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 offers 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 soft skills (such as confidence, networking and time management) to enhance their employability when looking for their first (or second, or third) professional opportunity.
Because the programme features a range of speakers from different professional areas, applications are encouraged from undergraduate students from all courses across the University.
Due to Covid-19, this programme will run virtually in September 2020 and will also be open to the Class of 2020 (graduates from undergraduate courses).
This programme is not open to postgraduate students.
About the programme
Dates and duration
Monday 7 September – Friday 11 September 2020, 5 days.
Please note: You must be available for the whole period of time
This programme has been generously funded by the Quintin Hogg Trust. This means there is no cost to participate.
During the programme
The purpose of the trip 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 Westminster graduates and partners in the UK (and a few based outside the UK) to explore the professional landscape with a chance to reflect on your experience. 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).
A full itinerary and list of people and organisations they work for will be provided closer to the time. Please be prepared to research the organisations so you can make the most of your time. All students will be expected to participate during each session, interacting with the speaker and the other participants.
Sessions will have an employability focus and include meeting with:
- Asif Kapadia (Film, Video and Photographic Arts BA, 1995), Director, Producer Writer
- Dan Figueiredo (Cognitive Science BSc, 2002), Senior Partner CTO, Microsoft
- Jamaine Obeng (Music Informatics BSc, 2007), Core Audio Software Engineer, Apple
- Javier Calvar (Applied Social Research Masters, 1995), Senior Director, Ipsos
- Liam Healy, SVP and Managing Director, Diligent
- Lorenzo Evans, Director of Finance and COO, Washington Performing Arts and University Professor in the United States
- A group of recent graduates to find out about their transition from university to the working world
Please note: this list is not exhaustive and is subject to change.
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.
Following the programme
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:
- 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
"I believe the programme has definitely enhanced my graduate employability due to the commercial awareness that I have gained as a result of participating in all of the programmes and events that we were a part of and networking with many of the guest speakers who were more than willing to give us whatever information we required. I have gained such a diverse set of skills that are not easily accessible in day to day life such as to become critically and environmentally aware as well as efficiently adapting to new cultures and experiences in such a short space of time."
Aisha Rasul, Law BA (Berlin trip, June 2019)
"We met alumni and professionals from such a broad range of backgrounds and expertise who had each found their groove. Learning from each of their individual journeys and experiences that lead them to where they are today, allowed us to gain invaluable information of the working world and life after graduation."
Faiza Sharif, Business Economics BA (Berlin trip, June 2019)
The experience has helped me prepare for graduate employability because it literally has helped me secure a graduate job with a globally leading real estate firm, one which I have always wanted to work at... During my assessment centre and interview, I must say I felt a great sense of confidence as I was equipped with an experience which helped me standout in front of all the other graduate candidates."
Sahib Uddin, Building Surveying BSc Honours (Mumbai trip, December 2017)
You must be enrolled as an 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'.
In order to be selected you will need to:
- Complete the online application form
- Agree to the participant expectations
- Be available from 7–11 September 2020
Applications will remain open until 11.59pm on Wednesday 22 July 2020.
Applicants will be notified either way of the outcome as soon as possible after the application period closes.
Please note: applications are encouraged from and priority may be given to students who meet one of the Widening Participation criteria listed below. However, we strongly encourage applications from all students and Class of 2020 graduates on all courses and years within the undergraduate programme:
- You are the first generation in your family to go to university
- You are a first-generation English speaker in your family
- Your family home is a housing association or council property
- You are a carer, care leaver or estranged student
- You are black, Asian or minority ethnic student
- You are registered with Disability Learning Support
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.
Tips for writing a good application
Stand out from the crowd!
- 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? On the Alumni involved? How would this 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 the question, 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 and how this programme will improve those
- Specifically: write more than one or two sentences. If you write only one or two sentences, your application will probably not be successful. For example: "I think London is an amazing city and connecting with alumni would be interesting. This programme will help me to develop my communication skills and make me stand out when applying for future roles." This example doesn’t tell the panel much about who you are and why you are interested in this programme. Make sure you provide context and personality when writing your application
All students selected to participate in the programme will be required to attend an orientation session to learn more about the programme and meet fellow WWC UK participants which will take place the first week of September.
All sessions will take place on British Summer Time (GMT +1). If you are based internationally due to Covid 19, please contact the Westminster Working Cultures team to discuss how you can still take part in the programme.
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, please email [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.