The UK is home to a range of important global sectors – finance, business, hospitality, among others – and an even greater range of diverse people, backgrounds and experiences.
Based in London, the University of Westminster is situated in the heart of a major international city with access on our doorstep to a range of organisations from major global companies to innovative start-ups.
Westminster Working Cultures UK (WWC UK) offers L4, L5 and L6 undergraduate students a unique opportunity to learn about the professional landscape, career opportunities and working life in the UK from a range of Westminster graduates and partners in various areas. In addition to building sector-specific knowledge, participants will explore ways to develop their transferable skills (such as confidence, networking and time management) to enhance their employability when looking for their first professional opportunity after graduation. Participants will also be able to connect with students from across the University and take advantage of opportunities even after the programme finishes.
This programme features a range of speakers from different professional sectors, so applications are encouraged from undergraduate students across all courses.
Please note: this programme is not open to postgraduate students.
WWC UK will be hosting two open sessions during our upcoming virtual WWC UK programmes. Each session is easy to register for, completely free, and one-hour long. By registering, you can hear the insights and advice offered by Westminster alumni, helping you to further your professional development, build your confidence, and understand how to succeed in the working world.
Our open sessions include a panel of three recent Westminster graduates and Westminster alumna, Caron Bradshaw, CEO of Charity Finance Group, who was awarded an OBE this year for services to charity.
Further details on the open sessions are provided below.
WWC UK is offering a virtual programme, running in June 2021. Our three-day programme is open to all undergraduate students and the Class of 2020.
“I joined the University of Westminster right after completing high school. Personally, I felt a little anxious thinking about the real working world and coming out of that school bubble you are in. But, even the longest journey starts with a single step. I embarked on this journey with high hopes and it is fantastic to get to the end of this programme and be able to say that my hopes were certainly met.”
Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA (WWC UK, September 2020)
WWC UK: Recent Graduate Panel
Friday 16 April, 4-5pm (BST)
This panel will host three Westminster alumni, all of whom have graduated in the last two years and have taken part in a WWC programme. You will hear about the experience of transitioning from student to a new graduate in the working world, and the experience of working virtually during the pandemic. Our panel can offer you guidance on your personal development, interview skills, and practical advice on how to increase your employability while studying at Westminster.
- Rajan Borkhataria, AMS Graduate - Full Stack Engineer at Atos (Computer Science BSc, 2020) WWC Dubai - 2019
- Irina-Madalina Ghervase, European Content Manager at GTB (Public Relations and Advertising BA, 2019) WWC Hong Kong - April 2019
- Jon Woodburn, Senior Caseworker at House of Commons (BA History and Politics, 2019) WWC Mumbai - January 2019
WWC UK: Caron Bradshaw OBE, Chief Executive, Charity Finance Group (Law LLB, 1993)
Tuesday 20 April, 1-2pm (BST)
This session will be led by Caron Bradshaw OBE, who will discuss her professional journey, share insights on personal development and leadership, and give you advice on achieving your professional goals.
About the programme
Dates and duration
Sessions are scheduled between 9am-5pm with plenty of breaks. You must be available for the whole period of time for the programme you apply to. Optional networking activities may take place after 5pm.
Three-day WWC UK programme
Monday 7 June - Wednesday 9 June 2021
This programme will host a unique programme of alumni speakers, opportunities for reflection and group networking activities, alongside a group project that will enhance your teamwork and communication skills. On the programme you will be able to:
- Ask professionals all the questions you’ve ever wanted answered, about their professional journey, their top tips on how they built their confidence, or what they did while they were at University
- Make friends with other students from across lots of different courses and get the chance to socialise through virtual games and group chats
- Build your skills and experience by practicing your communication, confidence, and digital skills
Applications are encouraged from undergraduate students from across the University and Class of 2020 graduates (from an undergraduate course).
Applications close 11.59pm on Monday 3 May 2021.
"Overall, this week was of great use when deciding what direction to take with a future career path. I am very grateful to the people I have met and cannot overstate the usefulness this whole programme has been in building what I would consider to be solid foundations for my ambitions."
Politics and International Relations BA (WWC UK, September 2020)
Programme costs are generously funded by the Quintin Hogg Trust. This means there is no cost to participate in WWC UK.
A £500 bursary for 60 current students has been generously funded by Santander Universities for the five-day programme, taking place 14-18 June 2021.
The purpose of the programme is to enhance your employability and develop skills that will help you after graduation, ensuring you are ready to enter the world of work.
Throughout the week, you’ll meet with a diverse range of Westminster graduates and partners in the UK (and a few based outside the UK) to explore the professional landscape with opportunities to reflect on your experience. All sessions have an employability focus and speakers will share their professional journey, sector specific information and tips and advice that can help students from every background achieve their goals.
Each day will feature at least two 1-hour virtual sessions as well as informal networking opportunities. However, each day will be different, and the time and duration of sessions will vary. Session timings will be on British Summer Time (GMT +1).
In previous programmes, WWC UK has welcomed inspirational Westminster graduates across a broad variety of sectors, companies, and professional experience. Our WWC UK participants can engage with unique and inspirational insights from all speakers, ranging from Westminster’s most recent graduate cohort relaying their experience of their first graduate role, to CEOs and Managing Directors imparting advice and guidance from their long and varied career journey.
Previous WWC UK speakers have spoken to our participants about their work with large companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Ipsos, while other speakers have spoken about their entrepreneurial journey to start their own business.
No matter which programme you apply to, a WWC UK programme is a unique opportunity to both explore and understand the breadth of opportunities available to you and to receive advice from Westminster alumni that is tailored to your needs, interests and employability journey.
If your application is successful, briefing events, an itinerary, and a list of the speakers and their organisations will be provided closer to the time to prepare you for your specific programme.
“Being able to hear from a wide range of lovely speakers from a diverse range of backgrounds has been amazing. Getting insight into their life journeys and how they have reached their success has been truly inspiring. It has encouraged me to do my utmost best and strive for success.”
Criminology BA (WWC UK, September 2020)
This programme is designed by the Westminster Working Cultures team based in the University’s Alumni Relations Office. You will be joined throughout the programme by the WWC team and various members of University staff. The programme will be subject to normal University risk assessments and regulations.
You are required to attend all the programme activities as representatives of the University.
Participants complete the programme by attending all sessions, completing their WWC workbook on Engage and sharing feedback about their experience.
Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will receive:
- Up to 20 points toward the Westminster Employability Award. (WWC is an optional activity and will be awarded to current students who have not yet graduated)
- A digital badge that can be shared on social media
- Access to a closed WWC LinkedIn group to maintain relationships and grow networks
- An exclusive opportunity to join the WWC team in a voluntary position as WWC Ambassador, a tailored employability role to enhance your professional development and experience
Participants on the five-day programme will receive a £500 bursary, funded by Santander Universities.
You must be enrolled as a L4, L5, or L6 undergraduate student or Class of 2020 graduate (from an undergraduate course) from the University of Westminster at the time of the programme.
You must agree to the ‘Expectations of programme participants’:
- Be on time and participate in all activities and meetings
- Submit photos, videos or write a blog post about your experience
- Reflect on your experience through the Westminster Working Cultures workbook on Engage
- Be aware that things may change during the programme, have an open mind and be flexible!
Students are required to maintain the highest standards of behaviour whilst participating in a Westminster Working Cultures programme. Students remain bound by the University of Westminster’s 'Student Code of Conduct'.
Write a strong application for your chosen programme by using the top tips below. The WWC team has put together some important guidance to help you write the best application possible. Our amazing WWC participants have also contributed their own advice and tips to support you in this process!
- Take your time. Rushed applications that are not tailored to the programme will be immediately obvious to the shortlisting panel and can give the impression that you haven’t spent time on your application. Ask someone to proofread for grammar and spelling.
- Do your research. Have you done your research on the programme? You can use your research within your answers to improve the strength of your application by answering the following questions. How would this programme impact on your studies and future career? What do you aim to achieve from being on the programme?
- Keep it relevant. You have 300 words to answer each question, so keep your answer specific and relevant to what we are asking. Although we need detail in your answers, make sure that what you are writing stays on point with the focus of the question.
- Expand on your points. If you state something which you feel is relevant and suitable for your application, expand on it and tell us more. If you feel being on this programme will help with your career or studies – tell us how and why! If there is an activity that is of keen interest to you – give us your reasons as to why it is. Developing employability attributes is one of the impacts this programme will have on students, but we want to know which ones you want to develop and how this programme will impact those.
- Write more than one or two sentences. If you write only one or two sentences, your application will probably not be successful. Make sure you provide context and showcase your interests, motivations and personality when writing your application.
Your application will be judged on the quality of your response to each question in the form, so make sure you carefully consider your responses and clearly communicate your interest in, and your motivations for, taking part in the WWC UK programme.
Our WWC participants have shared their advice for your application to WWC.
“Before filling out the application, start with writing down your characteristics and skills so that you know what you have to offer. Think about what motivates or inspires you to be a part of the programme. Note down your achievements and pull together all your best work experience examples. And, the last step will be to know what are your future goals and how will you make the most of the event to further contribute to your goals.”
Designing Cities: Planning and Architecture BA
“Be honest. It is okay to say that you struggle with anxiety when speaking to new people. WWC is not about making judgements but helping you to develop personally in ways that will support your future employability. Ask yourself, “What do I find difficult, and how might this impact future possibilities?” Then during the WWC programme, you can work on the things you have identified.”
Psychology and Counselling BSc
“Think carefully and highlight in your application how you believe this programme will support your professional development and employability. For instance, developing confidence, networking with professionals, gaining insights into careers.”
“Have an open mind and be inspired by this process. Be like a painter with a brush and start painting. You will never create a masterpiece until your brush touches the blank canvas: the application. Tackle this as you would tackle a job application or your exam. Take it seriously and take your time. Research the graduate attributes that the world of work is looking for and link your application to how the WWC programme would enable you to start developing those particular attributes.”
Biomedical Sciences BSc
"It's important to keep in mind why you are applying to the WWC. Is it because you want to meet new people or learn insights about an industry? This is what you should focus on explaining: how the programme will benefit your future."
Fashion Marketing and Promotion BA
“Make sure that you have answered the questions fully and in depth, in order to demonstrate to the WWC panel why the programme will be beneficial or suitable for you. Personalise your answer about your experience of higher education so far, or after graduation plans and talk about how the WWC programme may help you in your progression. Good luck!”
Biomedical Sciences BSc
You can apply to both programmes, using the same application content, but you must submit two applications through the separate portals.
Applications for the three-day programme close at 11.59pm on Monday 3 May 2021.
In order to be selected you will need to:
- Complete the online application form
- Agree to the participant expectations
Be available Monday 7 June – Wednesday 9 June 2021 and be a current L4, L5, or L6 undergraduate student or Class of 2020 graduate (from an undergraduate course)
A selection panel will shortlist the participants against criteria which includes the quality of your response to the motivation questions for taking part in the programme.
Applicants will be notified either way of the outcome as soon as possible after the application period closes.
Applications for the three-day programme are encouraged applications from all students and Class of 2020 graduates on all courses and years within the undergraduate programme.
Why you should apply
All students selected to participate in the programme will be required to attend a briefing session to learn more about the programme and meet fellow WWC UK participants. More information about this briefing session will be sent to participants in due course.
All sessions will take place on British Summer Time (GMT +1). Even if you will be based outside the UK due to Covid 19, you can still participate! If you have any questions about this, please contact the Westminster Working Cultures team.
You can email [email protected] with any queries.
Commitment to embracing diversity and promoting equality
If you have a disability that may affect your application to Westminster Working Cultures UK, you can choose to inform us of this by emailing [email protected].
By disclosing this information, we may be able to adapt the process for you and take this into account when considering your application. Any information you disclose will be confidential.
Watch this video to find out how taking part in a WWC programme will help to develop your networking skills.
Westminster Working Cultures is part of the University of Westminster’s business engagement activities and aligns with the University’s vision to redevelop 29 Marylebone Road into an inclusive centre for enterprise and innovation. Working with our local partners, 29 Marylebone Road will be a place for students and alumni to work with business to develop and apply their skills, whilst also supporting a wider community of entrepreneurs and businesses.