The Somerville Skills Hub provides students with the academic, personal and career skills to ensure that they fulfil their potential at Somerville and beyond. 

The Skills Hub is based upon three pillars of support: academic skills, wellbeing, and personal development, with the latter extending to career development and internship opportunities. The programme is delivered through workshops, seminars, mentoring, internships and networking opportunities designed to equip students with the skills and tools to flourish academically and prepare for life after Somerville.

The programme is open to all Somerville students and, alongside our weekly life skills and academic seminars, it seeks to facilitate interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and collaboration across the college community. Whether you’re looking for advice on careers, chances to network, tips on study skills or the perfect volunteering opportunity, the Skills Hub can help.


Hilary 2024 TERM CARD


1. Academic Enrichment

We provide writing workshops to support students with all aspects of academic writing and in the run up to exams, sessions to help you prepare effectively and write essays under pressure. Getting to grips with Reference Management tools, academic writing for non-native speakers, presentation tips and public speaking training are all part of our termly offering. We facilitate opportunities for students to present their research more widely through knowledge exchange initiatives and also to the wider community, through the Oxford Science & Ideas Festival.

2. Life Skills & Personal Development

Our life skills and personal development strand aims to transmit transferable skills, facilitate mentoring and support students’ career planning. We organise skills seminars with professionals – for example interview technique, public speaking and entrepreneurial training – and connect students with alumni in specific careers through our e-mentoring hub Aluminate. Alumni have joined panel discussions on international development, careers in the Civil Service, alternative careers in science to name but a few.

CV clinics are also available; the programme director holds one-to-one sessions throughout the year, in person or on Teams, to discuss CVs, internships, ideas for a Development Award and general advice to help you get the most from your time at Somerville and equip yourself for the world of work.

3. Wellbeing

Together with our College Welfare officer and University Counselling service, we arrange lunchtime seminars to support wellbeing, with open discussion groups enabling students to share personal perspectives and strategies that work for them. We arrange sessions to provide guidance for those struggling with time management, perfectionism and maintaining a health work-life balance. Connecting with others and acts of giving are recognised as ways to improve mental health and wellbeing. We connect students to volunteering opportunities within the community – working with the Oxford Hub – and also provide awards to support students undertaking unpaid volunteering, both home and abroad, during the summer.


“The Skills Hub has been amazing, and I can’t thank Skills Hub Director Dr Claire Cockroft enough for all the effort and enthusiasm she brought to helping me figure out what kind of job I wanted. The Hub helped me find a summer placement in my second year, with entrepreneurial training, including help with my application and advice during the summer. Thanks to Claire, I also managed to secure a graduate role which I am genuinely very excited to begin and which is aligned with exactly what I‘ve been looking for: law in an enterprise setting/SME. I wasn’t sure about going through the traditional legal career route and Claire was so helpful in helping me find alternatives and was always available for a chat. I can’t recommend the Skills Hub enough, irrespective of whether you’re unsure what to do post-graduation or need help with interview or application prep!”

Tia Dabare (Law with German, 2019)


“Over my time at Somerville, Claire and the Skills Hub have supported both my career and personal development. Talks looking at interview techniques as well as an event with past PPE alumni have left me feeling more prepared for life after university. Meanwhile, a workshop on public speaking has not only aided my confidence in interviews but has enabled me to make the most out of my university experience, allowing me to contribute more in tutorials and to deliver more engaging presentations. On top of this, the college not only offered an internship with a lecturer at Oxford University but supported me in applying for funding to make doing such an unpaid internship possible.”

3rd year PPE student


“I am a finalist at Somerville and I study French and German. Interested in the charities/NGO sector, I am thinking seriously about plans for next year while also juggling my degree. I attended a Skills Hub session on combating stress (which was very insightful) and it reminded me that at Somerville, we can book one-to-one appointments with Claire at any time! Claire helped me to improve my CV, gave me personalised ideas for what to do next year, and also gave me encouragement that is certainly needed as I face the daunting prospect of applying for jobs. I find that considering different career options can be stressful, but the meeting made me feel a lot better. Although the university Career’s officers can be helpful in outlining general advice for specific sectors, I found that the meeting with Claire was far more tailored to me as a student at Somerville. She also assured me that I could get in touch if I ever needed help in process of applying for jobs/masters. I would highly, highly recommend booking one in, no matter what stage of the careers process you are at.”  

4th year MML student


“Skills Hub events have been an invaluable resource for me over my time at Somerville. The programme has prepared me for many aspects of my academic career and life after education, and I have made full use of the resources provided to learn how to interview well and become an effective public speaker. This skillset has already helped me to feel confident in giving presentations in my classes, and I believe will continue to help me to stand out in my job search post-graduation.

The careers events in particular have been incredibly helpful. I was unsure as to what I wanted to do after university, and found that Skills Hub career events were the best way to learn more about different career options from those with relevant experience and meaningful insights to offer. The range of speakers for each event is fantastic and allows for a comprehensive overview of different roles in each field, and the opportunities to ask questions allow attendees to drill down into specific details to determine if a career is right for them. These events have been highly useful to me at every stage of thinking about careers, and I feel that I have been able to make fully informed decisions about my future as a result.”

George Seager (Classics, 2020)


“The skills hub sessions have been instrumental in my development in the past year. The academic writing support provided me with the tools to articulate my thoughts more coherently and effectively, enhancing my academic writing skills significantly. One session regarding digital distraction made a huge impact to my working habits regarding electronic devices. Overall, the skills hub sessions have been a great support to me to tackle the difficulties I encountered in uni life.”

2nd year PPE international student