Imperial currently holds the top spot for graduate employability in The Guardian University Guide 2020 – and we’re committed to maintaining this success.
Our Careers Service is on hand to provide professional careers support and guidance from your very first day. Just some of the services available to help you plan for life after Imperial include:
- one-to-one sessions with a professional careers consultant
- daily skills seminars tailored to meet the different stages of the recruitment cycle
- a free CV checking service
In addition to our central service, each department has a member of staff who is responsible for providing subject-specific careers support.
Employer events and activities
The quality of our graduates and our central London location contribute to Imperial being one of the UK universities most targeted by graduate employers.
We organise a year-round programme of employer events where you can learn more about different professions, hone your skills for interviews and assessment centres, and meet leading recruiters face to face.
Through our industry sector forums, seven annual careers fairs, and extensive programme of company presentations, you will have access to hundreds of potential employers on campus.
Employers also play an active part in our career development programme, delivering careers lectures and weekly skills workshops.
In addition, we organise drop-in recruiter-in-residence sessions throughout the year where you can meet employers on a one-to-one basis, and mock interview sessions delivered by representatives from a wide range of graduate employers.
If you're considering a future as an entrepreneur starting up a new business, or you're a budding innovator aiming to join an existing one, you’ll have every opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and experience you need to bring your ideas to life.
We have a dedicated Enterprise team who can help you find your way around the College’s network of programmes, facilities and initiatives, including:
- the WE Innovate @ Imperial programme, designed to encourage female students with an enterprising idea through a series of exclusive development and mentoring opportunities, and offering the chance to win £10,000 in funding
- The Enterprise Lab has been set up to serve Imperial’s enterprise community. It ensures that all students who have an idea or innovation receive the support they need to take it forward, regardless of what stage they’re at. That might be through training programmes, access to competitions for funding, ideas surgeries with the Lab team or mentoring from industry experts. There is also the physical space itself, which has become a go-to place for people to work on their ideas, connect with others and get inspiration.
- Imperial College Advanced Hackspace – we’re well known for turning our research into real-world solutions. That’s exactly what our Advanced Hackspace is for. It brings together a network
of facilities at our South Kensington and White City Campuses where you can build things, fix things and learn to hack (the good kind).
- ACT Now!, Imperial College Union's flagship development programme for student social entrepreneurs, which offers one-to-one support, skills development workshops and enterprise bootcamps
- The Invention Rooms at our White City Campus, a brand new space offering access to workshop technologies and specialist prototyping and manufacturing equipment
We run a series of competitions across the College, where students can win prize money to help fund their ideas, including Dragon’s Den style competitions and the annual Venture Catalyst Challenge, which helps new inventors take their ideas beyond the planning stage.
You can tell how active our student entrepreneurs are by the number of enterprising student-run societies at Imperial, including:
- Imperial Entrepreneurs, the launchpad for the next generation of technology entrepreneurs at Imperial;
- the Imperial App Society, which inspires students to share ideas and transform their environment by developing mobile apps;
- E.quinox, a humanitarian organisation working to bring cost-effective and renewable energy to developing countries; and
- Enactus, which is committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the lives of people in need and runs a wide variety of social enterprise projects that span the globe
Visit our Enterprise portal to find out more about the range of activities, competitions and events for you to get involved with.
Placements and internships
Employers are increasingly using their internship schemes as a major recruitment tool for their graduate programmes. Gaining industrial experience during your studies is also an excellent way to make your CV stand out. Some of our courses offer you the chance to complete a year-long industrial placement as part of your degree, but you can also undertake shorter internships during College vacation periods.
The Careers Service’s Placement and Internship Unit is dedicated to helping students find placements both in the UK and abroad. 7,000+ employers advertise their opportunities every year through our online vacancy service, JobsLive, and your department may also receive details of placements directly.
It’s also possible to gain a bursary towards completing a four-week placement in the UK not-for-profit sector through the Careers Service's Charity Insights initiative.
Read about our student blogger Mala's experience completing a 10-week medical research placement in the European Astronaut Centre, Cologne.
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back to the community – whether at home or abroad. At the same time you’ll develop a portfolio of skills that could open up new career paths in areas you may never have previously considered.
I have done many great things over this year and volunteering with Imperial Plus is definitely one of the highlights."
Imperial offers lots of ways for you to do something different with your spare time, and our students have a strong record for making a difference both in the local and global community. The Union's Community Connections volunteer service partners with over 150 external organisations to offer hundreds of volunteering opportunities, from tutoring in schools to community-based projects.
You may also get formal recognition of the skills you develop during your experience through the Union-run Imperial Plus accreditation scheme, which gives you access to free training workshops that run throughout the year.
Mentoring and tutoring
We recognise the valuable role our students play in inspiring the next generation of scientists. That’s why we run and collaborate in a number of flexible tutoring and mentoring schemes that you can take part in alongside your studies.
Campus tours, welcoming VIP visitors to campus and delivering student life talks are just some of the roles that our President's Ambassadors take on every year. The work includes a mixture of volunteer and paid opportunities.
Central London location
Get a head start on your career
As a student in London, you’ll have lots of opportunities to start building a network of useful business contacts.
You will be ideally placed to go to interviews, visit companies and attend networking events. Imperial's Zone 1 location in South Kensington makes these journeys even easier.
Our campus is served by three Tube lines (District, Circle and Piccadilly), passing right through the heart of the city. There are also buses to take you in all directions. This means that areas like the City of London and Canary Wharf – home to some of London's biggest employers – can be reached in under 25 minutes by Tube.
The strength and number of our links with industry, plus the concentration of businesses close by, mean that you will enjoy plenty of opportunities to gain industrial experience, both within and outside the curriculum.
Build a network of useful contacts
Hundreds of the world’s biggest employers are headquartered in London and many of them come to campus specifically to recruit our students. Recently, these have included:
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- Jaguar Land Rover
In addition, many professional societies have their headquarters in London, including the British Medical Association, the Royal Society, and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
It’s worth keeping an eye out for public events run by professional associations, such as lectures and conferences. These are an opportunity to learn more about your subject from professionals working in the field. They’re also a chance to meet prospective employers and start building a network of useful contacts for when you graduate.