Ninety one Westminster students and Class of 2020 graduates joined Westminster Working Cultures (WWC) UK in April, where speakers shared their guidance on the professional landscape and career opportunities of the UK, how they achieve their success, building confidence and more.
WWC UK hosts virtual 5-day and 3-day programmes which support the employability skills development of Westminster undergraduate students and the Class of 2020 graduates. These programmes are a unique opportunity to enhance the skills, network, and confidence of participants by connecting them with a diverse range of Westminster graduates and partners who share their professional journey and advice.
Over the course of the two programmes held in April, 41 speakers shared valuable insights on an array of topics, seeking to inspire participants and address the employment-related anxieties felt by students and graduates during the pandemic. Speakers shared their advice on developing confidence and leadership skills, the importance of resilience and self-belief, the opportunities to be found in the pandemic for networking, and how to authentically connect with someone.
WWC UK included speakers from Santander, Microsoft, Diligent, Morgan Stanley, BBC, BT, the Howard de Walden Estate, Sony Music Publishing and more. Participants also heard from speakers who have started their own business, learning about their entrepreneurial journey.
During the programmes, Westminster alumni spoke about their experience working within the UK, calling from London, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, and York, showcasing the professional landscape of the UK and expanding the horizons of Westminster students seeking jobs. Sessions also included speakers working in Beijing, Washington DC, Toronto, Poland, and Dubai. The variety of sessions offered enlightening perspectives on the range of opportunities and working cultures available in the UK and abroad.
In each session, attendees showed their passion and commitment to the pursuit of their employability, shaping each programme with constant interaction, enthusiasm, and respect for our speakers’ time and insights. Highlights from the programmes included speakers sharing their journey to overcome struggles with perfectionism and imposter syndrome, their guidance on navigating your career path, their perspective on the benefit of trying every opportunity, and even the best way to tie your shoelaces.
Talking about the programme, Nicole Peto, a Biomedical Sciences BSc Honours student, said: “The programme has taught me that work life is so much more than just simply work. It's vital to take on a proactive approach in an industry that you truly resonate with, and that I engage with my fellow colleagues throughout my career to gain the most that I possibly can from the experiences that I am given in my life. I feel more confident in securing a job and have a deeper understanding of some of the industries that exist”.
International Business BA Honours student Yasmin Allaf said about the programme: “Caron Bradshaw OBE’s talk about vulnerability and making more authentic human connections while maintaining professionalism resonated with me. As a spontaneous person, I often put on a tough persona at work and struggle to find the balance between being myself and being professional; Caron helped clarify this by explaining that it is about finding the right work culture.”
This programme was made possible by the generous funding support from the Quintin Hogg Trust and was organised by the Westminster Working Cultures team within the Alumni Relations office.
WWC UK is part of a wider programme of activity, including WWC International and WWC Professional, and is designed to support the employability skills development and global outlook of Westminster students. The WWC UK programme has hosted three programmes this academic year, which featured a range of successful alumni and partner organisations with over 150 Westminster students and Class of 2020 graduates participating. Upcoming WWC activities will take place in June 2021.