Student Enterprise Blog – Let me know your thoughts!

At this time of year I start to consider what events we could put on for students and graduates in the coming academic year and really want these sessions to be in the areas which UoC students and graduates want to see run and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

2014/2015 was a busy year and we ran some great events such as the session on ‘Protecting your Intellectual Property’ an essential area especially if you are producing work and you want to develop some knowledge on how to protect your work and the processes which are involved.  Many of our students and graduates look to do this.  This session which was held at the Business Interaction Centre on Paternoster Row, Carlisle and delivered by the Intellectual Property Office was interactive and fun and the feedback was great, we will probably look to host this again in the new academic year around November time, if you want to come along or just want more information as ever let me know.

I have a small budget to pay for such events and bring in some great guest speakers, so to help you get the topics which you want to see it would be great if you could feed this information in to me either directly or via the careers team and I will try and include them in my planning.  Look forward to hearing your views  just comment on this post or email me on!


Meet Hannah: a placement student in Library and Student Services!

Hey, I’m Hannah Kendal; and I’ve just finished a 5 week alternate placement with Library and Student Services. A bit about me… I’m 20, I’ve been studying Early Years Education at the Lancaster campus for 3 years now and most of my friends are getting increasingly worried about my obsession with Dragon Age Inquisition!

I originally planned to study Teaching with Qualified Teacher Status, however, I soon began to wonder whether this was the right path for me. It was then that I started to think I would love to have the opportunity to work within the University of Cumbria as a placement student, and looking ahead, hopefully as a graduate intern. It was because of this that I decided to drop down the additional Qualified Teacher Status and to approach the library at the Lancaster campus in search of a placement within Library and Student Services, which has resulted in a truthfully amazing experience. The one piece of advice I would give to those of you considering a similar change would be to access the support and advice available from either your tutor or from one of the Careers Advisers on hand before taking any action. It’s never a good idea to make a rash decision!

I’ve spent the last five weeks with various departments in Library and Student Services, and meeting with lots of people to find out their job roles, their departments and the way they help students. Everyone has been really kind and friendly, giving me lots of help, support and guidance to ensure I have the best experience I could have on a placement. My first week and my last week were spent with the learning centres team; who you most often see on the front desk. I’ve been learning the query list and picking list; becoming more familiar with the Dewey decimal system, and annoyingly finding about 50 books that would have been perfect for the assignments I’d already handed in!

I then moved over to the Careers team and the AESR team, where I spent two weeks working on some really exciting projects that hopefully you might experience the outcome of soon, getting help and support from all the amazing people around me to conduct surveys, analyse findings and present the outcomes to Lancaster and Carlisle teams, which was nerve wracking but exciting. In the learning core I was able to work on the newsletter that was delivered to all the Library and Student Services staff as guest editor, and here I am now writing a guest post for the careers blog- both are an amazing honour that I hope I’ve done justice.

Overall, I’ve met so many lovely people, been invited to training days, included in meetings and given the opportunity to learn so much about Library and Student Services and the way it works- we have so much support in place that I wish I’d taken advantage of earlier. I’d like to thank everyone I’ve worked with for all their support, as I can honestly say this placement has been a complete joy-and one that has given me such fantastic insight into all the work that goes on behind the scenes to help support students here at the university.

Finally, I would just like to add that if you are considering pursuing a placement in a new area, don’t hesitate to access the support available from Library and Student Services, the Careers Service can offer tailored 1-1 appointments to help you get the most out of any new opportunity you might want to explore.


Friday Featured Vacancy – Unilever Placement

If you are looking for a placement or internship for the summer or a year in industry you might be interested in the range of opportunities offered by Unilever. The scope and scale of opportunities on offer is vast and gives you the platform to take your career in varied and interesting directions Unilever make a range of brands  including household names such as: Dove, Lynx, PG Tips, Sure, Magnum, Persil and Hellmann’s, to name a few. With over 173,000 employees worldwide, there’s plenty of different career paths to choose from! The Unilever Future Leaders Programme (UFLP) is about helping develop the business leaders of tomorrow – and quickly. It’s designed to give you all the training and experience required to be a manager in two to three years Firstly, you choose the business area that best suits your aims and skills. The options are: Customer Management (Sales); HR Management; Financial Management; Supply Chain Management; Business & Technology Management; Research & Development. From day one you’ll have ownership of key decisions and you’ll be working with experts across many disciplines on a number of different placements. You’ll work in different locations – for those people making the biggest impact,  that may be internationally – and by experiencing multiple aspects of the business hands-on, you will be in a better position to take control of your career and drive your own development. If this sounds like something you might be interested in check out the Unilever Future Leaders Programme and the placement information on their website


Apply to be a UoC Graduate Intern!















(Left to right) Chloe Hilton, Sarah Smith at the Bright Futures Awards 2015 

In each new academic year Library and Student Services takes on two Graduate Interns on a full-time, paid basis! If you’d like to try your hand at working in the student services, this internship offers an accessible way into such a career. It offers a varied and continually evolving role in which you are encouraged and supported as you develop as a graduate employee. Here’s an idea of what you can expect from an internship in LiSS:

  • creating and delivering academic skills and careers sessions/workshops
  • planning and attending student events
  • creating and maintaining marketing materials and online training resources
  • training student mentors
  • signposting students to appropriate services within the university
  • providing advice and guidance to students requiring support
  • collating student services evaluations and building models for future service improvement

One of our current Graduate Interns talks about her experience working in this role:

“I really love the variety, and the fact that I have a bit of freedom to choose which projects I work on and enjoy them! Being a graduate intern really is an invaluable stepping stone into employment for graduates. You can learn new things, apply what you learnt in your degree, get loads of experience – all things that are essential to being employable and getting the most out of your degree! You’re also free to find out what kind of worker you are, and are able to make mistakes and learn from them.”   (Sarah Smith, Graduate Intern 14-15)

If you are interested in applying to become a Graduate Intern in LiSS you can contact our resident interns directly:

–  Chloe Hilton (Lancaster):

–  Sarah Smith (Carlisle Fusehill Street):


Building skills for life – Loughborough maths course aims to boost knowledge and employability

calculator-178127_1280A head’s up that Loughborough University will run a free online numeracy skills refresher course to help boost people’s employment prospects!

Poor numeracy skills can often be a barrier to employment and, with numeracy tests becoming a regular part of the recruitment process, the University’s Mathematics Education Centre is opening its doors to anyone who wishes to build on their basic understanding of mathematics.

The three-week FutureLearn course entitled Numeracy Skills for Employability and the Workplace is particularly suitable for those who have not had the opportunity to practice quantitative skills since school. It is designed to build confidence and develop essential skills for interpreting numerical data and understanding statistics, as well as refreshing specific numeracy skills such as percentages, ratios, averages, and currency conversions.

The course, which will run from Monday 15 June, includes a step-by-step introduction to relevant topics and interactive quizzes to test understanding. There will be feedback at every stage.

The course is suitable if you are:

  • Applying for work placements or internships
  • Applying for employment
  • Applying for a course that requires you to pass numeracy skills tests
  • In employment seeking promotion or wishing to upskill
  • Anyone who wishes to refresh their knowledge of numeracy
  • Anyone who wishes to improve their mathematical confidence for everyday life.

Participants will also be given the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation – a personalised, printed certificate to show that they have taken part in the course.

To register or to find out more click here.


Do you have a social enterprise idea that needs support?

This year is the 3rd year we have been in partnership with UnLtd and together we offer a ‘social enterprise’ scheme.

This means we are able to provide a limited number of grants to UoC students and graduates who are looking to set up a social enterprise and want to test out their idea.  What a great opportunity!

Running a social enterprise not only enables you to support something you feel passionate about, it also helps you to develop key skills for your future and network with like minded people!

Over the past few years our students and graduates (who are fantastic!) have started some great social enterprises and have made a real difference, here are some examples:

  • Counselling for people who need support to help them to overcome and deal with challenges in their life.
  • Massage targeted towards people who have undergone surgery or have a long term illness.
  • A proof reading service to give students additional support at those times when they need a little extra help.
  • Sports camps for young people during school holidays, helping them to experience different types of activities in a great environment.

There are more wonderful examples I could give and am happy to share these with you, so if you would like some further information or want to get involved please e-mail me on, I am always happy to help and support.