Graduate story: Joining the QMUL Leadership Programme

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Jane (left), and Sara Aziz, Energy and Sustainability Officer, at the QMUL Sustainability Awards 2017

Jane Smith

Graduated: 2017, MSc Chemistry

Position: Graduate Management Trainee

Current Placement: Director’s Office, Blizard Institute (Placement 2/4)

Taking up my position as a Graduate Management Trainee has allowed me to explore a variety of career paths within QMUL and the wider HE Sector, whilst gaining valuable experience in a variety of key skills areas, including internal and external communication, project management, events planning and organisation, and administration.

During my first placement, I worked as a member of the Sustainability Team, where I conducted research into Education for Sustainable Development at QMUL and in the wider HE Sector. My team supported me continuously throughout my placement, and I was able to claim full ownership of my work and develop the project in the direction I felt most appropriate. This resulted in the creation of a multi functional audit tool, as well as deriving findings that contributed to QMUL’s approach to sustainability issues. In addition, I assisted the team in engagement events with our students and staff, which was extremely rewarding as I was able to see the impact of our day to day work in the wider context of university.

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 Jane, and Great Big Feet at the Blizard Symposium and Staff Summer Party 2017

Currently I work, in the Director’s Office of the Blizard Institute, where I lead on a variety of projects, including the institute’s website migration, social media strategy and development, and events. I am enjoying the increased responsibility and leadership roles that I am currently undertaking, and have developed skills in time management, delegation, and communication.  The working environment at the Blizard is very different to my last placement, as we are research and teaching focussed, with the scope of my work changing to suit the needs of the institute throughout the academic year.  Being placed away from the main campus, I have an increased understanding of the wide range of activities at QMUL, including the world-class medical research that is produced at the university.

Overall, the most attractive aspect of the scheme is the flexibility of the placements. Before taking up my position, I was asked about my specific interests in the HE Sector, the issues that I felt where the most important for the university, and which departments I would like to explore. This has shaped my first year at QMUL, as my line manager secured placements in departments offering roles that encompassed my interests and skill set. Throughout the year I have networked with colleagues, undertake a variety of training courses, and worked with a range of departments, which has enabled me to make informed decisions on my future placements and career path.

Interested in working in the Public Sector? Book your free place on next week’s Careers in the Community talk, featuring Civil Service, Teach First, Unlocked Graduates, Frontline, Police Now & Think Ahead

Join the graduate scheme at Queen Mary! Applications are currently open for the Ambitious Futures leadership programme. Click the link to find out more; deadline for applications is 18th January 2019. 

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