November 2013

Students get top tips and advice for getting ahead in the jobs market

Read time: approx 1 mins

A UCB graduate who runs Europe’s biggest online cooking community told students he uses the skills he learned at university “every single day.”

Ben Ebbrell, whose YouTube channel Sorted Food has more than 500,000 subscribers, told undergraduates about the growth of the business as part of a special alumni panel run by UCB’s careers and employability service.

Ben was joined by Jo Kenny, conference and banqueting performance manager for Lime Venue Portfolio, part of the Compass Group; Tony Colville, senior associate at the Young Foundation; and Rachel Humphries, a health service manager working with patients with long-term diseases.

During an informative question and answer session, the panellists outlined some top tips for graduate job-hunters. The advice included:

  • Treat every day like an interview because you never know who might be watching you and might therefore spot your potential;
  • Be confident in your work and attitude – and seize every opportunity;
  • Network and make the most of your contacts “because it’s amazing how small the world is”;
  • Enjoy what you do at work – but make time for yourself outside work;
  • Get work experience or a part-time job to show prospective employers your commitment;
  • CVs – make sure the spelling and grammar is correct – or you will go to the bottom of the pile;
  • You are never too big for any job, however seemingly trivial – employers like ambition but they also like humility.

Ben, who graduated with a BA (Hons) Culinary Arts Management in 2009, told the audience how he wrote a cookbook with his university friends in his final year at UCB, scribbling recipes on the back of beer mats. “Just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean that you can’t give it a go,” said Ben, who recalled the hard slog to get the recipe book published.

He and his friends subsequently started uploading video content to YouTube and have seen the popularity of Sorted soar thanks to their fun approach, their tasty recipes and engaging presenting style. The statistics are impressive: Sorted now gets more than three million views each month; 5,000 hours of Sorted content is watched every day.

Although video content is central to the success of Sorted, the business also includes cookbooks, food demonstrations and a new cookware range. The business has gone from “four mates in a pub” to a studio based in North London employing eight full-time staff. There are also plans for an exciting new app involving “engagement around food.”

I use the skills I learned during my Culinary Arts Management degree every single day. Each day I find myself referring back to the lessons I learned at UCB.

Ben Ebbrell, Sorted Food

Clare Hopkins, Careers and Employability Adviser, said the alumni panel event, held during Employability Week, gave students an insight into the challenges and opportunities they will face in the jobs market.

Our graduates are our greatest ambassadors and it was wonderful to see them share their experiences and provide our students with useful tips and invaluable advice. The employment market is so competitive and sessions like the alumni panel are superb learning experiences. It is important that students take advantage of these events to improve their knowledge and ensure they stand out in the crowd when it comes to impressing prospective employers.

Clare Hopkins, Careers and Employability Adviser

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