On the evening of November 8th, UCEAP England students (some coming in all the way from Manchester!) met with UC Alumni in London for an evening of burritos and networking. Our Networking w/UC Alumni event aimed to start a conversation about career paths, grad school and life beyond the University of California and UCEAP.
The evening began with burritos from Benito’s Hat, a taste of ‘California’ for our Mexican-food-deprived students. The evening then moved on to the panel discussion with our six alumni panelists. Our panelists came from diverse careers and backgrounds, and shared their experience and insight on topics such as interview tips/tricks, American vs. British work culture, applying to law school, and how they came to live and work in the U.K. The event closed out with some nibbles and mingling, sponsored by the UC Trust UK.
Beyond UC, Beyond UCEAP
Most students studying at our English universities are in their 3rd and 4th years of university. Discussing interview & CV do/don’ts, how to network, elevator speeches, and grad school applications were all relevant topics.
However, as our UCEAP students have bravely ventured to take their educational careers abroad, the aim of this event was also to show them how and why they should take that decision a step further and pursue professional opportunities abroad. I hope that listening to first-hand accounts from current UC alumni, working and living in the international city of London, as well as receiving advice on the VISA process, how to network, and how to adjust to and optimize their lives abroad made the prospect of a position abroad a concrete possibility.
Our Panelists & Their Advice
Edie Lush (UC Los Angeles) Journalism
- On how to network: Be brave. And put yourself out there. Edie recounted her work as an elevator operator, where she ended up in a conversation with an executive. At the end of their conversation she had an interview and, soon after, her first desk job.
Claire Frost (UC Santa Barbara) Human Resources & Hospitality Management
- “How do you get a job at a big company?”: “… well, I moved to Arizona. [audience erupts in laughter].” Claire (far right above) described how she wanted to move into the Hotel & Tourism industry, and work with the Four Seasons. Although she didn’t want to move her life from sunny California to ‘not-quite-as-exciting?’ Arizona, she made the move in order to acquire the entry position she wanted and to pursue the career she wanted. She is now the Human Resources Manager at the Four Seasons Hotel London in Ten Trinity Square.
Nadia Macias (UC Berkeley) Law Practice & Admissions
- On advice about applying to law school: Make absolutely sure it is what you want to do. Not only is it a financial commitment, but also a rigorous academic and personal commitment. Nadia encourages any and all students in the audience exploring a career in law to reach out to her. (If you are a current UCEAP English universities student and are interested in talking to Nadia, email email@example.com).
- A few words on establishing friendships abroad: the Brits will be cold, at first. But take them to the pub, and make use of this great British institution to your advantage! You’ll find that they warm up to you fairly easily after that. Several other nods and yes’s from our panelists confirmed this.
Patrick Mispagel (UC Davis) Investment Research & Risk Analysis
- On advice about American vs. British work culture: Patrick highlighted the differences in approach to paid holiday in the U.K. vs. the U.S. He explained that holiday time is a ‘sacred’ time for British workers; unlike their American counterparts, they are not expected to (and will, in fact, refuse to) standby on their mobiles or work emails. Brits ‘clock-out’ on holiday and focus their time around rest and family.
David Martinez (UC Santa Barbara) Film Industry
- On why he decided to take his career abroad to the U.K.: David studied abroad at UCSB where he found his passion for travel and film studies. After returning to the National Autonomous University of Mexico and finishing his degree in Communication Studies, David decided to use his second-language skills to follow his passions for film and travel, and pursue a career in the film industry in London. David owes it to his study abroad experience in California for expanding his worldview and ultimately leading him to his current position with the Raindance Film Festival here in the U.K.
Greg Smith (UC San Diego) Master’s Student in Linguistics
- On making friends: use the UC Alumni UK network! One of the great things about living in London is the strength and presence of UC alumni networks. The alumni networks here in the UK are a great way to stay connected to California and to the UCs, and also a great way to transition into personal and work life in London.
- On whether he will stay in the U.K.: California is home. Though he is incredibly grateful for all the education and opportunities that England, particularly Queen Mary, University of London, has given him, California is home and his end goal is to return to San Diego in SoCal.
I want to thank the students who attended for their active participation during our panel discussion and in the networking session that followed, to get to know our UC alumni on a first-name basis. Our alumni had nothing but praise and positive feedback regarding you all and the event.
I also wanted to thank our UC Alumni, for taking time out of their busy London work lives to impart their wisdom and share their experiences with our students. Many came to me after the event expressing how the insight they gained from the evening helped them in clarifying their goals, and deciding what the next step in their education and careers will be.
A special thank you as well to the UC Trust UK for sponsoring our event, and for all the work they do for Alumni and UCEAP students.
If you missed the event, and will be around for the Spring term, we have another networking event on March 7th! So save the date and lookout for an email invitation from the London Study Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org.