Today’s the day YOU change the world

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Is there a charity you feel massively passionate about? Today is your chance to make a difference to them and help change the world! Join 5 other teams from across SOAS who are currently smashing it and raising some world-changing cash. Click here to get inspired by their stories!

SOAS Careers is excited to run a ‘Change the World’ competition: where we encourage you to get creative with fundraising! Apply by 11:59pm TODAY to get involved.

Thanks to funding from Santander, this is your opportunity to get creative and raise some serious cash to change the world. You will be given a lump sum of £25 to get the ball rolling with your fundraising. Your task is simple: grow this as much as you can, any (legal) way you can! Get as creative as you like – the sky really is the limit!

All the money you raise (including the initial £25) will then be donated to your nominated charity. SOAS Careers will also match the amount you raise (up to a max of £500). The organisation just needs to have a registered charity number in order to be eligible. You can enter by yourself, in a group or as part of a Society.

You will need to document your fundraising and reflections on your successes and challenges as you go. This can be via blog posts, vlogging or any way you dream up – the more the original the better! Your efforts will then be celebrated at the Make a Difference Awards in February at SOAS. We’ll invite the charity of your choice along so that you can find exactly how your efforts are helping to change the world!

Interested? To enter just submit a proposal (max. 500 words) outlining:
> Which charity you wish to support and why
> Your grand plan for growing the initial £25 exponentially
> How you will capture and document your fundraising process.

To get involved, send over your proposal to careers@soas.ac.uk by 11:59pm on Weds 17 January. All the proposals will then be reviewed by a judging panel from SOAS. The lucky entrepreneurs will need to be available on Tues 23 January to collect the £25.

Alexis Fromageot

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#MotivationMonday: Beating Blue Monday

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Monday mornings never seem to be an easy ride, with that unshakeable feeling that the weekend is just one day too short. Supposedly, today is the toughest Monday’s of the year – get through today and you’re on a one-way ticket to smashing 2018!

To help ease the Monday-est of Mondays, we’ve lined up an awesome selection of events throughout this week to support you on your next steps after SOAS. Whether you’ve got no idea what the future looks like, or a set plan of exactly how you want it to be, there’s something for you.

Come and get involved – all our events take place in the Careers Seminar Room (SL62, Paul Webley Wing):

Tue 16 Jan, 3 – 4pm: Ambitious Futures: Graduate Programme for Leadership Developmenthttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=171&service=Careers+Service

Wed 17 Jan, 12 – 2pm: Cross-Cultural Awareness & Your Careerhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=215&service=Careers+Service 

Thu 18 Jan, 11am – 12pm: Workabout Presentationhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=245&service=Careers+Service

Thu 18 Jan, 12 – 1pm: How to Write a Cover Letterhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=217&service=Careers+Service 

Alexis Fromageot

Guest Blog: How to Prepare for an Online Video Interview

Please note that the views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not those of SOAS Careers Service. If you consider this content to be in breach of the SOAS values, please alert careers@soas.ac.uk

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One of the biggest challenges when you’re looking for a job, especially that first job, can be getting a conversation with a recruiter, which is why the Finding Ada Online Careers Fair for Women in STEM is an excellent opportunity to get over that hurdle.

The fair has attracted some of the biggest names in business including semiconductor maker ARM, consulting giant Accenture, the Government Digital Service, the European Patent Office, tech company Capgemini, and specialist recruitment agency STEM WomenThe IET will also be on hand to talk about ongoing professional development and accreditation for engineers.

Make a good first impression

Making a good first impression is key to making the most of the fair, and we spoke to Dr Amanda Barnes, employability manager and cell biologist at the University of York, to get tips on preparing for the interview and also for how to navigate an online interview. (Watch the full interview with Amanda now!)

“The first thing I’d say is that although this is not a formal interview, this is your first opportunity to show yourself to that company and a way in,” she said. So you should dress formally, just as you would for an in-person interview, and make sure that you use formal, professional speech in your interview.

Key in making a really good first impression is doing your research on the companies you want to talk to, she said. Make sure that you know what products or services they offer, and what type of roles they have open that are suitable for you, such as graduate schemes or entry-level positions if you’re just leaving university, or mid-level roles if you’re early in your careers. If you’re returning to the workforce, find out if they offer specific returnships and see if they have public information about flexible or fractional (part-time) working.

Interviews are a two-way street

It’s also important to remember the interviews are a two-way street: They aren’t just about an employer getting to know you, they are also an important opportunity to find out whether they are a company you want to work for. Dr Barnes suggests that you should ask what kind of potential career paths would be available to you if you join the company, and that could include asking about future training and career development opportunities.

Another plus of the Finding Ada Online Careers Fair is that it gives “you an opportunity to find out how your values fit with that of the company”, Dr Barnes said. “What do you want your typical day to be like in your world of work? … What is the culture like at the company and will I fit in there?”

Think about what’s in view of your camera

The default interview format for the Finding Ada Online Careers Fair is video, so make sure that there isn’t anything in the background that might distract the interviewer. Most laptops have a way to test the camera, so do that before the day and move anything that’s distracting. if you’re living in a student house, make sure that your flatmates know about the interview and don’t interrupt you.

If you are using a laptop, make sure it is fully charged or plugged in. That might sound like a simple thing to remember, but if you’re nervous, you might forget.

Keep your energy up

In addition to keeping your devices charged up, be sure to keep your energy levels high during the conversation, and be prepared to drive the interview. Have a list of questions, just out of the view during the interview that you can refer to, she said, adding you can plaster sticky notes behind your screen to remind yourself to make key points, especially about your skills or key questions that you have.

As for the structure of the interview, it’s a good idea to think ahead, and plan a question to kick off the discussion based on some of the research that you’ve done. Then you can move on to specific job opportunities, before finding out about the company’s culture and the work environment.

Make sure to end your conversation on a positive note. Recap the main points that you’ve made during the interview, and thank the interviewers for their time. And don’t forget to find out about next steps such as how to follow up with the recruiter or next steps in the application process.

If you want to know more about the Finding Ada Online Careers Fair for Women in STEM on 1 February 2018, we’ve lots of information for candidates, plus a quick overview of the companies and job types on offer. Job hunters can sign up free: https://findingada.gointro.io/

The Finding Ada Online Careers Fair for Women in STEM 2018

#MondayMotivation: Welcome to 2018!

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Happy new year from SOAS Careers! It might be massively clichéd, but January is as good a time as ever to take a look at where you’re at and where you want to be.

SOAS Careers is keen to make 2018 your best year yet, and to help you smash it we’re running Top Tip workshops every Tues and Thurs from 12 – 1pm in the Careers Seminar Room (SL62). Come along for tangible advice and support on different key aspects of your career journey – from CVs and applications, using social media and LinkedIn through to securing your dream internship.

We’re kicking off the term with these two awesome workshops, come and get involved…

Tue 9 Jan, 12 – 1pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Top Tips for Career Planninghttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=219&service=Careers+Service

Thu 11 Jan, 12 -1pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Top Tips: How to get an Internshiphttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=213&service=Careers+Service

Alexis Fromageot

 

#MondayMotivation: The SOAS Students Changing the World

December saw the launch of ‘Change the World’: where SOAS Careers encourages you to get creative with fundraising for a charity that means something to you! Thanks to funding from Santander, the idea is to find original ways to raise some serious cash to change the world.

SOAS students applied for a lump sum of £25 to get the ball rolling with their fundraising. The mission is straightforward: grow this as much as they can, in any (legal) way! All the money raised (including the initial £25) will then be donated to their nominated charity. SOAS Careers will also match the amount raised (up to a max of £500).

Want to get inspired this Monday? Here’s a run-down of how the students who’ve joined the campaign plan on raising some world-changing cash…

Nasra

Nasra is fundraising for The Mix, a youth mental health charity which aims to promote the mental wellbeing of 13 – 25 year olds. She’s getting involved with bake sales, bucket collections and asking staff around SOAS to donate an hour’s worth of their salary to the cause!

Dilan & Nelam

Raising life-changing cash for Aids Orphan is Nelam and Dilan, who are organising a ‘Dare Day’. Keep an eye out for them as they’ll be asking you to donate every time they complete a challenge you set them! All the money raised will go to the grassroots charity, who provide support for those affected by Aids or HIV.

Rubab

Rubab’s getting creative in raising funds for Action Aid UK, an international charity working with the poorest women and girls in the world. For Rubab the sky’s the limit, and she’s going to be running bake sales, film screenings, working with other societies, inviting speakers as well as bringing it all together in an awesome storytelling social media series.

Vanessa

Here’s Vanessa representing the SOAS East Africa Society, who are fundraising for The Disaster and Emergency Committee’s appeals for East Africa and Yemen. They’re encouraging people to donate an hour of their pay as part of their ‘One Hour to Fight the Famine’ social media campaign.

maa

Nazihah, Shanjida and Tania are changing the world by raising cash for Maternal Aid Association – an organisation that helps mothers in Bangladesh by focusing on improving maternal health in resource-poor settings. They’re hosting a Bollywood movie night and selling South Asian snacks – giving everyone a taste of the region!

Everyone involved will be documenting their fundraising and reflections on successes and challenges as they go, so keep a look out for that! All their efforts will be celebrated at the Make a Difference Awards in February at SOAS. The charities involved will also be invited along so we can all find out exactly how the funds are helping to change the world…

Alexis Fromageot

Postgraduate study for the Uncertain: 5 Questions to ask yourself when considering a Masters or PhD

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Taking time to go deeper into a subject you are passionate about can be a deeply valuable and rewarding experience. Postgraduate study can enable this in the form of Masters and PhD programmes. Many subjects and specialisms are now open to you which were not as undergrad. You will develop skills as an independent learner, and direct your own research. Further study can also help get your work life aligned with your interests, progress your career and increase your earning potential too. However, for success, huge commitment is required in the form of time, money, energy and ideas. In addition, career progression does not come from the qualification alone – experience and insight into the sector are required also.

Postgraduate study is best not undertaken lightly!

Hugely rewarding and hugely challenging – how to decide? Research! Self-reflection into your motivation and expectations, plus research into your options and chosen sector will serve you well. The clearer you are on your decision to study further, the more fully you will be able to enjoy and make the most of the fantastic opportunities presented to you as a postgraduate learner.

Much support is available to help you in the process of decision making, reflection, exploring your options, and making strong applications. Great starting points include…

Here are five questions that all postgraduates-to-be would should ask themselves (ideally, before starting a course):

  • Why? What are you hoping to get out of it?

This is a crucial question, though it might seem obvious. If your motivation is a pure love of subject, it’s great to be clear on that. If you have aspiration and expectation to progress your career, it’s valuable to know this too. What do you hope to develop – particular knowledge? Skills? Contacts and links with your sector of interest? Ideas for further research? Keep these in mind as you research the different programmes and what they offer.

Do your research into your chosen field – are postgraduate qualifications required or simply preferred? Is this for entry level positions or to progress? Get to know people and organisations which interest you, find out all you can about career paths in the sector. This networking and research will be useful whether or not you decide to take on further study.

Is your motivation to buy time before you have to make a career decision because you don’t know what to do? This is not a good reason to take on further study, and only ends up delaying the important question of ‘what’s next and why?’. Book a guidance appointment immediately with the Careers Service. You can discuss your concerns and your options, and figure out some helpful next steps. Also, have a read of ‘Should I do a Masters?’ from Prospects.

  • Are you committed?

There are many benefits to postgraduate study, and the right course can be a pleasure. There are also inevitable challenges. Being aware of the challenges involved in advance will help you be prepared to meet them face on.

Cost: There is significant cost associated with further study, both in terms of institutional fees (from £4,900 per year, check with the institution), and for living expenses whilst you are studying. Part time work and part time study is an option, requiring double the amount of time to complete.

Time: Independent study allows you to direct your own research, and work independently. Your time can be your own, meaning it is down to you to commit to organising your time to study, research and meet deadlines, in the context of enjoying a balanced life.

  • Why now?

Timing is everything. There can be many benefits gained from returning to postgraduate study after a break from your undergraduate degree. Valuable insights and skills can be gained from time working, exploring different roles, getting to know yourself and your interests more clearly. This perspective can then add value to your decisions in terms of what you want to study, as well as informing the themes of your research. Many postgraduates choose to return to study having had time in industry, and then wanting to either progress professionally, or change direction, or both. If unsure of whether to embark on further study, have you considered taking time to work or travel beforehand, and the benefits this could bring?

If you are choosing to do a Masters or PhD directly after your undergraduate degree, are you clear on why this is and what you hope to gain from it? (See question 1). In any industry, a qualification alone will rarely be enough to make progress. It is worth considering how you will add value to your CV – consider using your time to also make connections and gain experience in a relevant work environment whilst studying.

  • Why this course? Why this institution? Why this country?

Be sure to make a fully informed and conscious decision on what and where you choose to study.

All courses have different specialisms and flavours, and all institutions have different cultures, themes and priorities. Be sure to do detailed research. Choose to study with institution and course which aligns with your own research interests and values. Links to industry? Focus on a particular theme? Developing a particular methodology?

There are a multitude of opportunities to study across this wonderful planet. Have you considered all your options? If your research interests lie in different countries, different regions, studying in those regions can bring huge value and opportunity, in terms of deepening your experience of language, culture, and the broadening the range of the people you encounter. There is lots to consider, including visas, cost, and language requirements.

Excellent resources can help you explore:

 

  • Masters or PhD?

This is an important question, for anyone who is considering further study. Be clear on the difference, and the benefits and challenges of each. A PhD is a 3 year minimum commitment to your research, where you will be contributing original knowledge. You will become an expert in your field, and an independent researcher. Masters are often, but not always required for a PhD.

There are some fantastic resources to support you with this question, including a SOAS Careers consultant dedicated to working with the research students, including those considering starting a PhD. Get in touch to book an appointment. It’s also worth watching SOAS’s comprehensive sell-out event ‘Trust me I’m a Doctor – Demystifying the PhD’.

Alice Moon, PhD. Careers Consultant

#MondayMotivation: Postgraduate Study Week

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This week at SOAS Careers we’re celebrating everything to do with Postgraduate Study! Whether you’re currently studying a Masters or PhD, or dream of doing so one day we’ve got an event for you.

Head to the Careers Zone in SL62, Paul Webley Wing to get involved…

Mon 4 Dec, 6 – 8pm: BARBRI International Presentationhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=175&service=Careers+Service

Tue 5 Dec, 4 – 5pm: Working for Reuters:  https://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=173&service=Careers+Service

Wed 6 Dec, 1.30 – 2.30pm: Marketing Your Masters as a Career Changerhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=67&service=Careers+Service

Thu 7 Dec, 1 – 2pm: Make the Most of Networkinghttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=169&service=Careers+Service

Fri 8 Dec, 3 – 5pm: International Committee of the Red Crosshttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=107&service=Careers+Service

Alexis Fromageot

 

#MondayMotivation: Mastering Your Career Week

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Seize the (Mon)day and get involved with SOAS Careers’ Mastering Your Career Week. Whether you’ve got no idea at all what life looks like after SOAS or a set plan – take your lead from the sloth and follow your dreams.

Come by the Careers Zone in SL62, Paul Webley Wing to see how to get going and swing by any of these awesome events…

Tues 28 Nov, 3 – 4pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Ambitious Futures: Graduate Programme for Leadership Developmenthttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=171&service=Careers+Service

Tue 28 Nov, 5:30 – 8pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Global Skills Project: Selling Yourself on Paperhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=61&service=Careers+Service 

Wed 29 Nov, 1 – 2pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): University of Law: GDL Course Talk: https://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=97&service=Careers+Service

Thu 30 Nov, 5:30 – 8pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Global Skills Project: Selling Yourself in a Presentationhttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=63&service=Careers+Service

Alexis Fromageot

#MondayMotivation: Working Abroad Week

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Set on making sure that your next steps after SOAS are far, far away from London? We’re here to help! Swing by the Careers Zone in SL62, Paul Webley Wing to get loads of hints, tips and invaluable insights into how to get things going away from the UK.

There are also two awesome events taking place this week, with your chance to explore law applications and living and working in North America. Get involved:

Tues 21 Nov, 5 – 7pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Herbert Smith Freehills – Applications Workshop: https://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=91&service=Careers+Service

Tues 21 Nov, 6 – 9pm, Professor Stuart Hall Building, LG 02, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths: Global Careers Series: North America: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/global-careers-series-2017-18-north-america-tickets-38229729149 

Alexis Fromageot

#MondayMotivation: Student Enterprise & Start Up Week

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Got an awesome idea you can’t wait to let loose on the world? Fancy working for a start up making a real change to an industry? This week at SOAS Careers is your chance to find out more about student enterprise and start ups!

Come by the Careers Zone in SL62 to speak to us about best we can help you on your way, take a look at the awesome resources and meet some incredible employers…

Mon 13 Nov, 4 – 5:30pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Whommies – How to Launch a Start Uphttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=39&service=Careers+Service

Tue 14 Nov, 5 – 6:30pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Kappu – How to Hack the British Job Markethttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=57&service=Careers+Service

Wed 15 Nov, 3 – 4:30pm, Careers Seminar Room (SL62): Start-up Alumni Speed Networkinghttps://careers.soas.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=163&service=Careers+Service

Get involved!

Alexis Fromageot