UCL Careers


Careers Extra 101: a student's guide to making the most of the service

Evie Robinson, a final year English student, shares her experience of Careers Extra and how you can make use of enhanced career support for UCL undergraduates from under-represented groups.


19 January 2022

With a range of services available, the service seeks to support students who have experienced marginalisation to feel confident in their career prospects. 

Seeking career advice

I decided to approach Careers Extra, as a state-school student and the first in my family to go to university.

At first, the thought of seeking career advice at university was pretty daunting, and it felt like a bit of a minefield. But I quickly felt supported by the brilliant team, who provided me with tailored advice, and across all the occasions on which I’d sought career advice whilst in education, this was the first where I felt I was truly listened to. 

Dedicated resources

One of the best things about the Careers Extra service is the dedicated Moodle page, full of resources and helpful information.

In particular, the page contains examples of stories from previous students who have used the service and their advice on how to make the most of it.

By joining Careers Extra you are also signing up to a mailing list to receive regular emails detailing resources and opportunities tailored to students eligible for the service. 

Work-based learning 

I was lucky to become a recipient of the Careers Extra Work-based Experience bursary, which is a scheme through which funding is available for students to undertake a form of work-based learning experiences, such as an internship or some voluntary experience.

The Careers Extra team are able to provide helpful advice on how to go about securing this kind of experience. The UCL Volunteering Service is also a great place to start if you’re looking to get some experience. 

The bursary application process involves a form detailing your experience, what you hope to gain from it, and specifically how you would use the bursary to help you make the most of the role. You are then supported by the Careers Extra team through two separate 1:1 appointments; the first before your placement happens, and the second after you have completed the experience. 

Read more about other students' experiences of receiving a bursary.

Gaining work experience

As an Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust, I had already developed a keen interest in human rights and charity work and wanted to develop this further by expanding my reach of work across organisations.

The bursary supported me in undertaking some voluntary work with Yet Again UK, a youth-led organisation committed to education on modern atrocity, genocide, and human rights. I worked on publications content across the summer months, including articles, social media content and the development of a newsletter.

I also had the privilege of attending the Uyghur Tribunal with Yet Again to produce some written articles covering the process. This was an independent tribunal hearing evidence of atrocities committed against the Uyghur people in the Xinjian region of China, a very pressing issue for anyone working in genocide or human rights present and education in the present moment. The experience was invaluable. 

1:1 appointments

I found the 1:1 appointments and evaluative nature of the process to be perhaps the most valuable part.

During my appointments, I worked through with Penny a series of goals and aims for my placement, evaluating my skills out of five before and after the experience, to give myself a tangible sense of what I had achieved.

It really prompted me to refine my intentions and think more critically about my career prospects and how I could get the most out of each type of work experience I undertake. The bursary process, along with my other engagement with the Careers Extra service, has been instrumental in helping me to realise the kind of career I want to aim for.

Find out more about the service and if you're eligible to join.