Career Development

Newnham is keen to help our students get on after their time with us. We have a very engaged body of alumnae (former students) who offer support in a number of ways.

The Newnham Associates are a group of sixty high-flying women who offer their help to our current students. They run termly workshops (on topics such as presentation skills, CV preparation, interview practice and getting the most out of work placements), help arrange work placements and also offer individual advice to any student who gets in touch. We regularly organize ‘networking lunches’, where current students have the opportunity to meet former students of their subject to discuss career options. Finally, we host the Sprint Programme (see below), aimed at developing women’s career prospects.

Associates and workshops
Associates offer help to current students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, in several different ways. They offer individual advice and help in finding work experience, choosing or changing career, and practical help on presenting a good CV and interview technique. They also offer networking opportunities, and contacts for those working or travelling abroad. Each Associate’s profile shows whether she is prepared to help by offering careers advice, vetting CVs, offering interviewing advice or offering work shadowing opportunities, but the types of help that Associates can give are by no means limited to these — for instance, they may be able to offer networking opportunities or contacts for people travelling abroad. If you think someone might be able to help you, just get in touch with her through the Associates’ directory.

The Associates also hold regular workshops at Newnham for current students, organised jointly with the JCR and MCR. They are often focused on aspects of career planning, job hunting or personal development. The workshops are usually held in June and November each year, but are occasionally held at other times. They are often focused on topics to do with careers, but also address personal development. If you have a suggestion for a workshop topic, please get in touch.

The Associates are also involved with the subject networking lunches for alumnae and students held at the College and attend subject Formal Halls in College. They also help to fund the Woolf Essay Prize and other prizes.

Alumnae network
Subjects, including medicine and law, regularly host networking lunches, bringing back former students to the college to meet with current students and offer informal advice on career opportunities and development. As well as the Associates, many of our other alumnae can also offer help and advice on careers, and the Roll Office can assist in putting former and current members of the college in contact.

The Sprint Programme
The Sprint Programme is a career development programme for women undergraduates, from all backgrounds, ages and stages in their lives and study, regardless of their subject, department or career aspirations. For more information, click here.

Veronica Crichton Presentation Skills Course
Each year students are invited to apply for one of the 12 places on the Veronica Crichton Presentation Skills Course. This course is free and funded by alumnae donations. We recognise that presentation skills are important in today’s world in most walks of life. If you have knowledge and good ideas it is important to be able to present them effectively. Professional help in developing these skills and in increasing confidence can be very valuable and make a great difference to your future.

Career support grants
As part of our commitment to seeing our students embark on exciting careers, we offer the same level of funding for career-related summer travel or placements as we do for academic-related travel. This means that you can explore a career opportunity through an internship or volunteering with the benefit of some financial support. Newnham also has some funding for students moving into particular careers: legal training (both for solicitors, and very substantial funding for those heading for the Bar) and those entering medicine from a different first degree.

Lodge seminars
Lodge Seminars, hosted by the Principal, are opportunities to receive career advice from women who have reached the tops of their fields. Presenters are often very frank about the challenges they have faced, and the risks they have taken in reaching their current positions (and many have combined highly successful careers with motherhood). Recent seminars have featured careers in Engineering, Public Life and the Media.