April 2012 | issue 07 This month City News explores the themes of our Strategic Plan for achieving the Vision for 2016 and making City an attractive University for students and staďŹ€. Also in this edition is the latest news for staďŹ€ at City, exciting new developments for the London City Incubator and highlights of our research.
CIT Y NEWS
NEWS IN BRIEF Courses in the Caribbean The School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences has entered into a partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority to deliver postgraduate aviation courses to professionals from the Caribbean and the Americas. The courses have been successfully delivered in Bahrain, Dubai, Frankfurt and London for many years.
Family Law Institute City’s Centre for Child and Family Law Reform has helped launch the not-for-proﬁt Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA). The IFLA will provide a cheaper, faster route to resolving family disputes than taking them to court.
Food research grants Dr David Barling, Reader in Food Policy, has recently won three research grants for the Centre for Food Policy of around €750,000. City will be principle investigator for the SENSE project on sustainability in the European food and drink chain; the FOODLINKS research into sustainable food consumption; and the Purefood investigation of regional food dynamics.
About City News City News is produced for University staﬀ each month by Marketing and Communications. If you have any feedback on the magazine or suggestions for content in future issues, please email: email@example.com
Lis leads the campaign for Fairtrade fortnight winners more equal representation Lis Howell, Deputy Head of Journalism, is leading a campaign to encourage broadcast media to increase the number of female experts interviewed on television and radio. Lis’s Expert Women campaign is being championed through trade magazine Broadcast to bring the issue into the spotlight and is calling for 30% of expert interviewees on broadcast media to be female. Her previous research on the number of female experts on television and radio news has shown that women are dramatically under-represented by a ratio of four men to each woman. Lis said the campaign’s 30% target is not a quota but a minimum realistic target: "We hope that broadcasters will recognise that the underrepresentation of women in interviews is a problem, but we think they need a speciﬁc target in order to ensure that things change."
City goes to Las Vegas A trip to study the market for casinos and gambling in Las Vegas, organised independently by Oliver Lovat and fellow Cass Business School Executive MBA students, has led to the creation of a formal marketing elective in the Executive MBA programme. Sionade Robinson, MBA Course Director at Cass, said: “The elective allows us to examine the casinos’ marketing strategies in a concentrated and very competitive market as each of these large corporates tries to transform.”
City celebrated this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (27 February to 11 March) with a range of activities including ﬁlm screenings, a cook-oﬀ, a quiz night and the ever-popular City Food Co-op. The highlight was a Fairtrade poster contest in local Islington schools. City students volunteered to attend local schools to talk about Fairtrade and encourage children to design a poster to show what Fairtrade means. City staﬀ and students judged the competition and the winning posters were announced by the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Phil Kelly. The posters have been printed as postcards for distribution around Islington.
Could you be a City Academy Governor? City has a strong and thriving relationship with the City of London Academy – Islington. As a sponsor, we have four places on the Academy’s Governing Body. Two vacancies have arisen for University representatives to serve as Academy Governors, to support the Academy’s development and help transform the life chances of local schoolchildren. Find out more, including how to apply, on our intranet: www.city.ac.uk/blogs/staﬀ-news
NEWS IN BRIEF City trip to DevCon
City Learning spaces Kindle competition
Almost 90 students and ﬁve staﬀ from the School of Informatics attended the European BlackBerry Developers’ Conference (DevCon) in Amsterdam. The ﬁeld trip gave students an insight into career opportunities in the fast-growing ﬁeld of mobile application development.
City’s Learning Spaces Project is devising new models of learning space in order to improve the experience of staﬀ and students. Rooms A109 and A216 in College Building have been redesigned based on previous feedback from staﬀ and students and feature new tables, squiggle glass, Wi-Fi connectivity, Node chairs and room dividers.
Staﬀ can book either room for lectures and seminars and are asked to provide feedback to the project team. By sharing your experience, you will enter a competition to win a Kindle e-reader.
City’s Staﬀ Benevolent Fund provides ﬁnancial assistance in the relief of hardship for current or former employees of City.
Find out more and book one of the rooms on our website: webapps.city.ac.uk/sst/ldc
Further information about the fund and advice for staﬀ can be found on our intranet (search for ‘benevolent’).
Emily scoops annual staﬀ award This year’s Robert Kitchin Award, sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers, was made to Law Librarian Emily Allbon (right), for her work on the Lawbore research tool. The annual Award recognises a staﬀ member’s contribution to City’s development. Recipients are selected by the Master of the Saddlers Company from a shortlist drawn up by Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran. Professor Curran said: “Emily was the clear winner of this year’s prestigious award. Her work in developing Lawbore has been instrumental in helping our students to think about employment opportunities early in their courses. Emily’s positive and altruistic attitude demonstrates her commitment to creating a truly excellent resource for our Law students.”
Olive Tree success Journalists Jon Snow and Jeremy Bowen visited City last month, participating in the latest Olive Tree Middle East Forum alongside Dr Zahera Harb, Senior Lecturer in International Journalism. The topic was media coverage of the Arab revolts. A full house and lively debate meant the topic of the event was among the top ten tweeted about in London that evening. You can ﬁnd out more about the Olive Tree Scholarship programme on our website: www.city.ac.uk/olive-tree
George joins Gresham Professor George Brock, Head of Journalism, has joined the Council of Gresham College, an independent educational institution which has provided free public lectures by leaders in their ﬁeld for over 400 years.
MBA rankings success Cass Business School has achieved two notable successes in the recent Financial Times MBA rankings (based on alumni ratings of education): it is ranked second in the world for Corporate Strategy (behind Harvard) and third in Human Resources Management (behind Brigham Young University and Michigan State University).
Dysphagia publication Dr Naomi Cocks and Celia Harding, Senior Lecturers in the Department of Language and Communication Science, have published Developing Clinical Skills in Dysphagia, a book based on their research into developing competencies for those with complex eating and drinking needs.
NEWS IN BRIEF Dr Christiana DymiotisWellington It is with great sadness we report that Dr Dymiotis-Wellington, Undergraduate Admissions Tutor in the School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, passed away last month following a long illness. Christiana helped improve the MSc in Civil Engineering Structures during her time as Course Director, and enjoyed working with students. She will be remembered for her generous support of colleagues and students alike.
First IBM scholar Stephen Docherty, Deputy IT Director (Europe) at Sony Computer Entertainment, is the inaugural recipient of City’s IBM Enterprise Computing Scholarship. He will join the April 2012 intake to City's Master of Information Leadership.
AXA sponsorship Cass's M&A Research Centre has signed a £100,000 sponsorship agreement with AXA Private Equity. The agreement includes funding for a student scholarship and internship.
My Home Life recognition The My Home Life project, run by Professor Julienne Meyer in the School of Health Sciences, has been cited in a report by the NHS Confederation’s Commission on Improving Dignity in Care, due to be published this summer. My Home Life is an initiative for improving the quality of life of those who are living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people.
Spotlight on careers
Capital works update
City’s Professional Liaison Unit, which supports students and employers through undertaking or providing placements, internships and work-based learning, recently held two successful events which gave students the chance to meet professionals and employers.
In the last City News we reported on forthcoming oﬃce moves as part of the Northampton Square Education Projects. This year we are carrying out further capital works to improve facilities at the University.
The ﬁrst, Digital_Spotlight@City, enabled Computing students to meet professionals from the digital media, games and music industries and receive advice about breaking into these areas. Representatives from local businesses took questions before students participated in an interactive exhibition with employers. In the other event, a ﬁrst-of-its-kind speed networking event, over 60 Civil Engineering undergraduates networked with practising professionals from 19 companies to learn more about the roles available to them. Of the networking event, Dr Sarah Stallebrass (above), Assistant Dean of Civil Engineering, said: “The University has a strong reputation for graduate employability and events such as this help us to maintain that. Being able to meet professional engineers and discuss current industry trends will undoubtedly give our students the edge when they seek work experience or graduate roles.” Find out more on our website: http://tinyurl.com/Professional-Liaison
SU President’s blog Rob Scully, our Students’ Union President, has initiated a blog to keep staﬀ up to date with the impacts of projects and developments aﬀecting City’s student community. Rob is writing about the views and experiences of City's students, raising awareness among academic staﬀ and those providing services to students. You can also share your comments with our Students’ Union President and respond to issues raised by him on behalf of students. Read the blog at: https://my.city.ac.uk/blogs/SU_Pres
Two projects start this month: • Social Sciences Building entrance: a major project to improve the entrance to the Social Sciences building ahead of The City Law School’s relocation to the adjacent Innovation Centre. The project will involve a complete remodelling of large parts of the ground ﬂoor, resulting in a more open reception and waiting area (below). The work will continue until September, during which time the current entrance to Social Sciences will be closed. A temporary reception will operate from the Innovation Centre. • School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences (SEMS) PhD study area: a reconﬁguration of the current space on the ground ﬂoor of Tait Building will allow the University to create new, permanent accommodation for SEMS PhD students. Look out for a more extensive article on our Northampton Square Education Projects and progress towards their completion in the next edition of City News.
Enterprise at City Incubating the start-ups of tomorrow The London City Incubator (LCI) is rolling out new developments to improve opportunities for academics who receive its support and for participating student interns. An initiative of the Enterprise Oﬃce, the LCI helps academics and others with ideas for start-up businesses to prepare for investment and accelerate their launch in high-growth sectors such as medical devices, digital media and clean technology. The LCI oﬀers start-up consultancy from Executive MBA interns from Cass Business School, PhD students, masters students and creative and industrial designers who possess suitable technical and commercial skills.
academics, researcher staﬀ, PhD students and interns to make the most of their projects with the minimum of time and eﬀort, hence the adoption of lean start-up principles. “Although we have managed to validate our model and create a great deal of value in a very short period of time, we are aiming higher.” He adds: “This summer we are launching new initiatives, such as City Launchpad, which will allow academics excited about their technologies’ commercial potential to create high-growth sustainable start-ups. These initiatives will further enhance the LCI’s support and pave the way for supporting a greater ﬂow of projects in addition to increasing their commercial quality.” For participating PhD and masters student interns the LCI is now oﬀering, through the InCite City scheme, the opportunity to work on their own startup project and to be involved in all stages of its development from the initial idea to launch and potential ﬁnancial gain.
The LCI helps academics to take their research projects to market more quickly and more successfully, while City’s student interns beneﬁt from on-the-job learning and opportunities to develop their skills while receiving training and mentoring.
In a new development for the LCI, City academics are now being encouraged to adopt lean start-up principles, based on the rapid creation of prototypes for market testing and using customer feedback to evolve products more quickly than traditional product development allows.
Dr Andy McNamara, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences (SEMS) worked with the LCI on the SuRe Pile project (City News, January 2012). He says: "We were very impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the group assigned to the SuRe Pile project. They were quick to pick up on the background for the pile despite it being a niche area with specialist applications."
These principles use a four-step framework: 1) discovering and validating the product’s identiﬁed market 2) building product features that solve customers’ needs 3) testing methods for acquiring and converting customers 4) deploying resources to grow the business. Leo Castellanos (left), London City Incubator Manager and Executive MBA Cass alumnus, says: “We encourage our
by Chris Leonard
London City Incubator enhances support for academics and student interns
Academics who have received LCI support have been eﬀusive in their praise.
Professor Qingwei Ma in SEMS, worked with LCI on QALE-FEM, which uses a numerical method to simulate the interactions of freak waves and tsunami on structures. "The interns have done excellent work. The report and presentation are very professional." Jon Treanor, Finance South East Mentor, supervises QALE-FEM on behalf of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He says: "The work done by the interns was excellent, well executed and presented... It will form the basis to move the commercial side of the project to the next stage."
City’s Strategic Plan sets out how the University will achieve its Vision for 2016
City’s Strategic Plan 2012-16 approved by Council The Vision for 2016 combines a commitment to academic excellence with a focus on business and the professions. In 2016, City will be described as follows: “A leading University committed to academic excellence, focused on business and the professions and located in the heart of London. We are proud of the quality of our education, research and enterprise and are ranked within the top 2% of universities in the world.” Other institutions which lay claim to a focus on business and the professions are not readily able to invest in academic excellence, while those with a reputation for academic excellence cannot easily adapt to meet the needs of business and the professions. After much hard work, our Strategic Plan for achieving the Vision and the Plan’s associated investment programme was approved in principle
by our Council at the end of March. The Plan sets out the investment in people, information services and the estate and the steps we will take to improve our performance and achieve our Vision. “The Strategic Plan puts ﬂesh on the bones of City’s Vision,” says Professor Richard Verrall, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategy & Planning) (right). “It will enable City to develop as the strong academic institution our students and staﬀ expect, while maintaining its focus on business and the professions.” The Strategic Plan is structured around our four key areas of academic activity: Education, Research, Enterprise and Internationalisation. The Education section sets out how we will attract the most able students regardless of background and provide an excellent, research-informed academic experience. It also explains how we will ensure that City graduates remain among the most prized by prospective employers for their high levels of academic achievement and personal skills developed though engagement with professional bodies and a range of curricular and non-curricular opportunities. The Research section explains the critical role of research in improving our reputation and income. We aim to develop an environment where at least half our academic staﬀ are producing world-leading and internationally-excellent research and inﬂuence the future research agenda. Our students will be inspired by academics developing their subjects through research and enterprise and bringing the excitement of that engagement to the student experience. We will support our academic staﬀ to develop their research and enterprise skills (through, for example, the Research & Enterprise Development Programme and the Doctoral Track Scheme) and we will help early career researchers to become the
research-excellent academics of the future. A new Graduate School will help attract and support our growing population of doctoral students. City was established in 1894 with the objective of promoting “industrial skill, general knowledge, health and well-being.” Within the Enterprise theme, our Plan sets out how our academics will ensure that City’s research outcomes are disseminated to society, policy-makers and business; and how we will develop proﬁtable enterprise activities through consultancy, continuing professional development courses and the commercialisation of our intellectual property. The Internationalisation section explains how we will collaborate with high-quality international partners and attract the most able students from around the world. We will capitalise on opportunities arising from the World Cities World Class (WC2) network and use our international partnerships to strengthen our education, research and enterprise.
Student recruitment abroad We will invest in student recruitment in new and existing countries and help international students adapt to life and study in the UK. All our students will beneﬁt from the international education and employment opportunities provided by our outbound exchange programmes. Our enabling themes will be essential to creating the kind of University we wish to be. We will invest in an environment that matches our academic ambition. Projects will include the continuing Northampton Square Education programme, improvements to our Library services and relocations of the School of Health Sciences, The City Law School and some Professional Services. We are committed to staﬀ training and development, to high quality IT services and a sector-leading infrastructure for supporting research grant applications and post-award project management. We will build a stronger sense of community by placing students at the heart of what we do and create greater opportunities for cross-University collaboration.
by Chris Leonard
Key components of the Strategic Plan • We will more than double the proportion of staﬀ producing internationally-excellent or world-leading research through the investment of over £35M in the recruitment of new research-excellent academic staﬀ, including a further 60 by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) census date in October 2013. • We will increase signiﬁcantly our spending per student on property and facilities; investing more than £35M in information services and between £80M and £130M in our estate. Investment in information services will start immediately while the ﬁrst business case for spend on our estate will be considered by our Council in May. • We will increase our annual core research grant from Government by more than 70% and more than double our annual research grants and contracts income. • We will increase average undergraduate entry tariﬀs to be consistently in excess of 400 points, while increasing student numbers by between 10% and 15%. Postgraduate research student numbers will increase by more than 80%. • We will increase markedly the satisfaction of our students and the proportion of students entering graduate-level jobs. • We will maintain and further consolidate our position as the leading University for postgraduate masters programmes in the subjects we oﬀer. • We will re-balance our undergraduate student numbers from Health to Business and Law in line with changes in NHS contracts and HEFCE student number controls.
“The Strategic Plan is holistic in its objectives. We cannot to do any one thing in isolation and everything in it will lead to City achieving its Vision,” explains Professor Verrall. “We must provide a high-quality environment for our students and staﬀ, ensure that we recruit students of the highest calibre and provide them with an outstanding educational experience. We must support our academic staﬀ in their endeavours and make City a university of choice.”
Highlights of recent research at City University London
Research at City Helping in understanding healthcare consultations Health practitioners and healthcare users could use ‘lifeworld’ video analysis of healthcare interactions to improve understanding of the dynamics of consultations, according to City research. ‘Lifeworld’ encompasses the sum of physical surroundings and everyday experiences comprising an individual's world. The lifeworld analysis used primary care consultations in a walk-in centre to develop a framework using a mixture of videos, phenomenology (identifying components of the analytic framework), narrative (depicting the stories of interactions) and a reﬂexive mode (developing shared meaning through a conceptual analysis framework).
Real-time analysis Conversation Analysis, commonly used in healthcare interaction studies, requires audio and video to be transcribed which is then analysed using symbolic notation. City’s research found that lifeworld video analysis can be analysed in real time, enabling healthcare practitioners and users to identify combinations of movement, knowledge and emotional objectives in conversations. The research, published in Nursing Philosophy, was based on thesis research of Jane Bickerton, Lecturer in the Department of Applied Biological Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences, who was supervised by Professor Susan Procter and Dr Barbara Johnson, also from the School of Health Sciences and Professor Angel Medina from Georgia State University. “The lifeworld approach oﬀers the possibility for consultation participants to experience how their communication skills might aﬀect each other and to consider the conversation as a whole,” said Susan. “It demonstrates the importance of addressing emotions as well as movement and knowledge. The lifeworld analysis oﬀers the potential for developing more patient-centred care originating from a place of shared understanding.”
Improving the chances of success for hybrids Research into the conceptualisation of hybrid products – for example, refrigerators with in-built TVs or running shoes with integrated MP3 players – has provided a new model for developing such hybrid products with enhanced prospects of success. The research, published in Cognitive Science, proposes a two-stage model of conceptual combination: concepts are ﬁrst aggregated into ‘additive hybrids’ (whereby each concept’s functions and attributes are combined into a single hybrid product); then conﬂicts between these attributes are identiﬁed and resolved by introducing new emergent attributes to form an ‘integrative hybrid’ (where functions complement one another rather than being simply combined). Products integrated in this way could result in commercially successful hybrids with greatly increased functionality.
Complementary functions valued The study by City in partnership with Lugano and Bocconi Universities (Italy) and Hebrew University (Israel), collected examples of existing and hypothetical hybrid products and asked the study's participants if the functions were combined additively or integrated. Across four studies varying the similarity and type of hybrids, those with functions that complemented each other were valued more highly than hybrids with dissimilar functions simply combined together. However, hybrid products with dissimilar functions were perceived more positively when people considered a situation in which they might be used. Professor James Hampton in the School of Social Sciences said: “Imagining how a hybrid product might be used and developed further can aid innovation. There is often conservatism in modern product design but this conceptual combination model could open new avenues for developing successful and desirable hybrid products.”
Brain activity unmasks deceptive behaviour
New models for quantum theory construction
Polygraphs are currently the most widely used method of lie detection, but City research into involuntary brain activity could lead to new ways of discriminating between honest responses and deception.
Research by Professor Andreas Fring, Assistant Dean in the School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences, has proposed new construction models for complex mathematical root systems, a vital component for formulating quantum physics theories.
When responding to external stimuli, the brain plans several competing actions before selecting a movement. When we engage in deceptive behaviour, the area of our brain that controls movement – the motor cortex – becomes highly active. Truth is the brain's default mode, so if someone claims ‘I do not use the internet’, their brain must ﬁrst suppress the information saying ‘I do use the internet’ before they act.
Research at City
Until recently, such models would have been discarded for being non-physical; i.e. they violated the crucial mathematical concept of Hermiticity (thought to be essential for using mathematics to describe the physical world). However, Professor Fring’s new models are physically consistent and possess new properties, including being free from the mathematical limitations of inﬁnite properties, which usually pose diﬃculties for quantum theories.
City’s research, published in Biological Psychology, showed that motor cortex activity can unmask intentionally hidden information when people engage in deceptive behaviour. Participants lied about their Professor Fring’s work, published in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical recognition of famous and non-famous faces by twitching their thumb and General, is in a relatively new ﬁeld of research concerned with nonfor ‘no’ or ﬁnger for ‘yes’ while their Hermitian systems, the application of brains were stimulated to measure which are increasing being found in competition between motor responses. many areas of physics. Researchers demonstrated that brain Andreas said: “The structures are very activity corresponded to the lies they Are you uploading research outputs to City’s generic and can be used in a variety of suppressed. online repository? models, opening up completely new Dr Kielan Yarrow, Director of the Research possibilities which still need to be City Research Online (City News, November 2011) Methods and Psychology MSc, said: “By explored. This area of research started can raise the visibility of your research and it demonstrating the presence of a response oﬀ by exploiting mathematical options will help the University to collate and monitor conﬂict in deception, my PhD student previously overlooked and has now its academic output. Aviad Hadar oﬀered a new and original developed into an exciting ﬁeld underFind out more at: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk methodology for developing lie-detection pinned by concrete experiments.” techniques while shedding light on the dynamics of response competition.”
City Research Online
A City Journalism undergraduate investigates the impact of Government spending cuts on sporting activities for schoolchildren
Giving our schoolchildren a sporting chance One of the key issues facing young people over the past decade has been a lack of sporting activity and running the associated risk of developing obesity in later life. Growing up in the digital age it is easy to see the primary causes behind such a concern with computers, television and other technologies promoting inactivity. These claims have been evidenced in recent years by studies such as the European Youth Heart Study in 2006, which suggested that around one in ten UK schoolchildren meet NHS guidelines of one hour’s exercise per day. Although there has been an increase in the amount of physical activity undertaken by schoolchildren (to an average of 117 minutes of physical education lessons a week during 2009/10, according to the latest NHS statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet), problems remain. Despite hopes that this summer’s Olympic Games will encourage more young people to engage in sporting activities, the Government faces a signiﬁcant challenge if it is to improve the situation. The Youth Sport Trust is one organisation attempting to tackle this issue. It provides for young people including the UK School Games; the ﬁnal day of this year’s event takes place in the Olympic Park in Stratford. The Youth Sport Trust aims to develop more rounded individuals by ‘improving leadership skills and teamwork and generating a sense of personal achievement through regular exercise’, including ‘high-quality
PE and sport in primary schools’. The Trust’s work is commendable but more funding and support are required to fully address the problem. Many suggest it is time for the Government to take a lead on the issue, perhaps by enabling more after-school classes and increasing the amount of sport in the curriculum. However, the opposite has occurred. Since 2010, when Education Secretary Michael Gove abolished the national network of school sport partnerships in the Government’s spending review, many youth services, for example in Islington and the surrounding area, suﬀered as a result of Government funding cuts. Abraham Tsegaye, Youth Project Manager for Hanley Crouch Community Association, said: “The cuts had a negative eﬀect as a lot of youth services were left with fewer resources and young people were left with reduced facilities. I think that the ‘powers that be’ underestimated the eﬀect cuts would have on young people and their communities.” This would suggest that the Government is doing itself few favours by failing to address the issue of a lack of youth participation in sport. Although statistics show a slight rise in the number of young people participating in sport in recent years and in spite of the impressive work by organisations like The Youth Sport Trust, more investment is required by the Government if young people’s interest in sports is to extend beyond this summer’s Olympic Games. Otherwise, the UK may not be able to avoid following Greece in terms of its post-Olympic legacy (below).
Athens’ Olympics legacy England will hope to avoid the disastrous legacy of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens as it seeks to encourage more young people to participate in sports. An investigation by the Evening Standard in 2009 revealed that, despite hopes that the Athens Olympics would encourage Greek youngsters to have sporting aspirations, there was a distinct lack of interest outside the country’s main sports of basketball and football. Many young Greeks expressed no interest in becoming more active as a result of the Games.
by Jeorge Bird
While this shows that the problem of young people not engaging in sport is not speciﬁc to England, the UK Government could be missing an opportunity to encourage youngsters to engage more with sporting activities by capitalising on publicity around the London Olympics.
Meet your colleagues
Name and job title?
How do you overcome it?
Marlon Grey, Senior Careers Consultant.
I think being well-organised and prioritising is the key to managing competing demands. It also helps to build in a degree of ﬂexibility in case the unexpected pops up, which happens often.
What do you do at City day to day? The Careers Consultant team supports students to secure graduate level employment by working closely with Schools (via our Careers Consultant Point of Contacts) to develop Careers Education Programmes tailored to meet the needs of their students. We identify how we can best support students through the services we provide, which include careers consultancy, providing employer information and employer liaison teams. Our central objective, in conjunction with a variety of stakeholders including employers, societies and the Students’ Union, is to improve the employability of our students and help them secure appropriate graduate employment; a key objective of the University’s Strategic Plan. What makes my role particularly special is the contact I have with students and the feeling of satisfaction I get when I help them to clarify their career objectives or ﬁnd employment. No two students are alike so it is always a challenge to provide them with appropriate and relevant careers guidance and support. My work also involves organising CSDS’s central resource of personal appointments, ‘drop-ins’ and career workshops for students. The appointments consist of careers guidance and mock interviews, while the ‘drop-ins’ are quick-query sessions to help students produce high quality applications. A further aspect of my role is to analyse feedback from students who use our services in order to improve our careers, education and information advice and guidance provision. As a Senior Careers Consultant, I am involved in developing and supporting the Careers Consultants in their work. This may involve talking through projects or assisting them in their work with Schools. I also represent and promote CSDS at various events throughout the academic calendar.
If you didn’t do your job what would you be doing? This is a tricky question because I very much enjoy my role. I think I would be pursuing my second passion, writing ﬁction. Or I might write a book on preparing for the job market and securing your ﬁrst job. I would write this at home, sitting on a bean bag and researching and writing on my laptop.
What do you do in your spare time and to relax? I don’t have a lot of spare time since I have a young daughter. She very much comes ﬁrst. But when I do have spare time I do some creative writing, read a noir detective novel or watch a movie. I love cinema.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? I would invite various relatives that are scattered across the globe and a couple of movie stars for good measure, perhaps Al Pacino, Ray Winstone, Jack Nicholson and Bill Nighy.
Favourite place in London? I love Kew Gardens.
Favourite film? Midnight in Paris, the Woody Allen movie.
Favourite book? Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.
Favourite song/music? I like Adele’s music at the moment.
I am also the Consultant Point of Contact for The City Law School and secondary Point of Contact for the School Of Health Sciences. I very much enjoy working with these Schools.
What is your biggest challenge in your job? Multi-tasking is a big part of my role. I have a number of responsibilities to juggle but I ﬁnd that with continued, concentrated eﬀort I keep all of the balls in the air.
Dates for your diary www.city.ac.uk/events
New Venture Creation 12.30-14:00 Thursday 26 April, Convocation Suite
Video Making Day
A lunchtime event for staﬀ and PhD students interested in commercialising ideas and projects. Register online: https://webapps.city.ac.uk/forms/16110
09:00-17:00 Wednesday 11 April, The MILL Drysdale Building
Creativity, Innovation and Quality of Life
An intensive one-day course on the essentials of video production: using a camera, composing your shots and editing your footage into a ﬁnished ﬁlm using Final Cut Pro. Register at: https://webapps.city.ac.uk/forms/14609
18:00-19:30 Thursday 26 April, Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre
Breaking Enigma and the legacy of Alan Turing 18:30-20:30 Tuesday 17 April, Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre The 40th Edwards Lecture with the Worshipful Company of Scientiﬁc Instrument Makers, celebrating the opening of City’s Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Sciences. Professor David Stupples shows how the German U-Boat code was broken during WW II and explains Alan Turing's impact on today's internet security.
April Graduation Ceremonies
Patrick Jordan, recently appointed Visiting Professor at City's Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice, gives his inaugural lecture on the role of creativity in improving our quality of life.
TV Studio Induction Tuesday 1 May 2012, The MILL Drysdale Building This session takes you through all aspects of using the TV studio – ideal for recording interviews and presentations. This course is not suitable for absolute beginners. Register at: https://webapps.city.ac.uk/forms/14609
The politics of fear; what does it mean to those who are otherised and feared?
Monday 23-Tuesday 24 April, The Barbican Centre
18:30-20:30 Thursday 3 May, Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre
Graduation ceremonies for all City University London Schools.
Baroness Haleh Afshar, Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of York, presents the experiences of British-born
Staﬀ training and development For information about staﬀ training email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.city.ac.uk/sd/index
Building Disability Conﬁdence Wednesday 25 April
Managing Workload for Academics Friday 27 April
I did that course! Dr Susan Strauss, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, attended Managing Workload for Academics. “[It was] useful, motivating, very well presented and practical,” she said. “Excellent!”
Muslims – women in particular – in the context of the politics of fear.
Researcher’s Development Day Friday 4 May Location tbc A one-day conference for research staﬀ, covering a range of themes related to the topic of developing and disseminating research.
Transonic Transformations: Chips, Blossom and Hopscotch 19:00-20:30 Tuesday 8 May, Performance Space Part of the University’s City Lights concert series; a performance from Cathy Lane, Viv Corringham and Iris Garrelfs.
While in Russia: City University Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert 19:30-21:30 Wednesday 9 May, LSO St Luke's (161 Old Street) The City University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Weeden, presents an evening of Russian music. Soloist Tatjana Goldberg joins the orchestra for a performance of Wienawski's Violin Concerto No.2.
Networks of Reinvention 16:00-18:00 Thursday 10 May, D427 Social Sciences Building Part of the Sociology Department’s 2012 research seminar series, presented by Professor Anthony Elliott from Flinders University (Australia).
Risk Assessment (Academic Staﬀ in School of Health Sciences)*
Writing Grant Proposals
Thursday 10 May
Mentoring Skills for Academic Staﬀ
Risk Assessment (Academic Staﬀ in Schools of Arts and Social Sciences)*
Tuesday 15 May
Tuesday 22 May
Conﬁrmation of Acceptance for Studies Brieﬁng
Wednesday 16 May
Thursday 24 May
Finance and Purchasing Training
* To be completed in conjunction with Cardinus online training, Eﬀective Risk Management for Academic Staﬀ on our Intranet (under Training and Development)
Wednesday 16 May
Risk Assessment (Academic Staﬀ in Schools of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences and Informatics)* Friday 18 May
Friday 18 May