Graduate profile of the month

Congratulations to all graduating from Loughborough University this week!

Get inspired and have a look at our graduate profiles to see what happened next for our graduates and what advice they can offer to you.

July’s profiles is Martyn Tobin. Martyn graduated in 2014 with a BSc DIS Air Transport Management. He is now a Graduate Consultant at Tracsis plc.

 Martyn TobinYour background:

Before attending Loughborough University to study Air Transport Management I worked part time in various retail outlets whilst studying at New College Swindon to obtain the necessary UCAS points.

I’ve always had a passion for flying and subsequently at the age of 17 I obtained my National Private Pilot’s License. The experiences I gained from my flying and volunteering at my local airfield gave me an appreciation of the aviation industry. As such, I began to research future careers and University courses within this field whilst attending college.

Where are you now?

I graduated from Loughborough University in July 2014 where upon I joined Tracsis Plc as a Graduate Consultant. Tracsis is a leading provider of strategic and operational planning to the rail and bus industry with offices in Derby and Leeds. Since joining the consultancy team I’ve been given many opportunities to get stuck into a variety of projects for clients such as Network Rail, National Express Coaches and Train Operating Companies.

How did you get there?

The Air Transport Management degree at Loughborough University includes a one-year placement opportunity after completion of Year 2. After applying for a variety of placements, I was successful in joining the Train Planning Department at First Capital Connect. During my placement I gained first-hand experience of a working Train Operating Company.

Upon my return to complete my final year, I chose to study the Rail Operations module, which was taught by a visiting industry professional. During this module, the lecturer offered careers advice; as well as forwarding by details to Tracsis.

Prior to attending an interview with Tracsis, I utilised the Careers and Employability Centre at Loughborough University for advice on my interview technique, which included a mock interview. The advice they provided was invaluable in securing the position.

Where are you going?

After completion of my degree at Loughborough University and being fortunate to have a fantastic job at Tracsis, I aim to continue my professional education by studying an MSc part-time. My long-term aspiration is to hold a senior management position within the industry.

What if anything would you have done differently during your time at Loughborough University to help you prepare better for your career/life upon graduation?

During my time at Loughborough University, I struggled with some of the statistical modules in my degree. However, if I had my time again at Loughborough I would have utilised the support services during my first and second year. During my final year, with this support, my grade increased by 10%.

What advice would you give now to a student studying your subject at university now?

Although studying at Loughborough University is fun and relaxed, it’s very important to keep reminding yourself of your aspirations. My key advice would be:

  • Attend all classes and that includes tutorials.
  • Make use of the facilities such as the Careers and Employability Centre.
  • Join the LSU Transport society ‘Velocity’. This society provided me with some fantastic opportunities including access to private tours around Bombardier and Airbus. In addition to the educational and networking benefits, you also meet likeminded individuals.

Advice on how to break into the fashion PR industry

UK PR Manager, Melissa Collins, works for high street fashion retailer River Island. Melissa CollinsHere she talks about her career within fashion PR and offers advice on how to break into the industry.


What’s a typical day for you?

Working in fashion PR at River Island, no two days are ever the same! The role is so diverse that I could be on a photo-shoot one day, a breakfast meeting with journalists or in the press showroom the next. I work with press and bloggers on a daily basis to keep that communication strong, whether that’s selling a story/collaboration in or helping out with sample requests. My role requires me to build relationships internally too, so I also liaise with the buyers and designers at River Island ensuring we know what they are buying and what the focus is for the upcoming seasons.

What do you love most about your job?

I love fashion and the buzz you get when you see your brand appear in the likes of Vogue, GQ and other prestigious magazines. I get to work on some fantastic events, press days, product launches plus once in a lifetime campaigns such as the Rihanna X River Island and the 5 Inch and Up X River Island collaborations. Both were amazing and such fantastic experiences to help drive forward and be a part of, from the original ideas right through to the finished piece.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Time! There are never enough hours in the day! When I first started working in the World of PR, I was working with just magazines, paper and broadcast journalists. Now that online plays a huge part, I feel I have to spread myself thinly across all areas as I work with bloggers and vloggers too.

What makes the fashion industry so exciting to work in?

It’s constantly changing and I’m excited to see where it goes in the next 10 years. I think the digital world is set to grow and grow, especially YouTube; this is an area which is growing rapidly and I can see it getting bigger and bigger. However, I really hope the online world doesn’t dominate the media world and make more print titles fold as I still think there is a place for both the glossy magazines/national papers and the bloggers and online magazines. They just have different offerings.

What would look for in a candidate if you were looking for someone to join your team?

I would look for experience within the fashion industry; whether that’s within another PR team, in a retail environment or working for a magazine. It’s also important to be a people’s person; you have to meet and develop relationships with new people – press, bloggers, vloggers – so whether that’s face to face or over the phone, you have to have confidence and good communication skills. I would also look for someone who has a hunger for both fashion and PR.

Have you got any advice for people wanting to get into either fashion or PR?

Be confident, creative and persistent – live and breathe the industry! You will have to complete a lot of work experience to get that first break, but the knowledge and connections you gain are worth it. Work experience really helps to leverage those ‘foot in the door’ opportunities. Go above and beyond what is asked of you on your placement or internship, if you make a good impression, chances are people will remember you which is vital when that entry level or assistant role comes up. Networking is also key. Don’t be afraid to add people you meet on LinkedIn and build your profile so it showcases your experience and skills. Many in-house recruiters use LinkedIn to find talent so make sure yours is up-to-date!

What sums up fashion PR for you?

Fashion PR is fun, creative and very fast paced.



2015 Finalists – Help with your CV before you leave Loughborough

The Careers and Employability Centre will be coming to the Students’ Union on Tuesday 9th, Thursday 11th and Tuesday 16 June, between 1pm and 4pm.

If you would like help with your CV or applications or you want to have a quick chat about any careers related issues before you leave Loughborough, just turn up between 1 and 4pm. Bring a copy of your CV with you!

Don’t forget, you have membership for life so you can use the careers service after you graduate

4 extra-curricular activities that can boost your employability

Provided by Selesti Limited

When it comes to writing your CV, it can be difficult to know what activities outside of your studies to include. Below, we’ll look at four things that top graduate job candidates have on their CVs, which you can work towards while at university.

First aid volunteering

Taking part in volunteering activities looks great on a CV, helping to show your well-rounded character. Becoming a first aider is a hugely rewarding and valuable skill to have, adding to your personal development. Not only that, first aid skills are also useful to your future employer. Employers are responsible for the wellbeing of their employees, which includes ensuring there are enough first aiders at work.

If you already have a first aid certificate, make sure it’s still valid before you put it on your CV. That’s because due to a recent change, there is no longer a grace period after a first aid certificate expires, so if yours is out of date, you cannot call yourself a first aider any longer. As with anything on your CV, you should be able to back it up with evidence if questioned about it.

Helping to run a club or society

With countless clubs and societies on your doorstep, there’s a wealth of opportunity to bolster up your CV by taking part. But rather than going out and joining as many clubs as possible, it’s better to only get involved in one or two and play an active part in its running. For example, if you play for a sports team, work your way up to become a team captain, or help lead training sessions. Or if you’re in a society, put yourself forward to become elected for a committee position, such as treasurer or secretary.

In a leadership role, you’ll learn lots of great skills that can help you stand out when applying for jobs. This might include motivating and leading a team, taking charge of your club’s financials as treasurer, learning negotiation and decision making skills in committee meetings, as well as showing good people skills by getting elected for your role.

Writing a blog or getting involved in student media

A great way to improve your writing skills is to get involved in in student media such as The Epinal, or contributing to a blog on topics that interest you. This is a great way to build up your portfolio if you’re looking to enter industries such as journalism, advertising, or marketing.

With blogs existing on almost every topic imaginable online, there are countless opportunities to publish articles on your interests. Blogs are often on the lookout for guest authors, so it’s simply a case of getting in touch with those that do and pitching an idea for an article. You can of cause also set up your own blog using software such as WordPress or Blogger.

Developing your digital skills

Experts predict that by 2017, the UK will need 750,000 skilled digital workers to keep up with the growing technology industry. However, in 2011 the UK produced just 56,000 computer science graduates, suggesting a growing deficit in digital skills.

Even if you’re not looking to enter the technology sector, the truth is that the internet is increasingly important in all industries, whether for making sales, acquiring leads or for customer service. As a result, web skills are becoming a necessity, for example learning how to update website content on a CMS, updating email marketing lists or even basic coding.

A great way to get started is to take a free online course with Codecademy or setting up your own WordPress blog.

What other skills do you have?

Think of any other activities you take part in outside of your studies. What skills have you developed by taking part? Are these skills relevant to the role you’re applying to? If the answer is yes then add it, and remember to prepare for your interview by being able to discuss each activity at length.

Graduate Q&A: How to Get into the Product Development Industry

Ally Ward, a graduate from Loughborough University, answers questions about a typical day in his job, work experience, career progression, and how you can get into the industry. sagentia

He works at Sagentia, a global science, technology and product development services company.

Can you give us a bit of background on yourself? How long have you been working at Sagentia? What is your position there?

I studied a BEng in Product Design Engineering at Loughborough University. This combined materials science, mechanical engineering, engineering science, and industrial design. It was a great course for getting a solid understanding of different areas.

In my second year, I took part in the group product design project, the brief of which had been set by Sagentia. I didn’t know that product development consultancies existed at the time; in fact, as a student, I didn’t know where I saw myself after graduation.

With a bit of research into Sagentia, I discovered that they operate across a number of sectors. I decided to apply for a placement and was accepted after an interview process.

I spent my placement year working as part of the mechanical systems & design team, and was then offered a permanent position following completion of my degree. I’ve now been working at the company for 3 years and have progressed from Engineer to Consultant level.

What is a typical day like for you?

There genuinely isn’t a ‘typical’ day here. There is a huge variety both in terms of the types of tasks I do and the sectors for which I design products.

One day I might be working on designing a novel drug delivery system, and the next day developing a surgical instrument, or improving a manufacturing process for a global consumer product.

Generally, though, my role includes things like using CAD to design concept prototypes, test rigs, and ultimately deliver the final product to the client. All of these involve in-depth design reviews and technical problem solving.

I often work directly with clients around the world to understand their needs and present them with concepts and prototypes. Each project team is made up of people from different disciplines, so I’m working with a mixture of chemists, mathematicians, electrical engineers, physicists, and industrial designers, amongst others.

Did you always know this career path was for you?

No, I initially wanted to be a physiotherapist! It was at secondary school that I realised how much I enjoyed design technology, which led me to study engineering at university.

Did you gain relevant work experience during your time studying?

I decided to do a one year placement in my third year and would definitely recommend this to other students. Having the opportunity to experience how the industry works and apply what you’ve learnt at university is invaluable.

It really helped me both in my final year of studying and obviously when I started work after graduating.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

In a consultancy environment, it’s probably balancing time, cost and value for the client. You need to understand what the client wants and be able to adapt to their changing requirements.

At Sagentia we’re working on cutting edge technologies and products, so as engineers we constantly have to challenge ourselves and our clients, pushing the boundaries of what can be done, or thinking differently about how we can apply existing ideas to new areas.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It has to be the variety of projects I get to work on, though I also love the satisfaction you get from delivering a successful project to a client. There is a great sense of pride when designs that you have produced work as required and meet the client’s needs.

Over time it would be amazing to see some of my designs in the public eye, and with a lot of my work being in the medical sector I like to think that, on some level, I am helping people too.

Beyond that, I like the people and the company culture. You’re supported by an amazing group of people who encourage you to think outside the box, which often benefits your designs. I genuinely feel like I’m learning something new every day.

What is your career progression path like?

Sagentia has a graduate scheme that supports your development when you join from University. At a graduate level you get the chance to try lots of different things and really discover what you’re good at.

Since joining I’ve progressed to the Consultant level and am now focusing on getting a broad range of technical knowledge and experience, to enable me to design products for different industries.

Looking ahead, I intend to follow a technical career path, focusing on delivering projects to clients, as that is what I really enjoy. There are also opportunities to go down other routes, such as project management or commercial.

Do you have any advice for students who are looking to get into the industry?

Getting undergraduate experience is invaluable, so I’d definitely recommend a placement if you get the opportunity. I also think that doing relevant projects outside of your studies, which show your passion for product design and engineering, will help when it comes to applying for jobs in this industry.

It is always impressive when you see students come in with their own Kickstarter project or a well-documented portfolio, whether that is undergraduate work or personal projects. Those sorts of things usually speak volumes about the candidate.

Visit the Sagentia website to learn more about graduate career opportunities, development and current vacancies.





Graduate profile of the month

January’s profile is Henry Dunmore. Henry graduated in 2013 with a BSc in Politics and minor subject. He is now set up his own company, LunchBox abc


Your background:

I took a GAP year, before university, to travel, before getting back into education. I did Politics mainly because I was interested in the subject, both at school and in general and didn’t really know what I wanted to do after university, in terms of employment. I therefore wanted to spend my time at university studying something I enjoyed rather than a means to an end e.g. Accountancy.

Where are you now?

After graduating from Loughborough I spent some time working for a catering company, during the summer,while doing numerous job applications. It was then that I came up with my business idea of selling healthy and nutritionally designed ‘LunchBoxes’ to busy ‘on-the-move’ gym members in London. The concept revolved around the boredom of healthy dieting and eating the same foods day in, day. This is why the menu changes on a daily basis and includes a different meat, fish and vegetarian option. After writing a business plan, securing some investment and agreeing a contract with London’s Premier Healthclub, The Third Space, I started selling LunchBoxes in October.

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2nd Annual Space Industry Careers Fair

CF Announcement Original

The 2nd Annual Space Industry Careers Fair will be held at the National Space Centre in Leicester on Monday the 9th of February 2015. This FREE event is designed for all UK students, graduates and young professionals interested in forging a career in the Space Industry, and is the only space-themed career fair in the UK.

For further details see:

2014 Graduates – Careers and job search support still available

Are you are still looking for a graduate job, or postgraduate study, and would like further help?

I am working with 2014 graduates and can offer support in areas such as career planning, job search, feedback on your CV or your answers to application form questions, and interview preparation.

If you would like some careers help then do email me, Vicky Parkin at, and we can make an appointment (either face-to-face or by phone) to discuss how I can help. Just include your name, email address and telephone number, say that you are a 2014 graduate, and indicate what help you would like.

Travel Industry Advice – Bridge & Wickers

David Wickers, Director of Bridge & Wickers shares his top tips and advice for people looking to break into the travel industry. David Wickers

How did you get in to the industry?

I got in to travel journalism from my love and enthusiasm of travelling. Eight years ago I set up Bridge & Wickers with Jerry Bridge, a director of the company. We originally set up as a specialist Australia/New Zealand tour operator and gradually expanded into Canada and then the South Sea Islands.

What is the biggest challenge of your role?

Making sure the clients have the holiday they want. We’re not selling what we want to sell – we very much listen to what they tell us and that’s the achievement, making sure they have the right holiday. The challenge is fulfilling their expectations.

What’s your advice for a person looking for a career in travel?

It is important that you enjoy the industry you’re in and have passion for what you do.

What qualities do you look for in an employee?

Most importantly to us they are providing a service so it’s a combination of listening and talking, it’s making sure they are selling the right thing to the right person.

Secondly, they have to be a team player. The company is broken into teams and they work very closely with one another so it’s important they can work as part of a team.

Apart from this the one thing I’d be looking for is passion. If they are going to sell Australia I’d expect them to know the Australian seasons, which areas are best at the different times of year and if they don’t know that they know nothing about Australia.

What are your top three tips to be a successful travel journalist?

Firstly, read the travel sections in the newspapers. Take the time to read each travel magazine and publication, know their audience and their style so when you start writing for a publication you already know their style and target consumer.

Secondly, do a professionals job – if a newspaper only ever has 1000 word articles maximum, don’t submit 2000 words.

Lastly, if you are new and are proposing an idea to the travel editor, know your story and your angle and be specific. The editor wants to know why it matters and how it will affect the visitor.

Has your education and degree helped you to get where you are today?   How important do you think they are to success?

Nobody has ever directly asked me if I have a degree in my entire life but education is something in its own right. When you have achieved a degree you feel like you can achieve the world.

University degree gives life experience something which you might not get if you were to go straight into work or in to an internship.

Author Bio:

David Wickers is the co-founder of luxury tour operator Bridge & Wickers, who are currently ranked as the best tour operator to Australia and New Zealand. David was Chief Travel Correspondent of The Sunday Times for 17 years and on three occasions was voted Travel Writer of the Year. As Travel Editor of Good Housekeeping, travel journalism is still a part of his life but tour operating is currently his main focus.