East London Social Hack

_dsc0505-edit-003This weekend 50 students from QMUL took part in the ‘East London Social Hack’, an intensive enterprise bootcamp that tasks participants to set up social enterprises in just 3 days to address key issues in their local community.

The first ‘East London Social Hack’ took place in March 2016 and, due to its popularity, the event was expanded this year with the support of an £18,500 grant from the UPP Foundation. This allowed the bootcamp to be increased from 2 to 3 days, and enabled the winning teams to receive a package of workspace and mentoring for 3 months in co-work space Launch 22, along with £500 of funding to market test their ideas.  

rrrrThe grant also enabled the university to assemble an impressive line-up of 16 local social entrepreneurs who helped students to develop and validate their ideas over the weekend, including Junior Ogunyemi, a QMUL economics graduate and author of ‘How to be a Student Entrepreneur’, Katherine Hibbert, founder of hugely successful property social enterprise DotDotDot, Junior Smart, founder of SOS Gangs Projects, and Alexis Olapido, founder of Gym Bites.

On day 1, students discussed social issues that they were passionate about and formed teams based on their values, culminating with their first pitch of the weekend. They heard from Katherine, who set up DotDotDot Property in Tower Hamlets to link empty property with renters who were willing to volunteer in their local community in return for cheap rent. The company now turns over £1milllion a year and has expanded across London.

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Next Award Funding/InQUBEate Deadline: 16th December

inqubeate 2InQUBEate is our 8 week mentoring and training programme that supports student entrepreneurs. Participants have weekly group and 1-1 mentoring workshops, receive seed funding, supplemented by training sessions covering all aspects of running a successful start-up business, including marketing, pitching, and business planning. If you are successful in receiving an award, you will automatically secure a place on our InQUBEate programme which will begin at the end of January.

Our Award breakdowns are as follows:

Try It’ Prizes
Win funds of up to £500 to get your social enterprise or business idea off the ground. To win a Try It prize, you don’t need to have a business plan, just a problem you want to solve and some idea how you might do it. You might want to test a solution to a problem you see around you on campus or in the community. Or it might be you want to test out a business idea.

‘Grow It’ Prizes 
Win funds of up to £5000 to develop your existing profit-making or social enterprise. To win a Grow It prize, your enterprise doesn’t have to be profitable yet, but you need to show a clear pathway to profitability. We’ll also ask you to outline exactly how this money would help you to take your enterprise to the next stage.

‘Build It’ Prize
If you have an idea that you can’t test before you’ve developed a prototype, you can apply for up to £10,000 to develop one (e.g. an app, website, or physical prototype). To win a Build It prize you need to undertake significant market research to show that your product has commercial potential and offers an innovative solution to a market need. 

For feedback on your idea please book an enterprise appointment by calling 020 7882 8533 and click on the following link for more information and applications: 


QConsult case study: Mats Syversen

matsMy name is Mats Syversen, and I’m a student in my final year of a BEng degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Queen Mary. In October, I applied to take part in a programme called QConsult Commercial run by Careers & Enterprise at QMUL. This is a paid scheme where you, as a student, get an opportunity to work closely with working professionals, as a consultant, to solve realistic business challenges as a part of a team.

The process begins with an online application form, which you need to fill in explaining your motivation and interest in the scheme. If you’re accepted you will be invited to attend an assessment day, before you’re then, hopefully, accepted onto the scheme. If you are unsuccessful, you will still leave with a wealth of knowledge regarding how large enterprises conduct their candidate selection process, giving you the upper hand if you are thinking of applying for a job.

If you are successful, you will be split into project teams consisting of 5 people, with whom you will be solving the project brief together with. In my group I was assigned the role of Project Coordinator, which meant I would be working closely with the client, making sure the deadlines were met, and, most importantly, making sure all the team members were being included and heard.

No prior experience of consultancy is needed, as training will be given before the start of the project, which is why this project is suitable for anyone who’s interested in gaining relevant work experience as well as networking with professionals and other students. During the project, you will receive frequent feedback, advice and support from the Careers & Enterprise team, to make sure you are always on the right track.

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Guest blog: Becoming a Management Consultant

Lydia Hesketh, Inside Careers

Considering a career as a management consultant? Or are you already set on the sector and determined to achieve a graduate job in a top consultancy firm? There are many reasons why consultancy is a popular career choice: the salaries are some of the highest around, the opportunity to travel is vast and the diversity of work stretches across many sectors and industries.

But what exactly do management consultants do? A management consultant provides external advice for organisations that require specialist expertise or an objective outside perspective on their business. Consultancy usually involves the identification and assessment of a problem or the analysis of a specific area of an organisation, the reporting of findings and the formulation of recommendations for improvement. In essence, a consultant’s job is to advise a company on improvements that could be made to its business.

Basic Requirements

Before you start planning your path to a consultancy career it’s vital you understand the basic requirements and traits consultants hold.

In terms of educational requirements, you must have a strong academic background, educated to degree level with a minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent at a top university. The majority of firms now accept a wide range of degree subjects, with some strategy consultants looking particularly favourably on degrees with a numerical focus.

Soft skills are also highly sought after by employers, such as leadership and interpersonal skills as well as an entrepreneurial mind-set and intellectual curiosity.

If you are decided on a consultancy career, read on to find out what you need to do at each step of your journey.

First year

First year is all about exploring the profession; discovering if consultancy suits your skills and passions, as well as what kind of consultancy firms interest you. Some companies offer work experience to first years in the form of insight days or weeks. Look out for these placements opening in December and closing January to February.

If you’re unable to get onto an insight programme, joining a society or gaining part-time work is also a worthwhile experience that employers will look favourably upon.

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3 Day Start Up Weekend


3DS, 3 Day Start-Up, is an enterprise boot-camp that develops entrepreneurial ideas from concept to pitch over the course of 72 hours. Under the guidance of mentors and expert speakers, students get the chance to refine and test their own idea or work in a team on someone else’s.  The weekend will culminate in a final public pitching event to a judging panel of industry executives.

We rent work space for 3 full days – Central Working 69-89 Mile End Road – and recruit 60 students from across London Universities with a wide range of backgrounds, and invite entrepreneurs and investors to give support.  Free food and coffee will also be provided for the duration of the weekend to keep you going.

On the Friday evening, students will pick the best ideas for start-ups during the brainstorming session, and release a minimal prototype by the evening of day 3. The goal is to build enough momentum among a network of motivated people to sustain the company beyond day 3.

3DS is an American organisation who have delivered 100+ programmes in Universities such as Harvard, Yale and Brown, on 5 continents and have given rise to 56 companies receiving $19 million in funding. 33 companies from 3DS have been accepted to top accelerators such as Y Combinator, TechStars, and 500 Start-ups.

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*Business & Finance Fair next week* and other upcoming events

Business & Finance Fair, 11th October, 5-7.30pm, The Octagon

Do you want an internship or graduate job in the business or finance sector?  Want to connect with employers and find out the inside track so you can impress at interview? Interested in seeing which companies offer jobs for QMUL students?  

Organisations at the fair include: Bloomberg, CIMA, PwC, Willis, Towers Watson, HSBC, ICAEW, Lloyds of London, EY, FCA, Civil Service Fast Stream, Teach First, Moore Stephens, Mistubishi and more to be confirmed!

Come along to our Business and Finance Fair and find out about the range of work experience and graduate opportunities for you, whether you are a first year, finalist or postgrad. 

Book at www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/events


See these other great Focus on Finance events, and register below:

Business Game led by PwC, Thursday 6th October, 1-3pm

Employers are looking for you to have commercial awareness.  This business game will give you a unique chance to really develop your commercial acumen ina practical way, in preparation for work experience and grad job applications.  This game is similar to what you might have to undertake at an assessment centre – so it’s fantastic way to practise.  

Book at www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/events

Data Analytics Case Study led by Barclays, 12 October, 1-3pm

This workshop, run by a data science team at Barclays will cover a couple of real case studies drawn from their work.  It will be participatory and will give you a chance to see what a career in the growing industry of data science involves.  

Book at www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/events

Focus on Finance (3rd-14th October)

Focus on Finance is our programme of events designed to showcase the range of areas in the finance sector you can work in. Over 40 employers will be visiting the campus to
showcase their opportunities to QMUL students and give you a unique insight into their work. From Accounting to Investment Banking and beyond, this is your opportunity to find out more about the sector, and network with your potential future employer. 

What’s coming up?

Visit our Events page at careers.qmul.ac.uk/events for the full list of upcoming events, and to register your place. Here are a few highlights below, but see the link above for all events.

Tuesday 4th October: ‘Careers in Insurance – Discover Risk’ with The Chartered Insurance Institute

This session focuses on insurance and wealth management – it will include an overview of the Chartered Insurance Institute with case studies from graduates and a Q&A at the end.

Tuesday 4th October: Careers in Accountancy

There are many different strands to accountancy, and this session will look at the types of area you could work in at a large or small firm. The session will also take you through the qualification process, and look at topics like how you fit in ACA qualification with a working life. The event will be led by ICAEW and KPMG.

Tuesday 11th October: Applying for Insight Days and Internships

Attending insight days, and undertaking internships is more or less mandatory for a successful application to a graduate role in the finance sector. This session will go over the essentials of finding relevant work experience and will feature a discussion with current students talking about how they found their placement and what they did. 

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