“Called careers information, Have you got yourself an occupation?”

Older students might recognise this lyric from the Elvis Costello song “Oliver’s Army”; younger students might wonder who on earth is Elvis Costello?!

Here at the SOAS Careers Service we have a wealth of valuable careers information that we can point you in the direction of to help you get yourself an occupation. For example, on the SOAS Careers Moodle, we have researched 1000s of resources to create Occupational Sector pages ranging from Actuarial Work, Pensions and Insurance right through to Transport and Logistics!

The information on these pages are checked for accuracy, currency and quality by careers professionals – a good place to start your research, rather than going straight to Google. There are also sections on Job Hunting – including where to look for jobs, interview tips, sample CVs, examples of psychometric tests, Postgraduate Study and Funding, Working outside the UK, and loads, loads more. We have even uploaded presentations and videos of workshops that you may have missed.

So next time you are wondering how to become a Charity Officer, Arts Administrator or Trade Mark Attorney – it’s called careers information, and you might just be able to get yourself an occupation!

Elvis Costello (1979) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Costello

To be an extrovert, or not to be…that is the question! How MBTI can help you find your ideal career…

Original image source: www.elephantjournal.com
Original image source: http://www.elephantjournal.com

Ever wondered how your personality dictates the type of career you should aim for? Well I did but it took me a while to find out.

Back in the day (around 15 years ago…) I remember visiting my own university careers service and asking what I should do upon graduating. The careers consultant sort of looked at me blankly and said ‘You’ll be fine, just do what you love.’ Now as a young person with absolutely no idea what she loved, these words were the worst words ever uttered. (You’re lucky, our consultants are far better at giving careers advice and actually listen to the students!) So I left my careers service even more confused than when I arrived. I went to my part-time job in a bookshop (a perfect place to discuss and research what I loved or could love doing as a career) and as I became even more confused and disheartened, I had a chat with a colleague about life direction and career choice. He looked at me blankly and said ‘It’s all about personality.’ This from a man who had decidedly stayed in the role as bookseller for nearly a decade because he just loved books and nothing else. Point taken.

Well, that was the first time it had ever occurred to me that my personality might provide answers to what I should or could do. Not what I loved but who I was.

And so began my interest in (or um, obsession with) the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tests.

The History of MBTI

The first MBTI test was created in 1962 by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. It was based on Carl Jung’s theory that there are four principal psychological functions by which we all experience the world: sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking. Jung believed that people are born, or develop, certain ways of thinking, perceiving or deciding in any particular situation. Myers and Briggs took this into account and created a questionnaire to measure the psychological preferences of people of how they view the world and the decisions they make.

The test evolved into including four possible dichotomies of personality traits that make up each one of us and that make up our distinctive MBTI classification. Therefore there are 16 personalities. For example, I am an ENFJ which stands for: extraversion (E), intuition (N), feeling (F) and judgment (J).

What are you?

There are many sources of free MBTI tests available online and here are a few of my favourites:

icould Buzz Test
Team Technology
Human Metrics
16 Personalities

Once you’ve done the test, the Personality Page careers section is great!

I also found this quick reference guide which outlines the popular career choices by MBTI personality type:

Original image source: www.elephantjournal.com
Original image source: http://www.elephantjournal.com

Hmm, part of my job involves marketing…interesting!

More information on MBTI

We have a great book in the careers information room entitled ‘Do what you are‘ and we will soon be offering our own MBTI tests to SOAS students, hosted by UCL. Visit our events page soon for upcoming dates.

If you would like to learn more about MBTI, please visit the following pages:

Human Metrics
Elephant Journal

And whatever happened to that guy in the bookshop?

Well, I think he still works there and is happier than ever. And according to icould, he’s a cat (a very loyal one at that!)



Free Books and Publications!!

Not only can you come and sit in our lovely new space and enjoy our flowers, sweets and find out about an array of careers, you can also help yourself to free leaflets, publications and directories!

Titles include:

  • The Guardian UK 300 2014/15 – a guide to the most popular graduate employers as voted by students and graduates.
  • The Job Crowd – The Top Companies For Graduates to Work For 2014/2015 – the best graduate employers based entirely on graduate employee feedback
  • RateMyPlacement – A Student’s Guide to the Top Employers 2014/2015
  • TargetJobs: Law – How to Get Hired
  • TargetJobs: Management Consulting – How to Get Hired
  • TargetJobs: City & Finance – How to Get Hired
  • The Ultimate Careers Guide: London 2015
  • Prospects: Work Experience 2014/15
  • Prospects: Employer Directory 2014/15
  • Prospects: Funding Guide 2014/15

We also have an array of hand-outs written by Careers professionals, including How to Write a CV, How to Write a Covering Letter, Interviews, Personal Statements, Securing Internships and many, many more.

So come and visit us, say hello and take away some light reading!

Careers space even more welcoming!


We have just got our new screens and chairs in a lovely sunny shade of yellow, which has cheered us all up a bit in this gloomy autumn weather. Do come and see us – you can sit on the comfy chairs, read about Career options, maybe make an appointment to talk to a Careers Consultant, enjoy the bowls of sweets and fresh flowers, and emerge re-energised!

Serving the world: Working for the United Nations

Were you interested in attending our recent event on Working for the United Nations but were unable to attend? Or do you want to find out more about working for the UN?

We are pleased to announce that the film and slides of the presentation are now available on the SOAS Careers Moodle. You will be able to find out about career options, minimum experience required, the Young Professional Programme, Internships and the application process.

There is also a short film of John Ericson, Chief of the Outreach Unit in the Office of Human Resources Management of the UN Secretariat in New York discussing graduate roles, work experience and language requirements.

Happy watching!

60 Second Pitch Awards – an opportunity for students & graduates

Are you a student or recent graduate with an innovative Business Idea without the capital or support to make it work?

An exciting opportunity from Santander has arisen for students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs.This competition provides 3 entrepreneurs with the chance to win funding and support from Santander UK every 3 months.

To apply, you need to send in a 60 second video pitch promoting/explaining your business idea in an innovative, creative or exciting way.

These videos will then be shortlisted and placed on the portal for the online community to vote for their favourite and ultimately decide the winners.

Closing date for application is 15th December 2014.

For more information, click here.

To apply, click here.


Welcome to the SOAS Careers Service blog where you will find careers inspiration, advice and much, much more!

Our aim is to inspire, educate and improve student employability.

We’ll be adding more to our blog very soon…so keep an eye out!