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Appointments for students & alumni are only released two days in advance, at 11am each day. Handshake will show any later days as having ‘no appointments available’, but if you log in at 11am the next working day, an extra day's appointments should be available.

We offer one-on-one appointments with our Careers Consultants, via a Handshake video/audio call. You can use these sessions for quick queries, career planning, interview preparation, or to have your application documents checked over.

Appointments are booked on Handshake, where you can select an appointment type, time-slot, and the Careers Consultant you would like to see. Unless you are a postdoc (when appointments are made available on Handshake a month in advance), the earliest you can book an appointment in advance is 2 days. You can view and cancel your appointment at any time on Handshake. 

If you'd like to talk to a member of our team in person, you are very welcome to drop into the Careers Service and speak to one of the information team about your needs - or email us in advance if you are travelling specifically to see us. 

Please note that:

  • we are unable to offer detailed advice by e-mail
  • we do not provide advice by e-mail as one of our types of appointment
  • we are unable to offer Visa advice - please contact the International Student Office.
Who is eligible for an appointment?

We offer appointments to current students (including undergraduates of all years, PhDs and MPhils) and alumni from every year of graduation. To be eligible, students must be matriculated, paying the University composition fee, and have a College membership.

We also offer appointments to postdoctoral researchers currently on contract with the University of Cambridge or one of our partner institutes.

Pre-2021 alumni may book appointments outside of term time.

You can find further details of eligibility and levels of access here

 
What appointment types are available?

For students and alumni

Application review (30 mins)

Run through your application with a Careers Consultant. We can advise you on CV’s, cover letters, application forms, personal statements for postgraduate study, and fellowship applications. If you upload your documents to Handshake prior to the appointment, the Careers Consultant will try to look at them in advance.

Career Consultation (30 mins)

We can help you to explore your career options, narrow down your ideas, or develop an action plan. We can also support you to navigate company research, manage job offers, or explore your options for working in the UK or other countries after graduation. We are, however, unable to provide visa advice.

Interview Preparation (30 mins)

Discuss how to prepare for an upcoming interview, talk through any concerns you have, and have the chance to practice your interview technique with a Careers Consultant. Due to high demand, these sessions are restricted to one per term.

Getting started (20 mins)

For those just beginning to explore ideas about careers, or who are keen to know what resources are available, these chats with a member of the Information Team are designed to get you started.

Careers Quick Query (15 mins)

A quick chat with a Careers Consultant for initial advice on careers or further study. Talk to us about: getting started with exploring options, advice on getting in and getting on in your chosen career areas, applications advice, and more. If you would like to discuss application materials, you may upload them to your Handshake profile or share your screen via Teams in the appointment. Please be aware, however, that Quick Queries are not in-depth sessions, and we may be unable to review your application prior to the appointment.

For postdoctoral researchers

We also offer appointments for postdoctoral researchers currently on contract with the University of Cambridge or one of our partner institutes. Appointments with our Postdoc Careers Consultants are made available on Handshake a month in advance, but if you cannot see an available appointment, please email postdocs@careers.cam.ac.uk.

Interview Preparation (45 mins)

Discuss how to prepare for an upcoming interview for a fellowship, academic position, or role outside of academia. Talk through any concerns you may have and practice your panel interview and presentation techniques with a Postdoc Careers Consultant.

Application Review (45 mins)

Run through your application with a Postdoc Careers Consultant, including academic and non-academic CVs and cover letters, statements, fellowship applications, and other application materials. If you upload your documents to Handshake prior to the appointment, the Careers Consultant will try to look at them in advance.

Quick Query (15 mins)

A quick chat with a Careers Consultant about anything related to careers or to follow-up on an application review or interview preparation session. Talk to us about: getting started with exploring options, advice on getting in and getting on in your chosen career areas, making the most of your time in Cambridge, application advice and more. We're here to answer your questions, signpost to resources and to provide advice and support.

Booking and cancelling appointments

How to book

  • All appointments are booked via the ‘Career Centre’ section on Handshake. All Cambridge students, postdocs, and alumni can register for a free Handshake account by using their @cam.ac.uk email address.
  • Once you have booked, you can upload CVs & Cover Letters onto Handshake - so our Careers Consultants can see them during your online appointment.  Click on your initials and navigate to the 'Documents' area to do this. NOTE: You can choose to make documents public by using the 'Visible' option in the document area. You do not need to do this for our Careers Consultants to see them - so only select this option if you are happy to share these documents with employers and other users in the Handshake Community.  
  • If you have a disability that means you find making an appointment online difficult or impossible, please contact us at enquiries@careers.cam.ac.uk. A member of the Information Team will be happy to discuss this via a Microsoft Teams video or audio call, and help set up your appointment. If you have a disability, please see our accessibility information.

When to book

  • Appointments are available Monday to Friday all year round (except for Bank Holidays).
  • Student & alumni appointments are bookable 2 days ahead. Bookings open up from 11am every working day.
  • For postdoctoral researchers, appointments are made available on Handshake a month in advance.

How to cancel

You can view and cancel your appointment using Handshake. If you would like to cancel, please let us know as soon as possible. If you have difficulty cancelling your appointment, please contact us at enquiries@careers.cam.ac.uk

 

How to prepare for your appointment

For all appointments, it is useful to consider what you’d like to get out of the session, and to write down any specific questions you may have. Please be punctual, whether the appointment is in person or via Handshake. 

Appointments usually take place virtually, within the Handshake platform. We suggest that you join the meeting on Handshake five minutes early, in order to ensure that you are able to access the appointment and the camera and sound are functioning. Please ensure that you are in a quiet space if possible, and wear headphones if not. This will allow you and the adviser to better concentrate on your conversation.

What to expect during the appointment

  • Any information you give whilst booking your appointment will be passed on to the Careers Consultant so they know what you'd like to discuss. If you change your mind about what to cover then the Careers Consultant will be happy to talk about anything careers-related.
  • Careers Consultants make short notes of the discussion, including anything that would be useful should you book a subsequent appointment. The notes are held confidentially and are used exclusively by us.
  • Careers Consultants won’t be able to proofread all your documentation, or rewrite your material for you where English isn’t your first language.

Prepare for a specific appointment type

Application Review

  • Use the CVs and Applications guide to help structure your CV, cover letter, speculative application, or Masters application.
  • Upload your application documents to your Handshake profile before your appointment, so that your Careers Consultant can access them. Click on your initals and navigate to the 'Documents' area to do this. NOTE: You can choose to make documents public by using the 'Visible' option in the document area. You do not need to do this for our Careers Consultants to see them - so only select this option if you are happy to share these documents with employers and other users in the Handshake Community.  
  • If you are having a CV reviewed, make sure it is visible on your Handshake profile.
  • Bring digital or printed copies to your appointment, ready for you to amend or write down notes.
  • Please use our CV checking tool CareerSet before your appointment to make the best of your time with the consultant.

Career Consultation

To help you decide what your next steps might be, and to get some idea of what to discuss with the Careers Consultant, consult the page below that describes your situation best:

Interview Preparation

  • Read about interviews and assessment centres. These pages discuss how to prepare, what to expect and do on the day, and how to follow up your interview with an employer. If you're short on time, read our Quick Guide on Interviews.
  • Don't panic! Careers Consultants are here to guide you and give constructive feedback on your answers. Think about the type of questions employers might ask you and prepare answers using the STAR method described in the Quick Guide on Interviews. Read our list of example interview questions.
  • There is no need to dress formally for your appointment. For advice on how to dress in the real interview, read 'Dress for Success' in our Quick Guide on Interviews.
  • Before your appointment, please use our practice interview tool, Shortlist Me to get the best out of your session with the consultant.

Careers Quick Query

  • If you have a document (e.g. CV or cover letter) you would like to be briefly reviewed, upload it to your Handshake account where the Careers Consultant will be able to access it.
About our Careers Consultants

Beka Kimberley

 

Beka has a PG Diploma in Careers Education, Information and Guidance in HE. Beka works closely with the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science and the Widening Participation team, and also leads the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team and is the Careers Service representative for Homerton College, Corpus Christi & Darwin. 


Catherine Alexander

 

Catherine has a background in Music and Art Development and is associated with the Arts and Humanities Schools Team. She is the point of contact for Fitzwilliam, Jesus and Sidney Sussex College. Catherine is the lead on disability at the Careers Service and liaises with the Disability Resource Centre. She has a PG Diploma in Career Guidance.


Darren Johnson

 

Darren has over 20 years’ experience as a Careers Practitioner in Higher Education, and is associated with the School of Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine. He is the Careers Service point of contact for Selwyn and Magdalene College.


David Ainscough (Deputy Director)

 

David is Deputy Director of the Careers Service and manages a team of Careers Consultants.  A member of the Humanities & Social Science Schools Team, with a particular interest in the Legal profession, David is also the Careers Service point of contact for Queen’s, Downing and Peterhouse colleges.


Emily Packer

 

Practising in the careers guidance and development sector for most of her career, Emily has worked with a range of clients. She is associated with the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences and is the representative for Murray Edwards, St Catherine’s, and King’s College. Emily is a qualified AGCAS trainer, training careers professionals in careers and employability course design. Emily is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE).


Jane Ansell

 

Jane has a background in music and arts marketing, and is associated with the School of Arts and Humanities. She is currently working towards a postgraduate diploma in Careers Guidance with Warwick University. Jane has extensive experience of student and employer-facing work within the Careers service.


Katie Heath

 

Katie has a DG Diploma in Career Coaching and is an Accredited Executive Coach. She is experienced in supporting individuals starting their career as well as those established in their careers. She is associated with the Schools of Physical Sciences and Technology and is the Careers Service point of contact for Trinity Hall and Lucy Cavendish.


Krista Cooper

 

Krista has extensive experience in graduate recruitment across different sectors and is the Careers Consultant Lead for a team of Careers Consultants. She is associated with the School of Arts and Humanities and is also the Careers Service liaison contact for Girton, Newnham and Christ’s College. Krista also has an interest in Schools Outreach, and has a PG Diploma in Career Development & Coaching studies


Lucy Romijn

 

Lucy has a background in Further Education and widening participation - she is an Associate Trainer for AGCAS and leads the Careers Service in the School of Biological Sciences and Clinical Medicine. Lucy is the CS representative for Robinson, Pembroke and St John’s college. She has a PG Diploma in Careers Guidance.


Marloes Tijssen

 

Marloes Tijssen graduated in Medical Biology from VU University Amsterdam. She then got her PhD from the University of Amsterdam on how to grow blood platelets from stem cells. She came to Cambridge as a postdoc, secured several fellowships to work on the regulation of blood platelet formation, and became a group leader. During her scientific career, Marloes developed a keen interest in leadership, management and mental health. She became an ILM-certified executive coach and set up her own company. Her clients are mostly scientists seeking advice on leadership and career development. Marloes also has experience working as a scientific consultant, entrepreneur, research support officer and communications manager.


Raj Sidhu

 

Raj has extensive experience in guiding students in a diverse range of sectors, in both Cambridge and London. With a  corporate background, he is part of the Physical Sciences and Tech school team. He’s also the Careers Service point of contact for Churchill and Trinity College. Raj is qualified with a PG Diploma in Career Coaching.


Sonali Shukla (Maternity leave)

 

Sonali has a background in public engagement, education and outreach, with a particular focus on diversity in the physical sciences. She is the Careers Service point of contact for Emmanuel College and Gonville and Caius College.

Accessing the Careers Service and our Fair Use policy

Please note that the Careers Service is currently operating remotely, and only offering appointments via Handshake.

There is a disabled parking space available at the Careers Service, as well as ground floor rooms for appointments. If you need either of these facilities, please let the Careers Consultant or the Client Enquiries and Information Team know prior to your appointment. You can do this on Handshake or email enquiries@careers.cam.ac.uk

For full information about access to the Careers Service and our resources, visit our Careers Service accessibility page.

Our fair use policy

  • We aim to enable as many students as possible to meet a Careers Consultant within a reasonable period of time.
  • In order to be fair to our many users we limit any user to three contacts with a careers consultant in any four week period. You may book more than one Quick Query, but at very busy times of the year it is unlikely that we will be able to offer you multiple appointments. Our aim is to support as many students as we can, therefore we may need to limit a client’s ability to book appointments where instances of high usage occur.
  • To make the best use of your time and that of the Careers Consultant, we recommend that you use our website to prepare and carry out background research before attending your appointment.
Contact the Careers Service

If you have a question, please contact us on enquiries giving as much detail as possible about your query. We'll aim to respond to queries within one working day.

If you would like us to respond to you personally please add your name, Raven ID and email address.