Careers Network podcast: Career Talk

Welcome to the Careers Network Podcast channel, Career Talk.Career Talk Podcast

Career Talk is brought to you by University of Birmingham's Careers Network, hosted by International Employer Liasion Officer, Cate Linforth.

Each week Cate will be chatting to alumni to find out about their career journey after graduating, and to employers to get an insight into their company and to find out what advice they would give to students and graduates interested in working in their industry. 

Follow us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify to stay up to date and catch up on all of our previous episodes. 

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Latest Career Talk episode

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Season 3

S3 E6: Expert Talk | Growing my DNA business after a PhD | Dr Sam Decombel

Dr Sam Decombel is the co-founder and CEO of FitnessGenes Ltd, a direct-to-consumer DNA testing company and world leader in the analysis of genetic and environmental data as applied to fitness and nutrition. Fitness Genes was many years in the making, and built on the platform developed under Sam's first start-up, DNA artwork company PlayDNA. With a PhD in Genetics from the University of Birmingham and several years working as a Technology Transfer Manager, her skillset in science and experience gained in intellectual property and business were an ideal combination to help her create her own start-up projects.

In this episode, Nicola Gittins talks to Sam about the journey faced including the personal and serendipitous events that inspired her route as an entrepreneur. Sam provides an expert view to life as an entrepreneur offering her own personal advice to starting a business and also the advantages of having a mentor.

Transcript available here

S3 E5: Expert Talk | How to value your start-up and get investment | Elizabeth Gooch MBE

Looking for tips to get investment for your start-up idea? In this episode, Nicola Gittins interviews special guest Elizabeth Gooch MBE who has been described as one of the most disruptive entrepreneurs by The Telegraph.

Elizabeth built up her own software company which was listed on AIM (Alternative Investment Market) before it was acquired by a US Software company in 2017. Her business eg Solutions traded in 50+ countries and employed 150 staff from all over the world.

Transcript available here

S3 E4: How to sell online

This episode has been removed.

S3 E3: Starting a charity with mental health in mind

Host Bob Lee chats to University of Birmingham student Zaynab Sohawon who is a mental health advocate, a speaker and founder of charity organisation Emotion Dysregulation in Autism (E-DA). She has a moving personal story and we hear about her work with mental health partners to help young people between 12-25 facing similar struggles.

Transcript available here

S3 E2: Expert Talk | Growing your business with investment | Richard Bishop and Emily Henderson

This episode, hosted by Nicola Gittins features investment specialist and UoB alumnus Richard Bishop. Through his experience working with start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses Richard discusses the support on offer for student entrepreneurs and investment opportunities for new ideas.

We are also joined by Emily Henderson who talks about her role working as Philanthropy Manager for the university's Development Alumni Relations Office and the work behind the scenes which actively helps UoB start-ups.

Transcript available here

S3 E1: Expert Talk | Building your brand with Ben Reynolds

This series, we feature innovative stories and expert advice to help you find success from your own ideas.

In this episode, Nicola Gittins (B-Enterprising, Careers Network) chats to alumni entrepreneur Ben Reynolds from Carousel Lights. Ben graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1999 and worked for British Airways and the BBC. In 2011, he started his own business and founded Carousel Lights: a lights and signage company which offer custom light solutions to retailers, event managers and famous music artists. Ben gives advice about creating a visual identity, working with influencers and tips to help you if you are starting your own business.

Transcript available here

Season 2

S2 E10: Studying for a PhD internationally

Feylyn Lewis, from Nashville Tennessee, graduated from UoB with a PhD in Social Work. She is now a Researcher, Consultant and Programme Manager at Vanderbilt University.

Transcript available here

S2 E9: Exploring your post-study visa options

Confused about your options for staying in the UK after your studies? You're not the only one! In this episode, Cate Linforth (International Employer Liaison Officer) chats to Kerry Brunn from our B-Enterprising Team all about visas!  We discuss the Start-Up visa, how it is different to the Graduate Route Visa, and how you can decide which visa is most appropriate for you.  Kerry manages the Start-Up Visa process from the University's side, and chats to us all about what the process is like, how you can start thinking about your business plan from the beginning of your studies, and some tips for success.  We also discuss briefly the Graduate Route visa, some of the differences between different visa types, and what that means for your options as you think about career planning.

More information on the Start-Up visa can be found at: Start-up Visa

More information on the Graduate Route visa can be found from the International Student Team at: Graduate Route Visa

Transcript available here

S2 E8: B-Enterprising boot camp with Siemens

Co-hosted by Bob Lee (B-Enterprising, Careers Network) and Cate Linforth (Careers Network), this episode explores the B-Enterprising Boot Camp. What is a boot camp? Is it just for students who want to start their own business? What skills can you develop from a boot camp?

Speaking with Ka Ho Mok, a member from the winning team, and Susann Kunz from Siemens, the employer partner for this boot camp, Cate and Bob recount the 3- day event and explore all of the benefits and legacy that have come from it.

To find out more about the Siemens bootcamp:

B-Enterprising - Creating an innovative design for your garden

Siemens Solid Edge Bootcamp - Developing creative concepts by working against the clock and using completely unknown tools

Transcript available here

S2 E7: From Biological Sciences to a start-up that is ridding the world of ocean plastic

Co-hosted by Bob Lee from the B-Enterprising team, this week Cate and Bob ask Ben all about his journey from studying in Birmingham to cleaning up oceans in South East Asia.

Ben Moody graduated from UoB with a degree in Biological Sciences in 2019 and became the co-founder of an ocean clean up company called Seven Clean Seas, based in Singapore. The company raise awareness about plastic waste and have an army of staff and volunteers who operate large scale beach clean-ups in Malaysia and Indonesia, but more than that Seven Clean Seas (SCS) have developed the world’s first plastic-offsetting service, creating a scalable solution to plastic waste. Working with organisations, SCS support them to measure, reduce and offset their plastic footprint no matter where on the sustainability journey they are and have won a tender with the organisers of the World Cup Qatar 2022 to ensure the tournament is the first-ever plastic neutral mega event. This is a huge achievement for an organisation that is less than 5 years old! – and importantly will help good come from a tournament which we all know has had its challenges. Follow Seven Clean Seas on Instagram: @sevencleanseas

Transcript available here

S2 E6: Working part-time during your studies

Want to hear about the benefits of working part-time at the university alongside your studies? This week, Cate is chatting to Muskan Nagpal, an international student from India who studied a postgraduate degree in Mathematics, Operations, Research, Statistics and Econometrics (MORSE). 

Muskan gives great insight into what it's like to work part-time alongside your studies, ensuring your working hours are visa compliant and how you can market your unique skills as an international student. 

Transcript available here

S2 E5: Careers in accountancy... and fashion!

Are you interested in a career in accountancy? Even if the answer is no, listen to this episode and you might change your mind! 

In the first part of this episode, Mood from CPA Australia tells us all about getting into a career in accountancy and what it means to be a CPA member.

In the second part of this episode, we hear from Fabiana, a CPA member who works as an accountant in the global office of Chanel in London.

Tune in to hear more about how versatile a career in accounting can really be, and the international opportunities available when you're a CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) member. 

Transcript of episode available here

S2 E4: Ace your virtual interview

Do you want to find out about the virtual interview process? This week, we are chatting to Lien Feasey from Midea Group, all about the interview process, what interviewers are looking for, and what to do and what not to do during a virtual interview. 

Lien offers great insight into the interview process at Midea Group for Chinese students who have studied in the UK. Whether or not you're interested in interviewing for a company in China, this episode is full of tips to get you ready to master your virtual interviews. 

Transcript of episode available here

S2 E3: Why do I need a mentor?

Want to find out more about mentoring at the University of Birmingham? Listen to this episode with Nick Duncan, who explains what it's like to be a mentor and his top tips for mentees, as well as giving an insight into what it's like to change career path and work across different sectors.

Nick Duncan graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1981 with a degree in Geological Sciences, and has since had a global career working across the world, in the UK, Australia, Texas and Singapore. Having retired 4 years ago, Nick is now on the board of a non-profit based in Singapore as well as being a mentor to University of Birmingham students.

Find out more about Careers Network's mentoring schemes on our website.

Transcript of episode available here

S2 E2: Making the most of careers fairs

We're chatting to one of our Careers Consultants all about how students can prepare for careers fairs and make the most of those interactions with employers. Don't miss out on our careers fairs coming up this October and November, kicking off with our Autumn Fair on October 5. 

We also have an Engineering, Science and Technology Fair, a Business, Finance and Consultancy Fair, a Law Fair and Virtual Fairs so head over to our careers fair page for more details. 

Have a quick listen to this episode to make sure you're prepared and get some top tips to help you stand out from the crowd! 

Transcript of episode available here

S2 E1: How Careers Network can support you

Listen to this week's episode to find out how we can support you through every stage of your journey, then go and check out the resources available as part of your studies!

As Cate and Natalie say in this episode, "No journey is linear. No journey is the same." Whether you have no idea what you want to do, you're a new student, you're back for your final year, you've changed your mind on your career path or anything else, we are here to support you and Careers Network & Birmingham Business School Careers have something for everyone.

Get started with some of the resources we discuss in this episode: 

    1. How Careers Network can help you
    2. Careers Fairs
    3. Digital resource hub

Transcript of episode available here

Season 1

S1 E12: Career in telecommunications, with Tianhao He

Interested in the telecommunications sector? This week, Cate is chatting to Tianhao He. Tian is from China and came to the UK ten years ago, firstly to study at the University of Liverpool, before completing a PhD in Microwave Engineering at the University of Birmingham for four years. After completing the PhD, Tian worked at the telecommunications company BT as a Network Planning Specialist. Tian has recently started a new position working at Sky. 

Listen to find out more about how Tian's day to day role helps keep everyone in the UK connected! 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E11: UoB former Guild President, Tobi Osogbiye, who now works for a children's rights charity (Alumni)

This week Cate is back chatting with another alumni guest, Tobi Osogbiye. Tobi is from Nigeria and studied French Language for her undergraduate degree in Nigeria. Tobi then studied a Master's in International Relations & Diplomacy at University of Birmingham in 2018-19 and now works as a Public Affairs & Engagement Officer at National Youth Advocacy Service. 

Tobi was a huge part of the university during her time here, starting as Postgraduate Officer for the Guild in 2019, before continuing on to become the Guild President. Find out about Tobi's experience as an international postgraduate student and hear her expand on her advice: 'don't just pass through university, allow university to pass through you'. 

From pursuing music in Nigeria, to representing 38,000 students as Guild President, to working for a children's rights charity, Tobi's career journey so far is so interesting so make sure to listen! 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E10: What is gamification? With KPMG China (Employer)

Find out all about gamification! Cate is joined by Rocco Li, who works at KPMG China in Campus Recruiting. Rocco has worked across Campus Recruiting at Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg and PwC throughout his career. He now works at KPMG, leading the Campus Recruiting and Employer Branding Team and has a wealth of knowledge about gamification in the selection process. 

Listen to hear more about what gamification actually is, how it's used, and how it can help you to find the graduate role that's right for you! If you haven't heard of gamification, this is a really interesting insight into how you may have already engaged with it through the application and selection process. 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E9: B-Enterprising: Start-Up Visa, with Sarah Nantume (Alumni)

Sarah Nantume, from Kampala, Uganda, studied LLB Law at the University of Birmingham from 2016-2018. After graduation Sarah worked for a law firm in Uganda for a year, before returning to the UK on a Start-Up Visa. She currently works full-time in Legal Operations, while also working full-time as a co-founder of her start-up business, Maze

Listen to hear Cate ask Sarah all about her journey to get a Start-Up Visa, the support she has received from Careers Network's B-Enterprising Team and how she balances running a business alongside her legal career. 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E8: Lynda Koffi, Junior Strategy Analyst Intern at TotalEnergies (Alumni)

Lynda Koffi, from the Ivory Coast, joins Cate this week to give a great insight into working in the energy sector and the transition from studies to the workplace. Lynda studied BSc Chemical Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton for her undergraduate degree, and then continued to the University of Birmingham to study MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering from 2020-2021. 

Lynda is now completing her second Master's degree in Energy Economics in Paris, and is currently completing an end of study internship in the gas and renewable power department of TotalEnergies, where she works as a Junior Strategy Analyst. 

Transcript of episode available here

Check out Lynda's story on our website where she details more about her career journey. 

S1 E7: Assessment Centres, with Rosemary Zhou from Jardine Mattheson (Employer)

We're talking all things assessment centres! This week, Cate is joined by Rosemary Zhou from Jardine Mattheson. 

Jardine Mattheson is an international conglomerate Fortune 500 company, that Rosemary descries as "the biggest company you have never heard of". Rosemary is the Campus Relations Manager for Jardine Mattheson and has worked at the company for 11 years, starting out as a Management Trainee.

Rosemary gives an insight into what employers are really looking for at assessment centres, how you should prepare, and what red flags they don't want to see. Students and graduates, listen to find out more about the assessment centre process from the employer's perspective, and to get some top tips to help you stand out! 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E6: Nishita Naik, Manager for Client Onboarding in Financial Services (Alumni) 

This week, Cate chats with alumni guest speaker Nishita Naik, from India. Nishi completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Birmingham in 2012-2013 and currently works as a Manager for Client Onboarding within compliance at a financial services company in London.

We apologise for the poor sound quality in parts of this episode, but Nishi shared some great insights into working in the financial services sector and compliance so we would still recommend tuning in! 

Transcript for episode available here

S1 E5: Nina Ma, Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft (Alumni) 

This week we hear from alumni guest speaker Nina Ma from China, who is currently working as a Cloud Solutions Architect at Microsoft in Birmingham, UK. Nina studied BSc Psychology at the University of Birmingham from 2015-2018.

Listen to hear more about Nina's career journey so far from studying Psychology to working as a Technology Data and Analytics Senior Associate at PwC, to her current role at Microsoft.

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E4: Esther Agbenla, Office Manager and Executive Assistant at Junior Achievement Nigeria (Alumni)

This week, Cate chats to another alumni guest speaker, Esther Agbenla, from Nigeria. Esther studied a Masters in International Public Health at the University of Birmingham from 2015-2017 and now works as the Office Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO at Junior Achievement in Nigeria.

We apologise for the poor sound quality in parts of this episode, but we really loved hearing from Esther and still wanted to share the episode. 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E3: Lan Xu, MSc Finance student (Alumni) 

In the third installment of Career Talk, we hear from Lan Xu from China. Lan studied BSc Business for her undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham in 2016-2019 and went on to work as a Digital Marketing Specialist.

Lan is now studying a Masters degree in Finance at Aston University. 

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E2: Eliana Bellano, Associate at AlphaSights (Alumni)

We hear from alumni guest speaker Eliana Bellano from Italy, who currently works as an Associate at AlphaSights in London.

Eliana studied BA Russian Studies and International Relations for her undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham in 2014-2018 and continued at Birmingham to study MSc International Business in 2018-2019.  

Transcript of episode available here

S1 E1: Lucius Pan, Strategy & Innovation Manager at NatWest (Alumni)

In the first episode of Career Talk, we hear from alumni guest speaker Lucius Pan from China, who currently works in London as a Strategy & Innovation Manager at NatWest.

Lucius studied BSc Psychology at the University of Birmingham in 2015-2018 and MSc Business Consulting at the University of Warwick.

Transcript of episode available here

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Birmingham.


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