So far, the 2020/2021 academic year has brought the most extraordinary circumstances, leading to a shift from an in-person to fully digital event organisation and execution. Despite all the setbacks and challenges faced, the UCL Guild and our member societies had one of the busiest terms yet, collectively organising over 60 online events and securing 16 sponsors whose generosity enabled us to continue providing our students with the best career services and events.
To warm up for term 1, we organised a summer CV Clinic together with Business Society and Women in Finance Society, giving our members an exclusive opportunity to network and have their CVs reviewed by professionals from firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., BlackRock, Wiser, PwC, UBS and Citi. The event was hugely successful, attracting over 300 students from all degree backgrounds. To provide further advice to students throughout the application season, the Guild also held a range of insightful events with our sponsor firms. With the Macquarie Group, we organised a Diversity Networking Event, an Interview Skills Workshop, a Virtual Office Tour and even a Q&A with its EMEA CEO Paul Plewman. As the term progressed, we also hosted a female-only event with Credit Suisse, a diversity brunch with Bloomberg, and a range of webinars with Wiser. Finally, the Guild collaborated with Grad Careers Coach and Bright Network, bringing a range of informative sessions on securing a job and commercial awareness.
Yet another accomplishment of the Guild and our allied societies this year was hosting multiple successful flagship events. In October, Investment Society held its annual The UCL Finance Conference, one of the most prestigious finance conferences in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, connecting ambitious students with industry leaders. During the event, the attendees had a chance to network with individuals from J.P Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and CVC and undertake an M&A Fundamentals workshop with Financial Edge. Another flagship event, a two-day long UCL Business Game, organised by Entrepreneurs Society in collaboration with the School of Management, also thrived in a virtual format, providing the participants with an opportunity to work in teams on complex business challenges. Shortly after, Business Society hosted its 11th annual UCL Collegiate DECA Competition. For the first time in the competition’s history, participants competed individually, solving business problems from one of six available categories and subsequently presenting their solutions to a professional in the chosen field. The competition saw a huge turnout, with over 100 competitors across all categories.
As professional and personal development lie at the heart of the Guild and our allied societies, we have made sure to provide our members with a plethora of mentorship opportunities. In Term 1, we partnered with a 2nd year UCL student and the Campus Ambassador at Shearman & Sterling to launch our own UCL Guild Law Mentorship Programme. Similarly, Women in Finance Society hosted its Women in Finance Mentorship Programme, providing mentoring opportunities in investment banking, technology, consultancy and financial services. Besides mentorship from our current students, we have also invited our recent graduates from Guild-affiliated society committees to speak about their experience working at firms such as Google, Barclays, GEP Worldwide, KPMG and HSBC at our Committee Alumni Panel.
Out with the old, in with the new! To further support our members and bring a fresh perspective into the Guild, we launched a brand-new website and blog. On these pages, you can find more information about our society, application advice, skills for success, as well as inspiring career journeys as a part of our ‘Freshers Series’ initiative.
As term one came to an end, our society has celebrated yet another success: the UCL Guild was shortlisted for Bright Network’s Society of the Year Awards, nominated for the ‘Impact on Campus’ category. This nomination not only reaffirmed our hard work, but we are also very grateful for the overwhelming support that our members demonstrated throughout the nomination process.
Term one was very challenging for us and our members, but also one of the most rewarding yet. After hosting multiple successful events, developing a range of new initiatives, welcoming seven new committee members, and growing our member base considerably, we will continue working hard to deliver the best possible career opportunities in the digital format as we move into term two.