UCL Careers


Alumni profile: Nick Lawrie

Nick, a Business Teacher, tells us about his career history and subsequent studies at UCL.

A front camera image of UCL alumni Nick.

22 November 2022

Degree programme: Masters/PGCE
Graduation year: 2020/2021 (ongoing)
Current job role: Teacher of Business

Please share a brief introduction to your career path, from graduation to where you are now.  

After 25 years in marketing, I decided to go into secondary school teaching.  I was lucky to have achieved the key goals I set out to do and was keen to build on the training, mentoring, and presenting experience I had built up.  

I spent a year as a cover supervisor to see if secondary school was right for me.  This gave me references and experience to help me secure my PGCE training at UCL.  I spent two years teaching the subject I trained in (History) but in September 2022, will be a Teacher of Business at a Sixth Form College, allowing me to connect the dots with previous commercial experience.  

Provide a brief summary of your core duties and describe what skills are important to your role?   

I have been teaching all ages from 11 to 18, following curriculums for the younger age groups and exam syllabuses for the older ones.  I also am a form tutor, looking after pupils’ pastoral needs, as well as performing school duties.  

How did your time at UCL prepare you for the workplace?

My first course at UCL was a PGCE so we had two placements built into the course, which were key to see if teaching was still suitable to pursue.  I found out that with the training and support provided by UCL, I was able to learn several new skills.  I had to be ruthless and adapt from the levels of presentations from my marketing days to that which made sense for secondary pupils.  

UCL Careers listed some teaching jobs but I was more interested in the UCL connected school and the UCL Academy to see if any vacancies came available.  

The Masters module I did on Holocaust in the Curriculum was an excellent course in critical thinking and analysis and I am currently using my Masters credits towards a Masters in Digital Media and Communication.  

Were there any challenges in your job hunt?  

As a recently trained teacher, I found myself coming up against those more experienced.  However, I worked out where my strengths were and hoped these would stand me out amongst the competition. 

Top tips for current students: List up to 3 short quick tips that you would like to share with current students.

  1. Try and meet people outside your faculty, whether through clubs or societies 
  2. Try and volunteer with companies you might be interested in working for 
  3. Try and make use of as many of UCL’s facilities while you can, as these can become much harder to access once you leave and enter professional life.  

Need help with your job applications or CV? 

Get free access to VMock - an online tool that can provide immediate tips and advice on how to improve your CV. After this, don’t forget, you can book a 1-2-1 appointment with our dedicated team of friendly Careers Consultants. Find out more here.