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.