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"I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to meet my future employer"

Double take: MSc Marketing Communications graduate, Natalia Schimbator, and Birkbeck Careers Advisor, Julia De Cruz, talk about the value that the Birkbeck Futures Careers Service adds to the student experience.

Natalia Schimbator wearing her graduation gown and cap


I worked in TV Journalism for many years in Romania, where I developed my organizational and managerial skills on international TV formats, like Got Talent and MasterChef. When I moved to the UK with my fiancé, I had to decide which transferrable skills from my career in TV I could use the most, and I remembered how I was always fascinated by the interactions I had with PR and Marketing departments in my TV work, so I decided to deepen those skills by doing the MSc in Marketing Communications at Birkbeck.

While studying, I heard about Birkbeck's Careers Service, Birkbeck Futures. I signed up to their newsletters and started receiving job alerts for marketing roles, which I regularly applied to. Initially I didn't have much success, but with the help of the Birkbeck Futures team, that soon changed.

I attended the Birkbeck Futures Summer Bootcamp, which offered really insightful workshops and helpful tips that have stuck with me to this day. The one-to-one sessions helped me optimise my CV, focus on my strongest skills, and communicate with impact, which is so important when applying for a job. Soon after, I applied for two jobs from two top employers in the industry and got interviews with both. I didn't know it at the time, but I was about to meet my future employer!

Birkbeck Futures provides tailored support for students looking to capitalise on the knowledge and skills gained during their studies here. The Careers Summer Bootcamp was an amazing initiative that I'd recommend to anyone. The team operate in a very friendly, kind yet professional manner, always making themselves available and putting lots of energy into organising useful events.

I chose Birkbeck for three reasons: it offered flexibility in terms of blending part-time study with part-time work; it's a global meeting point which offered the chance to befriend students from all corners of the world; and its rich history of academic brilliance. The fact that Birkbeck offered invaluable support beyond what was taught in the classroom, was an added bonus, it helped me land a job at a top company in the UK!

I'd like to thank Birkbeck Futures for their hard work and dedication to help students embark in new careers. Their guidance, and carefully planned one-to-one sessions with career coaches has the potential to change someone's journey – that's special.


What makes my job as a Careers Advisor at Birkbeck so special is that I get to meet such a great range of students; from those with no work experience at all, through to seasoned professionals wanting to develop their skills, or change direction. When Natalia came to Birkbeck Futures she already had a fascinating work history behind her, but just needed some focused support to identify the transferable skills she already had from TV journalism and highlight the new learning that her Master's degree had given her.

I've reviewed hundreds (possibly thousands!) of CVs and the struggle to explain and demonstrate skills is very common. There's a tendency to downplay achievements, so it's my job to help students create a top-quality, custom-made CV that makes it to the top of the 'YES' pile.

It's great that Natalia gained so much from our Futures Summer Bootcamp. It's in its third year now and last month's event was packed full of great events and top advice from employers including Google, BAFTA, Huel, PensionBee and many more.

The Birkbeck Futures team supports students throughout the year; promoting jobs, signposting careers advice, supporting entrepreneurial students with our Pioneer Programmes, the Ability Programme for students and recent graduates with a disability, neurodiverse or long-term health condition, and our Career Coaching Programme for those who need more focused direction in their journey.

We're always looking to the future, so we're excited to be piloting new credit-bearing careers modules this coming year with workshops, events and work experience via our new microplacements.

Everybody deserves to be doing a job they love; we hope we can play a part in making this happen, just like we did for Natalia.

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