Category Archives: Employability Points

Careers in the Public Sector: Panel Q&A

Wednesday 6th November, 2pm – 4pm in Grimond LT3

Interested in a career that’s rewarding and makes a difference? This is your chance to hear from leading public sector employers, including Kent alumni, who work / have worked within Government, public bodies and local government. They’ll share their career backgrounds, experiences of working within the public sector and career tips, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Book your place here: https://careers.kent.ac.uk/leap/event.html?id=4855&service=Careers+Service

Earn 15 Employability Points!

Panellists:

Amy Perkins, Assistant Parliamentary Counsel, Cabinet Office
Amy’s role as an APC is to assist in drafting and handling Government bills and provide legal and procedural advice to Government departments. This is a training role, which can lead to the role of Parliamentary Counsel (who take the lead on drafting and handling bills, and providing the necessary advice).


Martin Parr, Principal Consultant, The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Martin’s work focuses on identifying where major public projects are working well, and where they are not, in their journey from feasibility though to full maturity; and to help the key stakeholders of these projects to understand how complexity impacts on their project. To assess complex projects and transformation activities so that the key issues and decisions can be dealt with in an evidence-based way. To assess technology in our major projects and consider how changes in technology or environment might impact on a system in the future.

Perry Holmes, Chief Legal Officer, Medway Council
Perry is an experienced local government leader, with particular expertise in local government law and elections. He has practiced as a solicitor for 25 years, moving to local government in 2001 and has worked at County, District and Unitary Councils. He has over 10 years’ experience as a Monitoring Officer ensuring that Councils and Councillors work within the law. He joined Medway Council in 2012 and is very proud to lead a set of excellent teams; the Capital projects, Category Management, Democratic Services, Elections & Member Services, Legal & Licensing and Property teams. He has developed close strategic links with the University of Kent, and in 2016 was delighted to receive their “External Innovation Champion” award.

Daniel Pollitt, Project Manager, Network Rail
Daniel is currently responsible for developing the ‘On Network Sections’ (everything at surface level/not in a tunnel) of Crossrail 2. This involves managing a team of design consultants, and working very closely with TfL and the DfT to develop a business case, and prepare a hybrid Bill to submit to parliament. He is a Kent alumni, who graduated from Kent Law School.

Paul Smart, Former Senior Government Policy Maker, Scottish Government
Paul retired from the Scottish Government in December 2018 with twenty years’ service, his last post being Deputy Director of the Colleges, Young Workforce and Scottish Funding Council Sponsorship Division. Prior to this Paul spent time helping deliver over £300m of CAP investment in Scottish farming, three years as programme director for establishing Historic Environment Scotland, and several years working in the Justice Directorate of the Scottish Government.  During his time with Justice he was Head of Operations at the Scottish Tribunals Service during which time he led the merger of five tribunal administrations into a single administrative unit.  Still with Justice, Paul started as Head of the Victims and Witnesses Unit before becoming Deputy Director for Victims, Witnesses, Parole and Life Sentencing. Previously he headed-up the Scottish Executive’s Race Equality Team, following a secondment as Chief Press Officer for Environment and Rural Development and, before that, was Head of Rail Policy.  Before joining the then Scottish Office in 1998 Paul held a number of posts with Scottish Homes, the then national housing agency, after spending several years as an academic, finishing up as a lecturer in the Politics Department at Edinburgh University during which time he gained his PhD. He graduated from UKC (Eliot) in 1979 with a BA Hons in Politics and Government.

POLIR Alumni Careers Panel on 16th October 2019

For EMPFEST 2019 hear from a panel of School alumni who will share the secrets of their career success in Politics and International Relations.

Date: Wednesday 16th October 2019
Time:  2pm – 4pm
Location: KLT3
Please signup at https://careers.kent.ac.uk/

You will gain first-hand information and practical advice on various careers paths. Our alumni are able to share invaluable career tips through open, honest dialogue with the students who attend.

At this event, we aim to highlight unique career possibilities that exist for School of Politics degree holders, helping you envision possibilities for yourself you may never have considered. The event wraps up with a networking session where attendees can mix and mingle with all of the panellists.

Alumni Speaker Biography’s

Kami Asamani
Business Manager Arts Sub-Saharan Africa, British Council
Kami was appointed as Head Business Management Arts SSA at the British Council in February 2018. Prior to this, Kami worked as Programmes Manager Ethiopia and from 2009-2015 as a Project Delivery Manager in the British Council’s Education and Society business unit. Kami has long been associated with and interested in the creative sector and is excited by seeing young people gain access to new skills. Kami has a BA in Politics and International Relations and an LLM in International Law and International Relations, both from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Kami is passionate about learning about other cultures, especially African countries and Japan. She loves cooking and eating healthy food whilst sharing creative food ideas @kamiasamani.

Joseph Dutton
Policy Adviser at E3G
Joseph Dutton is a Policy Adviser at energy and climate change think-thank E3G, working on UK and EU energy, infrastructure, and climate change policy. He previously worked as an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Energy Policy Group on the politics of UK and European energy policy and renewable energy development. He has held a number of roles in the energy, including in academic research, market analysis, and consultancy. He completed his undergraduate in Conflict, Peace and Security (2008) and MA in International Relations and European Studies (2010).

Kevin McNamara
Freelance Digital Communications and Campaigns Expert
Since graduating from the University of Kent, Kevin has been a parliamentary candidate on several occasions and worked on a number of campaigns, including being one of the organisers who got Catherine Bearder re-elected in 2014, as well as playing leading roles in successful Liberal Democrat campaigns in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Kevin has since turned his attention to working on other projects with social good at their heart, supporting projects like Nature 2030 and Empower as well as volunteering as a governor for his local NHS Trust which has a budget of over £300m.

Tom Spare
Executive Officer for Transitions and Engagement with Student Support Services, Cardiff University
I graduated from University of Kent in 2013, studying a BA in Politics. My career, thus far, has been in Universities, working at two Students’ Unions in student representation, education and policy, and now at Cardiff University as Executive Officer (Transitions and Engagement). I help oversee International Arrivals for around 750 international students and run events to help integrate international students in the wider university community. I also engage with vulnerable groups such as estranged students, student carers and care leavers, asylum seekers and Armed Forces Veterans. I work within the Student Support and Wellbeing Division that assists in every element of student life, from careers to counselling, from money advice to study abroad. Ask me questions If you are interested in a non-academic career in HE or want to understand what it’s like working for a University/Students’ Union.

Misha Upadhyaya
Stakeholder and Engagement Officer at Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime
After completing her undergraduate degree and Masters at Kent, Misha left to join Thames Valley Police as a Civilian Counter Terrorism Officer. For over two years Misha led on Police work for the Government’s Prevent programme which aims to safeguarding vulnerable people away from radicalisation and extremism in the Thames Valley area. She worked extensively with the community to safeguard individuals from a myriad of risks. After this, Misha joined NHS England as the London and South of England’s Regional Prevent Coordinator where she oversaw the implementation and safeguarding legislation in the form of the Prevent statutory duty in over 150 health care organisations. Misha now works for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime where she leads on engagement and policy for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, Countering Violent Extremism programme. In her free time Misha volunteers as a co-opted School Governor for safeguarding for at her local primary school.

 

 

 

Upcoming Careers Events for POLIR Students

As part of EMPFEST 2019 there are a number of careers & employabilty events for POLIR students.

Civil Service Fast Stream: Meet the Fast Streamers
Wednesday 9th October, 3pm
Three current Fast Streamers on the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate programme will be coming to the University of Kent to give a talk about their experiences both applying for and being on the Fast Stream.

How to Get a Job in International Development
Thursday 10 October, 10am, room tbc
Webinar on how to get a job in international development. I’ll discuss the following: 1) What skills / background are required 2) How to know where you have a chance and where you don’t 3) How to get informational interviews / network 4) Where to focus your attention in your job search 5) The basic application. Plus Q&A

Careers in Law for non-Law Students
Thursday 10 October, 17.00 in CW SE LT2
For any students considering a law conversion, our team will talk them through the practicalities of the courses but also highlight the career options ahead and how to achieve this.

Fast Stream Skills Session
Tuesday 15 October, 11.15 and 1.45 time slots
This will be a taster of a half-day assessment centre that selects graduates with the calibre and potential to join the Fast Stream. Research shows that assessment centres make more accurate predictions about how you will perform at work than other recruitment methods. Fast Stream standards are high and to have reached the assessment centre is a significant achievement. You now have the chance to show that you have the skills and personal qualities to be a successful Fast Streamer.

POLIR Alumni Careers Panels for EMPFEST
Listen to POLIR Alumni talk about their careers since graduation followed by a Q&A and networking
Wednesday 16th October 2019, 2pm – 4pm, Location: TBC

Crown Prosecution Service Careers
Wednesday 16th October, 1pm in KLT6
Find out what it is like to work for Crown Prosecution Service, career paths and the range of opportunities available for graduates.

Unlocked Graduates – Leading Change on the Inside
Wednesday 16th October, 2pm

Please visit the careers service website to sign up. 

Getting Rewarded as a PolIR Student!

Employability Points

 

As a student of Politics and International Relations, there are a whole host of career options available to you. The EP Scheme has a variety of rewards that might be of interest, from work experience with a range of charities, to internships and work shadowing with councils, the Civil Service Fast Stream and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

So, what is EP? The scheme rewards you for undertaking co-curricular activities. You can earn points, which you can spend on rewards such as internships, work experience, work shadowing, training and more! You have until 5pm on Monday 18th March to get as many points as possible, and you will then have the opportunity to apply for the rewards that you qualify for!

Sounds good? Click the links to find out more about the rewards that we think might suit you:

Sevenoaks Town Council are offering a 2-3 month internship where you will be able to review strategic projects/developments, which will cover public perception, research, policy and more.

Medway Council are offering a large range of work-based rewards including an internship in the Housing Strategy team.

Kent County Council are offering an internship in the Sustainable Business and Communities Team, helping public services, businesses and communities in Kent to benefit from a competitive, innovative, resilient, and healthy economy, society, and environment.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are offering the opportunity for a student to shadow their Chief Executive, as well as the Director of Change and Communities. This will provide the students with a unique and comprehensive insight into local government management. The council are also offering a skills workshop focusing on working in local government.

DSTL are providing six remote work experience placements where students will work on a research project that will focus on the UK Government and/or Ministry of Defence.

The Civil Service Fast Stream are offering a range of exciting rewards including the chance to shadow Senior Civil Servants and current Fast Streamers, as well as an exclusive Whitehall Experience day, which involves a behind the scenes tour of various sites, workshops and networking opportunities.

Samaritans  are offering work experience placements focusing on planning, promoting and holding an event to raise awareness about the charity.

Demelza are providing a work experience placement focused on event management and a work shadowing placement, providing an insight into fundraising management.

If you have an interest in working in the charity sector, you may also want to take a look at EP opportunities with East Kent MencapKent Enterprise TrustNucleus Arts, and People United. For a full list of the rewards available through EP this year, take a look here.

If you want any more information, or to book a 1-1- with the team, contact us at: employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk

Innovation Hub

You may have a business, you may have a business idea, you may want to learn how to generate ideas – Hub is a dedicated base for start-up support and incubation at the University of Kent.

To talk to our professional business advisor, please sign up here.

In November we are inviting our external business mentors to come in for a day to run business surgeries.

Want to propel your business in the digital space?
Talk to our Digital Marketing mentor!

November 1st, Thur. Please, book.

Not sure how to evaluate your start-up expenses?
Come to a session with an accountant!
November 13th, Tue. Please, book.

Love the idea of making a change?
Feel like giving back to the community?
Like the idea of running a business?
Social Enterprise Conference
November 1st 2018, Thursday, 12 noon – 4pm, Free admission
A great opportunity to meet like-minded people, network and learn:
– the difference between charity and CIC
– available funding
– local and national success stories
– pitfalls of running a social enterprise
Please, register here.

This year on top of our usual business support activities we are rolling out the #DigitalReboot programme with digital start-up support.

#DigitalReboot APP CHALLENGE

Got an idea for an app?
We can help you digitalise your future!
The Challenge this year is focusing on 17 UN Sustainability Goals.
Teams of 2-4 students are welcome to apply online
Deadline for applications – November 7th.

To increase your chances of successful application we would advise you to book a free confidential 1-2-1 session with a digital business advisor.

Within #DigitalReboot we have just launched Student meet-ups at Mungo’s where students with ideas meet students will skills to create something amazing! Come along to meet entrepreneurial students, find a business partner and socialise.

So many opportunities and so little time!

An option of studying online and acquiring skills on starting your own business is also on MOODLE with Enterprise Skills Award (ESA).

The great news is that by attending all mentioned events (including online module) and taking part in all competitions you will also receive Employability Points!

Be your own boss, learn about starting a business and meet like-minded people!

For further information, please, contact the Hub

T: 01227 824641
E: unikenthub@kent.ac.uk
www.kent.ac.uk/innovation-hub

Enhance your employability 

In the graduate job market, it is now becoming increasingly essential to find ways to stand out from the crowd! Academic success remains imperative, but employers are increasingly looking for more and in particular, soft skills and relevant work experience.

To ensure you gain both these skills and experiences, the University of Kent created the Employability Points (EP) Scheme.

 

The first part of the scheme requires you to undertake co-curricular activities and some relevant examples may include:

  • Join the Current Affairs and/or Model United Nations Societies.
  • Get involved with Community Action Groups such as Girl Up and Amnetsy International.
  • Become a Student Ambassador and/or Academic Peer Mentor.
  • Get involved with Kent Union volunteering projects.
  • Attend conferences and open lectures, notably the POLIR Open Forum.
  • Attend the POLIR employability events running throughout the year.

By getting involved with these activities, you can log them on MyFolio and in turn receive ‘points’.

You earn as many points as possible whilst at you are studying at Kent and towards the end of Term Two, if you have earned enough points, you can use them to apply for EP ‘rewards’.

Rewards include internships (cost 200 points), work experience (cost 150 points), work shadowing (cost 100 points) and experience days (cost 75 points) to name a few.

Over 140 companies and organisations support the EP Scheme and for this year, we can already confirm the following rewards:

However, you may also be aware that as a Politics and International Relations student you are developing some amazing transferable skills and in the past, students have also undertaken EP rewards in project management, digital marketing, journalism and more!

You can also see how a number of POLIR students have benefited through the EP Scheme, for example:

It may be the case you are already undertaking co-curricular activities and if so, you just need to claim your points to get rewarded! If not, there is literally hundreds of activities available for you to get involved with, and by doing-so, you will not only enhance your University of Kent experience, but you will be recognised and rewarded by the EP Scheme.

For more information, visit www.kent.ac.uk/employabilitypoints or contact the team via employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk

EMPFEST 2018 Alumni Careers Panel Event

 As part of EMPFEST 2018, the School of Politics and International Relations is bringing Alumni back to campus.

Hear from a panel of 5 alumni speakers who will share the secrets of their career success in Politics and International Relations…

Date: Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Time:  2pm – 4pm
Location: COLT3 – Cornwallis South East (Octagon)
SIGNUP

FEATURING:

Annette Fisher
Freelance Social Accountability Practitioner &
Participatory Action Researcher

Jonathan Millins
Head of Office for the East of England European Partnership

Mitchell Adams
Content Manager, Dods Parliamentary Communications

Scott Macdonald
Deputy Head of the Iraq Team at the
Department for International Development

Sulmaan Hanif
Regional Manager, Middle East and Africa,
The Economist Intelligence Unit

Our alumni’s career experiences include the Civil Service; European Government; International Research and Global Public Affairs.

You will gain first-hand information and practical advice on various careers paths. Our alumni are able to share invaluable information through open, honest dialogue with the students who attend.

At this event, we aim to highlight unique career possibilities that exist for School of Politics degree holders, helping you envision possibilities for yourself you may never have considered. The event wraps up with a networking session where attendees can mix and mingle with all of the panellists.

Why volunteer?

As a current student or a recent graduate, I’m sure you have heard all too many times the key to getting a graduate job is ‘experience, experience, experience’. But with the pressures and demands of life, balancing a part time job, exam preparation, essay deadlines and of course a social life, it may seem as though you have no time to fit this in. However, if you can find the time, even if it were just a couple of hours a week, it would help to raise your graduate profile and develop your transferable skills. One way to do this is through volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience and skills, helping you to stand out to recruiters in a competitive job market.

So, why volunteer?

1) You can fit volunteering around your schedule, committing to just a few hours out of your day. This is your time you are investing in volunteering, so make sure it not only works for them but for you too.

2) There are many opportunities out there, all you have to do is look! If there is a specific career path you are interested in taking, volunteering is a perfect way to test it out. For example, if you would like to work as a journalist try contacting your local news offices for work experience. You can also browse voluntary vacancies through Kent Union and the Careers Vacancy Database .

You can also volunteer through a society, opportunities include first aid, homeless outreach, fundraising and volunteering with children.

3) It’s a great way to network and gain valuable contacts.

4) It will enhance your CV, contributing to your personal development, whilst giving you the chance to do something you care about.

5) You can get involved in the local community, supporting projects which benefit individuals, the community and environment.

6) You can explore different career paths and work with people from different backgrounds.

Remember …

Check if the opportunity covers out-of-pocket expenses, it shouldn’t cost you to volunteer.

If you have undertaken an unpaid work placement, you may be eligible for a B:KEW bursary.

If you do take on voluntary work, log your hours on the Kent Union’s Toolkit and you may achieve an award through the Kent Student Certificate in Volunteering.

Deadline for Prizes Approaching….

Are you a SPIR student in need of some advice on which of our amazing rewards to apply for? Then why not have a look at which rewards were popular with your school last year?

Remember to think outside the box! In 2017, SPIR students applied for a whole host of exciting rewards, across a wide variety of sectors.

The Charity Sector:

Two SPIR students undertook work experience with People United, a charity which uses creativity to promote a sense of community. Kate Lyden found this experience particularly relevant as she hopes to have a career in the charity sector. Alex Frampton, on the other hand, is interested in a career in politics, but found the placement valuable in gaining some transferable skills. Duties included running a social media ‘kindness’ campaign, and working on a database of guests for an event held at the Tate Modern.

See the full case study here.

The Civil Service:

Rhys Brown completed a 2-day work shadowing placement at the Ministry of Justice with Civil Service Fast Stream. This focused on current work revolving around prison reform.

Rhys had this to say about the experience:

‘My two days experience with the Civil Service was a great opportunity, and I’ve now gained real motivation and drive to pursue this career path through the Civil Service’s fast stream program.’

See Rhys’s full case study here.

Research Placements:

William Keeling was thrilled with his placement with Convert Energy, a Canterbury-based renewable-energy company. William was tasked with reporting on potential projects and clients for Convert Energy to pursue. He was given the freedom to tackle the project in his own way and learnt about a sector he was unfamiliar with.

See William’s case study here.

Other rewards taken-up by SPIR students included (but were not limited to!) internships with Medway Council, a business planning internship with Smart Maritime Limited, and opportunities with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and FDM.

The good news is: many of these rewards are available this year! We have loads of amazing placements with councils including Sevenoaks Town CouncilKent County CouncilMedway CouncilCanterbury City Council and Shepway District Council. We have placements focusing on event planning (Canterbury Cathedral Lodge), environmental championing (Kent Enterprise Trust) and many more! If you need any further helping choosing the right reward for you, email the EP Team at: employabilitypoints@kent.ac.uk

Have a look at our full list of rewards here.

Don’t forget:

The deadline to log all of your points is March 19th at 5pm!