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Important notice: Coronavirus, remote working and Handshake bookings 

We continue to offer appointments delivered via Virtual Handshake, which you can book on Handshake. On-site appointments at the Careers Service are currently not available. 

Appointments 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 day, an extra day's worth of appointments should be available.

Please note that for the first 4 weeks of Michaelmas term, we only offer 15 minute appointments in order to meet the very high demand at this time of the year.

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.

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.

If you have any queries about eligibility, please e-mail

What appointment types are available?

For students and alumni

Please note that for the first 4 weeks of Michaelmas term, we only offer 15 minute appointments in order to meet the very high demand at this time of the year.

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

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 email address.
  • If you have a disability that means you find making an appointment online difficult or impossible, please contact us at 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).
  • All appointments are bookable 2 days ahead. Bookings open up from 11am every 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

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 at least one working day before your appointment, so that your Careers Consultant can access them.
  • 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

All Careers Consultants can give advice on ability tests; applications, CVs and personal statements; international students; interview skills/queries; overseas jobs and postgraduate study in the UK.

Beka Kimberley


Beka works with a wide range of students to support them clarify their thoughts around careers and identify their next steps as well as guiding them in preparing for applications and interviews. At Cambridge, she works closely with the Faculty of Human, Social and Political Science and the Widening Participation team. Beka takes a client-centred approach, supporting people in exploring what a satisfying career means to them.

She has a degree in English Literature and a PGCE in Primary Education. After graduating, Beka spent ten years working as a teacher in mainstream primary schools and 2 and a half years working in special schools. She changed career in her 30s and gained an MPhil in Education, Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature before joining the Careers Group and working as a careers consultant for King’s College London, working with students from all backgrounds but particularly those with an interest in policy, charity/NGO and public sector work.

Catherine Alexander


Catherine read music at Birmingham Conservatoire. After graduating she joined the South Bank Centre. Her 15 year career there culminated as Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room Programme Manager. She then left London to join Cambridge City Council, Arts and Entertainments as Arts Development Manager. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Careers Guidance.


  • Academia - Humanities
  • Administration
  • Advertising
  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Heritage
  • Disability
  • Media- Film/TV/Radio/Broadcasting, Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Sports
  • Music
  • Theology
  • Modern and Medieval Languages

Also covers: Teaching; Retail; Art History; Arts Administration; Commercial Art/Auction Houses; Museum Work; Publishing; Marketing

Darren Johnson


Darren works with a range of clients supporting them in recognising and articulating their strengths and clarifying their thoughts around careers; as well as empowering them to maximise their impact with applications and interviews. He works closely with the Faculty of Biology. Darren takes a client-centred coaching approach with clients.

He has a Diploma in Coaching from Cambridge University and PG Dip. Careers Guidance, B.A (Hons) Social Anthropology/Sociology /Psychology from University of Kent & PG Cert. Clinical Exercise from Trinity College, Dublin.

Darren has 18 years` experience as a Careers Practitioner in universities, mainly Durham and more recently St Andrews, UEA and Newcastle. He has worked with a range of clients across various schools. In his most recent roles at St Andrew`s and UEA he worked mainly with students interested in careers in the environment, psychology and management. Previously he worked in school and college settings as a Careers Adviser and after graduating from his first degree worked for the Y.H.A to management level and completed 3 contracts overseas for Carnival Cruise Lines as a social host and youth counsellor. He is a member of the International Coach Federation, an accredited strengths practitioner and qualified and experienced Health Coach.

David Ainscough (Deputy Director)


David graduated in modern history from Oxford and took an information systems diploma before joining the Glaxo Research Group where he worked for five years. From there he joined Generics Group plc, an interdisciplinary technology and business consulting company based in Cambridge, as a consultant and latterly became the human resources manager for a subsidiary company.


  • Accountancy
  • City Jobs
  • Law
  • History
  • Management Services
  • Philosophy

Also covers: Law; Economics; IT/Computer Science; Banking; Financial work; Psychology

Emily Packer


Emily read a Masters in English and Culture at university before undertaking the postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and Development and later, the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice. Emily was awarded with Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2018 and is a registered careers practitioner with the Career Development Institute.

Throughout her career Emily has organised sector-specific careers conferences, panels and recruitment simulations to support students to discover their career ambitions. Before joining the Careers Service at the University of Cambridge, Emily was the Careers Adviser for Plymouth Business School and Plymouth School of Law, Criminology and Government where Emily was awarded the institutional student-voted award for ‘Championing Excellence in Career Development’.

Practising in the careers guidance and development sector for most of her career, Emily has worked with a range of clients in colleges and Higher Education, specialising in careers guidance, recruitment processes and employability skills development. Throughout her career Emily has worked closely with recruiters, employers and the academic community to develop best practice in careers work within her institutions. Emily specialises in supporting clients with their career journey.


  • Management Consultancy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • City Jobs
  • Actuarial work
  • Management Services
  • Management Studies degrees
  • Business Schools
  • Own Business

Also covers: Accountancy; Banking; Management; History and Philosophy of Science

Jane Ansell


After graduating from the Royal College of Music as a freelance clarinettist, Jane pursued a career in Arts marketing, working for the Royal Albert Hall, Philharmonia Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, before returning to the RCM in marketing and as a founding member of their first career centre, providing guidance for students. Jane returned to freelance work when she set up her own business in Arts marketing and admin with clients ranging from venues and festivals, to orchestras and individual musicians. Jane is working towards a postgraduate diploma in Careers Guidance.

Katie Heath


Katie spent more than 12 years working in HR in the engineering and technology sectors for ABB and Johnson Matthey. Throughout her career she has specialised in recruitment and development, working on global and national recruitment strategies as well as supporting individuals in their career journeys. She has worked as an HR business partner for different management teams, is a qualified careers coach and an accredited executive coach.


  • Ecology
  • Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Renewable Energy
  • Environment
  • International Development
  • Plant Sciences
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
  • Zoology

Krista Cooper


Krista graduated with a BA Hons in French Language and Educational Studies from Oxford Brookes. She spent 14 years cumulatively working in Graduate Recruitment at Deutsche Bank where she worked her way up to lead a team recruiting onto all their Sales/Trading/Derivatives/Research programmes, and Fidelity Investments as part of the HR team recruiting across many business areas. Since then Krista has worked on a variety of recruitment projects with different companies. She is a member of the Career Development Institute (CDI) and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Career Development and Coaching Studies.


  • Banking
  • City Jobs
  • Commodities
  • Financial Work
  • Management Consultancy
  • Information Technology
  • Language Jobs/Courses
  • General Management
  • Human Resources
  • Architecture/Real Estate

Lucy Romijn


Lucy read Sociology at the University of Bristol and spent three years teaching adult and 16-19 learners in a Further Education college. She became a Careers Adviser in 2016 where she predominantly worked with current university students across Life Science, Health and Social Sciences courses and delivered careers guidance in schools and colleges across the Bristol region as part of the university’s widening participation strategy. Before joining the Careers Service, she coordinated widening participation projects in the Cambridge Admissions Office. Lucy holds a postgraduate diploma in Careers Guidance.


  • Academia - Sciences
  • Archive work
  • Art History
  • Commercial Art, Auction Houses
  • Don’t Knows - Science
  • Heritage Management
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Library work
  • Life Sciences - Biochemistry work and degrees, Bioinformatics, Biological work, Biotechnology, Forensic Science, Genetics, Neuroscience, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology
  • Medicine
  • Museum work
  • Patent work
  • Psychology work
  • Science Communication
  • Veterinary Medicine

Also covers: Plant Sciences; Psychotherapy and Counselling; Publishing, Science; Zoology

Sonali Shukla


Sonali has a PhD in astrophysics from Vanderbilt University, which included a year as a pre-doctoral fellow at Caltech. After two years as a postdoctoral researcher, she served as Assistant Director at the University of Maryland advising physics students and developing novel education and outreach programs, particularly to increase diversity in the physical sciences. She also has experience in public engagement, most recently at the Institute of Astronomy and as the Public Engagement Coordinator, both at the University of Cambridge.


  • Computer Science degrees
  • Data Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronics work
  • Engineering work and degrees
  • Information Technology
  • Maths work and degrees
  • Physics work and degrees
  • Electrical Engineering

Also covers: Academia - Sciences, Actuarial work, Chemical Engineering, Chemical jobs, Chemistry degrees, Civil Service - Scientific, Science Publishing, Science Communication

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

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 use our enquiry form or message us on Facebook 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.