability services and the graduate destinations data it collects and analyses on behalf of over 100 education institutions.

The Careers Group asked to comment on the rise in student portfolio careers

With the rise in student portfolio careers, there is growing media speculation about its causes. Why are more students choosing this option? The Guardian asked Laura Mackenzie, Head of Careers and Employability at King’s College London, part of The Careers Group, University of London, for her views.

Using her knowledge and experience from working with King’s students and information gathered from colleges across The Careers Group, Laura offered up some reasons that are less well-known:

Students might opt for a portfolio career as a way to start up their own social enterprise or to build an academic career, as it enables them to build up their skills base or portfolio of research.

Read the full article on the Guardian website.

Comment from The Careers Group, University of London is based on information from its fifteen Higher Education careers and employability services and the graduate destinations data it collects and analyses on behalf of over 100 education institutions.


UN coming to The Careers Group

SOAS Careers Service, part of The Careers Group, University of London is delighted to announce that UN representative, John Ericson will be talking to University of London students about working for the United Nations at an exclusive event on 12 November 2014. Fully booked soon after it became available, this event will explain the practicalities of getting a job at the UN and how the recruitment process works.

Significantly this talk also marks the first federal in-college event where students from other colleges across University of London can also attend. Any student unable to get a ticket will be able to watch the whole talk and Q&A via their college website.

Director of college careers services at The Careers Group, University of London, Bob Gilworth said:

I am delighted that John accepted my invitation and that students from other member colleges’ of The Careers Group, University of London can also attend.

It is a rare opportunity for students to find out about the UN from an insider and be given the chance to ask questions directly. I am also ensuring the talk is recorded so that students who couldn’t get a ticket will not be excluded.”

Head of SOAS Careers Service, Philippa Hewett added:

Given the international interests of SOAS students it is fantastic that John is joining us on Wednesday to speak about a career at the UN and its recruitment process. It is a highlight in our programme of employer-events this autumn.”

John Ericson is Chief of the Outreach Unit in the Office of Human Resources Management of the United Nations Secretariat in New York. He joined the United Nations in Vienna, Austria in 1982 and later spent five years at the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as a Social Affairs Officer.  He moved to United Nations Headquarters in New York in 1992 to work as a Human Resources Officer performing various functions such as training, staff administration, staffing and recruitment.  He has served in UN peacekeeping operations in the former Yugoslavia and Cambodia. He has also worked in the UN offices in Bangkok, Thailand and Nairobi, Kenya.  He has experience working as a Special Protocol Officer during major UN summits.  Mr. Ericson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Master of Public Administration.

The Careers Group’s MOOC shortlisted for prestigious CDI Award

The Careers Group, University of London is delighted to announce that its Enhance your Career and Employability Skills MOOC, produced in partnership with University of London International Academy, has been shortlisted for the Award for Best Practice in the Use of Technology in Career Development by UK Career Development Awards (UKCDA), sponsored by Adviza.  The UK Career Development Awards seek to identify and promote excellence in career development.

To be on the shortlist acknowledges the significance of The Careers Group’s initiative which resulted in a staggering 89,000 students engaging with the material. Participants from 204 countries engaged with The Careers Group’s MOOC and the post course evaluation results reveal both the size and success of the project:

  • 948,944 unique videos watched
  • 39,832 quiz submissions
  • 14,740 peers assessments
  • 14,922 forum posts
  • 2,850 discussion threads
  • 89,665 forum views
  • 93% feel more confident about how they will approach their career development in the future as a result of the course
  • 91% have specific actions they will take as a result of this course

Laura Brammar, Senior Careers Consultant at The Careers Group, University of London and one of the co-instructors on the MOOC said:


Being shortlisted by the CDI for theprestigious Best Practice in the Use of Technology in Career Development Award really is the icing on the cake for an incredibly successful project and is a testament to the hard work and creativity of the whole MOOC team. If we win it’ll be the cherry on top!”


Also on the shortlist are “Partner Engagement in Career Management Skills”, Skills Development Scotland and “Next Generation On-line Career Tools Platform”, the Career Innovation Company, Ltd. The Award winners will be announced later this month. The Career Development Institute which organises the awards are a UK-wide professional organisation for everyone working in the fields of career education; career information, advice and guidance; career coaching and career management.

Find out more about about the careers and employability services offered by The Careers Group, University of London.


The Careers Group’s member college comes second in the UK for graduate-level employment

The Careers Group, University of London is delighted by the news that St George’s, University of London, has risen to second in the UK for students finding graduate-level employment after leaving university*.


Figures for St George’s were 89.4 % up from 87.3% in the year before.

The St George’s career and employability service is part of The Careers Group, University of London. Over the last year there has been a deliberate strategy to embed careers and employability activity within each department. The careers service worked hard with academics within all departments to improve the success of graduates seeking professional work or study.

Gemma Ludgate, Head of The Careers Group, Education Consultancy remarked:

It is great to see that our strategy of embedding careers education, information and advice into individual departments seems to have made such a difference. Of course it is difficult to put it down to this one factor as the calibre of students and standards of teaching at George’s continue to excel.”

Victoria Wade, St George’s Careers Consultant said:

We are delighted to be one of the top two Universities in this survey.  It is great to be recognised for the commitment shown across the institution and the success the careers service, in close collaboration with academic departments, is having helping students find graduate level work.  We continue to strive to provide the best possible employability support for our students.”

To find out more about The Careers Group, University of London’s career development and employability services see


*The figures from the Complete University Guide show the proportion of graduates who are in in professional posts or postgraduates study six months after leaving university.

SOAS Careers Service has moved

SOAS Careers services, part of The Careers Group, University of London have moved to a new, larger premises within the main building at SOAS. Today’s official opening event was marked by David Christmas, Director of Student Services at SOAS and Bob Gilworth, Director of College-based Services, University of London.

Improvements include more interview rooms to ensure clients do not have to wait too long for a meeting with a Careers Consultant. There is a modern student-seating area where clients can work. The space is versatile and will also be used to host small workshops and other events on site.

To reflect the many cultures at SOAS the team have installed a large array of clocks displaying different world time zones. The exit door displays ‘push’ in over 20 languages!

Philippa Hewett, Head of SOAS Careers Service said:

We’ve asked SOAS students to write about the Careers Service in the languages they are studying so we can display the real ‘student voice’. Do come and see us: we can guarantee you a warm welcome!

About the move, Bob Gilworth, Director of College-based Services, University of London said:

We have a strong team, a fantastic new space and a great new Head of service, who is never seen without her “I love SOAS” Badge! Everything points to a very bright future for the SOAS careers service.


To find out more about SOAS careers service visit
SOAS Careers Service, 101, College Buildings, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG