Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Topic: Commercial Awareness

So you want to work with Robots....

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Commercial Awareness, Finding a Job, For PhDs, For Taught Postgraduates, inspire, Subject Related Careers, Tips & Hints

Earlier this year, I read this article on the Guardian which in a nutshell suggested, Robots will be our bosses in the future. As machine learning improves, the robotics sector is booming and who knows what the possibilities are. According to Recruitment buzz, there has been a five fold increase in the number of jobs in AI. Currently, there are more than double the number of jobs than applicants – with companies fighting to grab the best talent. In fact the job market in the next 10-15 years will be totally different with job titles that are yet to be born.

According to Robert Hillard, managing partner at Deloitte, future work will fall in one of three categories:

  1. People who work for machines such as drivers, online store pickers and some health professionals who are working to a schedule.
  2. People who work with machines such as surgeons using machines to help with diagnosis.
  3. People who work on the machines, such as programmers and designers

AI/Robotics is an evolving field and is still organic in its development. Therefore the market hasn't created a set career path or indeed  established entry requirements. However if you wish to work as a programmer or designer within robotics, it may be worth considering postgraduate study. Graduate schemes with companies like Microsoft, where you can pursue a technical pathway may enable you to move internally into their Robotics department. Recently the Guardian hosted a Q&A about starting a career in robotics, the tips below are worth considering:

  1. Motivation is key to getting your foot through the door. Upskill your coding skills – consider doing a MOOC (Coursera, Udemy, O’Reillys Safari and Kaggle are useful starting points).
  2. Ensure you are building a solid background in C/C++
  3. CognitionX provides a useful way to stay on top of developments.
  4. Get involved in Open Source projects, you’ll develop a network and also learn about the latest workflow processes.
  5. Robotics isn’t just about hard-core coding, there are plenty of opportunities working with datasets for example to influence marketing. There will be growth in support roles such as HR as start ups expand.
  6. The field is ‘Industry-neutral’ – you could work in manufacturing to preventing fraud, to interpreting medical devises to pricing up insurance. Almost every company will have an interest in AI / Robotics.
  7. Don’t expect a straight forward career path, this is a field that is evolving all the time.

Companies leading in Robotics /AI:

  •  Amazon – there are lots of opportunities  in technical as well as business / support roles.
  • Social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter offer interesting graduate schemes in data analytics and in development based roles.
  • You’ve all heard of Elon Musk founder of Tesla, Space X and OpenAI. Worth looking at graduate jobs with them.
  • Other experts in the field include Google (DeepMind), Universal Robotics (Denmark) and Element AI (Canada)
  • Finally, this article from Business Insider lists 10 British AI companies to look out for. It’s worth noting lots of opportunities within Start-ups and also the wide range of fields AI / Robotics touch upon.

Now, like me if you watched the Terminator films, you'd quite rightly have concerns about 'this' super-intelligence escaping human control and Skynet becoming a reality...... ah well, this is a blog post for another day.....

 

Careers in the Civil Service

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Finding a Job, Graduate Jobs, Internships, Sector Insight

Careers in the Civil Service


This blog post was originally posted by Sue Briault, but has been updated to include current information and links. For up to date news and information about Civil Service Fast Stream and for the chance of interacting with current fast streamers, make sure to like Civil Service Fast Stream Careers on Facebook


About the Civil Service

The Civil Service does the practical and administrative work of government. More than half of all civil servants provide services direct to the public. If you want to know more about the Civil Service and it's purpose then go here. If you are interested in the work of the more than 60 government departments and over 100 agencies then these can easily be found on the GOV UK website where every department and agency has a space.

Jobs within the Civil Service can range from administrative positions within departments to embassy posts with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).  There are also a number of professions employed within the Civil Service including economists, statisticians and scientists . Staff may work anywhere in the United Kingdom and possibly overseas, although the majority involved in policy work are located in London. There are increasing numbers of opportunities within the devolved regions and some departments are based in locations such as Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

When applying to jobs in the civil service it is important to research the Civil Service competencies, which sets out how the Civil Service want people to work. Research the competencies and write down examples from your academic background, work experiences and/or extra-curricular activities to see how they compare and fit with each competency.

Civil Service Fast Stream

This is the accelerated development programme for graduates. Applications opened in September and will close in October 2017, so if you are interested, apply now! This includes entry into the Diplomatic Service. It is also possible to apply to the Civil Service Fast Stream even though you are working within the Civil Service.  There are several different Fast Streams and you can find more information about the schemes on the Fast Stream website.

  • Analytical Options (AFS):

Government Economic Service (GES)
Government Operational Research Service (GORS)
Government Statistical Service (GSS)
Government Social Research Service (GSR)

  • Other Options:

Generalist
Human Resources
Diplomatic Service
Diplomatic Economic Scheme
Houses of Parliament
Science and Engineering (only open to postgraduates)
Commercial
Finance
Government Communication Service
Project Delivery
Digital, Data and Technology
Other Civil Service Graduate Schemes

Other Graduate Schemes

Graduate schemes run by individual departments can be hard to find out about so keeping an eye on the Civil Service Jobs website is important as not all have dedicated webpages available to see year round (see  section below).

It is also worth noting that many Civil Service graduate schemes make offers of jobs at the grade below to ‘near misses’. This happens in the Fast Stream too. Those that scored only a few points below the overall benchmark may be made an offer or an interview for a role at Executive Officer grade (the grade below the one Fast Streamers start on). This isn’t always well publicised because employers don’t want to raise candidate expectations but it is worth being aware that applications to the Fast Stream or other Graduate Scheme can be a good entry point into the Civil Service.

Other services who recruit graduates include MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Other Civil Service Jobs

The place to look for all Civil Service vacancies is https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk. Create an account and you can then set up some preferences and then receive regular job updates by email. You will need to click "Show more" to be able to select Job Grade as a preference. Why should you look here? Because there are many jobs that would be suitable for graduates within the Civil Service that are not part of the Fast Stream or other Graduate Schemes.

Frequently spotted on Civil Service Jobs :

HMRC Social Researchers
Temporary Statistical Officers
Temporary Assistant Economists
Various individual Scientist Posts suitable for both undergraduates and postgraduates
Graduate Internships at Executive Officer level

Work Experience

There are two schemes available:

You will find that placements are available through your placement office in some government departments and others may be advertised through the Civil Service Jobs website mentioned previously. There is not a strong expectation that you will have gained experience within the Civil Service before applying for a graduate job there. Think about the competencies that they recruit against and develop your experience to demonstrate these.

Nationality Requirements

There is strict criteria regarding nationality for entry to the Civil Service and comprehensive guidelines are available here. Any job in the Civil Service is open to applicants who are UK nationals or have dual nationality (with one being British). About 75% of Civil Service posts are also open to Commonwealth citizens and nationals of any of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA), although at some point this latter group will have their status changed once the UK's exit from the EU is settled. I am advised that the Civil Service is not a Tier 2 sponsor.

 

An international student's guide to succeeding in the UK job market

  

📥  Advice, Applications, Career Development, Commercial Awareness, For Taught Postgraduates, International Students, Interviews

Welcome to the first of our international -themed blog posts to mark International Careers Week.

This post is aimed at any international students looking to build their career right here in the UK. We know that many of you are very career-minded so here are a few tips to make sure you are making the most of your time here and giving yourselves the best chance of success.

  1. Get informed
    Make sure you are aware of your rights as regards work permissions. The Student Immigration Service are putting on a talk to refresh your memories on working in the UK after your studies and I really do recommend you go. The rules are complex and ever-changing so find out what the law actually says, and pick up a copy of our advice for employers too.
  2. Get ready
    We have laid on the complete series of our popular workshops for international students this week, as well as an assessment centre workshop, so you can perfect your skills and stand out for all the right reasons to employers.
  3. Get involved
    It's never too late to join a society, start volunteering, maybe even take the opportunity to build up some part-time work experience. All these things will be useful boosts to your CV as well as helping you pick up that sought-after commercial awareness and improve your English language skills.
  4. Get feedback
    Our expert team of Careers Advisers are very happy to give you feedback on your CVs, applications, cover letters and also help you prepare for interviews. It might seem a little scary to come and ask us to give you feedback - but that 15 minutes can make the difference between being on the 'no' pile and being invited to the next stage of the process.
  5. Get Connected
    They say 'It's not about what you know, it's about who you know'. Now this is not the whole truth, but having access to a large network of connections and being ale to ask them for help is surely a good thing, right? So, we have worked together with the Students Union and Alumni to offer you a skills session on networking and getting ahead in business, followed by Get Connected, a chance to ask alumni how they got to where they are now, and get a free drink along the way.
  6. Get ahead
    You'll see we have many jobs being advertised on MyFuture at the moment. But before you excitedly apply to all the ones that look interesting, do make sure you check on the employer website whether they are accepting applications from international students. Not all of them do, and checking will ensure you don't waste a lot of time preparing an application only to have it rejected.

 

Researching employers using library databases

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📥  Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Researching employers using library databases

I recently went along to a careers skills session delivered by Management Librarian Helen Rhodes. The aim of the session was to look at some useful tools to help students find business and industry information through several useful databases which are found through the library website. Even though I had some basic knowledge about the databases before, I was surprised about the extensive and detailed information you could find on employers, including developments and issues, competitors, tweet mentions and news, but also covering sector and industry information, country profiles and lifestyle analyses. At the end you can usually print out a detailed summary as a PDF report! The information you find can absolutely give you an advantage in that graduate interview and your commercial awareness will increase immensely, which is exactly the skill employers say graduates lack the most!

So here is a summary of some useful databases, what they can do and where you can find them. Be aware that there are many different usages of each database and I am just covering a few examples below.

All of these databases and more can be found on our library website.

hoover

Hoovers is a database of 84 million companies and industries. It offers financial and executive details plus a description of activities and competitors of public, private, and government-run enterprises.  By using the search engine on top of the page you search by companies, people and also industries. For example, a quick search for “wind power generation” under industries gave me detailed information about the top companies within the industry, the business challenges and key insights into industry facts and developments. You can also search industries by location. A great tool!

marketline

Marketline has 31000 detailed company profiles, SWOT analyses and industry reports with PESTLE analyses. This is another very useful database, which is useful for researching companies but also for researching a specific industry or sector. For example a search for chocolate confectionary under industry gave me detailed industry reports from all around the world regarding the chocolate confectionary industry!  A detailed pdf report including graphs and tables was available within seconds as well.

passport

Passport also has many company profiles and industry reports, however with passport you can get detailed reports across 80 countries including country reports, market share information and consumer trends and lifestyle analysis. If you are thinking of applying to work in another country, Passport is an invaluable tool for you.

nexis

Nexis provides access to the latest business news and data. It features profiles of 46 million global companies and 3 million UK companies. It includes UK national newspapers and trade press, plus hundreds of newspapers and magazines published worldwide.  A great resource before that very important interview!


Helen Rhodes offers regular workshops on how to use these databases effectively, both through Faculty and through Careers. Have a look at MyFuture in the new year for workshops and talks arranged in the Spring term.

The Careers Service has an excellent help guide on researching employers:

http://www.bath.ac.uk/students/careers/docs/research.pdf

 

 

Apply for a scholarship to attend the European Forum in Alpbach, Austria

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📥  Commercial Awareness, Event, inspire

Are you under 32 years of age and want to immerse yourself in an environment with new ideas, ways of thinking and opportunities for making new contacts? Then apply for a scholarship to attend the European Forum 2016 in Alpbach in Austria, a conference that brings together students and professionals from across Europe.

What is the European Forum Alpbach?
Often called the European version of the World Economic Forum in Davos, the European Forum Alpbach has been attracting leading thinkers and practitioners since 1945: economist Friedrich Hayek, physicist Erwin Schrödinger and philosopher Theodor Adorno attended regularly, as have more recently UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and economist Jeffrey Sachs. Every year, about 5,000 participants from over 60 countries meet to discuss emerging trends in eight broad fields: technology; law; European and international affairs; financial markets; the economy; public health; higher education; and architecture and urban planning. Each of these fields has a dedicated “symposium” in the conference schedule. All of the events, however, are united by a loose, overarching theme: in 2016, the European Forum Alpbach takes on the question of “New Enlightenment”.

What distinguishes the European Forum Alpbach from other international conferences is the involvement of hundreds of young people from across Europe through the clubs of the Forum Alpbach Network and their scholarships. The first week of the conference – the “Seminar Week” – is dedicated entirely to the scholars: senior experts, government officials and academics “pitch” their week-long seminars to you, and you pick and mix the ones you want to attend. Moreover, throughout the Forum, the clubs invite senior conference participants to informal, small-scale discussions with scholars, so-called “fireside talks”. These can be very short-notice, so it’s essential to keep an ear to the ground, and an eye on Twitter and Facebook. And, of course, there’s a lively social scene, a football tournament (which has been known to field government ministers), beach volleyball and tennis courts, a pristine Alpine lake, and the Tyrolean mountains all around you for an afternoon’s escape. The Club Alpbach London awards scholarships to cover the conference fees. They will also reserve a place for you in the shared club accommodation in the center of Alpbach. The costs for accommodation (roughly £400) and travel are usually not included. However, support with additional costs is available.

Eligibility
Students and recent graduates up to the age of 32 who study or work in the UK are eligible to apply.
Individuals who represent a wide spectrum of opinions, and academic and professional backgrounds.
Ideally you plan to be in London from September 2016, as Alpbach hope you will continue to play an active role in the Club. However, this is no mandatory requirement to apply.
Almost all of the Forum’s events are conducted in English so there’s no requirement to speak German. Please note that they require scholars to attend the European Forum Alpbach 2016 in its entirety, so please only apply if you are available for the whole period.

How to apply
Please send an email to scholarships@clubalpbachlondon.eu with a single PDF file attached, containing a motivation letter, your CV and, a confirmation of your studies (eg. scanned degree, transcript or confirmation of study). In your motivation letter, in no more than 200 words each (so no more than 800 in total):

  • your reasons for applying
  • which aspects of this year’s conference programme you find particularly interesting
  • why we should pick you
  • what you plan to do after graduating (if applicable), and whether you plan to be in London from September 201

The deadline for applications is Thursday 31 March 2016 at 5pm.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email contact@clubalpbachlondon.eu. You can also find out more about the Club Alpbach London, on their website.

 

How to be more commercially aware

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📥  Commercial Awareness

Many employers love Bath students. They are well-qualified, intelligent, active, have experience - but sometimes they don't do as well in employer selection processes as the employers (or the students) were expecting. When we dig a little deeper, this tends to be because they were lacking in what is termed 'commercial awareness'.

So, what is 'commercial awareness'?

When I try and define it, I find it really difficult to do, so no wonder it is a difficult thing to make sure you develop. It's even more difficult for those of you who aren't interested in 'big business' - maybe you think you don't need to bother with it at all? Or aren't sure how to translate it into your kind of organisation?

So, being as Bath is a fairly sporty kind of place, I'm going to try and explain how to develop commercial awareness with a sports analogy.

Imagine you are a fan of, say, Liverpool FC. (Absolutely no declaration of interest here - just one I picked out of  many).

You probably know, then, who plays for them. Who manages them. How long it has been since they last won a game, or played in Europe, or beat Man U. Who they are likely to beat hands down, and who might be a bit more challenging. You'll maybe know who owns them, and whether the fans like that. Who the shirt sponsor is. Where they are in the league - and, if you are a fairly obsessive sort of fan, how many matches there are left in this season and who has to win which ones for Liverpool to win the Premiership/get into the Champion's League. Not to mention why it is crucial that this or that player is picked for the next match.

So - that is commercial awreness, or business knowledge, whatever you want to call it. It's knowing the organisation you want to work for. But not just that. It's knowing their competitors, and where each stands in the marketplace. Who does what best. What the most recent innovations have been. How effective your organisation of choice has been lately.

You might be reading this and thinking 'Well, I don't know or care about football. What is she blethering on about? It would take ages to find that lot out'.

And that is exactly my point. If you are, genuinely, interested in Liverpool, you'll know this stuff and writing it down would be simple. If you have just decided to apply and you actually support another club, you'll still know some of it but the details might need a bit of work. But you'd know where to look. If you are a football novice but thought the job sounded interesting, you may need intensive help.

Commercial awareness is very difficult to develop overnight.

Start by identifying the general area in which you are interested. In this case - start reading the sports pages, focusing on football.

Identify the key players (maybe the top 6 clubs in the Premiership). Look on their websites. Look at match reports. Who is doing well? Why?

Before this football analogy is completely exhausted - remember, we are here to help you and if you would like a bit of help identifying a strategy to develop your commercial awareness, please come in and talk to us.

Remember -  to make commercial awarenss work for you, simply substitute your organisation and field of work of choice for the sports clubs named here. And start that reading up now - before you get left on the bench.