QChallenge London – applications now open!

Are you interested in building your CV and professional networks by leading real change in a top London organisation?

QChallenge London is a brand new employability programme exclusive to QMUL undergraduates in partnership with Common Purpose, and applications are open now.

Successful candidates will work in a team to explore a major challenge for a London organisation with a focus on health, housing and transport.

This opportunity is ideal for students who are:

  • Interested in developing their skills in the working world
  • Keen to put their mind to a real life business challenge
  • Looking to network with leaders from business, government and NFPs

Participants will be offered the chance to present their findings to their organisation as well as receiving a £50 voucher for submitting a reflective essay.

QChallenge blog photo

The programme will run from 5 February – 13 April 2018. Applications are open until 3rd December for all QMUL undergraduates. Postgraduates may not apply.

Apply online here

If you’re looking for a unique challenge, which will not only expose you to an exciting range of networks and experiences but test your creative thinking, then apply for QChallenge London.

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How and why to get work experience

So why is work experience so important?

  • It means you can earn money during your studies
  • You’ll gain skills valued by future employers (e.g. commercial awareness, initiative, team work)
  • You can build relevant experience for your future career
  • You’ll find out what an industry / job role is like in reality
  • It helps to build your network / contacts

What can I do?

It can be challenging to find part-time work that is linked to your degree or the sector you would like to work in after graduation. Many students combine their part time job with some volunteering and work experience (e.g. internships and work shadowing) to earn money as well as gain valuable relevant work experience.

For a wide range of part-time, internship and work experience vacancies visit careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs

Roles on campus and in the local area

There are many part-time opportunities on campus, from Student Ambassadors and Library Shelvers, to residential, café, and bar staff. See the work experience hub to explore the variety of ways (paid and voluntary) you can develop your experience on campus. For jobs within the Student’s Union see: www.qmsu.org/jobs/

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Careers & Enterprise: Who we are

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 . From the main entrance, head down 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) with anything careers-related, from writing a CV to exploring your options after graduation. A career might seem a long way off if you’ve only just finished your first year, 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, and these 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 or temporary work, or a full-time role after graduation, take a look at our jobs page for a range of opportunities: careers.qmul.ac.uk/jobs. We also have a range of industry-specific resources in our information room and on our website.

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The Basics: Job Hunting

Whether you’re trying to find part-time work, looking for an internship or getting a position after graduation, job hunting can be a bit daunting. But never fear! We’re here to help.

What is job hunting?

Ultimately we meaning finding work in whatever form – full-time, part-time, permanent, temporary, internships, work experience etc. Learn to job hunt effectively for one kind of work (say a part-time job) and you will be able to use the same skills for other types (when you are then looking for a job after graduation, for example).

You may also think that we mean looking at vacancy websites – but there’s so much more to job hunting than that. It’s about finding work opportunities wherever they might be.

Where do I start?

Know what you want to do?

Then you are effectively doing a targeted, specific job hunt. You need to develop your industry understanding (known as commercial awareness)- find out as much as you can about how the industry works, the key companies (big and small) and how hiring is generally done. For example, jobs in finance are usually advertised on company websites and jobs boards, whereas finding work in the film industry is more common through networking and word-of-mouth.

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Ten skills your part-time job has given you

ssWhen it comes to writing your CV, an application form or answering questions at interview, don’t under-sell your part-time job. Working in a shop or restaurant etc. will have exposed you to situations that required you to use skills which graduate employers value. The key is knowing how to then make these relevant to the graduate job market. See our examples below. If you’d like to find out more or to get feedback on what you’ve written, visit the Careers & Enterprise Centre.

1. Customer service
Businesses are only too aware that providing excellent customer service is vital for retaining customer loyalty. Demonstrating that you know how to deliver friendly, polite and considerate service to customers will help you when you are applying for jobs after graduation. Don’t be shy to talk about times when you have gone that extra mile for a customer either.

2. Problem solving
What did you do when problems arose at your workplace? Did you decide to tackle the issues yourself, or work with colleagues? What did you learn from the experience? Being able to solve problems when they arise is a skill needed in every type of employment. Using the STAR technique (Situation Task Action Result) is particularly useful when structuring your answers to demonstrate the skill to employers.

3. Initiative
There may have been times when you used initiative in your part-time job, so why not show this off! Did you spot a way of making customer care more effective, for example, or of increasing sales in your department? Perhaps you came up with a way to motivate the rest of your team? You might think that your idea is not much to shout about, but to a potential employer it demonstrates initiative and commitment to improving your work environment.

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Student story: My QConsult experience (applications open now!)

Thinking about autumn term already? Don’t forget that QConsult starts again in September and applications are open NOW. 

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Carola (2nd from left) & her QConsult team

Carola Bigogno (2nd Year Biomedical Sciences student) took part in the spring round of QConsult, working on a project for a local housing charity. Here’s what she had to say about her experience on the programme:

Why did you get involved with QConsult?

When I found out about QConsult I was thrilled. I thought it would be a great chance to improve my skills and gain new transferable ones, to learn more about a particular job profile – consultant, which I found extremely interesting, and also give back to the community in a different, but still valuable way.  And I was definitely not wrong, the overall experience was incredible!

Did you enjoy the programme?

The best part, for me, was working together in a team: putting together ideas and opinions and using our skills to present to our client and write up the best report possible. I think that I’ve always worked pretty well in a team, however, working with other people can be extremely challenging. Luckily enough, everyone in my group was very professional. We also became friends, sharing not only the experiences of the programme but socialising together too.

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WATCH: Isabel’s QConsult Story (& apply for the autumn round)

Looking to get some work experience on your CV?

Want to do more than photocopy and make the tea?

Why not apply to the autumn round of QConsult?

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The QConsult programme involves students working in a team of 5 to conduct a research/consultancy project on behalf of a business or charity, helping to solve a real problem and working as a team to conduct research and analysis before presenting their recommendations to the client. Past projects have involved research, marketing, product development and evaluation.

To hear more about what it’s like to be on the programme, see previous QConsultant Isabel’s video below, where she tells us about her experience and gives her top tips for those thinking of applying. Read on for more details about the programme …

The programme will take place over 9 weeks in the autumn term, from 18 Sep – 17 Nov. Students work part-time and are paid London Living Wage (£9.75/hr) for 20 hours of project work, with additional training sessions on top. All undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the programme and we welcome applications from all schools.

We will also be releasing two video diaries from students who just finished the summer QConsult programme. Follow us on Twitter (@qmcareers) to catch diary updates throughout August.

To find out more about the programme and apply visit careers.qmul.ac.uk/qconsult.

Applications close at 9am on Tuesday 29th August.