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Leigh Green – Student Success – My Story

Leigh Green

Leigh Green, BA (Hons) Business


I entered the UWS Business Enterprise competition in April 2015 and was the winning recipient of a Renfrewshire Incube space (a prize worth £11k!) with my friend for her business idea, Knit Knax. I am currently providing business advice and administrative support for the business, juggling this role with my Honours and duties as a mum and domestic goddess!

Overcoming challenges…

I lacked confidence that our idea was genuinely any good. The business idea had been discussed for a few years but we had no idea where to start. I entered the competition not expecting to achieve a place in the final let alone win a prize – if anything we just wanted some feedback on our idea. We were amazed at the positivity and encouragement received from our presentation.
I have changed considerably during my time at UWS and my close friends and family have all commented on this. My self-awareness, confidence in my own abilities and my new found openness to ideas have meant I am now far more likely to jump in and give things a go. I used to be quite shy, a bit of a wallflower and unwilling to instigate change. I now realise that if I want things to change in my life, I can’t sit back and wait for them to happen. I am now far more willing to push boundaries and work outside my comfort zone to overcome challenges. Through the support of my friends, family and UWS staff, I have embraced the fact that I am a naturally academic, intelligent, erudite woman who is capable of so much more that I previously thought.

Improving my employment prospects…

I look back at what I have achieved so far with an awareness of the difficulties and struggles that I had to overcome to get to where I am today. I have a new found respect for myself, a new and improved inner confidence as well as a greater self-belief in my skill set; these attributes can only improve my employability. Winning the Incube award and being part of a joint business venture will enhance my CV considerably. The experience will be invaluable to future employers.

My advice to students…
Just do it. Don’t hold back, embrace it and get involved. Take a risk because you don’t know where it will lead. Only dead fish go with the flow!!


Careers & Employability; Celebrates Employment Project of the Year for Mentoring

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The UWS Employer Mentoring Programme has been awarded Employment Project of the Year by the Scottish Mentoring Network. The programme matches final year students with a mentor in industry over the academic year. Since its pilot in 2012, a total of 104 students have participated with 78 mentors trained to date. Employers range from small to medium enterprises to larger organisations including Hewlett-Packard, Clydesdale Bank, Luddon Construction and BBC Scotland.

Lynsey McMahon, Coordinator and Karen Shearer, Programme Administrator attended SMN’s National Event & Recognition Awards held at St Pauls’ Church in Edinburgh last Wednesday to receive the award. The award recognises successes and achievements over the past year including outcomes for mentees, training and applying good practice.

UWS were asked to host a table at the event discussing the impact of mentoring with other projects. Gavin Paterson, Development Officer with Scotland Alliance was also awarded with Highly Commended Mentor for his exceptional contribution to the UWS Employer Mentoring Programme.

Recruitment for our 2015/16 intake is currently underway and if you would like to know more about our programme please contact

scottish mentoring network

A Day in the Life of a Graduate Consultant, Callum Brown, ARUP

Name: Callum Brown
Profession: Operations Consulting
Current Position: Graduate Consultant
Joined Arup: 2014
Group :Consulting South

Hitting the ground running working on interesting projects with actual responsibility and client interface is why I love my job.

What happened at your assessment session and what advice would you give to potential grads?

The assessment day was testing but everyone was helpful and genuinely very friendly. The day included an individual case study, a group exercise and a competency based interview; there are lots of chances to show your strongest qualities. I would advise someone to have a good understanding of the competencies Arup looks for, as well as a strong knowledge of the role you are applying for. To summarise, I would say tosimply be yourself, and ask lots of questions whenever you can.

What projects have you been involved with?

Since starting at Arup I have had the opportunity to work on many interesting projects. My first project saw me working alongside another consultant for several prominent London museums to produce a strategy that would allow them to efficiently transport their artefacts and collections.
More recently I have been involved with a major pharmaceutical company; detailing end to end supply chain options and providing logistics input to detailed designs for their new research facility.
From the outset of this project I have been given plenty of responsibility and have been trusted to present to clients and conduct stakeholder interviews. It has also involved travel across
the UK which is also something I have enjoyed.

What is the office like?

The office has a really open and welcoming feel, the atmosphere is very friendly and people are always happy to have a chat or help you out. Overall, the office is a genuinely enjoyable environment to work in.

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day in operations can vary depending on the project you are working on. Many projects involve working closely with clients or stakeholders and responding to emails or other queries
from them is important. If you are involved in bid writing then there is project research to do and progress meetings to attend. Depending on individual projects client meetings and site visits
can also be a part of everyday life. Arup also hold frequent lunchtime sessions which is a great way to learn what other parts of the company do and allows you to talk collaboratively with other teams.

What is the social side of Arup like?

There are plenty of ways to meet people at Arup. Groups such as Connect Cultures present lunch time and evening talks, both in the office and around London, which provide a great opportunity to increase your network.

Sport is also a great way to socialise with colleagues. There are many sports that meet to play across London in the evening, often with a trip to the pub afterwards. I’ve also been involved in charity work; I volunteer for the Arup charity RedR. We compete against other consultancy firms to raise money.

What is your favourite project to date?

Dubai World Expo has been my favourite. Arup’s role was to provide the logistics strategy for the development.

I was involved in this project from my very first day and was tasked with estimating the size of the facilities that would be required to service the site. I was given responsibility to get on and work on my own and to produce reports and calculations that would be fed to the architects.

Enterprise Rent A Car – Come Alive -Graduate Opportunities…and Beyond

Enterprise Image

In Brief
With the largest fleet on the planet, we’re the biggest rental car organisation in the world and
operate out of more than 8,200 neighbourhood and airport locations, and are expanding all the time.
Better still, we have over 400 offices in the UK, so we can offer you real freedom as to where
you’d like to start your career.

The Facts
In as little as two years, you could be ready to run a branch yourself. That’s because our training
and your entrepreneurial approach are an incredible combination. After a classroom-based induction you’ll be assigned to a branch office where the real business training begins. It includes business management, marketing, sales, customer service and fleet control. With brilliant mentors to help you, and tests and evaluations that lead to pay rises and other rewards, you’ll be well on your way. Your first promotion will be to Management Assistant, setting you on the right career path for a role as Branch Manager, Area Manager and beyond!

About You
Diversity is a huge goal in all areas of our business, and our commitment extends to every employee,
customer and business partner. We strive to celebrate the many differences that make us unique
as they help make our business a successful one. Whatever your background we’re certain you can
bring us all the qualities we’re looking for. You’re passionate, hard-working and have bags of
initiative – not least when it comes to grabbing the huge number of opportunities there are at Enterprise. You’ll be a good leader too, and sufficiently savvy to make the most of what comes your way.

Rewards & Apply
You’ll start on a competitive salary and be in line for bonus plans and promotion. There are many
other rewards on offer too, from employee referral bonuses to fun, company-sponsored events.
So apply online at

Working in the Recruitment Industry: A Graduate Guide


A job within the Recruitment industry doesn’t require a specific degree, hence why it isn’t the most obvious career path for a lot of graduates. However the UK’s Recruitment industry is worth over £26 billion and offers a range of various roles to those looking for entry-level jobs in the sector.

For instance, I myself work within Marketing for STEM Graduates, whilst we have a dedicated Outreach Co-Ordinator whose tasks are closer to those typically found within the PR industry.

Building upon this, our team of Recruitment Consultants is made up of graduates from a mix of Technology, Psychology and Humanities backgrounds. Nearly all of which were recruited themselves at graduate-level and can attest to the challenging, fast-paced and rewarding nature of their respective jobs.

And testament to the resilience and rewards of the industry, the UK Recruitment sector has over 100,000 people employed within it and actually grew during the most recent recession.

What type of skills and personality traits are required?

If we concentrate purely on the role of a Recruitment Consultant we can explore how the nature of the job itself requires a blend of entrepreneurial spark, determination, interpersonal skills, research ability and an analytical approach:

A typical day’s work will involve a dynamic range of duties that will be both client and candidate orientated, so to give an outline it’s probably best to start where everything begins for a Recruitment Consultant: New Business.

First of all you’ll have to be on the ball with your research and interpersonal skills to source companies that would look to take on your services. After find the correct point of contact within an organisation, you’ll then have to make initial telephone contact to introduce yourself before potentially meeting clients to discuss their needs.

Many Recruitment companies will have dedicated New Business Developers who take initial responsibility for this process, though in a full 360 Consultant role you will be expected to develop and maintain your New Business individually.

After you’ve established your New Business you’re then onto the candidate side of the job. Many companies will have someone dedicated to attracting your job adverts and social media output to attract relevant candidate and others will also have Candidate Resourcers tasked with specifically searching for the right type of candidates for your roles, though within many Recruitment companies you will be expected to take ownership of these tasks yourself.

You’ll then have to initially screen candidates before usually interviewing the strongest in your pool with a view to introducing them to your client. This is where your interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence and analytical approach will be most important as this process is time consuming and you’ll want the best chance of making a placement if you’re able to secure interviews for your candidates.

Moving on, Recruitment Consultants will then manage interview feedback on both the client and candidate sides of the coin before managing the offer process, assisting in any required salary negotiations whilst offering consultancy and advice throughout. Patience is an important asset to have at this point, as Consultants will have to remain composed whilst their hard work lies tantalisingly close to coming to fruition.

What are the biggest challenges of the role?

The ability to effectively manage a heavy workload is imperative to the role of a Recruitment Consultant. The Recruitment process is long and has a number of any given hurdles to clear and Consultants will have to manage a multitude of assignments whilst establishing New Business and keeping in regular contact with managed clients and candidates.

Remaining undeterred when you’re not able to make a placement is equally challenging, a lot of work goes into making a placement and there will be times when your work will come to nothing. The key is to learn from your disappoint and build upon it, analyse what you might have done differently and move onto the next assignment.

What are the rewards of the role?

The sky is the limit financially for a Recruitment Consultant who is dedicated to their job and enthusiastic about constantly improving within it. The commission on offer within Recruitment compares favourably in comparison to many entry-level routes on offer to graduates and if you’re able to consistently meet your set targets then the industry offers a high earning potential (with an average salary of £44k pa within Recruitment).

The job also offers graduates a chance to take ownership of a project and see it through from start to finish. This responsibility will enable graduates to thrive as they follow a steep learning trajectory which simply isn’t on offer within industries that required a specific degrees to secure an entry-level job in. Knowing that you’ve made the most of a blend of abilities to find the right person for an organisation is equally rewarding and graduates within the industry are given the chance to hit the ground running in this sense.

How to get into the recruitment industry?

Graduates looking to launch their career within the Recruitment industry have a number of options open to them.

It’s worth doing your research on companies that specialise in a particular area of work you find interesting or an area that relates to your degree and introduce yourself with a speculative cover letter. Additionally, most of the large Recruitment companies will advertise dedicated graduate schemes – so find out what you can about the culture of a given organisation and take time to decide if they’re right for you.

Ultimately however, if you’re looking at a career in Recruitment it’s a case of getting your name out there and introducing yourself – if you can demonstrate the skills required to succeed in the industry then you’ll find that Recruitment companies will be keen to give you a chance.


Mark Bradford, Marketing Executive, Graduates Logo


Julie joins Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) team as SIE Intern for UWS

SIE logoJulie McElroy has been appointed as an intern with Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) at the University of the West of Scotland, (UWS) for the academic session of 2015/2016. Julie will join Angela Castellano in the role, as SIE seeks to expand its services to more students across the university’s campuses

Julie is currently a final year PhD student based within the School of Computing and Engineering at UWS. Julie from Glasgow, was born both profoundly deaf and with Cerebral Palsy, which affects the messages sent between the brain and the muscles, which affects her movements and coordination. Angela is a second year undergraduate studying ‘Web and Mobile Development’ in the School of Computing and will be reprising her role having started with SIE in a voluntary Ambassador position last year before becoming an SIE intern in full.

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise exists to help Scotland’s Higher Education students to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and skill-set through encouragement and support structures designed to assist them in launching new for-profit and non-profit ventures. The SIE Intern Programme is one of the key ways this is achieved.

Julie and Angela’s remit with the Scottish Institute of Enterprise (SIE) will be to complement the current activities of the SIE team – working closely to support initiatives which stimulate entrepreneurship within the student population at their institution. The key requirement will be to support SIE activities and initiatives, but also to support locally based projects, for the benefit of UWS.

The main goal of the SIE Intern is to use peer-to-peer communication to raise awareness of and engagement with entrepreneurship and enterprise through SIE and other programmes, events and services.

Speaking of this appointment, Julie says ‘I am delighted to be joining the Scottish Institute for Enterprise to promote entrepreneurial and innovation for the University of the West of Scotland. I am looking forward to engaging with the students and staff communities at the University to ensure they are aware of resources available to consider entrepreneurship. Working closely with Scottish Institute for Enterprise will ensure we can set out together, across Higher Education achieving a collective-impact approach through unleashing the entrepreneurial spirits, wealth of knowledge, talent and creativity that will economically benefit our nation in the future.”

Kieran Smyth, Regional Intern Coordinator and Intern Trainer who recruited Julie as an Intern this year says “It is really great to have Julie on board as part of the SIE team. She has an impressive knowledge of the entrepreneurial landscape and has so much to bring, not just to the role of intern at UWS but to the intern programme as a whole. I am sure that between her and Angela, we are on the verge of an explosion of entrepreneurial activity at UWS.”

The Careers & Employability Team wish Julie every success in her new role and we look forward to working with both of our SIE interns in the coming year.

Make the most of your time at university

As we say welcome to our new students and welcome back to our returning students, it’s a good opportunity to remind you that university life isn’t just about studying and partying, but also about developing your skills for your future career.

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Employers are looking to recruit graduates with a broad range of  employability skills and global competencies that have been developed through academic study, work experience, and extra-curricular activities.

Understanding your skills and strengths and having the ability to identify opportunities to develop your potential will help you find the right fit in terms of your chosen career and your role in society.

Check out our Developing Your Skills & International Options sections on our website for more on this.


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