Guest Blog Post: “Working at a Startup: a recent graduate’s perspective” by Sarah Bourke

CarWow Founders

CarWow Founders

The startup scene is booming at the moment. Companies like Facebook and Google have glamorised startup culture and these days, the “next big company” is nearly always a startup. Most people think startups are full of hip twenty-somethings lounging around colourful, gimmicky offices, playing table tennis, writing code, and discussing techy-sounding marketing terms. Admittedly this is a pretty accurate picture of what a startup actually looks like, but there’s a lot more involved if you want to succeed at a startup.

For recent graduates, working in a startup can be a bit of a rude awakening – no one will hold your hand or micro-manage you and, if you’re not willing to put in the work, you might well fail.

I work for carwow, a rapidly-growing startup based in London. In the six months since I started, we’ve grown from a team of seven to 19 and seen a 150% increase in revenue. We’re still very much in the startup phase, though, which means rapid growth and facing new challenges daily. Things move at a frenetic, dizzying pace and everyone is expected to pitch in to meet deadlines. To succeed at a startup, you’ll need to be proactive, able to work independently, and willing to be a jack-of-all-trades. Work ethic is valued over years of experience and innovative solutions over traditional fixes. You’ll learn new skills daily, on the fly, and have to learn to adapt constantly.

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Win a scholarship of 2000Euro & 1-3 month paid internship!

City University London is now a participant of the GoEuro Scholarship Programme

City University London has been registered and is eligible to participate in the GoEuro Scholarship Programme. The winning student will receive a scholarship of €2000 and the chance to complete a 1-3 month paid internship at GoEuro’s Berlin office.

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Sprint Personal Development programme for women – NOW OPEN

The Sprint personal development programme for women, which includes leadership skills, is now open. The 4 day course starts on 5 Jan at UCL. It is fantastic and many City students have rated the course very highly. The closing date is 5 December 2014. 20 places have been set aside for City students. Although  priority is being given to undergraduates, the opportunity is also open to postgraduates.
For more info and application details, go to: http://www.city.ac.uk/careers/for-students-and-recent-graduates/sprint


Groundbreaking placement scheme for ethnic minority students who want to work in the heritage sector after graduating

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  • A long-established cultural organisation(Cultural Cooperation) is now  offering  a bursary-supported 12 month work-based training programme to attract young people particularly from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds  into the heritage sectors, from any  subject discipline.  The placement programme is known as SOCL (Strengthening Our Common Life)  and the tax free bursary is for £13 750. 17 placements are available in 2015 and 17 more in 2016. The placements are in the UK’s foremost museums, galleries, historic houses and cultural institutions. e.g. The British Museum, The Southbank Centre, Historic Royal palaces, the National Army Museum, the Foundling Museum and Wilton’s Music Hall. There are opportunities to work on many projects and to innovate. The chance to take a Level 3 Diploma in Cultural Heritage is also offered as part of the deal. The programme is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


  •  Applicants can come from any degree background – you do not have to be studying for a degree in the creative sector.  You do not need to have a lot of experience in the sector. Enthusiasm for  heritage and the arts is crucial and some experience of volunteering (though not necessarily in the sector) might also be useful. Continue Reading

Guest Blog – Why it is worth going to a Mock Assessment Centre

Mark Ranganathan graduated in Mathematics from City this year. He recently attended a Mock Assessment Centre facilitated by one of the careers consultants at CityCareers. Mock assessment centres are suitable for students of all disciplines and are a good way of building your confidence before going to the real thing. Mark comments:

The Mock Assessment CIMG_4286 1 (2)entre highlighted the importance of effective team work, communication, organisation and presentation skills in a work environment. I, along with other participants, took part in a group task, where we had to discuss a project in groups and present our ideas to an audience. Our performances in the group task were evaluated by our peers.

The Mock Assessment Centre had the feel and atmosphere of a real Assessment Centre. I benefitted a lot from it as I learned about which areas were my strengths and which areas I needed to improve on. Therefore, it gave me a better idea on how to perform in future assessment centres and what is expected of candidates.

I strongly recommend Mock Assessment Centres to people who are either preparing for real assessment centres or want to understand their strengths and weaknesses in this context.

Careers consultants at City will be offering more of these Mock Assessment Centres next term. CityCareers also bring in employers to run mock assessment centres at City. To search for mock assessment centres and to book a place, go to http://www.city.ac.uk/careers/for-students-and-recent-graduates/events


Guest Blog Post: Living & Working in Hong Kong with Headstart Group

hong-kongHot in the summer, mild in the winter.  Any teacher knows that longitude/latitude tell the truth!  Here, you can wear all of your best clothing for all seasons!

Only here will you be in a Special Administrative Region.  You will hear people say “One country, two systems”.  Understand HK embraces free speech.  Also understand that HK is still part of China.

Never a dull moment.  From the Chinese Opera to the Fringe Club…to the performers in Times Square to the beautiful lions dancers, Hong Kong is full of culture.

Grand views from our mountains and from our seas.  Imagine jumping into the South China Sea from a “junk” (party/event boat) with the world at your fingertips.  Incredible.

Konger.  That is what you shall become if you come.  A “Hong Konger”.  Part of the scene, the life, the education system.  Join us!

Other cultural interests include:  ballet, local acting, fishing, boating, relaxing, football, sports,

Need a friend in HK?  Not to worry, you can call Headstart.  We take pride in offering outings for our more than 100 teachers each month or even offering suggestions via your newsletter.

Going somewhere?  Hong Kong is the perfect “lift off” to anywhere in Asia. Plus, your teacher concierge will help you coordinate your first trips until you feel comfortable!

Find out more about working in Hong Kong as a teacher with Headstart Group: http://www.headstartgroup.co/ or follow them on Twitter: @headstartgroup1


Prison Leadership Graduate Scheme (NOMS)

NOMSThe National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Graduate Scheme (for Prison leadership) will be opening any day now for applications

The scheme will suit students interested in a  management role within criminal justice. It provides excellent leadership training and  a good salary. At least 1 year must be spent working as a Prison Officer as part of the programme to learn the ropes.


https://www.facebook.com/NOMSGraduateProgramme – use to keep up to date


The graduate scheme is highly competitive (no surprise there), so suggest you make full use of CityCareers when making your applications to aid your chances of success. We are always happy to answer questions and to provide support. Book your appointment online here www.city.ac.uk/careers


Civil Service Fast Stream – Analytical opportunities and diversity internships

civil service fast streamTwo reminders…….

For those interested in what is known as the Analytical Fast Stream (for economists, statisticians, social researchers  or analysts) Round 2 of applications will open on 16 Feb 2015 and close on 7 April 2015.

There are 2 diversity opportunities on offer (diversity here means being from an economically disadvantaged background or being a disabled person or ethnic minority) . I have written about these opportunities on the Careers Blog before at City, but again just want to promote them as a brilliant opportunity that would give you an edge with your applications for the Fast Stream in the future. I CANNOT RECOMMEND THESE OPPORTUNITIES ENOUGH.  Applications for the Early Diversity Internship Programme close on 17 Nov 2014 and applications for the Summer Diversity Internship Programmes close on the 5 Jan 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/faststream – Read more about the different departments and roles. The Fast Stream is the graduate scheme for the Civil Service. It is an extremely competitive scheme that attracts high performers. It will especially appeal to those who also have an interest in politics.  https://www.gov.uk/civil-service-fast-stream-how-to-apply

https://www.facebook.com/faststream – use this to keep up to date



Why is Advertising a great career?

Have you ever considered a career in advertising? A top advertising agency has approached City and is running a case study exercise  which will give you an idea of what is involved in the sector. As it is a difficult sector to break into, attending the event below would be a great way of finding out what the work involves. There are many different roles in advertising. Read more about roles here: http://www.theadmission.co.uk/job-profiles

 Bacardi: Giving a Latin brand back it’s Mojo (Marketing Case Study with BETC London)

20-Nov-2014 | 13:00-14:00 | SIGN UP

This session will take you through the marketing case study for Bacardi and how we took this 150yr old brand and gave it back it’s cool. The story starts in the grimy clubs of London and ends in the vibrant streets of Cuba.

This session is perfect for those that want to gain understanding of the principles of advertising, the challenges businesses and brands face and how creativity can help solve even the most difficult problems.

There will also be an opportunity for students to ask questions and to get involved in an agency scheme to gain experience in the industry.

For more information on BETC London, visit: http://www.betc.co.uk/

To sign up to the event, visit: https://careershub.city.ac.uk/students/events/detail/528165/bacardi-giving-latin-brand-bac