The number of students choosing a career in the technology and e-commerce sectors is on the rise and the graduates from London’s top education institutions significantly contribute to these changes. The annual employment report (for the year 2015) publicised by the London Business School shows a 4% (from 16% to 20%) increase in the number of graduates choosing to build a career in one of the abovementioned sectors. David Morris, Assistant Director and Head of Corporate Sectors at LBS’s Career Centre says this interesting shift is happening due to a number of factors.
What does your role at London Business School incorporate? How exactly does the career centre assist the graduates in their job hunting?
My role consists of two main elements, one to build relationships with the technology and media industries both locally in the UK and internationally with multinationals and fast growth communities. Developing and building these relationships is key to creating career opportunities for our students and alumni for permanent roles and internships / projects.We also work with companies to share market knowledge with the students through presentations, visits and conferences both on and off campus.
The second part of my role is to work with the students to share market knowledge / intelligence and to advise them on careers in this space through presentations and one to one sector advising. I am also spending a lot of time off campus going to events to hear about the latest developments in the market and meeting new companies.
The number of students choosing a career in the technology and e-commerce sectors has risen in the recent years. What attracts them in these industries?
Over the last 5 years we have seen a steady development of London’s startup and tech ecosystems which created new markets i.e FinTech, EdTech, AdTech and, as a result, new opportunities and career paths for students. The graduates who may have looked at more traditional sectors previously are now seeing the new disrupters as opportunities to grow. We have also seen an increase in the number of companies setting up structured MBA and Graduate programmes in this space which gives the students a good development platform for their careers in the sector.
“Across the digital space analytical skills are some of the most sought after”
Some of the hiring companies are technology giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. What skills do they look for in the graduates? And what would you name as the most sought-after soft skills?
A lot of students will worry about not having a technology background to get into the sector, this is something that is not essential however having a strong passion for the sector is key. Learn about the products and use them, research what is happening in the market, who are the competitors (traditional and new kids on the block). Across the digital space analytical skills are some of the most sought after, being able to interrogate data and make recommendations from the findings is key. In regard to soft skills, students need to be able to communicate at all levels and be a team player (a little humility can also go a long way). Also be comfortable with ambiguity – things can change quickly in tech.
You are a member of the Tech London Advocates lobbying group. Tell us more about its goals.
Tech London Advocates was launched in 2013 by Russ Shaw as a private sector-led coalition of expert individuals from the tech sector and broader community who have committed to championing London’s potential as a world-class hub for tech and digital businesses (currently they have over 3300 members). They have 25 working groups focussed on key issues across the industry including Education, Cyber, Women in London Tech, and Talent & Immigration.
What are some of the biggest partnerships London Business School incubates? What sort of events do you encourage your graduates to attend?
On campus we run a number of recruitment events where we bring companies from across the sector to come and meet potential candidates in 2015/2016 academic year we have nearly 60 tech and media companies on campus to recruit. We have also partnered with some of London’s accelerators including Seedcamp and Microsoft Accelerator where we have some of our students work alongside the companies going through their programmes to advise on various business challenges.
Last year London Business School partnered with NewCo and IPG Mediabrands to run NewCo London, a one-day festival with 44 companies from across the tech and digital space opening their doors to the public to showcase their products, culture, and stories of success – companies included onefinestay, made.com, Seenit, The Dots, HelloFresh, Entrepreneur First, Circle and Balderton Capital.
For a lot of our events we work closely with our Entrepreneurship Club and Technology & Media Club from our annual international Tech Treks to Dublin, Silicon Valley, New York, Tel Aviv and Berlin giving the students an opportunity to meet with companies in the world leading tech ecosystems through to their annual conference ‘generationE’ and Hackathon last year focussed on FinTech.
Click on the image to register for the event