Category Archives: UNITE

Bright Futures Awards 2015


Calling all of our students who have participated or trained in PASS, the Cumbria Mentor Scheme, Career Ahead or Student Enterprise.

We want to thank you for being an exceptional student and going above and beyond what your course requires!

To do this, we have organised ‘Bright Futures’ – a special celebration evening, supported by the University of Cumbria Alumni Association.

Book your place at this free celebration and receive free drinks on arrival; a delicious buffet; the opportunity to be snapped in our photo booth; live music; win prizes; hear guest speakers and share the stories of other students. This is an exclusive event with limited space so book now!

Bright Futures Celebration Evening Program:

  • 6.00pm to 6.30pm – Arrivals, refreshments and entertainment.
  • 6.30pm – 7.30pm – Welcome and introduction; student showcase; in-house address: University Senior Management Representative and prizes.
  • 7.30pm – Networking and entertainment.

The details for these events are:

Carlisle: Wednesday 25th March, 6pm – 8pm, Calva Bar
Lancaster: Tuesday 24th March, 6pm – 8pm, The View


To book for these events please visit our Eventbrite pages:



Please be aware that there are limited places available for this event and tickets are first come first served, so book now or before 13th March when tickets close to avoid disappointment! If you are a third year student and this is your last chance to attend this event you should book your ticket early.  Remember to inform us of any specific dietary requirements; for example – vegetarian/vegan or any allergies, and if you have any queries or problems with attending the event. If you are an Ambleside student, please let us know as transport may be available.

We look forward to celebrating with you in March!

The Skills, Careers and Enterprise Teams.
Library and Student Services – LISS
University of Cumbria


Ones to Watch: Helen Statham

I bet you’ve been looking forward to part three of our new ‘Ones to Watch’ series all week, haven’t you? This is a (relatively new) series in conjunction with the University of Cumbria’s Alumni team. We think all University of Cumbria graduates are amazing, and are proud of each and every one of you. Occasionally we get to hear about certain individuals who are already making a huge impact, despite only graduating recently. Those who have really applied themselves whilst still a student; taken advantage of every opportunity and worked exceptionally hard to get where they want to be. 








Helen Statham

BA (Hons) Events Management

Helen’s name constantly comes up in conversation regarding our fantastic students! Tutors have nothing but praise for her; she’s an exceptionally hard worker, very motivated and determined. Helen squeezed every opportunity possible out of her student experience and achieved excellent results in all her assignments leading to a first class degree and her dream job offer straight out of uni.

We are all so proud of Helen and rate her knowledge and experience so highly that we asked her to be part of our ‘expert’ panel in a recent creative alumni/network event alongside industry insiders who have been in the business for years! Helen is highly deserving of a place on our ‘ones to watch’ and we have no doubt that she will go very far! Here’s Helen in her own words…


Course: FdA Performance, Festivals and Events and BA (Hons) Event Management top-up

Campus: Brampton Road

Graduation year: 2014

Hometown: Northumberland, orginally, but I’ve lived in Carlisle for ages

Current job: Online project co-ordinator. I run the website Cumbria Live (Cumberland newspaper), writing stories, running the social media, interviewing musicians, artists and comedians heading to the region.

What made you choose the University of Cumbria?

I already live in Carlisle so it meant I would save on things like travel and accommodation. I couldn’t afford to go back to uni in a different city, so studying close to home gave me options of working and earning money around my timetable.

Why did you choose your particular course?

I’d got as far as I could in my previous job and wanted to study for a degree so it would help me in a change of career. My husband owns his own company which has strong connections to the events industry. The more I read about events, the more I realised it was a hugely versatile industry with so many different career options.

Although it’s possible to work in events without a degree, an event management qualification gives you more opportunities and the chance of faster career progression. UoC has a great reputation with a lot of links to local and national businesses, which are especially relevant to events. I knew that studying here would help me to make valuable industry contacts as well as learning from experienced people currently working in the events industry.

What did you like most about your course?

My personal tutor, course leader Laura Baxter, was amazing. She encouraged everyone on the course and it helped build our confidence throughout the three years. In the first semester of year one she handed round information on an internship opportunity and told me just to go for it. I did and couldn’t believe it when I got it. After that I applied for just about everything else I found out about which eventually led me to my current job.

What was your favourite experience at university?

I had an amazing three years studying at the University of Cumbria but my favourite experience was probably getting my final mark and knowing that it was all totally worth it. How corny is that?!

Do you have any particular memorable/funny stories to share?

I got married on a Friday and started uni the following Monday – coming to UoC was pretty much my honeymoon.

How did coming to university change your life?

I’d tried uni the first time around after finishing sixth form and it just wasn’t for me. Nearly ten years later I came to the University of Cumbria and it completely changed my life for the better. I studied the most interesting subject, with amazing people and I was taught by inspiring tutors and lecturers. After finishing my course I bagged myself my dream job – sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

Did you make use of university career resources? How did these help your career?

I definitely made use of the university resources. I don’t think I would be where I am now without the valuable work experience I gained through the Unite Placements. The first one was working as an events assistant at the Whitehaven Festival (so hard, but so worth it!), the next with Lake District Hotels working as a digital marketing assistant (I learned so much there), I worked as a market research person with designer Lydia Leith (she’s the one that designed the royal sick bags!) and then I worked as a social media advisor with a local legal company. Even just applying for those jobs was great experience.

University was the perfect time for me to take part in a few work placements. I found out what I enjoyed (and what I don’t) which was so useful when I was thinking about what I wanted to do after uni. When I finished my events management degree and I totted up all of my work placements it came to a total of about two years worth of experience. That’s a huge advantage when you’re looking to apply for jobs.

What were your career ambitions when you started studying and do you think that you have achieved them?

When I started I thought I might work with my husband when I finished uni, but I soon abandoned that idea. Ultimately I just wanted to be working in a job that I enjoyed. I’m definitely doing that.

Would you be where you are today, without your degree?

No way. Although my job isn’t really to do with events, without my degree I wouldn’t have had the confidence to even attempt it. Having a degree has opened so many doors for me.

How did you get your current job?

In my first year, one of the events I helped to organise was a fashion show with some of the costume students. I was looking for a bit of press coverage and met Tom Little, who was in his final year studying journalism. It turned out he also did a student section of the local newspaper, the News & Star.

Well, the event wasn’t much to write home about but I kept in touch with Tom (see – I told you it was all about networking) who eventually went to run the business website In the summer before I started my final year Tom told me about a blogging competition that was being held on the entertainment website Cumbria Live. He knew I had a fashion blog and asked if I fancied giving it a go.

I had to write about events and gigs happening in Cumbria with a chance win an ipad. I didn’t win (I think I came fourth – boo!) but I was asked if I wanted to do a bit of work on the website over the summer. Turns out that was way better than winning an ipad anyway. I worked on Cumbria Live all through my final year and I was lucky enough to be offered a full time position once I finished my degree.

What are you most proud of?

Cumbria Live is on the shortlist for an O2 media award this year – wahoo!

As part of my final degree I had to stage an event. I was working on Cumbria Live all the way through my final year so decided to tie it in with that. I was really interested in social media (which was the subject of my dissertation) and my editor and I came up with the idea of #cumbriaweekend.

We’d utilise social media to showcase the best the region had to offer with a huge ticket giveaway worth £5000 and encourage everyone to get out and about and share their favourite things about Cumbria and the Lake District on social media. It was amazing and worked really well.

You can read more about it here or see the tweets here.

How did you stay motivated to pursue your dream when studying hard and enjoying the University lifestyle?

The main thing that kept me motivated throughout the three years was thinking that I was so lucky to have the chance to study. I knew I wouldn’t have the chance to do it again, so no matter what, I had to study hard.

What advice would you give to today’s freshers and prospective students about making the most of their time at university?

Easy – say yes to everything.


Student Success Story – Amanda Jane Law



Way back in March, the careers team interviewed Amanda Jane Law, one of our graduates who participated in the Unite scheme. We asked her some questions about why she did a Unite placement, how it helped her, and what happened next! You can have a watch here:

A while ago I spotted that Amanda had been interviewed by Tom Little for In-Cumbria. Here’s a little bit of an extract from the article, but you can read it in full here.

Unite with Business, run by the University of Cumbria, gives students and graduates the chance to complete paid placements at Cumbrian businesses, with some gaining full-time employment as a result.The scheme, started in 2012, recently got funding to continue until September 2014, and organisers are so pleased with it they have already put a new scheme in place to replace it.
One talented graduate who gained full-time employment after completing a Unite with Business placement is Amanda Jane Law. She declined the chance to go to prestigious art schools in Edinburgh and London to study a degree in Contemporary Applied Arts at the University of Cumbria, and she hasn’t looked back.
She graduated in 2011 and in 2012 she jumped at the chance to work for the Hesta Scene? gift shop in Caldbeck, through the Unite scheme. 
The company was so impressed with her that they offered her a dream opportunity to become their product developer, allowing her to jump onto the employment ladder, and use the shop as a springboard to set up her own business. She now splits her time between working on her own art, and working for the shop that sells it.

So what is Unite?

Unite with Business is a consortium of six north west universities, including the University of Cumbria, which provide free business support to SMEs. They take on a graduate for 20 days at no cost to themselves on a full or part-time basis. Typically projects have included designing or re-designing a website, developing a communications or marketing strategy or even prototyping a new product. The graduate is paid for their work via the project leaving the business free to concentrate on the project brief.

One of the benefits that graduates bring to the business are the up-to-the-minute skills they can bring, which can be beneficial to local businesses in many ways; by increasing sales, improving efficiency, updating branding, or expanding knowledge of social media marketing. For the graduate it is an ideal opportunity to get some real world industry experience, to enhance your CV, and also to find out check if a particular business or business sector is right for you.

If you would like to find out more, you can contact the Unite team directly on 01228 888731 or email

We love a good success story, so if you have one, you can email and you could be featured on the blog too!

Placements and UNITE with Business


A placement is a great way of making your CV stand out from the others, and you stand out from the crowd – if your course doesn’t include a mandatory placement, why not take the initiative and find one yourself?

The Careers service can help you find the right placement during your time at University. We can help you identify suitable businesses and create a CV and cover letter to support your application. Through our careers fairs and events you could also meet businesses who may offer you placement or internship opportunities.

At the University of Cumbria we also have a number of schemes where we work with businesses to create placement opportunities for a range of students from across lots of different disciplines, including UNITE with Business and the Business Placements Service (BPS). These services prepare students and graduates for the world of work by providing you with the skills and experience to make a real difference to your employer’s business from the first day you start work with them.

What is the Business Placements Service?

The University of Cumbria Business School organises undergraduate and graduate placements of between 2 to 13 weeks (part-time or full-time) in local companies in Cumbria and surrounding regions for students and graduates from any UK College or University.

What would I be expected to do?

The work would be a project based placement which will focus on a particular issue that the company has to resolve. The type of work available depends very much on the type/needs of the company. Past projects have included working on the development of websites, re-designing marketing material, streamlining working processes and undertaking research.

What would I be paid?

There is no fixed weekly allowance, companies can decide what they want to offer but we urge companies to offer an allowance that will help to attract good quality candidates.

Why should I participate?

Placements are invaluable in giving you an advantage over other students/graduates.

The experience you gain during these placements can include business specific experience using the skills you have learned during your studies as well as transferable skills such as communication, team working, time management and organisational skills amongst many others.

It also gives you a chance to try working for a particular type of company or in a particular environment before committing yourself to it in the long-term.

How do I get to hear about any vacancies?

The most important thing to do is to register your details with us to receive our weekly newsletter. You can also look at our current vacancies or search for vacancies and prospective employers through Prospects.

If you are a student at the University of Cumbria you may also be targeted directly with details of any vacancies that are relevant to your degree course. We gain this information from the University of Cumbria student database.

If you are not a University of Cumbria student or graduate, you are welcome to register your details on our database.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are an undergraduate (any year), postgraduate or graduate of any discipline from any UK college or university. Just register your details and we will email vacancies to you.


View the current opportunities

In the meantime if you would like any help with finding a placement opportunity email and we can help!


Networking event introduces the next generation of creative professionals

Members of the ‘industry panel’ (L-R) James Vincent, Fraser Hannah, Leo White, Helen Statham, Sara Gadd, Craig Charters.

Members of the ‘industry panel’ (L-R) James Vincent, Fraser Hannah, Leo White, Helen Statham, Sara Gadd, Craig Charters.

Final-year students and alumni from creative and digital courses at the University of Cumbria grasped the opportunity to meet with local creative industries at an event held at the Carlisle Business Interaction Centre.

Over 100 people attended the event, which brought together current businesses in the creative sector with the employees of the future.

The event was hosted in partnership with Freerange Industries with the community of Creative Cumbria, which provides networking, business and knowledge-sharing opportunities across a wide range of creative and digital businesses in the county.

University careers and employability coordinator, Anna Robinson, said: “This event gave our final year students the opportunity to develop networking skills; to meet and make contacts with alumni who are in positions that they aspire to, and to gain useful advice and careers support.

“They also benefit from speaking to successful business people who can articulate what students need to do to make it in their industry.”

Joanne Lusher from the university’s Alumni Association explained: “We see events like this as an ideal way to encourage closer links between the university and the local creative and digital industries. It creates a conduit between current students and recent graduates with local employment opportunities.

“Our alumni are the university’s best asset and their successful career paths, skills and knowledge can really inspire and help our students develop in the careers they dream of.”

An equal number of tickets were allocated to students, alumni and local businesses. The highlight of the evening was the ‘industry panel’, when professionals (the majority of whom were alumni of the university) shared their experiences and expertise, followed by a question and answer session.

The compere was Neil Bowness, co-founder of the Plain Creative Agency of Kendal, with Fraser Hannah from Wombat Web Design, Craig Charters from AWOL Adventure Ltd, Helen Statham from Cumbria Live, James Vincent from Vincent and Bell Ltd, Leo White from Hydrant and Sara Gadd from Sara Gadd Millinery making up the panel.

Leo White is the founder of a successful web design company based in Carlisle and graduated from the university in 2002. He commented: “You can make contacts anywhere, our clients are international. As long as you do a good job, it is the results that they care about not where you are based.

“If you stick a pin in Carlisle, it is pretty much the middle of the country! I never wanted to live in London; you need to look at the work/life balance and the lifestyle you want to lead.”

Final-year events management student Helen Statham was chosen as a panel member because she is not an average student! During her time at university she has taken every opportunity available to further her future career, and had this advice: “Say yes to everything! With just a degree there is nothing to set you apart from anyone else.

“I have done work placements and gained experience; I have had opportunities and I am now doing a part-time job I love at Cumbria Live, all because I said yes – don’t wait until you graduate!” Hannah Stewart from Freerange Industries said: “Recruiting new talent is crucial for creative and digital businesses, and it’s extra complicated in Cumbria where mountains block your view of who’s out there.

“The creative and digital sector in Cumbria is fantastically vibrant, however it’s near invisible and events like these with the University of Cumbria allow us to demonstrate to students and graduates that there are opportunities to succeed in their career within Cumbria.”

Friday’s Featured Vacancies – 24/01/2014

Today we have two opportunities for placements through UNITE with Business. You can keep up to date with placement opportunities on the UNITE with Business web pages at the following address:


Product Designer – Planet Knox Ltd

Planetknox need to strengthen the design department in order to grow and develop innovative new products, so we are looking for a highly inventive and motivated Product Designer to join the design team.

About (The SME): 

Knox is an innovative sportswear company with a rich history in motorcycling and bikes, based in the Lake District. For the last 30 years Knox has specialised in developing innovative products from all types of impact protection, accessories and technical clothing.

Overall Purpose of the Role: 

To develop and design innovative products and marketing material for the Planetknox range.

Other Useful Information: 

This will be a creative and diverse role so an instinctive and ambitious designer would flourish within the role. We are keen to develop our team so this could develop into a permanent post for the right candidate.

Online Marketing Specialist – Conference Business Agency Ltd

Business Need:

To improve online presence through search engine optimisation, updating design of websites and social media. Currently ranking on search engine websites is low and there is not enough experience or staff time to adequately improve our online presence.

About (The SME):

CBA Ltd has been placing and managing meetings, conferences and events throughout the UK and Europe since 2002, providing clients with a completely free of charge venue-finding service. Last year we launched ‘Cumbria Conference Desk’ to bring more business to Cumbria.

Overall Purpose of the Role:

To re-design where applicable websites for CBA and Cumbria Conference Desk; to implement search engine optimisation and create a strategy for the future; to advise and develop on social media (create Facebook page, advise on current TWITTER activity and create Google + account). To work alongside current staff in order to ensure they can continue to implement online marketing strategy for the future.

Other Useful Information: 

Remote working possible with regular meetings.

To apply for any of these opportunties, please visit the UNITE with Business web pages at:

Friday’s Featured Vacancies – 20/12/2013

We have two featured vacancies for you this week – aren’t you lucky! Both of these posts are being recruited to through the Business Placement Service  – this is a great resource for finding short-term paid placements. There are lots of great opportunities available on the website.

Exhibition Designer – The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA)

The FBA requires an exhibition to be produced for the Clear Waters Oral History Project. You role will be to design the Clear Waters Oral History project exhibition which includes interpretation panels and a listening station.  You will also contribute to the design of the project website which will complement the exhibition.  Your role will include involvement in the production of the final exhibition by liaising with suppliers.

The Clear Waters Oral History project commenced in April 2013 and has collected audio files of interviews, photographs and other research items, which will all be part of the final exhibition and website. The oral history recordings, photography and research have been collected for the exhibition and website. The Exhibition Designer will join the existing team working on the final stage of the project and will be involved with the design brief and concept.

There is a possibility that some of the work can be completed remotely. We plan for work and start in Feb 2014.  For an informal chat or if you have any queries regarding this post please contact or Tel: 01539 487717.

Customer Services Co-ordinator – Penrith Building Society

This role will require you to assess and develop the ‘customer journey’ and the way the business currently responds to customer needs in order for the Society to enhance services and to reach new markets. You will develop and introduce ideas for a more personal and bespoke service for each customer with a more contemporary approach, whilst maintaining relationships built on trust and traditional values. You will be a fresh pair of eyes to evaluate how the business currently operates and you will make recommendations to improve the customer experience.

You will also undertake market research in areas such as what customers are looking for and what they might need; brand awareness; and responses to the customer experience.

The post will initially be offered for 8 weeks, commencing mid January 2014. There is a possibility that a role could be offered on a permanent basis at the end of the placement, for the right candidate.

For more information on these roles and to apply, download an application form from and return no later than the closing date to email