Graduated, now what?

Congratulations Class of 2019!

It’s a week after our wonderful graduation ceremonies, I really enjoy the effort we put into our graduations at Hope. The whole University comes together to make those days special for everyone.

I hope every one of you take some time to relax and recharge your batteries, you deserve it.

I know from our exit surveys that many of you have plans for next year, progressing to further study, travelling or starting a new job.

For those who are not yet sure about your next steps or want to just talk through your plans, Liverpool Hope Careers and Employability team are here for you. Our team offers support for up to 3 years after graduating.

You can email to arrange an appointment with one of our advisers, we can be flexible with timings and the method of appointment either in person, telephone, skype or an email conversation.

We are running Next Steps sessions across the summer:

Next Steps is fast-track careers suite that aims to equip graduates with:

– knowledge of occupations and professions related to their course;

– knowledge of job-search sites and sources of employment; and,

– practical techniques on CV writing and application forms, along with interview technique.

These sessions are course specific and intended for recent grads – however, other levels are equally as welcome.

The workshops will run between 10:00-13:00 (see dates below) and will be held at the Employability Hub.

To attend, either book your place through Events on My Careers Centre or email the Careers Team directly –

05/08/19 – Next Steps in Geography and Environmental Sciences

06/08/19 – Next Steps in the Arts

07/08/19 – Next Steps with Alternatives to Teaching

08/08/19 – Next Steps in Teaching

12/08/19 – Next Steps in Law and Humanities

13/08/19 – Next Steps in Maths and Computing

14/08/19 – Next Steps in Business and Marketing

16/08/19 – Next Steps in Psychology and Social Sciences

Your university email will be yours for life but access to Moodle, My Hope and My Careers Centre will be turned off shortly so, don’t forget to register your personal email in My Careers Centre to access it as an Alumni. When in My Careers Centre click my profile in the top right and then graduate access.

Also, please don’t forget to take part in the Graduate Outcomes Survey 15 Months time! 

I hope this helps, any questions email us on

Chris Biggs

Senior Careers Adviser

The roller-coaster of an accountancy placement… yes I said roller-coaster!

Jon Davies Accountants recently sponsored a prize at the Liverpool Hope University Insight to Business Awards. Amongst the likes of Lloyds Bank, Vodafone and Everton FC,

Patrick Bolton secured the two-week placement at Jon Davies Accountants and here are his reflections from the experience:

“I arrived at this placement, fairly confident that I as an ‘accomplished’ student of Accountancy, had a firm grasp of the principles going in. After a rude awakening, I have spent the majority of my time being led by the nose by the far more capable and infinitely more knowledgeable members of the team here. I didn’t know what to expect when granted this view behind the scenes but, by far my biggest takeaway from this experience is my respect for the amount of work and time the team here puts in every day. A special mention must be made for Billie Arnold, my neighbour throughout the week, and without whom, I fear I would still be reeling in confusion and looking for the nearest escape route. I’m incredibly grateful for her tutelage over these past two weeks but I’m sure she will be welcoming an end to the unceasing entreaties for help.  

It is in many ways unbelievable to me that I have only been here for two weeks. I don’t imagine that rollercoaster and accountancy often appear in the same sentence together however, for my time here it feels appropriate. I have truly run the gamut of emotional reactions at Jon Davies Accountants. The hair-ripping frustration of numbers not balancing, mitigated only by the savage joy of solving the mystery of missing figures. The overwhelming resentment you feel for inanimate pieces of paper, followed later by the weary satisfaction as the last receipt is inputted. I have learned a great deal during my time here, perhaps too much. I worry now that when I return to my classmates, they will recognise this knowledge within me and will be apprehensive in approaching the poise and mastery with which I return.

I said to Jon in our first interview that I wasn’t overly enthused about the faceless aspect of accountancy when it comes to firms like the Big Four. He assured me at the time that his firm was entirely different, that there was nothing faceless about it and he has been proved right time and time again. The atmosphere in the office is entirely different to what I (and I’m assuming everyone) imagines when thinking about an Accountancy firm. There are no grey men in grey suits and no dingy lifeless cubicles. There are times when you walk into this office, where you would be forgiven for thinking that you have unintentionally interrupted a family reunion. There is a closeness here that seems to extend to the clients as well. Often when overhearing phone calls around the office, a conversation could start with a business inquiry but by the end sound like two old friends catching up after some time apart.

I’ll close by thanking Jon for the opportunity to work at his firm and to every member of the team, for making me feel as welcome as I did and for all the time and help they’ve given to me. As a poor student, it is unlikely I will be requiring Jon’s services any time soon, but, in the event of a lottery win or the surprise discovery of a priceless antique, there is no team I would trust more with my finances.

Top 5 Tips When Applying for a Business Development Role

Calling all students of the Liverpool Hope University! Have you decided what career path to travel once you graduate? What I’d like to do is provide with a little nugget of information that could help you choose a career path that is challenging, but lucrative, and immensely enjoyable too. If you like a good challenge that pays off in the end, applying for a business development role might just be on the cards for you.

While working in the finance sector for SME Loans, I have found myself liaising closely with many business development managers, who are tasked with improving and growing the business they work for. Their main objective is to improve the profitability of a company and that takes strategic planning, industry know-how, and of course, an in depth knowledge of financing options, innovative marketing opportunities, and relationship building.

A business development manager’s role affects every area and department of the business. If you don’t like the idea of responsibility, then this career choice is not for you.

But let’s say that it is for you. Let’s say that you hear about the tasks of a business development executive and you feel excited by the prospect. Now what? What’s the next step? What sort of qualifications do you need and what skills do you require? Most important of all; how do you apply successfully for the role and ace the interview too? Here’s where I would like to provide you with some assistance.


What Skills Are Required for a Business Development Role?

When speaking to our Business Development HOD and to the various business development executives that we assist with financing on a regular basis, I discovered that the role is quite varied. No day is exactly the same, so if you are looking for a bit of variety and don’t want to be chained to a desk examining the same documents day in and day out, then this role might be of interest to you.

It was mentioned that the top skills required are:

  • Knowledge of the industry that the business development role exists in. Keep in mind that a business development executive’s role in one industry can differ vastly to that of another serving a completely different industry.
  • The ability to use market research to explore and identify new business opportunities. Remember I said that a business development role is aimed at improving profitability? Well, that’s where this skill comes in, as you will need to generate leads for the business.
  • Communication skills and the ability to reach out. If you are shy and don’t like to communicate with others, this could be challenging for you. A business development executive must be driven, confident, and able to clearly communicate ideas and concepts to others.
  • Ability to build on relationships. Some would say that business development roles are suited to “people persons”. You cannot enhance the profitability and success of a business if you are unable to build on relationships with customers, industry colleagues, and of course; employees.
  • Excellent IT skills. You will need to be a whizz on the computer and have good working knowledge of technology. You will be using spreadsheets and programs and need to be able to pick up on these quickly.


What Qualifications Are Required for a Business Development Role?

It is quite interesting to note that there is no strict or set qualification required to enter the job market, in a business development role. However, the market is highly competitive and those who are entering such positions generally do have a degree. The most common degrees required in such a role include:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Sales & Marketing
  • Internal Relations
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship


What Type of Companies Employ Business Development Execs in the UK?

At the moment, there are various industries that employ business development executives. Some of the most common are the High Street banks, financial institutions (companies that provide small business loans), IT companies, and manufacturing firms. Of course there are others, if you look for them. Glassdoor provides a list of current business development roles available across the United Kingdom.

Applying for a Role in Business Development? Consider These 5 Top Tips

  • Get a sound education. This is the first and most important tip. While there’s no set qualification you need, you stand a greater chance of being employed if you have a degree. Make sure that your CV includes your letter of completion and your degree certificate when you apply for jobs online.
  • Get a little experience behind you. Don’t worry; you don’t have to try gain experience in the exact role you wish to apply for. Recruiters often look for individuals who have worked (even part-time) in a sales position as it demonstrates your ability to communicate and build on relationships. If you have run your own side-line or part-time business, you can present this as entrepreneurial experience, which is something else that recruiters look for in recent graduates. Try to do some work experience before trying to enter the market.
  • Improve on your technical skills and make sure that you mention these on your CV and in your interview. You need to demonstrate that you know your way around software such as CRM databases and various marketing automation platforms. If you worked in a sales role before, mention the software platforms that you used.
  • Show a passion for selling and for getting to know the product. Before you attend an interview, and even in your covering letter on your application, make sure that the interviewer knows that you have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of their product and business. Your role will be to live and breathe their product if you get the job, so you should start working on your knowledge before you get to the interview.
  • Do some reading. The more you have read up on business development, the more you will know. This means that a conversation with a business development manager in an interview will be relaxed and easy – and you will have something to talk about. There are some interesting books on great business development managers of the past available, which can prepare you for the industry. One that might have an impact is Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence by Tim Sanders.

What Does A Business Development Manager Earn?

Realistically speaking, graduate business development executives make an average salary of between £20,000 and £24,000 per year. Indeed states that the average salary for a mid-range development manager in the UK is £34,827 and tags it as “29% below national average”. That’s food for thought, isn’t it?

Last Word

Hopefully these tips help you land the perfect business development role! Good luck!


My 2-Week Internship at Active Profile

Having spent the last two years studying Business Management and Marketing at Liverpool Hope University, I have had little exposure to PR and growth marketing was a mystery. So, when I was awarded my internship at Active Profile through the university’s Insight to Business Awards, I was intrigued to find out what my textbooks couldn’t teach me.
Fast-forward two weeks and I have worked closely with all three specialist teams at Active Profile – Place, Innovation and Growth Marketing – trying my hand at everything from social media management, to attending client meetings and even drafting press releases.

My first day

When I stepped through the doors of Active Profile, I was met with bunch of friendly faces who were keen to get to know me and find out what I wanted to get out of my time at Active Profile. This surprised me due to the tales of interns being given little responsibility and restricted to making the teas and coffees, so I was over the moon when they gave me the responsibility of getting involved with real client work.

Learning on the job

The Place team in particular gave me a lot of responsibility. I had expressed my interest in social media and wanted to get to know how to use some of the software they use, such as Hootsuite for scheduling and monitoring the client’s social media. I was given the responsibility of drafting and scheduling the weekly tweets for a number of clients. I also spent some time sourcing ‘hot topics’ for clients and Active Profile alike.

The Innovation and Growth Marketing teams introduced me to how an integrated comms account works. I attended client meetings, drafted news articles for clients’ websites and came up with event ideas.

During my time here I also worked on a competitor analysis project for Active Profile’s social media accounts, writing up suggestions based on what similar companies are doing and recommendations on how we could take learnings to drive traffic and engagement. From this, I made a calendar to coincide with days to celebrate in the office and made recommendations on how to use them on social media.

What I enjoyed the most

One of the things I found most interesting during my time at Active Profile was being able to join meetings and observe the dynamics of how the team worked, which was especially interesting when they involved external partners or clients. This was really eye opening to me as I had never been apart of a professional meeting before.
As I had expressed an interest in social media, I really enjoyed getting to wrap my head around the different scheduling systems and learning how to tailor different posts to different media outlets, audiences and businesses.

Throughout my time at Active Profile, the whole team created a warm and welcoming environment that made my time with them fly by and I enjoyed getting to know them.
After I graduate University next year, I hope to build my own start-up company within the hospitality industry. You never know, I may end up back at Active Profile as a client one day!

Check out Hannah’s original blog post here

Find out more about Active Profile and what they do here

Working Like a Dog #BringYourDogToWorkDay

The longest day of the year also marks this year’s #BringYourDogToWorkDay

Not too ruff, eh?

New research on the benefits of having a furry friend in the office suggests that it could lead to a 15.5% increase in overall work quality of life compared to your average office.

Along with an increase in people’s satisfaction with their home-work interface, by better balancing their commitments, being able to have a dog at your desk indicated a 12% increase in job satisfaction.

The study found that a dog’s presence can reduce stress and people like them because they don’t judge.

Office dogs don’t care if you’re making a third trip to the snacks table…


They are also a source of social support, a dog is always happy to listen to you complaining about that printer that won’t work. Our furry friends act as catalysts for social interactions with other humans as well, who wouldn’t love to see the office dog stake a claim on the boss’s chair?



If you fancy being able to bring your dog to work on more than the odd occasion there are a couple of ways you can spend time with a canine companion during the day:
  • Find a dog friendly employer
Play it cool, Kevin, they’ll never suspect you can’t read

Companies are starting to realise the benefits that having a pet in the office can bring. Small businesses with the flexibility to make their own rules are the front runners in letting dogs come to work.

There’s a number of larger companies that appreciate the positive increase in work-life balance as well. Have a look on a company’s careers page to see if they list it in their benefits but a couple to get you started are Pets Pyjamas and Build-A-Bear.


  • Choose a career with animals

    What? I’m a sniffer dog?

Dog handlers are needed by a wide range of services from security and rescue to the Police and Armed Forces. Find out more about becoming a Dog Handler here

Different dogs are suited to different roles, just like people. You might be interested in using larger dogs for security and protection or smaller dogs for sniffing out things like drugs, weapons and money.

  • Start your own animal based business
How’s the chew toy budget for next quarter looking?

If you really have the passion for working with animals you can go it alone and start your own business. The UK reportedly has over 100,000 pet dogs and they all need walking and looking after. Starting a dog walking business can be difficult but once you have a regular client base that you can rely on, it can become multi-faceted and even employ other members of staff. Check out this comprehensive guide from Simply Business.


If you’re pursuing a career that doesn’t suit having a dog with you could always get your doggy fix by volunteering with your dog in your spare time.

Some volunteering opportunities that are outdoors will welcome well behaved dogs, the National Trust for example sometimes allows dogs to come with volunteers during woodland maintenance or litter picks (check before you go, just to make sure).

They say not all heroes wear capes but it still looks cool

If your dog is friendly with people and other dogs there are always charities who work with animal loving service users that would to pair you up. Not only is this kind of work incredibly rewarding, you’re improving the life of other people and your pooch too. If your dog is super chilled and friendly it could be trained to work as a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, find out more here.

Voluntary experience can really set you apart from other candidates when you’re job hunting and being able to demonstrate you are a well-rounded, caring person is never a bad thing!


If your situation doesn’t allow you a dog and your career isn’t suitable either, don’t panic. There’s still options for you too:
  • Ask to borrow a friend’s/family member’s dog
Yep, says it here: ‘Dog Rule #3 if it moves it must be chased’.

Walking a dog is a huge commitment that the majority of owners knowingly undertake but a bit of help now and then is so useful. Let you friends or family know if you’re keen to get involved, it’s a huge relief to have someone you can trust if you need dog care on a busy day or when you’re sick.

  • Join a dog borrowing service

Most dog lovers know about Borrow My Doggy but for those that don’t it’s a platform that allows people interested in caring for dogs to match up with people who have dogs that need care.

I’m dog sitting, this is what that means isn’t it?

It could be an afternoon walk while the owner is at work or a week of dog sitting while they’re on holiday. There’s a small cost for the premium account if you want some extra features but the free account will still get you up and running with a new four legged friend.



We hope everyone gets their doggy fix today, whether it’s in the office or not. Over 60 companies in Europe have signed up to Purina’s Pets at Work Alliance so hopefully a dog friendly office will be coming to somewhere near you soon!