Making it happen

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Music & Food festival, and I went to a couple of demonstrations by TV chefs – one a mega-star of the industry, one an-up-&-coming personality with a couple of shows & books on her CV. Both of them told stories about how they developed their culinary skills…

The difference between Good Communication and a Good Vocabulary

Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet? If no then stop reading this and go to the cinema……. Right – the only ones left reading have seen it – excellent – wasn’t it great!  Gushing over, there’s a bit early on when Rocket explains to Peter Quill why Groot keeps introducing himself – ‘I…

You’re about to start work in a big corp? What’s it going to be like?

Imagine if you will a large organisation.  It’s a veritable business, been around for years and has a good reputation, but has been undermined by some missteps in strategy over the last few years, and now the industry it’s in is undergoing fundamental changes too. To help address these issues some of the previous leaders have…

So, err, like, you know what I mean?

Have you noticed that more and more people seem to be starting sentences with ‘So’? I don’t know where it’s come from, but to my ears it seems to me to be a way for people to try & sound more expert, more certain. The message is ‘I’m not giving you my opinion, I’m telling…

Quality not quantity

The Association of Graduate Recruiters has just published it’s latest update and once again it shows that its’ members are reporting that many applications that they receive are of insufficient quality. But what does ‘insufficient quality’ actually mean?  Well, let’s assume that people are only applying for jobs that they are qualified for (e.g. degree-type, expected grade,…

Unknown Unknowns

One of the challenges of careers advice is to help people understand things that they didn’t even know existed – the Unknown Unknowns. For the avoidance of doubt (phrase stolen from Robert Peston) – what I mean is, people tend to book an appointment with us to discuss a problem – how to write a…

One swallow or the making of summer?

The work of the ICMA Centre is to educate about the capital markets, so the students and the managers are all pleased that there are reported green shoots in the City Finance industry. But what will it mean for vacancies? From a graduate recruitment perspective, the last few years have seen increased importance towards internships…

Pause and Rewind

Early in my career I spent a year as a trainer for a retail bank, running courses on customer service, telephone & letter writing skills, communication and so on.  We used to use training videos in lots of these courses, where actors (such as John Cleese) performed skits highlighting how not to & then how…

Unintended Consequences?

During the boom times the Investment Banking industry settled on a process that, they felt, helped them hoover up the brightest and best students before the other sectors got a look in – Spring Insight Weeks for first year undergraduates, Summer Internships between second and third year, the best interns getting offers to join the…

The Peter, Paul & Mary Principle

I was chatting to a friend the other day about someone they work with.  He was finding the colleague’s behaviour unbelievable, to the point where he realised that they must just be entirely out of their depth; totally incapable of functioning in the job in which they’d been given. The concept of being promoted to…

What’s it all worth?

There’s a lot in the news at the moment about the proposed new high speed train line – specifically about whether it is worth the billions of pounds it is projected to cost.  Indeed, the 4th business case for the project is being published today, and that has dredged up memories of a project I…

A new dawn

It’s great to welcome our new students to the ICMAC – BSc, MSc, & PhD. The first couple of weeks is really disorientating for most of them – new processes, technology, culture, people, and for the majority in their second, third or fourth language. Of course quite a few of the students have been on…