Work to live; or live to work. What’s important for you?

Job crowd clock

Graduate Working Hours… What To Expect

For graduates starting their first jobs, it can be difficult to imagine what full time working life will be like… from new colleagues to a whole different set of targets and pressures. One important aspect of any new job is the average working hours you will be expected to fulfil, however some graduates may feel uncomfortable asking about work-life balance during interviews – perhaps worried that it may give off the ‘wrong impression’.

The JobCrowd has been examining their graduate review data, and identified the average working hours you can expect from each of the main sectors, along with the average work-life balance rating (top five sectors with the longest average working hours are in bold)…

Here are their findings….

Career Average Working Hours Work-Life Balance (/5.0)
Accounting 8am – 5pm 3.9
Administration & Customer Service 8am – 5pm 3.9
Advertising, Marketing & PR 8am – 5pm 4.0
Banking & Finance 8am – 5pm 3.9
Charity & Voluntary Work 9am – 5pm 3.7
Construction & Civil Engineering 8am – 5pm 3.8
Consumer Goods & FMCG 8am – 5pm 3.9
Creative & Performing Arts 8am – 5pm 3.9
Education 8am – 5pm 3.9
Energy & Utilities 8am – 5pm 4.0
Engineering & Manufacturing 8am – 5pm 3.9
Government, Public Sector & International Development 8am – 5pm 4.0
Health & Social Care 8am – 5pm 4.0
Hospitality, Leisure & Tourism 8am – 6pm 3.7
HR & Employment 8am – 5pm 3.9
Information Services & Research 8am – 5pm 4.0
IT & Telecoms 8am – 5pm 3.9
Insurance & Pensions 8am – 6pm 3.9
Journalism & Publishing 8am – 5pm 4.1
Law 9am – 7pm 3.4
Management Consulting 8am – 6pm 3.8
Media & Broadcasting 9am – 5pm 4.2
Property & Housebuilding 8am – 5pm 3.8
Retail  8am – 6pm 3.8
Science & R&D 8am – 5pm 4.1
Transport, Logistics & Distribution 8am – 5pm 4.0


To find out more about TheJobCrowd’s graduate insights, say hello at








Friday Featured Vacancy: Forestry Student Placement, Corby

Lockhart Garratt has developed into one of England’s leading consultancies providing expert, independent, high quality and professional advice with a focus on all matters relating to trees, woodland and forestry. They manage approximately 8000ha of woodland throughout Central England and East Anglia with offices in Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.

Last year the careers and employability team placed James Broom on to a placement with them. Now he’s coming to the end of his placement he’s reflected on his time with the company.

“My placement year in industry with Lockhart Garratt has provided me with an extensive and working knowledge of lowland forestry within England. My time has primarily been assisting the senior forestry staff with grant applications, woodland management plans and contractor management. There has been the constant opportunity to branch out into the other business units of the company. This is a unique aspect of Lockhart Garratt as it is a multi-disciplinary consultancy. This has resulted in a very unique view and understanding of broader land management aspects within lowland England. There has been the opportunity to continue and expand my working knowledge of ArcGIS throughout the year. There has been consistent external training provided covering a multitude of aspects from productive broadleaves to sawmill and nursery excursions. There is wide representation within the forestry industry of staff at Lockhart Garratt including Confor, ICF and RFS. I have been able to attend events and meet people alongside my colleagues. Finally there is a great mix of men/women and younger/older people which has made the year a lot more enjoyable and sociable!” 

James Broom/Undergraduate at University of Cumbria

From James’ success University of Cumbria have been asked to advertise the placement again. Lockhart Garratt has a proven track record in coaching and mentoring recent graduates and new entrants to the industry. They ensure that a variety of new skills and work experience is provided over the year.

For full detail please see below or the Lockhart-Garratt website:


Lockhart_Garratt_Forestry_Student_Placement 2016 v4 CL 200116

You are probably a lot more employable than you realise

As well as gaining lots of academic knowledge during your time at university, you will also be developing  highly relevant employability skills that can be transferred to the workplace. Do you know how to unpick the ones that matter most to employers, and demonstrate the necessary proof?

This blog highlights two employability skills that employers consider are  particularly important, and shows some of the occasions during your time at university where you will have demonstrated and developed transferable skills. You can use these examples in your CV, supporting statement or a job interview, to show your employability skill.

Verbal communications skills: speaking clearly and fluently; being persuasive and empathetic.


  • Delivering formal and informal presentations in classes and seminars
  • Acting as a student ambassador or peer mentor
  • Part-time or voluntary jobs that involve dealing with the public
  • Campaigning or organising events
  • Debating
  • Teaching or training someone to do something
  • Leading a team eg a sports team
  • Working with others on a project
  • Committee member
  • Charity work or events

Team working skills: being able to work effectively with other people to achieve an agreed outcome.


These days there are very few job roles that don’t involve working with others, so a prospective employer will want the reassurance that you have what it takes to work effectively with other people and achieve results, meet deadlines!  Good examples might be:

  • Academic group work eg projects, joint presentations
  • Part-time jobs
  • Volunteering
  • Being a member of a committee
  • Representing your department/faculty at meetings
  • Being actively involved in sports, drama, music clubs and societies
  • Running and organising an event
  • Assisting with the running or organising of an event










Communication and team working skills are essential to most jobs, but there are many others too which I will discuss in future blogs. In the meantime, have a look at the  UoC Career Ahead programme. Career Ahead will help you recognise and develop your talents, and help you make your job applications stand out.



Friday Featured Vacancy: Production Trainee Scheme – BBC, Salford

Production Trainee Scheme – Recruiting now

To be a great Production Trainee you need to be creative, have lots of fresh programme ideas and have the desire to make great television, radio and online content. If you have something to say and can bring a different and fresh perspective to our programme-making teams then we want to hear from you.

We’re looking for people who:

  • Are passionate about television, radio and online and keen to develop a career at the BBC
  • Are creative and have strong programme ideas
  • Are great team players and happy to muck in
  • Demonstrate audience awareness and have opinions about what makes good video and audio content across the BBC and on other channels and platforms
  • Can work flexibly and move around, working in different BBC bases across the UK
  • Have some relevant experience in a creative environment but please don’t apply if you have had continuous paid production work in the media industry or at the BBC for longer than 12 months
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK

We want creative and passionate people with great ideas, but not necessarily people with academic qualifications. So don’t talk yourself out of this great opportunity.

The Production Trainee Scheme is the BBC’s fast track traineeship

If you gain a place on the Production Trainee Scheme you will be given an 11 month contract, and during that time we’ll train and develop you for a career in the media. You’ll be given three different work placements across the UK, in Radio and Television. You’ll be mentored by a senior BBC Manager and, by the end of the scheme, you’ll have the skills to turn creative ideas into brilliant programmes.

Past placements have included EastEnders, Doctor Who, Radio 1, CBBC, The One Show, Woman’s Hour, The Chris Evans Show, Radio 4 Documentaries, The Culture Show, Crimewatch, Coast and the Natural History Unit – to name but a few.

To be a Production Trainee, you must be able to work flexibly. You’ll be required to move productions every few months, and spend at least one of your work placements in a BBC production centre outside London in either Cardiff, Bristol, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham or Salford.

For all extra information please follow the below link to the BBC pages:



Friday Featured Vacancy: BOSCH; Student Administrator in the Training Department, Liverpool

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. Bosch employs around 50 undergraduates in Denham, providing an active support network amongst both staff and interns.

The Shared Service Centre Training Department is based at Denham, although we work closely with all sites across the UK. Together we cover all UK training requirements and organise training at various locations throughout the UK.


Your responsibilities may include:

  • Preparation of training course material packs and support of trainers on site.
  • Advertising training courses.
  • Managing the training evaluation process.
  • PA Team Support (travel bookings, admin support).
  • General Office Organisation
  • Involvement in various departmental projects as required.
  • Cooperating with and supporting the training administration team based in Liverpool.


To work within our team you should fit the following criteria:

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office – Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook.
  • Advanced in Excel would be advantageous.
  • You should have a very good understanding of written and spoken English.
  • Good attention to detail and the ability to prioritise your workload.
  • You should be able to multi-task…
  • …and be a friendly individual who gets on well with others in the team and is polite and customer focussed.
  • It is advantageous if you have a good, clear telephone manner. We would like you to start in July 2016 for a 12 month placement.Before applying for this vacancy, you must inform your Faculty/School Placement Officer. If your Faculty/School does not have a Placement Officer, you must inform your Course Tutor. This is important because there may be the need for the employer to be verified by the University to ensure that, where applicable, the position can be credited to your degree. Application Deadline: 29th February 2016 Please send your CV, Covering Letter, and completed Student Internship form to quoting Reference Number TRA1.

“Maths makes you boring”: Negative reactions to maths degrees revealed

The questions and comments, as well as the answers the graduates gave, have been visualised here.

The questions and comments, as well as the answers the graduates gave, have been visualised here.

For many prospective students, university is the chance to study in depth something they’re passionate about. While school gives us a broad and varied education, higher education gives us the chance to truly specialise. Some will study purely for passion while others have a definite career in mind. Unfortunately, for some students, their choices can mean they become the butt of other students’ jokes.

Stereotypes exist across a host of degree areas. For those studying Maths, Accountancy and Finance the main preconception they have to deal with is that they’re a bore. Both in the workplace and the classroom there is a long held idea that Maths is boring and that, by proxy, those who study it are too.

To get an understanding of how these degrees are currently perceived, financial broker Spread Co spoke to some recent graduates and asked them to share some of the comments they’d received from colleagues and peers on their degree choice.

Students from a range of courses including Accountancy and Business & Management were interviewed. All of the graduates they spoke to were in full employment but even then had to deal with some quite personal questioning. One graduate was asked “Won’t you want to kill yourself doing that 9-5?”and another received questions including “You just add up, how hard can it be?” While these questions may seem initially harmless, it shows a lack of understanding of the well-rounded individuals these students are.

To help fight the stigma they received, the graduates were also encouraged to respond to their inquisitors and tell them about something they’d done they were proud of. As you would expect, all of the students gave fantastic responses to their critics with one graduate telling how they’d just climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and another telling them that they’d just recently become the youngest partner in their company’s history. The full image campaign can be viewed here.

While there is inevitably more that we can do to dispel myths like these, thankfully for universities, prospective students don’t seem to be put off.  In fact, 2015 saw more applications than ever to courses in the subject area with an extra 2,500 applications, around a 6% rise from 2014’s figures. There was in fact only a 1% rise in overall applications, meaning for Maths and Accounting to see such an increase in applicants is testament to the fact that many students are recognising the value of having such a degree.

With increasing pressure for students in such a volatile job market it seems that many people are choosing more traditional, vocational courses with direct job routes. There are huge benefits to the working in finance too, with starting salaries for accountants for example around £4,000 more than the average for graduates in their first roles from other backgrounds. While studying, courses in these areas also have a much higher percentage of international and overseas students than other courses meaning those studying are exposed to cultures from all over the world. With the business market increasingly more international, this is a big advantage for students.

When deciding on your course of study, don’t pay attention to other people’s perceptions of your subject area. Each course is full of a wide range of people from different backgrounds, with varied abilities and interests bringing a new perspective to ideas.  Accountancy and Finance are the backbone of every business across the globe, from independent start-ups to major corporations, making it a highly desired degree when positions become available. Rather than perpetuating preconceptions, we should celebrate those with the passion and determination to study the subject they love.


Guest blogger – Daniel Yeo – Search Laboratory

Future Legal Mind awards lunch, 
London, Lincolns Inn, 
Picture by Terry Harris.

Law students: Win a work experience placement and up to £5,000

Future Legal Mind award offers law students a head start in their studies and future careers and a chance to win £5,000.

If you’re currently studying law at University of Cumbria then it’s worth looking into the Future Legal Mind award scheme, which is open for entries until January 18th.

The award asks current law students to submit an essay on the subject: Is the commoditisation of legal services inevitable and is a commercial approach more likely to compromise or enhance the quality of advice and service to consumers?

The Future Legal Mind award is open to university students in the UK who are currently pursuing an undergraduate law degree or law conversion course.

First prize is £5,000 towards your studies, along with a two week work placement at national law firm Simpson Millar. Nine shortlisted entries will receive £250 each.

2015 Future Legal Mind winner Amy Loughery, an undergraduate student at the University of York, said: “I’ve managed to acquire two part-time jobs through winning Future Legal Mind.

“It’s opened loads of doors for me and I’ve put the £5,000 aside to help fund my post-graduate study. It’s given me security.”

To get started, register your interest on the simple form here:

Good luck!


Below is the picture of last years winners!

Future Legal Mind awards lunch,  London, Lincolns Inn,  30/03/2015 Picture by Terry Harris.

Future Legal Mind awards lunch,
London, Lincolns Inn,
Picture by Terry Harris.