Enterprise: Who we are

Are you interested in starting your own business, developing an existing idea or networking with other aspiring and established entrepreneurs?

Do you want to develop your employability skills?

The Enterprise team can help you achieve these goals whether you want to start a business or learn more about the process itself. If you have a creative idea or an existing business that you want to expand, we can provide you with the funding, mentoring and skills that you need to succeed.

We provide seed funding, an incubator programme, mentoring, enterprise boot camps, specialist workshops, free stalls at markets both on and off campus, pitching events and talks from local entrepreneurs. To sign up to any of our events visit https://careersandenterpriseevents.wordpress.com/

InQUBEate is Queen Mary’s 8 week start-up incubator programme, which has places for students to join in Semesters 1 and 2.  During the programme you will have weekly meetings with mentors from a range of industries, receive training on a range of topics including marketing and legal issues, meet like-minded students to share your ideas with, and pitch for funding to a panel of judges.

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Careers & Enterprise: Who we are

It’s the start of a new term – welcome back to all our returning students, and a big welcome to everyone who’s just joined QMUL! We hope you’re settling in well. You might have already got your student ID card, enrolled in all your classes, been to fresher’s fair (hope you got lots of good freebies!) … and you’ve now found your way to Careers & Enterprise. So we thought we’d tell you a little bit about what we do and how we can help you during your time here.

Whether you need help finding a part-time job, writing a CV or cover letter, or preparing for a graduate scheme, we can help.

Where are we?

queensThe Careers & Enterprise Centre is based in the Queens’ building (pic on left) on the Mile End campus, which is number 19 on this campus map.

We’re in room WG3, on the ground floor, near the Octagon and the Student Enquiry Office (where you’ve probably been already to pick up your ID!). Head to the corridor on the left-hand side and follow the signs.

What can we do for you?

We help QMUL students and recent graduates (up to 2 years after you graduate) in practically everything to do with their careers, from writing a CV to exploring your options after graduation. A career might seem a long way off if you’ve just joined us, but whatever stage you’re at on your QMUL journey, come and see us! Even if you’ve never even thought about life after university, we’re here to help you …

Appointments with Careers Consultants

We offer 20 minute 1-2-1 appointments with a Careers Consultant, either in the Careers & Enterprise Centre or your department. Appointments can cover any careers query, including: CV & application feedback, finding and applying for jobs, or deciding what to do after graduation.

Job hunting

Whether you’re looking for part-time work or a full-time role after graduation, take a look at our jobs board, Job Online: www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs. This is updated regularly and

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Getting to Know Us: James

First question, can you tell the reader who you are?

James Weaver, Employer Engagement Manager

And what departments/students do you specifically help?

I work across QMUL and act as a central point for businesses that want to meet with our students and graduates. I oversee the events programme, and work placement schemes run by Careers & Enterprise. I also get involved with our Enterprise work when there is a need.

How do you do this? What do you spend most of your time doing?

As well as managing the Employer Engagement Team my time is spent discussing recruitment strategies with businesses and working out the best way for them to meet with you. I also spend a lot of time researching the labour market and economic trends and looking at where we should be targeting our conversations.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

I think the sheer range and volume of businesses I talk to is the hardest thing. I have to understand the basics of almost every business sector in order to work out the best strategy for marketing opportunities to QMUL students, and also follow up as appropriate.  For example in the week I wrote these answers I’ve spoken with organisations as diverse as Accenture, Bishop Challoner School, BP, Colas Rail, Colchester Zoo, Goldman Sachs, Deliveroo, Reuters, TreePress,Ticket Master and Teach First.

What do you enjoy the most?

I really like ‘new things’ and I’m naturally nosy so meeting a new organisation and finding out about their business is probably my favourite thing. I also love visiting interesting office spaces as I am quite into how space is used.

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success to date?

I’ve been here since 2010 and during that time I’ve seen QMUL’s general profile grow and subsequently our reputation has grown with employers of all different types. When I started out it was as a team of one and we now how have ten people working in my team within Careers & Enterprise delivering events and the QRecruit Services. It means we can now support every business that approaches us in a more bespoke way, and put more opportunities in front of our students and graduates.

What is the most common question you get asked by students?

I confess I rarely speak to students directly about their careers, but one of questions I see from students about our events is how they should prepare. My tip from an employer’s viewpoint is that they get asked the same questions over and over again – and the answers can almost always be found on the company website. We publish the name of the organisations attending our events well in advance. Take 10-15 minutes reading the latest news articles about the organisation and think about a question that shows you’ve thought about what the company does. Also if a recruiter gives you a business card it is because they want to hear from you! If you are worried about following up then pop into Careers & Enterprise and one of the Information or Careers Consultant team can give you some tips.

And finally, tells us one thing we wouldn’t know about you.

Outside of QMUL I am musician and if you listen to late night 6Music or Radio 1 you might have heard me playing. I am also an ok photographer and have had some images published in fashion and music magazines as well as on the Guardian website.

Getting to Know Us: Rachel Roberts

First question, can you tell the reader who you are?

I’m Rae Roberts (well actually Rachel but there are so many Rachels in our team just call me Rae!). I work as the Programme Manager on our QConsult supported by J.P. Morgan programme.Rae profile

 

And what departments/students do you specifically help?

QConsult supported by J.P. Morgan is specifically targeted towards students who hold a QMUL bursary. We can work with students from any school or year, so long as they hold a bursary they will be prioritised for a place on this programme. This is due to restrictions around our funding and programme objectives – it’s actually about making access to opportunities fairer!

How do you do this? What do you spend most of your time doing?

The programme places students who hold bursaries into teams of 5.  These student teams then work remotely and independently to conduct mini-consultancy projects for local businesses. The students get dedicated support from one of our Careers Consultants, get paid for their time and gain real life work experience. The businesses get ideas for solutions to their actual business challenges!

I spend most of my time overseeing all the different elements of the programme and making sure that everything is going along as it should be.  And checking that everyone involved is having the best possible experience and getting the most they can from the programme. This entails lots of emails, phone calls, meetings and writing reports with all the people involved, whether that’s students, my colleagues or J.P. Morgan (our funder).

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Having to say no to students! Sometimes our application rounds are really competitive, and we always have more strong applications from students than places available. We try really hard to offer as many places as possible but we have to be realistic about the number of projects we can offer to make sure the students who do get places get all the support they need.

What do you enjoy the most?

Seeing the student teams rise to the occasion. Our programme offers really challenging projects where the students have to REALLY use their initiative, ACTUALLY take responsibility for themselves and GENUINELY deliver professional work that will make a different to the businesses they work with. It’s amazing to see how much the students can achieve when they are trusted and given this much opportunity to prove themselves.

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success to date?

Being involved in this programme from the start, 6 months ago, and hearing from the 54 students we have placed so far how much they feel it will help them in terms of getting jobs.

What is the most common question you get asked by students?

How do I find out about the programme?  The answer is email us and, if you are a bursary holder, sign up to our mailing list.

And finally, tells us one thing we wouldn’t know about you.

I am currently somewhat obsessed with running – so if you see a small person with glasses dashing out of the Queens Building at 12.30 that might well be me!

Getting to Know Us: Karen

First question, can you tell the reader who you are? So name, job title etc.

Karen Watton, Careers Consultant

And what departments/students do you specifically help?

I spend 3 days a week working with postgrad lawyers at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies in Holborn. The other 2 days I’m based at Mile End – currently, working with students across departments but, from September, in the Law School working with the undergrads. I just can’t get enough of lawyers! (I used to be one myself.)

How do you do this? What do you spend most of your time doing?

Hmm, hard to quantify at this point.

I joined Queen Mary just after Easter and so have had a fairly quiet time in terms of 1-2-1 appointments with students as they have been so busy studying, sitting exams and then taking a well-deserved break.  For the students I have met, there have been two main areas of focus: for the lawyers, it’s been on how best to approach training contract applications; and for many of the other students, it’s been working through possible career options and developing a plan.

Aside from that, I’ve been involved in some events – for example, running CV surgeries at the London Grad Fair, being one of the team manning the Careers stand at the QMUL Open Day, and running an interview skills clinic.

I’m currently writing sections of a Careers Guide aimed specifically at postgrad lawyers, plus getting to grips with the coming year’s events programmes.

I’m certainly not bored!

QMUL_Mentoring_018

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Being relatively new, an obvious challenge has been getting to know people – across sites and departments – plus QMUL’s working practices and cultures, systems, admin requirements etc. Having said that, I’ve never worked in an environment that has been so friendly and welcoming so this has been made much easier than it could have been. Thanks everyone!

What do you enjoy the most?

I love meeting and working with the students – a really impressive group of people. I am constantly amazed at how much students manage to pack in: in terms of academic achievement but also work experience, hobbies, volunteering, as well as socialising. And for many of them, this is not even in their first language.

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success to date?

I had great fun running a CV presentation at the London Grad Fair. There was a fantastic group of students who, despite coming from different disciplines and not knowing each other, got stuck in right from the word go, asking great questions, coming up with brilliant examples and generally creating a buzz that lasted throughout the 45 minute session. I was left feeling that we’d all learned a lot.

What is the most common question you get asked by students?

Can you look at my CV? (Though this isn’t always what they really want to talk about.)

And finally, tells us one thing we wouldn’t know about you.

I once won a karaoke competition in Hong Kong, singing a Cantopop song, in Cantonese. I’m sorry to say I’d just learned the sounds rather than the meaning so didn’t have the least clue what I was singing about!

Getting To Know Us: Lucy

First question, can you tell the reader who you are? So name, job title etc.

Lucy, Events Coordinator

Lucy

And what departments/students do you specifically help?

I support the work of the Careers and Enterprise Centre through delivery and management of a busy events programme aimed at connecting students with employers and alumni. I frequently work with many departments within the University.

How do you do this? What do you spend most of your time doing?

I plan, support, manage and deliver over 160 events per academic year across all faculties within Queen Mary University of London.

At the moment I am planning events for the busy autumn term. We currently have about 60 events planned and this is set to increase to about 100 when planning stops in September. These events include employer presentations, workshops and skills session, all designed to help students become more employable. I am taking bookings from firms and employers to exhibit at the QMUL career fairs, which include: QMUL Law Fair, QMUL Technology Fair, QMUL Business & Finance Fair, Career Options Mini Fair and Experience Works. This is a big task and tends to take up a lot of my time!

Part of my job is also to engage with employers, to give them an outline of our events programme and ensure that they are suitably booked in to events where they can make the most of their time with QM students.

I also coordinate all of our events marketing, so I spend a lot of my time writing copy and designing artwork for posters, flyers and digital spaces.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Giving everybody exactly what they want! Whether it’s the right date, time, venue or attendees it’s really difficult to give everyone (employers, students and key stakeholders alike) exactly what they want. A lot of this boils down to managing expectations but sometimes the answer simply has to be no – and that can be very hard.

What do you enjoy the most?

I really enjoy the variety of my role. Every day is really different, I never know exactly what might happen at any given event – that’s pretty exciting. I actually like to work under pressure. I find that the more pressured a situation, the calmer I get; that’s pretty fun to test out sometimes!

I’m also very lucky that I get to meet a huge range of people every day, from students to employers, I have the pleasure of having some fantastic conversations with really interesting and intelligent people at events.

I also really like the fact that I don’t have a typical 9-5 desk job during busy periods in the year. Especially in the autumn and spring terms, entire weeks can go by and I won’t have seen my desk!

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success to date?

Since I began working for this department I started the Career Options Mini Fair. This is a general career fair designed to fill a gap in our events programme, offering a general career fair for students who aren’t yet sure what they want to do with their degree. We’ve held the fair once in the spring term and once again in summer, both attracting 15 employers and over 200 students. It is set to return this Autumn!

What is the most common question you get asked by students?

Am I in the right room?

And finally, tells us one thing we wouldn’t know about you.

I ran the London Marathon this year – It hurt!

Getting to Know Us: Kirsti

First question, can you tell the reader who you are? So name, job title etc.

Kirsti Burton, Careers Information Manager.

And what departments/students do you specifically help?

All departments and any student, which means the topics I work on can be really broad. One minute it could be film studies, the next engineering – and everything inbetween. It keeps me on my toes!

How do you do this? What do you spend most of your time doing?

Research and writing.Kirsti

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Because information is so vast and fast, you can never finish researching (which in a way is also one of the best things about information work). There is also a lot of really bad information out there.

What do you enjoy the most?

The ‘detective work’ around researching a particular topic. That and the variety of what I do.

What are you most proud of? What is your biggest success to date?

Probably two things – one is the information space and our leaflets in the Careers & Enterprise Centre. They get a lot of positive comments from visitors, including staff from other universities, which is really nice to hear. It’s changed a lot over the past few years I’m pleased to say.

The other is the first time I held the printed version of the Careers Magazine that I edit in my hand. It was nice to see all my hard work in glossy paper form! It won an award too, so it wasn’t just me who liked it!

What is the most common question you get asked by students?

Depends on the time of year. In February it’s all about assessment centres, in April it’s about working abroad and July it’s about career choice. The patterns stays the same year after year…

And finally, tells us one thing we wouldn’t know about you.

The first time I came to Mile End, I was 15 and went to a Blur concert at Mile End Stadium!