International Student Careers Week 13th-17th Feb

We have a great programme of events lined up this February for international students who want information about working in the UK and overseas during their studies and after they have graduated.

Booking open now! Click the links below to book your place ….

Monday 13th February, 5.15-6.45pm, Bancroft 1.13A        

Working in the UK after Graduation – Led by Careers & Enterprise and Advice & Counselling

This workshop will give you an understanding of how the recruitment process operates in the UK, the timeline for applying to jobs and what employers are looking for. You will also get information on visa regulations for working after study.

Tuesday 14th February, 2-3pm, People’s Palace, PP2

How to secure a job back in Asia after your UK graduation: A workshop by International recruitment specialists Hays

Learn how to stand out in the recruitment process when securing work in Asia. From job hunting, writing CVs, interviews, and job fairs. Wei Wei from Hays Recruitment will be giving his considerable international expertise to QMUL students.

Wednesday 15th February, 1-2pm, People’s Palace, PP1

Tier 5 visas for UK employment (Work experience in the UK up to 24 months): Led by Access Tier 5

Access Tier 5 provide visa sponsorship to any non-EEA graduates to undertake work experience with UK employers by sponsoring them under the Tier 5 visa category. Find out more about this scheme and how you can get short term work in the UK through it. 

Thursday 16th February, 1-2pm Bancroft 1.15A

Maximising LinkedIn for your job search       

In this practical workshop you will learn how to build your profile and use the key features of LinkedIn for networking and job searching in the UK and overseas. 

Thursday 16th February, 5.30-6.30pm, Bancroft 3.26      

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International students: What you need to know to work in the UK

Are you an overseas student looking to get some work experience here in the UK?

Follow my 5 tips below to increase your chances of success.

  1. Get an NI number – An NI number is a National Insurance number that identifies you as a UK tax payer. HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) will then use this number to make sure you are paying the right amount of tax. Without an NI number you could be over taxed and some employers won’t be able to pay you. To get an NI number visit this website: www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number.
  2. Get a UK bank account – Most employers will not be able to pay you without a UK bank account. Go to the bank prepared with your NI number, passport and proof of UK address.
  3. Make your CV UK friendly – CV layout and content tends to vary in each country so make sure yours is ‘UK friendly’. A few simple things you can do right now is to: a) remove the photo of yourself from your CV (unless you are applying for a modelling job of course); b) remove any irrelevant personal details such as your date of birth, nationality or religion; c) get your CV down to one or two pages, as this is generally the acceptable length in the UK. If you would like to get further detailed feedback on your CV, why not book a 1-2-1 appointment at the Careers & Enterprise Centre (Queens’ WG3).
  4. Organise your reference – Make sure you have people employers can contact that can provide references in English (not a relative or friend). This is particularly important if registering with any agencies (like QTemps).
  5. Get volunteering experience – UK employers value any kind of experience that demonstrates vital skills like team work, leadership and problem solving. Volunteering is a great way to start building this experience, particularly since it is flexible and you can arrange it around your studies. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the Students’ Union Volunteering website (www.qmsu.org/volunteering) and look out for their Volunteering Fair in October.

Rachael Blundell

QTemps Recruitment Manager

To book a 1-2-1 appointment with a Careers Consultant, call 020 7882 8533. For further information and resources for international students, visit QMPlus.

Advice to international students looking to work in the UK after graduation

This is a tough time of year for international graduates. Many have enjoyed their time living and studying in the UK, making new friends and connections as well as achieving the necessary academic results to earn their degrees. The next step is often to explore how to extend this academic experience by applying for jobs.

The UK job market is difficult enough for recent Masters graduates to find employment, but with a four-month time limit before student visas expire in the January after graduating this can seem like an impossible task for international students.

Here are some suggestions to help prepare for this challenge:

  1. What visa do I need to apply for?

Any international student who wants to work in the UK after completing their studies will need to apply for a Tier 2 visa that is supported by a registered UK employer sponsor. 

Find out more about Tier 2 visas on the QMUL Advice & Counselling website. For further information, they are based in Geography Square on the Mile End campus.

For graduates with a genuine and credible business idea, see our website for information on the Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.

  1. How can I find a job in a company that offers tier 2 visas?

You can check if an employer is on the Home Office list of registered UK employer sponsors: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-workers

Make sure you are aware of the latest salary requirements and conditions of Tier 2 visa information from the Advice & Counselling website: https://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/international/working-after-your-studies

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New! International Job Search Guides

Careers & Enterprise have just produced five country-specific job search guides for international students from China, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Russia. You will be able to find all the important aspects of job hunting in these countries, including how to market your QMUL degree to overseas employers, how to start your job search and what to include in your applications.

You can also find more information for international students on the Careers & Enterprise QMPlus page: http://goo.gl/O7nkG5

International Students Careers Week: Monday 15 – Friday 19 February, Mile End Campus

From my own experience, trying to find a job for after graduation whilst you’re still studying can seem like an incredibly daunting task, and I’m sure even more so for international students. QM Careers & Enterprise are hosting an ‘International Students Careers Week’ this month, consisting of a programme of events for all QMUL International Students who would like to find out more information about working both in the UK and overseas during their studies and after they have graduated. Here are a few pieces of information about the week and what to expect from the events:

Why should I attend?

Careers & Enterprise are working with a number of organisations, as well as different QM departments in order to put on useful and relevant workshops for our international students. Workshop focusses include visa information, the UK recruitment process, using LinkedIn effectively and improving your English for UK job interviews. Most importantly, C&E have invited representatives from the sponsorship organisations UKISIS, Access Tier 5 and Parenthese, giving you the chance to meet with them and ask questions about visa regulations and how to go about attaining sponsorship.

What events are there and what can I expect from them?

  Afternoon Evening
Monday Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa

Find out more information about getting sponsored to start your own business in the UK on the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa.

1-2pm, Bancroft 1.13a

Tier 5 UKISIS: a new visa scheme for your future

UKISIS provide visa sponsorship for Chinese nationals and Chinese speaking students. Find out more about this process at this workshop.

5.30-6.30pm, Eng. 3.25

Tuesday   Working in the UK after graduation

This workshop will give you an understanding of how the UK recruitment process operates.

5.15-6.45pm, Bancroft 1.13

Wednesday Tier 5 visas for UK employment

Access Tier 5 provide visa sponsorship to any non-EEA graduates. Find out more about this scheme and the Tier 5 visa process.

1-2.30pm, Bancroft 1.02.6

 
Thursday LinkedIn Lab

Learn how to build your profile for networking and job searching in the UK and overseas.

1-2pm, Bancroft 1.15a

Getting internships and work in the USA

Parenthese offer a J-1 visa scheme for those who wish to work in the US. Learn how to search and apply to opportunities through this scheme.

5-6.30pm, Bancroft 3.40

Friday Improve your English for UK job interviews

The Language centre are leading a workshop on the type of language you need to use in UK job interviews.

1-2pm, Bancroft 3.26

 

You can book a place at any of these events via the Careers & Enterprise Events page: https://careersandenterpriseevents.wordpress.com/

For any more information, don’t hesitate to contact Careers & Enterprise on 020 7882 8533.
 

Commercial awareness: how do I show employers I have it?

What is commercial awareness?

Commercial awareness is sometimes also referred to as ‘business focus’, ‘client focus’, ‘business understanding’ or ‘passion for business’. Basically it is about having an interest in, and an understanding of, the business world that organisations operate in.

This includes:

  • familiarity with the company (its customers, competitors and suppliers)
  • knowing what is happening in the industry (and how this impacts the company)
  • an awareness of the importance of business issues such as efficiency, cost-effectiveness and client care
  • an awareness of broader economic and global issues such as the current economic climate
  • an ability to see the ‘bigger picture’ and appreciate  external challenges, pressures and opportunities

Why is it important to employers?

Organisations need graduates who can quickly understand the company and their customers, and be able to make good decisions on how best to develop their business. Students may have learned the theory at university, but need to be able to apply this in practice in the real world!

Recruiters will also want to know that you have a genuine interest in the commercial world and in particular they want to know that you are passionate about their business and the industry they work in.

How you do this will depend on the industry that you are applying to. If you want to get into finance then you should follow the financial news and know what is happening in the financial markets. If you want to get into healthcare or medicine then you should know about the changes taking place in the NHS. Interested in teaching? Then you must be aware of the current trends in education. Thinking about journalism, then you should know about the move to multi-format and web journalism… and so on for each industry…

How do employers look for your commercial awareness?

On an application form and at interview, the following type of questions are designed to test commercial awareness:

  • What do you know about this company?
  • What do you know about our competitors? What are the differences between them and us?
  • Who are our clients? What are our main products/services?
  • Tell me about a recent business story that took your interest?
  • What are the greatest challenges facing our sector in the next five years?
  • What changes have there been in our industry recently?

Business / Finance specific questions:

  • How do you keep up to date with what is going on in business?
  • What is the current Bank of England base rate?
  • How many euros would you get today in exchange for £10?
  • What is the FTSE 100? Did the FTSE go up or down yesterday?
  • What was our share price this morning?
  • If we were to open a new office abroad, which country would you choose and why?

At an assessment centre you could be given case studies or business scenarios, where you would be asked to analyse and make recommendations on how you would tackle particular business situations.

Employers would assess how you interpret data, consider risk and financial implications, offer creative solutions and make sensible recommendations. These exercises could be done individually or as part of a team (where they would also be looking at your team working skills).

How can I develop my commercial awareness?

The first step is to read the company’s website thoroughly. Check the ‘news’ and ‘about us’ pages, as well as the sections for clients, potential clients and staff. Review their annual report. Find out the size of the workforce, the turnover and profits of the company, its share price and key activities which interest you. Know who the organisation’s competitors are.

Keep up to date with business news. The business section of the major broadsheet newspapers should cover most of the information you need. The FT and the Economist will be essential if you are applying for a research/analysis role.

One student told me that she found it initially difficult to follow the FT.  So she would read a financial news story on the BBC website first to understand the background information, and then read the version in the FT to get more in-depth details.

Don’t leave this research until you get invited to interview. You could be asked a question about current affairs from 6 months to a year ago. Try building keeping up with the news into your weekly routine (this could be a good New Year’s Resolution!). Think about how what you read may directly (or indirectly) effect the organisations you are applying to.

Read specialist magazines and industry related blogs and follow relevant people on Twitter to keep up-to-date with developments in the relevant sector. An internet search such as ‘marketing industry blog for graduates’ is a good place to start, as once you have found one you like, it will often recommend or link to others that are useful. You can also ask people from the industry who you might meet at events / through online networking how they would suggest you build your industry knowledge (see our other blog posts about networking for tips on this).

Don’t underestimate your own work experience. You may have done part time retail work to earn some extra money, but this can also be used to gain an insight into business. What are the good and bad points about the business? Who is its target market? Who are its main competitors? How would you improve the company’s image or profitability?

The Ultimate Careers Guide

Whether you’re looking to boost your CV with an internship, find a part-time job during your studies, develop work-related skills or identify your dream career, The Ultimate Careers Guide is here to help.

Written by the staff at Careers departments across the University of London, the guide is piled high with tips and advice, including: Effec_Effective networking-page-001

  • 10 ways to get experience – and get ahead
  • How to develop your commercial awareness
  • Consider your options
  • Is further study right for you?
  • Create the ideal CV
  • Impress at interview
  • All about assessment centres
  • Effective networking
  • Starting your business

And so much more!

So come into the Careers & Enterprise Centre and pick up your copy!