Spotlight on Manpreet Dhesi

25 April 2013

Manpreet Dhesi

This week the spotlight is on Manpreet Dhesi, Marketing Officer, UCL Careers Service.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the marketing officer at UCL Careers Service and I am responsible for all student-facing communications and brand manage UCL Careers Service both internally and externally. My role is a diverse one and covers everything from being responsible for all digital communications, social media, printed collateral right through to promoting all the events we run at UCL Careers Service centrally (currently around 300 events for this academic year). I also work within the Skill4Work team – which is a joint initiative between UCL Careers Service and UCLU. I also set the strategic plan for our marketing activities across the academic year and I am one of the Green Champions for our office.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I have been at UCL for a year. Before life at UCL, I was responsible for all the marketing and PR at a web design and development agency called Vision with Technology (now Kaliop UK) and I would split my time organising & attending client events and conferences, looking after all digital communications, securing press and creating collateral. The company specialises in B2B publishing clients including CNBC and Financial Times.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I’ve only been at UCL for a year, but seeing a 15% increase in student attendance across our 6 careers fairs during the start of the autumn term was amazing. Students are bombarded during this period of time so it was nice to see an increase when compared to the year before. Also our social media presence has grown with more students now engaging with us on Facebook (up 87%) and Twitter (up 61%) alongside an increase in our blog visits (up 46%).

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of you to-do list?

I have three projects that are on the top of my to-do-list currently:

One huge project is the UCL Careers Service brand refresh. We are now a team of nearly 40 and all run various different specialisms such as GradClub, Researchers programme, Masters QuickFixes, International Students programme not to mention each department has their own careers consultant allocated to them. So ensuring we have a consistent message and look across all touch points is important.

We are working with ThirtyThree who do employer branding and marketing, some of their clients include PwC; RBS; EE and Aviva but they have also refreshed and rebranded the University of Leicester’s Careers Service, University of Bath’s School of Management student attraction campaigns and student communications for the University of Bristol.

We have been conducting research on student opinions, but now we are asking UCL staff to give us their feedback on UCL Careers Service. We have an online survey, which is open to all staff.

Once this survey closes (Friday 3rd May), we can start to create a toolkit of templates based on all the feedback, the look and most importantly the tone of voice. This is also a great chance for us at UCL Careers Service to look at the services we offer and tweak them if needed.

We will be launching the new UCL Careers Service in September ahead of the next academic year.

Project number two is promoting UCL Careers GradClub’s Class of 2013 week – it’s a whole week of events for the graduating class of 2013, including workshops, CV checking sessions, tips & guidance rounding the week of with a Jobs Market, where employers still have positions open on their graduate schemes or have immediate vacancies to fill. Last year we had a number of students who got jobs directly through attending the Jobs Market. This week kicks off w/c 27th May 2013.

And finally I am also promoting UCL Talent Bank, which we launched at the start of the year and is a targeted service designed to source relevant UCL students for vacancies/placements within Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and academic department internships.

We source opportunities and advertise them, putting together a shortlist of relevant and interested students, which we pass on to the recruiter. Students can use the Careers Service to check their applications before submission and we will offer shortlisted students support and coaching to maximise their chances of success.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I’m not only mid-way through finishing my Masters dissertation in Marketing Communications, but I co-own an independent coffee shop with my brother called Brew & Choo in Charlton, south-east London. We opened a few weeks ago and it is exciting to see the local community really embrace it. We are also located right next to the train station, so I can always grab a good coffee before coming into work.

I’m also a massive fitness junkie and I like finding new and interesting ways to keep fit. My current obsession is Barry’s Bootcamp London. They’ve just opened up on Upper Woburn Place and they when they say it’s the best workout in the world, they are not lying. After my first session I couldn’t walk properly for a few days, but I felt amazing.

What is your favourite place?

Wayalailai resort, Fiji. It holds great memories and the weather is always incredible!