Why a career in PR content is the right role for writers


Post by Holly Ashford, Senior Content Writer at Babel

If you’re a student or graduate on one of Hallam’s dedicated PR courses, you’ll likely know more than I did when I first started looking into PR as a career path. An English Literature graduate and later a journalist (via a few freelance copywriting roles), I moved from a business-to-business technology publication to a technology PR agency two years ago this September.

As a former journalist and editor, I moved to ‘the dark side’ last year, and as Babel’s Senior Content Writer I’m responsible for the words that change hearts and minds. A lover of the outdoors, when I’m not cycling London’s streets I can be found running Regents Park’s paths.

I joined Babel – an international tech PR agency headquartered – in London, as a Senior Content Writer, attracted by the prospect of writing for a diverse set of clients and publications and gaining knowledge of new industry sectors. So, what does a role like Senior Content Writer involve?  What are the skills required? And how can you go about securing a career in content?

Content: the cornerstone of PR?

Content director, content marketer, integrated content strategy, content creation, content publication, content is king, optimising content, SEO content…‘content’ is an essential component of the PR/marketing argot, though remains a somewhat vague term to anyone on the outside, including many who are interested in a career in PR.

In an era where almost anyone can produce and publish text, image, audio and video, many PR agencies need someone who can do so creatively and can craft engaging and relevant content which cuts through the noise.

A day in the life

Every PR agency will be different, but at Babel there is a particular emphasis on written content, meaning anything we produce (either for clients or our own brand) involves in-depth briefing, research, creation, proofing and editing. I help to manage these processes, work with other members of the team to develop their creative ideas and writing style, and come up with new content ideas for clients. Yet a great deal of my day is spent writing and learning – which, for someone who has always wanted to be ‘a writer’ of some description, is ideal.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is being able to write different kinds of content for different audiences. On a given day in the office I might be working on a very technical press release for one client, whilst ghost-writing a feature destined for a trade publication for another, and transcribing material for a research-led whitepaper for a third. Creating less formal, high-level material offers a counterbalance: I might be writing a blog post for a client’s website, while overseeing output for the corporate social media account of a second.

My day is punctuated by reviewing the written work of members of the Babel team and (on occasion) clients. As well as offering an all-important second pair of eyes, this helps to ensure that the copy is as compelling as possible, always meets the client’s objectives, and promotes their core messages.

There’s a nature of unpredictability in PR, given that a great deal of what we do is governed by the daily news agenda. As Senior Content Writer my office hours will, therefore, be spent with fingers to the keyboard and an ear to the ground, keeping an eye out for breaking news stories which are relevant to any of Babel’s clients. When this occurs, I’ll immediately pen a comment in response, which the rest of the team will then pitch to the media.

Career PRospects?

PR and marketing courses offer a strong foundation for a career in PR, but this needn’t be the only route – especially if you’re looking for a content-based role. Many PR agencies looking for candidates will be open to grads from a range of disciplines – it’s more about the skills and attitude you have, and how you’ll fit in with an agency’s culture.

Strong writing skills are obviously a must, but you should be prepared to learn and adapt your writing style too, including being able to take critique (and, yes, criticism) from colleagues and clients. As a former journalist this took some getting used to, but looking back, this approach has helped to hone my writing – and ensure that clients are kept happy and the agency remains successful.

An interest in current affairs is important, and corporate acumen and marketing know-how are a plus. A willingness to learn about the trends and drivers in new – often niche – markets is essential (who knew I’d be an expert in cellular coverage solutions, next-generation networks, and TMT M&A?) and, perhaps most importantly, these skills and strengths must be supported and fuelled by creativity and a love of writing.

Babel is always on the lookout for new talent. Visit our careers page for more information, or email recruitment@babelpr.com

Ten graduate schemes to consider if you want to ‘make a difference’


Summer is a good time to find, research and apply for graduates schemes. Here are ten graduate schemes which may interest you if you’re looking for something a little less ‘corporate’:

  1. Charity works
  2. LGA National Graduate Development
  3. Frontline
  4. Civil Service Fast Stream
  5. NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme
  6. Think Ahead
  7. Year Here
  8. The GEM Programme
  9. Teach First
  10. Leeds City Council Graduate Scheme

If any of these schemes interest you, it’s also looking at other vacancies with relevant employers (e.g. Civil Service, Housing Associations, healthcare providers) so you can gain some experience before you apply.

Student entrepreneur celebrates national award success


A budding young entrepreneur and SHU student who set up his own IT company at the age of 15 has won a national business award.

Harvey Morton, aged 20, from Woodseats, Sheffield, was named Young Freelancer of the Year in the IPSE – Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed – competition.

Harvey juggles the demands of running his home-based IT consultancy full time with his studies at Sheffield Business School, where he has just completed the second year of his BA in Business and Enterprise Management.

He said: “It was a complete surprise when they announced that I was the winner. I still feel quite overwhelmed. It’s a national title and I have had a lot of attention since and I’m not really used to anything on that scale. To be recognised nationally is huge, really.”

Harvey won £3,000 prize money, champagne and a year’s membership of IPSE, which entitles him to free business support.

His firm Harvey Morton IT support (www.harveymorton-itsupport.com) offers a range of services including social media management, web design, app development and media production.

Harvey, who was nominated for the prize by Sheffield Hallam University’s Enterprise team,  is no stranger to award success.

At the age of 15, he set up an on-call IT support firm and later won enterprise prizes while still at school studying for his GCSEs. The firm has grown into a digital marketing agency with clients all around the UK, including The Cutler’s Company, Alton Towers and The Princes Trust.

Harvey said he had no plans to go to university but received help from business experts in Sheffield Hallam’s Enterprise team and after meeting other students decided to take the plunge. He said: “One of the reasons I was attracted to Sheffield Hallam was because I met people studying on the business courses at SHU and I could see how much they enjoyed it. Before that, I had never thought of going to university.”

“I have learnt so many skills which have helped me to run my business – financial management, HR, how to write a proper business plan, customer service skills, and a lot of the theory has helped with the practical element of running my business,” he said.

“The support I’ve received from the Enterprise Team has been outstanding.

“I feel privileged to have been able to access an amazing team of mentors who have given me valuable advice and have helped me to grow my business alongside my studies at Hallam.

“It’s been great to meet so many like-minded people at the university who are also self-employed. To anyone who is thinking of setting up a business whilst at Hallam, do it! The Enterprise Team will support you along the way and it’s a great way to make new friends.”

Caroline Nouvellon enterprise manager at SHU, said: “It has been an absolute privilege to support Harvey in his business venture over the past couple of years. He encapsulates the extraordinary entrepreneurial flair and mindset of many Hallam students and graduates and has been a wonderful ambassador for the Enterprise Team.

“He is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the ISPSE Young Freelancers of the Year Award and we look forward to working with him in the future to ensure the long-term sustainability of his business within the Sheffield City Region.”

Digital Ambassador wins national student employee of the year award


Ellie Wright, aged 21, can now add winner of the Student Employee Of The Year (SEOTY) award to her growing list of achievements.

The recent English Language graduate was honoured on Thursday evening at a conference in Cardiff, for going above and beyond whilst working part-time for the university’s marketing department.

Ellie, who worked primarily as a digital student ambassador was nominated for the national award for her strong work ethic and her ability to connect online with prospective students about the merits of studying at Sheffield Hallam.

“Ellie has a natural way of illustrating her student life without coming across as a cliché or being over enthusiastic. She is honest, open and authentic. She was always enthusiastic about helping us and very willing to share every ounce of her story,” said Laura Lightfinch, senior marketing officer at SHU, who nominated Ellie for the award.

Each year, university employers are given the opportunity to nominate exceptional student workers who combine study with paid part-time work for the National Association of Student Employment services’ SEOTY Award. The national competition has surged in popularity since its inception in 1998.

This year, Ellie stood-out, despite the roughly 700 nominations that were submitted from over 30 Higher Education Institutions across the country. Ellie competed against all the winners within the North East region (which includes Universities across Yorkshire and the North East) and was chosen as a regional winner. She was then invited to join all the other regional winners, at the national awards ceremony last night in Cardiff where she won the overall competition.

“I was so excited to win the award because so many other deserving students had been nominated too. Working with Sheffield Hallam has been the best opportunity I’ve taken at university and winning this award really highlights how much I’ve been able to do and learn whilst working and studying,” she said.

Ellie, who was already an advocate for the university says the opportunity gave her more confidence to share her insights about ‘The Hallam Experience’ as well as strengthening her marketing skills and knowledge.

“I’m really grateful to have been awarded this achievement to end my time at uni in such a positive way,” she added.

A second Hallam student Leyana Akbani, who is studying at Sheffield Business School, was also a winner at both the regional and national SEOTY 2018 awards. At the conference in Cardiff, Leyana was award the national Highly Commended Commercial Impact Award.

“Internships boosted my confidence and I’m 100% more prepared for the job I want”


Many students and graduates pursue internships to build experience, but have you considered the broad range of benefits that could be gained? I caught up with Creative Arts Practice graduate, Lydia Jackson, to get her perspective on how she gained her recent internships as part of the Hallam Internship Scheme. During her internships, Lydia acted as Exhibition Coordinator for Platform 18 at Sheffield Hallam Students Union and Assistant Exhibition Coordinator at Cupola Contemporary Art.

Why did you want to undertake an internship?

I came out of University not knowing what to do to start my career, all the jobs I found required experience which I didn’t have. These internships make such a fantastic transition from the comfort of the university to the big wide world of jobs. They’re a great chance to get a feel for a job you like the sound of and for me they have changed my path to what I want as a career; they boosted confidence and give me a world of experience within my field and I now know what I want to do as a career and feel I’m 100% more prepared for the job I want.

What do you think you have added to the business?

At SHSU, I joined the Platform 18 team with a wealth of knowledge and experience in exhibitions, having done so many on my degree and being a selected artist in the previous Platform 17 exhibition. So, I feel I added knowledge to the team in what is required for an exhibition. I’m also a very organised person which was a very important aspect to have when coordinating an event like this, so I added further method to the exhibition. As a young artist fresh from a degree, I was very adaptable to the busy gallery life that Cupola was. I went in everyday with a new task to do and I believe I did so efficiently and rose to everything I was asked to do. I also had great input into their social media posts and adapted to their style of social media to encourage customers.

What has been the biggest surprise whilst completing your internship?

With both, I was very impressed with how capable I became, not only with the pressures of organising an exhibition and working in a busy gallery but using my initiative to think or do things before I was asked. I became independent in both of my internships quickly and made sure I fit in with my new surroundings and colleagues. I’m surprised with how much I’ve grown in such a short space of time and how much more confident I have become both personally and professionally.

What is the most exciting thing you did as part of your internship?

Working on the Platform Exhibition it was amazing how much responsibility they gave me and how much they valued my input. I think when you hear the term intern you expect to be treated differently as a junior, but it was really exciting to be treat as a valued part of the team and trusted so much. I became a vital part of the exhibition process and I think rising to that and having the attitude that you are part of the team and not just an intern really helped me with this. Overall the most amazing thing is that I’ve organised an exhibition that was in the Millennium Galleries that feels like such a big achievement for me. Another exciting aspect that these internships gave me was being asked to be a panellist at the ‘get_in there’, which is run by Sheffield Creative Guild, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union and the university and attracted over 100 people. It was so amazing to be considered for this and realise how valued my opinion was, giving advice to people just about to graduate who were in my position. This was also great for me as I don’t consider myself a confident public speaker and doing this just helps me evolve in an area I want to improve.

What have you gained from your internship experience?

The confidence aspect is huge for me, It was so amazing to be there with the crowd when the doors first opened on launch day for Platform 18 – being told how well I had done and being thanked for all my hard work in the opening speech and by attendee’s at the exhibition was such a highlight for me, having been there through all the organising and finally seeing that come to fruition was incredible. Not only that, I’ve gained a lot of contacts through my internships and networking events that will be valuable to me from a professional and art world perspective.

Would you recommend an internship to current students?

100% yes! When I left university, I was thrown into this world and was unsure what to do, I was very persistent with wanting to achieve a career in the arts. I constantly sought advice and kept asking for help from the careers department at Hallam and it really paid off. Although I was unsure about what I specifically wanted to do, I was given great direction and now I know what I want to do with my career and I’m excited for my next steps.

Thank you, Lydia, for taking the time to share your experiences.

If you’re a student or graduate seeking an internship, I encourage you to search for opportunities via UniHub and to have a chat with your employability adviser if you’d like further advice.

Spotlight on Careers in Landscape #ChooseLandscape


The Landscape Institute have launched a new campaign to attract more people into landscape careers. Here are some interesting things I learnt from the campaign:

  1. ‘Landscape’ = outdoor space (urban and rural, green space and landscaping around buildings)
  2.  ‘Landscape careers’ = being involved in the design, management, planning or science of the landscape (see Choose Landscape)
  3. Types of organisations Landscape Institute members currently work for: 44% private practice, 27% consultancy, 14% local authority, 6% engineering company, 4% third sector
  4. Sheffield Hallam University are one of the only universities in the UK to offer an Environmental Science undergraduate degree which is accredited by the Landscape Institute (see list of courses)

These are the current issues within the landscape profession (according to Landscape Institute’s ‘The Future State of Landscape’ report):

  • a shortage of new entrants and limited routes into the profession (most common route: undergraduate or masters degree in landscape architecture – see list of courses)
  • employers finding it difficult to attract, recruit and retain the ‘right’ people
  • the need to create a more inclusive profession with more people from ethnic minority backgrounds, greater age diversity and better career progression for females
  • the need for digital skills including virtual reality (VR) Augumented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) and use of spatial data and digital collaboration (BIM – Business Information Modelling) for the future

To help address the current issues, The landscape Institute have launched the #ChooseLandscape campaign are working to provide a wider range of ways to gain qualifications in the future.

twitter: @landscapecareer

fb: @chooselandscape

ig: @landscapeinstitute

Top 3 web pages all our fashion students should read!


Getting a foot in the door of the fashion industry can be daunting. It’s an extremely competitive world which requires creativity, an ability to work alongside strategists and keep up with rapidly changing trends whilst engaging with a demanding client base always on the look-out for new and exciting creations.

That being said, fashion can be a very exciting and fulfilling career option for graduates whose love for the fashion industry is only paralleled by their determination to leave their mark on it.

Whether you’re just about to join us in Sheffield, or you’re about to graduate and are currently setting up this year’s Degree Show Fashion Show, here’s our top 3 web pages every Hallam Fashion student should read!

Number 1: Work Experience and Networking in the Fashion Industry

Summary: Work experience is crucial for entering the fashion industry and can take the form of internships, volunteering, placements, work shadowing or part-time work.

Number 2: Becoming a Freelance Fashion Designer 

Summary: It is extremely common for people working in the creative sector to be self-employed either full-time or on a part-time basis whilst combining it with employed work; the latter is known as a portfolio career. Designers tend to be independent, creative thinkers and are often self-employed and/or in occupations involving project work and short-term contracts with both small and large organisations.

Number 3: Finding and Applying for Jobs in Fashion

Speculative approaches are generally more effective ways to find jobs in the design/arts industries.  A speculative application involves approaching a company about the possibility of working for them rather than applying to an advertised vacancy. It could be an effective way to bypass the huge number of applications that any individual company may receive to one advertised vacancy. Also, remember that many SMEs (small-medium sized companies) very rarely advertise vacancies as they receive sufficient speculative applications to recruit in this way.  Fashion directories can provide a list of companies to approach!



“I wouldn’t have a job in the Criminal Justice Sector without volunteering!”


Olivia, Criminology & Psychology graduate, is now a Case Worker at Remedi, where she initially volunteered as a student. For more information about Remedi, and their work in restorative justice, visit  www.remediuk.org/

Hi Olivia, how did you get involved with Remedi?

I had a meeting with Sheryl, my Employability Adviser, and after talking about my interests she suggested that I contact Remedi to enquire about volunteering. The Derbyshire team offered me three sessions a week working on the Victim Support Programme.  I was responsible for making telephone contact with victims of all different types of crime and offering them help and support.

After about 5 or 6 months Remedi offered me some paid work on a temporary basis and then in June 2017 I was offered a permanent job on the Restorative Justice project!

Tell me a little bit about your current role

There are two strands to my job; one with young offenders and the other with adults. In my work with young offenders, I deal with people who have been referred from the Youth Justice Panels.  We have one-to-one sessions based around their conviction and we might do things like sending a letter of apology to the victim.  I also get to sit on Youth Justice Panels, which means I get to be part of the decision making process about what happens to an offender.

On the adult side my referrals come from Witness Care; if a victim shows an interest in restorative justice they are passed onto me and I make contact with both parties. Initially, I meet with the victim and the offender separately and then we decide what happens from there.

How did your degree prepare you for this role?

When I first started there was a lot of training based around theories of psychology and I was already familiar with most of it. Also, my degree gave me prior knowledge of community sentencing and the terminology used in Youth Justice Panels

What is the best part of your job?

I really like working with young people, and if I’d not volunteered I don’t think I would have considered it as a career option

What do you see yourself doing next?

More work with young people, maybe Case Management with young offenders

What advice would you give to new students starting at Hallam this semester?

Start volunteering in your first year! I left it until my final year and it was really difficult to fit around my academic study.

Thanks Olivia!

9 Tips for Job Interviews


Post by Laura Burden, final year student at Hallam

So if, like me, you’re coming to the end of your time studying at Sheffield Hallam, you’re probably starting to think about getting one of those job things. I’ve had a few job interviews recently; I wanted to share some of my experiences and tips.

Let’s assume, for the purpose of this post, that you’ve secured an interview. Pat yourself on the back because that in itself isn’t easy. Clearly, there’s something in your application that they like!

So here’s a bit of a roundup of what I do before, during and after a job interview.

Research the company/organisation

No matter what I know about an organisation, I do a sweep of all the interview and job description information I’ve had and make notes. Then a quick Google search and a poke around their website provides some more general information about the company.

It’s all useful to know and trust me; it’s really obvious when you’ve done your research.

Know where you’re going and who you’re meeting

If I’m not sure where I’m going I do as much research as possible about the place I’ll be going to for my interview – is there parking available, what time will the train arrive there, what if the train’s late?

I’ve arrived more than an hour early for an interview before because I was nervous about being late, thankfully there was somewhere nearby where I could have a coffee. Try to arrive no more than 15 minutes early.

Have you got everything?

Typically you’ll need to bring some ID with you such as a passport. You might also need proof of any qualifications you mentioned on your application so, don’t forget your certificates. I also like to have some water with me (although it’s usually provided in interviews) and some pens and paper. Make sure to check the interview information and see whether you need to do any prep, in the past I’ve had to prepare a presentation and take it with me.

What type of interview is it?

I’ve been to group interviews, presentation interviews, panel interviews and one-to-one interviews; it just depends on the organisation, department and specific role you’re applying for. Each interview type has its pros and cons, usually I find it less nerve-wracking if there’s more than one person interviewing but really it depends on the people! It’s always important to know what type of interview you’re going to, and try to find out the name/s of the interviewers.

First impressions are vital

I know it’s a cliché but it’s true.

Dress smartly (yes, you have to iron your shirt), smile, introduce yourself, shake hands with your interviewers, please and thank you etc. Don’t sit down until a seat is offered, sit up straight, listen to your interviewers carefully and ask for clarification if you’re unsure about something.

Make eye contact and nod or respond where appropriate. Address the person who has asked you the question but also make eye contact with the other members of the panel.

The questions

Top tip – have a look at the job specification; you can usually work out what kind of questions you’ll get. I’ve had questions on personal strengths and weaknesses, working through a difficult situation, why I would be suitable for the role, and everything in between.

I definitely recommend having a couple of examples of situations you’ve been in and do some personal reflection.

If you’re struggling to think of the best example to use or how to answer a question, ask if you can come back to it. I’ve done this a few times – they aren’t judging you for it.


The most important thing to remember for interviews – use the STAR technique.

I’m really bad for waffling and trying to cram in a lot of information – have you noticed? The STAR technique helps me give focused, concise answers.

Situation – Who, what, when, where and why

Task – What was the challenge or problem, what was the end goal?

Action – What did YOU do?

Result – What was the outcome?

Ask your own questions

Always ask at least one question yourself. It shows you’re interested – in the job, the company, the people sat in front of you. Rather than trying to think something up on the spot, I tend to go with a few questions in mind, and then whatever isn’t answered; you’ve got some questions to hand.

Just make sure you don’t ask anything that’s already been answered.

After the interview

Before you leave, make sure they have your contact details and that you know when they will contact you. When they do get in touch, I make sure to thank them for their time and for contacting me, I also always ask for feedback on my interview – even if I’m offered the position.

If you need to take a day to consider a job offer, don’t be afraid to ask for some time. Remember, even though a job offer over the phone is brilliant, it’s not binding, and it’s important to ensure you get some kind of written offer.

Good luck out there and remember to check out the Careers Central Interviews page for more advice, tips and to book a mock interview if you’re feeling unprepared or unsure!

Recognition and relationships


Post by James Beighton, Employer Partnerships Officer (Student Employment) at Sheffield Hallam University

There’s an age-old saying “Self-praise is no recommendation.” Proverbs have to start somewhere so at some point, somebody must’ve been willing to shout about their success and it must’ve meant something to someone.

Last week we crowned institutional winners of The Sheffield Hallam University Student Employee of The Year Awards (SEOTY). The Awards themselves are the largest of their kind in the UK and recognise students who successfully combine part-time work with study. 81 of our students were put forward as nominees by their Manager for going above and beyond their job duties, showing leadership or having a commercial impact on a local or national business.

Sheffield once again sits at the top of the table for student employment with the city’s two Universities finishing 2nd and 3rd in the overall nominations table for 2018.

What does this mean for our students? For some, I dare say most, a job fits one purpose, an income alongside study. This year, more than any other, our students are starting to reflect on the skills they are taking from employment. We’ve heard about the competitive job market, being work ready as a graduate, being tech-savvy and digitally orientated. What is refreshing is the way that all our winners reflected on their achievements in their victory speech, with confidence and humility. Soft skills will take you far.

The labour market is increasingly consumer driven. The 2018 employer is open to those with portfolio careers and it’s accepted that stand out workers will likely have exposure to different sectors, jobs and skill sets. Yorkshire’s rich list was released by The Times Newspaper last week and emphasised the trend that fortune is increasingly self-made. The rise to wealth of those setting up their own business or believing in an idea is stark. Proof, if ever it was needed, that graduates will go far with belief and resilience, two distinguishing factors amongst those who work part-time and those who work part-time with distinction.

It is possible to have an impact working as little as 8 to 10 hours per week. Looking at this year’s SEOTY nominations, our students are proving to be a driving force behind some of the bigger issues facing the Higher Education Sector. Our Commercial Impact Award winner won her award for bringing an estimated £1 million of new business to a company specialising in mental health and wellbeing. The winner of the Above and Beyond Award is a true ambassador, promoting the value of getting into further education amongst school children through sports coaching in the community. The ability of our students to apply themselves through part-time work and champion their own experience of higher education is admirable.

Work experience is as much a part of an education as learning a system or reading a textbook. It allows students to build relationships on a professional level and the confidence gained from seeing the reward in working is markable. Our students have to work, it’s no longer a desirable.

On campus, our student casual payroll paid 402 individual students last month. Between them, these students worked over 4000 hours in paid part-time work, working for teams on campus at Sheffield Hallam University. The demand for work is on the increase and through initiatives like SEOTY, the importance of a successful working partnership between students and employers is becoming ever more prominent.

The 2017 national SEOTY winner is a Sheffield Hallam student. At the time, 1st year Law student Nabeela stood out as a clear winner for her work with young people as part of The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme. Students are leading by example and working as advocates for the importance of getting out there and doing something meaningful. They may not identify it at the outset but they are resilient in a time where it’s easy to become insular in an uncertain political and financial labour market. Nabeela featured via video at our awards evening and summed up exactly what a SEOTY Award can do for the confidence of a student, “When I went to interviews I was able to say, I’m student employee of the year, hire me!”. A stand out example that work experience at any level of study is valuable both to the individual and a business.

The SEOTY Awards are now at a regional stage where winners from institutional awards will compete across the country to be named as National Student Employee of The Year 2018.

Winners will be announced at The National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) Conference in July. For more information, head to www.nases.org.

If you’re a student, look at the hundreds of part-time on campus and off campus job roles advertised on UniHub. You could be the next SEOTY Awards winner!

If you’re an employer, you can benefit from flexible, casual workers and advertise for FREE today.


Top Tips for improving your performance with psychometric assessments


If you find the idea of completing online psychometric assessments daunting you’re not alone. Saqib Saddiq, Senior Psychologist at Graduates First shares his top tips for tackling psychometric tests:

  1. Start thinking about psychometric assessments well in advance so you have time to research the types of assessments you might be asked to complete and familiarise yourself with them. Many employers use the same test publishers to source their psychometric tests, so it’s worth spending time practicing to familiarise yourself with the types of psychometric tests and typical formats before you sit the assessments for real.
  2. Spend time practicing tests in advance. Most universities purchase packages to enable their students and graduates to practice online assessments under similar conditions to the real thing and receive detailed feedback so they can identify and work on areas for improvement. Along with Graduates First, (subscribed to by Sheffield Hallam University and other universities), other sites offering practice tests include CEBGlobal and Assessment Day.
  3. Find out which types of tests you’re likely to face with specific employers (for example look at the employer profiles on Graduates First), then spend time preparing for those specific tests. If you know you’ll be sitting a numerical reasoning test (tests your ability to reason with numerical information using basic arithmetic calculations) practice basic calculations in advance e.g. via BBC Bitesize. If you are expecting to take a situational judgement test or work personality questionnaires research the type of candidate the company is looking for and try to match your characteristics. When answering questions in the real assessment try to think of behaviours that a good candidate would demonstrate.
  4. Use practice tests to identify areas you can improve on, then work on improving your performance in those areas. If you find you struggle with accuracy, work on your concentration. If you run out of time you might need to take more practice tests and work on your speed.
  5. Realise that you’re not expected to finish the assessments –  they’re designed to stretch all candidates (meaning that no-one will reach the end). Stay calm and do your best – without getting upset if you do not manage to answer all questions. This is especially important if you are expected to go through a number of assessments in a row.
  6. Make sure you have the right conditions to maximise your performance completing the assessments use a PC or laptop in a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed etc. Make sure you have all the necessary items to hand before your start, such as a few sheets of paper, a pen and a calculator (if needed).

For more tips from myself and my colleagues at Graduates First, follow us on YouTube


The Fairs – from the inside, out…


Written by Georgia Widdowson, Psychology placement student.

“Don’t miss the Part- time jobs fair tomorrow…”,
“Do you want to find a job whilst studying?”,
“Georgia, you don’t want to miss out…”

After receiving what feels like a life time of emails – similar to the above – promoting Job fairs, volunteering opportunities and undergraduate roles which will make us ‘more employable’ I thought, “Do you know what, I think I’ll take a rain check this year.”

Well, now I am kicking myself for closing a door to opportunities I had never opened my eyes to in the first place. I would always think “How is this actually going to help me? Companies won’t choose me. Employers won’t want to work around my busy University schedule.” But, I was wrong. Being on placement in the Careers Team has enabled me to experience University job fairs from the ‘inside’, where I have got my hands dirty with tasks. I now see why fairs are so important to get stand out work experience as a student. Attending a careers fair isn’t scary, its set up for us, SHU students.

Taking an undercover role as a staff member at SHU has forced me to take my fingers out my ears and listen to what employers can offer us. They DO want to help us. If I’d have never taken up a work placement role at the University careers and employability team, then the skills which I have learnt would still be buried under a towering pile of ‘denial’. I have uncovered abilities I’d never have the self-confidence to develop.

When I first arrived at my work placement, I was gobsmacked by how much work goes into the creation of job fairs for us students. The team do everything possible to help us and all the work that goes into fairs is solely with the benefit of students in mind. Without sounding biased the fairs amazing! Some quotes below from students at the recent Work While You Study Fairs can give you a bit of insight into exactly why job fairs are a must to attend…

            “Great variety and there a few companies here which I am definitely going to sign up to! There are opportunities here I didn’t think we could get involved with and get paid for.”

“Really good to be able to talk to employers in person as it’s easier to ‘sell’ yourself face to face rather than over your CV.”

            “It has been excellent! It made finding a job so easy! Everyone was really helpful.”

            “It was good because there are companies here that I wouldn’t think of applying for, so it was great to have some variety!”

These are just handful of student quotes which undoubtedly highlight how valuable, helpful, fun and eye-opening the careers fairs are!

However, I had to save the best until last…

            “We LOVE it! Loads of fun jobs and opportunities- I have signed up everywhere!”

This student was beaming like a Cheshire cat and was so enthusiastic and excited it was as if someone had told her she had landed a dream date. This really made me giggle and reminded me what exciting and interesting opportunities are handed to us at this University – we shouldn’t take them for granted!

So, when the next fairs come around,  don’t be a hermit and exchange Netflix for job finding. Find and drag yourself and your mates on campus and get involved! Whether this is talking to employers, taking leaflets or better yet, signing up to a job or volunteering opportunity! It doesn’t matter if you don’t find an opportunity; at least you got yourself out there! There’s no harm in trying and excelling yourself.

All I can think now is “I am so glad I decided to do a work placement! I’m a new ‘strong, independent woman’ who can achieve anything thrown her way!

Seven things to do if you’re thinking about teaching as a career


  1. Work out whether you are aiming for Primary or Secondary teaching – or perhaps you’d prefer teaching in a completely different setting, for example sixth form college, training centre, or a prison (depending on your personal strengths, previous qualifications, and interests).
  2. Register with Get Into Teaching and the UCAS Teacher Training site; both have information on different routes into teaching.
  3. Set up a chat with a teacher to ask them what working in a school is really like. For example, you could ask about their typical day including lesson planning, marking and tasks other than teaching, what they like about being a teacher, challenges they face and strategies they use to manage the class and maintain their resilience.
  4. Arrange a visit to a school (or even better to two completely different types of schools – large Vs small intake, different age ranges), so you can see how you feel about the environment and working culture. Use your networks to find out if anyone works in a school you could visit. The Department for Education has a School Experience Programme (SEP) which can help you find local opportunities.
  5. Set up experience (volunteering or paid work) so you are in a position to apply for teacher training courses if you decide that’s the right option for you. (Getting work experience in a school or other education setting can be a stepping stone to other areas of work beyond teaching in any case).
  6. Have a look at TryTeaching (paid internships within schools to see whether you like the environment, then further support if you decide you want to apply for teacher training)
  7. Have a look at the information on getting into teaching on Careers Central and book onto one of our Career Focus Teacher Training events via: https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/

International Women’s Day 2018


Our event is on Thursday 8th March at 12pm in the Careers and Employability Centre and is called ’Women Leading Social Change’.

Women Leading Social Change is part of SheFest and is hosted by Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network www.ssen.org.uk

On International Women’s Day we will be hearing from successful social entrepreneurs. They will talk about why social enterprise is changing the face of the business sector, as well as the challenges and successes they have faced along the way.

There will be time for networking after the panel discussion. 

The speakers are:

Sangita Basudev is a founder member of Sheffield Live! the local community media organisation. She has spent a majority of her working life in social enterprises, co-ops and the community voluntary sector.

Jo Hercberg is the founder and co Director of The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield, a social enterprise saving food from being wasted and doing amazing things with it. The project began in 2015 and now runs 2 cafés, the Sharehouse Market, an ethical catering operation and an educational program for schools with 180+ volunteers and 6 employees.

Sophie Maxwell founded the Really NEET Project back in 2011, she wanted to develop a college where young people who had complex needs including mental health issues, care-leavers, young people on probation, young parents, young people with learning disabilities and other such barriers could learn in a safe environment, most of Really NEET’s young people have struggled in all previous education placements including school. Really NEET works with a 160 young people a year across Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield. Sophie was driven by her own experience, she was pulled out of school at 14 to escape domestic violence and ended up homeless at 16. She has won many national awards for the work she has done including the high sheriffs award for devoted services to the community and the Duke of York Award. 

Students can book their place via UniHub https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/students/events/detail/579242

My first week on placement!


Blog post by Psychology student Georgia Widdowson – my first week on a work placement in the Careers and Employability Centre…

A bit about me…

I’ve always loved people, I love chatting with them, listening to them, but most of the time, talking at them. That is why I decided Psychology was the perfect course for me; the study of human behaviour never fails to get me excited!

During the open day for Sheffield Hallam, I was instantly attracted to the course once it was stated that we had the option of doing a work placement .I thought “Fab, a chance to get out into the real world and explore what a field in Psychology has to offer!” As a fantasist, I always envisaged I’d end up pulling a Freud and being a counsellor for the 8 weeks, or taking a leaf out of Milgram’s or Zimbardo’s book and conducting some crazy experiments. However, although it has not been as juicy as this, that’s not to say, I haven’t already learnt a lot during my work placement so far!   

So, where am I doing my work placement?

Originally, I was assigned to work at a sexual health charity in Sheffield. I was really looking forward to this as it covered one of the many areas within Psychology of interest to me. So, I thought “Amazing, for once, things have actually worked out for me!” Well…I spoke to soon. A couple of days later, when enjoying a nice Jacket potato in the Heart of the campus café, I received an email stating that a change in circumstances within the organisation meant I could no longer carry out my placement there. So, after one of my classic dramatic and blubbery phone calls to my Mum (and in front of the unfortunate souls who happened to be in the café) I concluded that this was down to fate, and that I had to trust that it was meant to be!

So, to get to the point…thankfully, the lovely and friendly careers team at Sheffield Hallam said they’d take me on, and as such I was assigned to work in their team for 8 weeks.

Now, I am sure you’re all wondering. How has my first week been?

As my first day arrived, I woke up at 7am, blurry eyed and zombified, and feeling very nervous and anxious about being in a professional environment and meeting new people. Despite this, I immediately felt welcome, and the positive and vibrant atmosphere within the department got me very excited about the opportunities and activities I would be getting involved with. Of course, I was apprehensive as it was not my original placement or line of work which I would originally chose or was interested to get involved with, yet this was the kick I needed to get me out of my comfort zone.

Luckily, I came at the perfect time. In the height of the organisation of the department’s two biggest job fairs ‘GoGlobal’ and ‘Work while you study’ (which I encourage everyone to come and check out!) I have helped towards the planning and promotion of these. I devised floor plans for the space at which the fairs will take place, deciding how the layout should be and where each company will stand. I’ve chosen the promotional videos for each company who will be at the fair (Apologies in advance if these bore you) and completing admin work, such as coding on the UniHub website, and I have sat in meetings among the careers team which was great to analyse from a Psychology perspective! These are things which I’d have never in a million years seen myself doing- yet, thank goodness I have! As it has provided me with skills which I’d have never have pushed myself to achieve. I am now looking forward to getting more stuck in!

So, what am I trying to say?

My first week of work placement has already provided me with the most important thing of all…confidence; Self-confidence, confidence in my abilities and skills and the confidence that my opinion, as a student, does matter. My view of Sheffield Hallam has changed.

Already, I have learnt that the University, especially within the careers and employability team, want you to succeed and do well and do all they can to help you achieve your life goals. So, don’t shy away and pop in to the department and ask any questions you may have about your future, or apply for an on/off campus job to earn some pocket money and gain invaluable skills, helping you to be more employable! And if you’re unsure about doing a work placement, all I can say is… Do IT, as no experience is ever wasted.

Making it in digital marketing without a marketing degree


Hear top tips from Creative Writing graduate, Hannah Tomaszewski about how she got into Digital Marketing, took a risk and followed her heart to career satisfaction!

Hannah TomaszewskiHow I managed to land my dream job in digital marketing with no relevant degree and very little experience!

I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the summer of 2016 with a 2:1 Degree in Creative Writing and not much clue as to what I wanted to do next. I knew I wanted to write but couldn’t seem to figure out what route to go down. When I eventually researched marketing jobs and realised it sounded perfect for me, there was one problem – I didn’t have a marketing degree. In a world where most graduate jobs seem to require at least 2 years’ experience, it seemed impossible. Here’s how I beat the odds and managed to bag a job I’d only ever dreamed of.

What do you do and how did you end up there?

I work as a Digital Marketing Strategist for Bigfoot Digital, an award winning SEO Barnsley Agency. Worried about my lack of experience, after graduating and moving to Chesterfield, I pestered a local marketing agency to let me learn from them in exchange for witty jokes and sarcastic comments. I ended up doing some work experience with them for a month trying to soak up as much knowledge as I could. When I left, I was certain Marketing was the career for me but decided to take a break and worked in a castle hotel in Northumberland for a year – a hilariously odd yet fun experience.

I ended up back in Chesterfield and working in a marketing job that wasn’t what I thought it would be. The job was much more analysis based than advertised and I’m not ashamed to admit I was bored, uninspired and felt like I was sinking. I lasted 4 months until I took a risk, handed in my notice and left with no job lined up. I was told I was being naïve, that any job was better than none, but I followed my gut and, as I walked out on my final day, knew I’d made the right decision. I fired off what felt like millions of applications and, two weeks later, started at Bigfoot. The rest, as they say, is history!

What does an average day at work look like for you?

The thing I love most about my job is that no two days are the same. Although I mainly write content and blog posts for the website, it’s interesting to learn about the more technical aspects of digital marketing and how everyone’s roles interlink and fit together. Our office at Bigfoot is super relaxed and there’s often a background of Spice Girls to get you through the day. My colleagues all have different degrees and experience but we all share a common talent for all things marketing related and help each other out no matter what. I’m so lucky that I get to work with a load of like-minded people who genuinely get on, love their jobs and, most importantly, have a laugh!

My top tips:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others:

It’s human nature to pit yourself against your peers, especially in a creative industry where everything is so subjective. In my office, everyone’s writing approach and styles are so different that it’s completely pointless to try and compare techniques and, often, while you’re busy being jealous of their talent, they’re thinking the same about yours.

  1. Think about what makes you different:

While I was at university, everyone was writing about serious topics while I dedicated my time to writing chick-lit, simply because I enjoyed it more! At the time, I worried that people would perceive me in a certain way, however I’ve since learnt that you should always play to your strengths. I’m proud to be individual and wrote my cover letter for my current job in my own humorous and informal voice – this is what made my boss hire me as I stood out from everyone else!

  1. Try not to panic and don’t give up.

I often still remind myself of this! The world of graduate jobs is extremely daunting! Always remember that you’re still young and no employer should expect you to know everything. When I left my previous job, I felt entirely lost and hopeless, but just weeks later I felt like a completely different person. There are great companies are out there – you’ve just got to find one!

  1. Be brave and have confidence in your own abilities:

In my first Graduate role, I shied away from speaking up and found it embarrassing to admit if I didn’t understand a task. In my team at Bigfoot, our mantra is ‘there are no stupid questions’ and it’s along these lines that I now try to live my life. Don’t be ashamed to admit if you don’t yet know something, everyone starts somewhere!

If you’re looking for marketing work experience, we’re always looking for talented individuals to join our ever-growing team so get in contact with us today!


We ask an environmental consultancy practice: what does your company actually do and what are the routes into working in this area?


Sophie Lewis, Landscape Consultant for Tyler Grange explains what the company does and gives two case studies of routes in:

What Tyler Grange Actually do:

Tyler Grange (TG) offer expert advice, assessment and consultancy services in relation to planning applications and new developments. Their work covers a broad range of projects in both urban and rural contexts and includes complex urban extensions, major infrastructure proposals (roads, rail, housing), and commercial development. Depending on the project, work might include site surveys (existing physical features including trees and habitats, protected species surveys), environmental assessments (e.g. animal and plant species on site) and recommendations to ensure clients comply with environmental legislation when planning new developments including strategies for minimising the impact of new developments on the ecological environment.

Specialist teams cover each area:


Our team of arboriculture consultants specialise in the production of BS5837 surveys, the formulation of tree protection strategies associated with complex development sites; and, the critique and challenge of Tree Preservation Order (TPO) designations.


Our team of ecologists are members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), working in accordance with the Code of Practice, to carry out surveys and assessments on protected species such as bats, badgers, newts and birds.


Our team of landscape architects provides advice in relation to all aspects of landscape planning; from initial site appraisal, through the preparation of Landscape/Townscape and Visual Impact Assessments (L/TVIA) to the presentation of landscape evidence at public inquiries.

Getting into this area of work:

There’s no set route in, it’s a case of building up practical experience and securing additional qualifications in areas which interest you (for example experience with protected species if you’re considering ecology).

Team Member Case Studies

Laura Mason – Landscape Consultant

Following an initial degree in Geography and Environmental Management, Laura gained further masters-level qualifications in Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Landscape Architecture.

Laura says: “I was uncertain what to do after my first degree in Geography so went on to study GIS. This led me towards working as a Graphics Technician within a large multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy company. Once there I discovered landscape assessment and decided to undertake further studies into Landscape Architecture to become a qualified landscape professional and a member of the Landscape Institute. I enjoy working in this sector because of the cross-over between the different disciplines and the variety of work available.” 

Introducing Hilary Thumpston – Landscape Intern

Hilary is undertaking a ‘Master of Landscape Architecture’ (MLA) degree at Manchester Metropolitan University and joined TG as part of her placement module for the summer of 2017. Before the MLA, Hilary completed the BSc in Environmental Science course at SHU. Her time at SHU led her towards a career in environmental consultancy through her studies into topics such as remediation, EIA, atmospheric and water quality and ecology.

Hilary says: “My placement is based within the landscape department and my work involves providing technical landscape advice to improve development designs to the benefit of the local landscape and users. TG also provide Ecology and Arboriculture services which I am encouraged to become involved with. There are many different careers within companies such as TG which can stem from an initial qualification in Environmental Science.”

For further information about working within this area and things you can do to increase your chances of getting into this area, have a look at the case studies on Tyler Grange’s site and the ‘environmental consultant’ and ‘landscape architect’ profiles on National Careers Service or Prospects

Insight into publishing, my student perspective


Kate Whittle, a first year BA English student at SHU recently attended an ‘Insight into Publishing’ event, run by Hachette UK, the UK’s most diversified trade publishing group.

“What are you doing at University?”, I sometimes get asked. Getting the most out of it, or at least trying to!

As a first-year student I initially felt a little out of my depth, I’d gotten up at half past four and travelled down to London for nine. I arrived at Carmelite House and thought “what am I doing here?”

Navigating the way to Hachette

However, within five minutes of being there I’d got a coffee in hand, a biscuit in the other and was making my way towards a table of smiling faces. Hachette UK put all the students into groups of about 8-10 to a table with a brief on it for a book, my table got the genre of ‘cookery books’ and so we had to brainstorm and work together to create a plan. This was so that throughout the day we could slowly work up a brief presentation where we attempt to sell our ‘book’ to the publishing house. This meant that everyone had to be friendly and work together to produce an original and interesting brief, they were some incredibly interesting people who I worked with and I honestly felt I learnt so much just from my table.

The day was split up by different talks from the different departments within the company, they had a director, Martin Neild who came and gave us an over view of the company and re-assured us that the book is definitely not dead! I think this causes a lot of people to not go into the industry and therefore they wanted to calm our fears and really get us enthusiastic about it. This was followed by some more senior staff who covered everything from production, to marketing, sales, publicity and so much more. To me the most striking thing about the day was just how broad the term ‘publishing’ is, it’s not just an editor and publicist doing all the work!

For example, Sarah Clay, the special sales person form Hodder & Stoughton made me realise that there is a lot more to getting the books on the shelfs past just writing and creating the physical book. She goes out to the major supermarkets, to the major bookstores, anywhere they think a book will sell. Her job role is to be enthusiastic and exited about why they would want this book in their stores, she said “it requires a lot of creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit”. This made me realise I don’t have to use my love of books in a typical sense, I could use that love and enthusiasm to get other people into books!

Publishers names on wall by the lifts

Over all it was a truck load of information crammed into a 9-hour day. I left feeling a little overwhelmed but even more in love with books and the English language than before, I honestly think the day on a whole was a must for anyone who is even considering a job leading from English or to English. Its not just about the specifics of publishing but also the general knowledge and confidence you get from doing something out of your comfort zone, such as travelling to London alone and talking to people much older and much more experienced than yourself.

Hachette UK is an incredible company that provides opportunities to those attempting to get into the industry. The ‘Inside story’ event was perfect for me as a student to go and get a better idea of what it actually meant to go into Publishing and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any who can spare the day.

Insight into publishing


Post by Laura Kerley, Employability Adviser for Humanities

I recently attended an ‘Insight into Publishing’ event, run by Hachette UK, the UK’s most diversified trade publishing group. The Hachette UK group includes many autonomous publishing companies, whilst providing some group level support. This combination of big and small proved a fascinating context to gain insight into the publishing industry.

Over the course of the day 60 students from across the UK heard from people working in a range of roles at Hachette and beyond. Speakers ranged from the very experienced (eg. the founder of inclusivity focused Dialogue Books ; and the literary agent of best seller ‘Girl on a Train’), to more recent graduates. But it wasn’t all chalk and talk. In groups, students were given a book genre and in between talks were set tasks to ultimately “create” a book and pitch it at the end of the day. This wasn’t as scary as it may sound – see our very own student view of the day from first year SHU English student, Kate Whittle. The day was rounded off nicely with drinks, socialising and a chance to get CV advice, with quite a backdrop view from the rooftop terrace!

Some key (and sometimes surprising) points about the publishing industry

  • It is thriving and the book isn’t dead!
  • There is an exciting array of roles available that are open to graduates from any subject. Although editing is critical (and popular), think beyond this to lesser known roles such as Design, Production, Rights&Licensing, Sales, Marketing&Publicity, Distribution and Finance.
  • There can be chances to work internationally, particularly in Sales and Rights&Licensing.
  • Competing for the ‘leisure pound’ with giants such as Amazon has led the industry to speed up, with distribution working at a particularly high pace.
  • There is no set path into the publishing industry. You can certainly spot some patterns (see tips below), but many atypical paths exist. One example is an Animation graduate turned Digital Marketing Manager with a background mainly in music promotion. Another is the founder of a Dialogue Books, who got there via bookselling/being a Production Runner/studying Politics&Anthropology as a mature student and more!

Tips to get into publishing

  • Be persistent in trying to get some industry experience via formal work experience/intern schemes and approaching publishers speculatively. However, extended periods of unpaid work experience/shadowing is not expected.
  • Paid work that is particularly valued is book selling and office experience outside the publishing industry. Blogging, using Twitter well and reading industry press are also valued.
  • Have an open mind about which work experience opportunities and entry level roles to go for. The less glamorous sounding will attract less competition and still be very useful experience.
  • Commercial awareness, organisation, team work and communication/negotiation skills are valued for all
  • When applying for opportunities don’t waste too much space telling the publishing company how awesome they are; tell them how you can help them be even more awseome!


How to find out more

Start by getting a fuller view of the publishing industry and roles on TARGETjobs; the Publishers Association and Creative Skillset.

Join the Society of Young Publishers (not just for young professionals – student membership is £24/yr); they run great events, an online advice forum, a magazine, a jobs database and more. They have a Northern branch that runs fantastic and reachable events.

Get some industry experience. Hachette UK run a work experience scheme and also Fresh Chapters internships. For other opportunities, follow publishers on Facebook/Twitter (the ‘Publishing’ list on @SHUCareersHums is a good place to start). Try a speculative approach with smaller publishers, including those outside London. For help with finding free accommodation for one week in London, visit the Spare Room Project. There is also help from the Book Trade Charity on offer for people looking to get into the industry.

REMEMBER, you can book an appointment with an Employability Adviser for practical support with job search and applications.

Win £100 to spend on Amazon and help Sheffield Hallam Careers and Employability Service at the same time


Everyone at Sheffield Hallam Careers and Employability Service needs your feedback to continue to give you excellent careers support. This year we’re taking part in the trendence survey, one of the UK’s largest student surveys, and their reports will tell us how satisfied you are with your careers support and the wider university experience, as well as which employers you aspire to work for. Take the survey and you’ll be giving us valuable feedback.

In return for your help, trendence are giving away…

  • a £100 Amazon gift card (given away every week – 14 to give away!)
  • an iPad Pro (two given away at close of survey)

Click here to enter the competition!

Tell us what you think of your university course, which employers you like, and how you’re feeling about your future career. trendence will continue to use the results to put together research reports to help universities and employers across the UK, so that they know what kind of job you want.

It only takes 15 minutes (and you can take it on your mobile!)

Take the survey now: www.trendence-gradbarometer.co.uk


Would you like to know more about trendence? Here’s some extra information: 

The trendence Graduate study is the UK’s most comprehensive piece of research into students’ views on graduate careers and recruitment: over 62,000 UK students took part last year. trendence also powers The Guardian UK 300, so ranking your favourite employers is a great way to influence their status in the publication.  

trendence is an excellent tool for helping students to think about graduate careers: the questions require you to rank employers in a variety of ways, helping you to think laterally about your career options and why you like, or don’t like, certain companies.

Your answers are completely anonymous. You are welcome to read our data protection policy.

trendence abides by all MRS codes, ESOMAR codes and ISO 20252. We are conducting this survey in partnership with your Careers Service.

Everything you need to know before the Hallam Careers Fair


Post by Sam Burton, BA Journalism student

Sam Burton

Employers from across the nation will be coming to Sheffield Hallam University next week for its first Careers Fair of the academic year.

A great opportunity to meet some leading employers and have a clearer view of what happens after university. To help you prepare Gradtime has all the details, expert tips, and trade secrets you need.

The fair will be at 11am – 3pm on Thursday 26th October. Almost 150 employers will fill several locations across the city campus including: The Careers & Employability Centre, Hallam Hall, Hallam Central, Heartspace, Cantor Building, and Hertha Ayrton Building.

“This will be an amazing chance to find out about a wide range of opportunities,” says Maggie Bamford – employability adviser for Photography, PR, Media and Journalism students. “They will be here to talk about graduate vacancies, placements and internships. You can find out about things you may already be interested in and also opportunities that you didn’t know existed.”

“There will be some recent graduates who were in the same position as you not so long ago, who are now working and can tell you about why they chose those companies and give advice about how to search for jobs and make successful applications.”

On the list of companies to impress at the fair is Asda, Royal Air Force, Citrix, IBM, Royal Mail, and many more organisations from across many industries.

For a full list of the companies attending, as well as directions to the fair click here.

“Build your confidence by speaking to employers who interest you less initially, and then approach your favourites”

According to Prospects.ac.uk, employers are most looking for leadership skills, good communication, planning and research skills, resilience, self-management, team working skills, and work experience.


“A positive attitude, being polite and a friendly manner, all this and knowing something about the organisation is a huge advantage,” Bamford adds, “employers are interested in students, they are giving up their time and it costs them money to come here, so try to have something interesting to say to them.”

Before coming to the fair, Kent Roach, a careers and employability consultant at Hallam University, said students should “update their CVs and cover letters and prepare their elevator pitch. Just a 30-60 seconds speech on you, your key selling points and the role/sector you are interested in.”

And on the actual day “Present yourself well, dress comfortably but smart and professional. A smile, good eye contact and a hand shake is all you need to introduce yourself to an employer. A good starter is your name, year and subject. Tell them why you might want to work for them. Be ready with your elevator pitch”

If you don’t feel confident about approaching employers “build your confidence by speaking to employers who interest you less initially, and then approach your favourites,” said Bamford, “or attend preparatory events such as ‘I want to be more confident to talk to employers at the careers fairs’.”

You can search for workshops by clicking here.

Disability Confident Employers


Disability Confident Employer

Sheffield Hallam University is proud to be a Disability Confident employer

Sheffield Hallam’s Careers and Employability Service recognises some of the employers taking action to increase diversity in their workforce

With over 31,000 students Sheffield Hallam University is the 7th largest university in the UK. We have a diverse student population that reflects the make- up of many major cities. It is essential therefore that we encourage employers who make a public commitment to reflect our diverse society in their workforce to attend our recruitment fair. One of these commitments is to the disability-confident-campaign

Ten of our visiting employers have pledged a commitment to their current and potential employees. An example of some pledges include – supporting positive and inclusive recruitment  –  being offered interviews. This is great news to the 12% of Sheffield Hallam students who have a long term medical condition or disability who feel encouraged to apply to such companies.

The ‘disability confident’ employers attending are: 3Squared, Dunelm (Soft Furnishings) Ltd, EY,Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Millbrook Venues, PKF Cooper Parry, QHotels, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Finance Department, Twinkl Educational Publishing. The Fair Guide for students will identify this charter.

Lisa Cameron from EY explains why it makes business sense for them to reflect and take action to support employees with disabilities.

Employers attending the recruitment Fair on 26th October can find out more about this scheme and others that help promote diversity in employment from the Careers and Employability Service.

Karen Allan, Sheffield Careers and Employability Service 16/10/17

Future Legal Mind Award 2018 Offers £5,000 Top Prize


​The annual Future Legal Mind Award for undergraduate law students launches this week.

Find out how to enter.

The 4th Future Legal Mind Award opens for entries this week, offering UK law undergraduates the chance to win £5,000 and a valuable work placement.

The award, sponsored by National Accident Helpline, offers the country’s brightest legal minds a head start in the highly competitive legal industry.

Last year’s Future Legal Mind Award winner, Hana Kapadia, said: “Winning the competition will undoubtedly provide a huge boost to my CV, and is a huge aid financially, giving me a sense of security towards funding my studies.

I would definitely recommend entering the Future Legal Mind Award 2018.”

Entrants are required to submit an original essay on a specific subject relevant to today’s legal profession.

This year’s Future Legal Mind essay question is:

“The personal injury legal sector is frequently attacked by government, insurers and media as ambulance-chasing lawyers seeking to promote a compensation culture. What can organisations in the personal injury legal sector do differently in order to dispel the misconceptions and bring integrity back to claiming compensation?”

Essays must be a maximum of 1,300 words, excluding footnotes and a 100-word summary and need to be submitted by January 14th, 2018.

Other previous winners and shortlisted candidates also say the award has enhanced their career prospects and has been great thing to have on their CVs, including 2016 winner Tom Phillips, who said:

“I have no doubt that winning the competition has provided a significant boost to my CV and will ultimately help me to obtain pupillage. I would encourage all law students to enter the Future Legal Mind Award – it is a unique and valuable opportunity.”

Simon Trott, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline and chair of judges for Future Legal Mind Award 2018, said: “At National Accident Helpline, we set standards for our solicitors, and we believe that it is crucial to attract the very best people to the legal sector.

“With that in mind, in 2014 we introduced the annual Future Legal Mind Essay Award, to bring recognition to young legal talent who share our passion for giving customers the best service.

“Our winner is awarded with a financial contribution towards their studies and work experience at one of our high quality legal firms.

“It’s been heartening to see the positive impact the last three years’ awards has had on our winners, and we are excited to be offering this chance to a new group of students for Future Legal Mind Award 2018.”

You can read more about the award, and enter your essay, at: www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/future-legal-mind

Nine tips if you’re still looking for a sandwich placement



If you’re still looking for a sandwich placement for your second year, don’t despair. Here are our top tips for securing a placement:

  1. Use the Placement Portal as one option (placements are uploaded throughout the year including summer), but try a range of other approaches – advertised vacancies, speculative applications and networking (to get inside information)
  2. Don’t forget to search on UniHub – the ‘search employers’ section is also useful as you can identify potential employers to contact
  3. Identify the type of work you’d like and the location, identify potential organisations and then approach them directly – discussing strategies with an Employability Adviser can help
  4. Take the time to get a named person to call or address your email to, then make sure you follow up to check they’ve received your email/CV after around two weeks if you don’t hear anything
  5. Utilise social media: create a positive online presence, use twitter and LinkedIn to get ideas about potential organisations, positions and contacts – see if you can arrange to talk to your contacts face-to-face.
  6. Look out for full-time vacancies: contact the employer to explain that you’re available for 12 months and ask whether they would still consider your application
  7. Check websites such as student ladder, Targetjobs, Prospects and Rate My Placement – identify organisations which interest you then identify alternative companies you could approach which are less well known
  8. Make a list of 50 employers you’d consider: use UniHub, try Googling “top 10 transport companies in Yorkshire” (or whatever criteria suits you), ask others for suggestions, check professional bodies’ websites, then ring the employers on your list to ask whether they offer sandwich placements and ask for suggestions for other companies to try
  9. Find a list of previous employers who’ve offered sandwich placements to students from your course in previous years and contact them to ask whether they’ve recruited this year: you may need to ask lecturers or placement administrators to help you locate the list

How GoinGlobal can help you find your dream job abroad!



GoinGlobal is your one-stop careers website for employment opportunities abroad. With an extensive careers guide for more than 30 countries worldwide, the site offers a range of advice and support to answer your burning questions.

Take a look at our video to find out how GoinGlobal can help you.

You can access GoinGlobal via https://online.goinglobal.com/ (usage is restricted to Shefffield Hallam students). To use GoinGlobal outside of the University, you will need to first create a personal GoinGlobal account on a Sheffield Hallam networked PC – details are on the website.

Guinevere shares her top tips on gaining a Tier 2 sponsored Graduate role in the UK


The Careers and Employability service provides students and graduates help with careers advice, CV writing, application forms, mock interviews, assessment centres, psychometric testing, skills workshops as well as in class lectures as part of your course. 

Students are also able to access a dedicated Employability Adviser as well as a Careers Consultant dedicated to their course.

Guinevere Chan (Sze Kei Chan), International graduate in MSc International Business Management and was able to fully utilise these services during her time at Sheffield Hallam University.

We spoke to Guinevere recently where she updated us on how she’s progressing after graduating and her current role at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Guinevere Chan (second right) whilst working at the ICE club.

Guinevere Chan (second right) whilst working at the ICE club.

What made you choose to study your courses?

I chose to study a MSc programme in International Business Management at Sheffield Hallam mainly because I developed an interest in different cultures and how these differences have an impact on the interactions between people and businesses. As I was undertaking a Business and Human Resource Management course at the time, I quickly realised that I would be interested to deepen my business knowledge with an international focus.

What were your experiences of each course?

I really enjoyed being part of the course for three main reasons.  First of all, the course is highly practical and we were constantly given the opportunity to apply theories and models to real life business cases, in the form of analysis, reports and presentations.  Secondly, the academic staff always challenged us to think critically from different perspectives. I found that having such a mind-set has been very useful in my current job. Finally, the people who are on the course are from a range of different cultural backgrounds, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I made really good friends who I still keep in touch with today.

How did you adjust to living in Sheffield?

I also completed my undergraduate degree at Sheffield Hallam so I was already familiar with the city when I joined the master’s course. However, it was quite difficult at the beginning when I first came to the UK. The main reasons were the different education systems, cultural difference and not knowing anyone in the city.

In comparison to the Hong Kong education system, the biggest differences I found in the UK was the emphasis on autonomy in learning, critical thinking and practical applications. It seemed to me that the higher level of the qualification, the more these aspects apply to my study. 

So for new students coming from Hong Kong and China, be prepared to:

  • Be a lot more involved in expressing your own opinions in class
  • Challenge other perspectives and be prepared to being challenged
  • Take responsibility for your own learning progress
  • Take part in group work
  • Take initiative (e.g. be a course rep)
  • Take a leadership role (e.g. leader of a group project)
  • Read quality news regularly to keep up to date with what is happening (e.g. BBC News, Financial Times, Guardian)
  • Develop your skill set outside the classroom through engaging with extracurricular activities
Guinevere appeared in marketing material for the university during her time in Sheffield

Guinevere appeared in marketing material for the university during her time in Sheffield with hints and tips for other students.

Did anything help you to adjust to UK life?

Yes, definitely. I adapted to the new city very quickly as I built my circle through taking part in the social activities at Sheffield Hallam. As time progressed, I also started to volunteer to participate in different projects and societies, through which I expanded my social circle and sharpened my skills at the same time. My favourite social activities were the day trips that are organised by the International Experience Team as I was able to travel and see more of the UK and meet new people at the same time.

Did you do any part time work whilst in the UK?

I did. I started off working in the ICE club at the university which is part of the University’s Campus Jobs (paid roles to work for the university) and later I also worked at a retail store called Argos during the summer months.

You have recently gained a Graduate role. Tell us more about this.

Company: Price Waterhouse Coopers. Role title: Associate Management Consultant

My role is part of a two year graduate scheme, in which I will have the opportunity to experience a range of different projects. My responsibilities are varied depending on the projects but a few examples would be conducting market research to identify potential clients and opportunities for  the company; and assisting in designing and implementing sustainable transformation programmes for our clients.

Can you outline some of the support you received during your course from the various parts of the University?

During my four years at Sheffield Hallam, I received a lot of support from different people. The tutors helped to shape my thinking and always challenged me to achieve more than I thought I could be. The Careers Consultants and Employability Advisers helped me to build my CV and helped me to understand the steps that I needed to take to secure a job in the UK. I believe that the understanding of the UK job market is absolutely critical to landing a job as an international student. As for the International Experience Team, they offered an excellent visa advice service which helped me to understand the various types of Visas that I would need to obtain to work in the UK after graduation. Finally, taking part in the ICE club and other volunteering opportunities helped me to develop my communication skills, confidence, English language capability and to expand my network, which was also critical to my path in landing a graduate job in the UK with Tier 2 sponsorship.

What advice do you have for any other international students who are seeking a placement or graduate role in the UK?

To the international students who are looking for a placement or a graduate role in the UK, my advice would be plan ahead, make good use of the services on offer from the Careers and Employability centre, take part in extracurricular activities and gain a good understanding of the UK job market.

Here are some questions I recommend to you to get your thinking started:

  • What roles and in what industry you are interested in and what skills are required for those roles?
  • What kind of experiences or opportunities do you have access to right now that can help you develop those skills? (Such as volunteering, societies, part time work, internships.. etc)
  • What do you know about the job market that you are interested in? (Such as who are the major companies that sponsor work visas in the UK or elsewhere, what are their recruitment processes.. etc)
  • Why do you want to find a job in the UK and are you prepared to go through some of the vigorous recruitment processes involved?

All in all, landing a job in the UK as an international student can be very challenging. However, it is definitely not impossible as long as you are willing to put in great effort for preparations. If there is one thing that I want you to take away from this, it would be: Prepare, prepare and prepare!

Anything else you want to add?

I wish I had known that everything will work out eventually, and that I shouldn’t put too much stress on myself. 

Get ahead. Get International Experience


By Nikki Abbott, Employability Adviser.

Research has found that students who have spent time abroad studying, working or volunteering during their degree are more likely to be in a higher salary graduate job, are more likely to attain a first or upper class second degree and are less likely to be unemployed.

In addition you will develop many skills sort after by employers and will gain valuable experiences to add to your CVs. By matching opportunities with your motivations and objectives, gaining experience abroad can help give you an edge.

There are a range of international experiences that could be open to you including: internships and exchanges; temporary and seasonal work; teaching English as a foreign language, and volunteering. If you are a first year student you may be able to apply to the Cantor Bursary for up to £500 to help with travel costs, accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the period of work experience.


Look at international internships, summer work experience and volunteering opportunities offered by companies such as those referred to on Careers Central and advertised on the Careers and Employability Services’ UniHub website.

New opportunities will be added regularly up until the end of term so remember to keep checking the site.

To find out more about the wide range of opportunities open to you, visit Careers Central or speak to an adviser.

Make the most of your Summer – The Future is Yours


What will you be doing this summer? Now’s your chance to shine and give yourself the best possible opportunity of starting a successful career by taking control of your future.

Log onto UniHub, search the jobs field with the words Summer 2017 and start building a standout CV.

Summer to remember

You can change your summer by:

  • Volunteering – Get involved in local and national opportunities which make a real impact for charities, festivals and events as well as equipping you with real world skills and experience.
  • Global Internships – Get stand-out global work experience through summer internships with organisations worldwide.
  • Cantor Bursary – Your chance to apply for a flexible bursary of up to £500 to help you experience living and working overseas.
  • Summer Campus Jobs Earn cash in a flexible and familiar environment on campus here at SHU. Be an Ambassador, a Shelver in the library, a Mentor for fellow students or a crucial part of an administration team.

This is your opportunity to get employability experience and give yourself the best possible opportunity of finding a career you love, whatever your year of study.

Be employable and make this year the one where you gain new skills and make an impact locally or globally to stand out from the crowd. 

To view these opportunities, please click here or log onto UniHub and type Summer 2017 in the jobs field.

This week in the Careers & Employability Centre


Have a look and see what is taking place within the Careers and Employability Centre this week.

To book, please visit the Careers and Employability Centre or visit: https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/


Don’t miss your chance to be a CEO for the day


Ever wondered what it’s like to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a multi-national company – the meetings that take place, the important decisions to be made, the hours worked and the people you network with?

Thanks to one of the UK’s leading executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, now you can as part of their CEO for a Day programme.

This unique opportunity allows University students to apply to spend a day shadowing a top CEO in order to learn from the UK’s most experienced leaders. It’s also designed to uncover promising future leaders and give students the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a senior executive.

Students go through a rigorous recruitment process, including online assessments and face-to-face interviews with our partners and consultants. Each finalist spends a day shadowing a CEO and learning about their background, career path, and an opportunity to transfer skills and better understand what drives these future leaders.


CEO for a Day launched in the UK in 2016 with 15 undergraduates from UK universities chosen to shadow a cross-section of leaders for a day. Participating companies and organisations included BT, ITV, Standard Chartered, Deloitte, Legal & General, The Cabinet Office and the National Trust.

So have you got what it takes to be a great leader in 2017? Then apply for this unique work experience opportunity.

Students are required to complete the application form, upload their CV and answer the following two questions.

About you: Please tell us about your career goals (100 words max.)

Your thoughts on leadership: Please answer the following question in under 500 words… What are the most important attributes of good leadership? (500 words max.)

Applications are now open and close at the end of June.

For more information including how to apply visit: https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/students/events/detail/432789/ceo-for-day-have-you-got-what- 

We’ll help your skills stand out to STEM employers


If you’re planning on working within the Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) sector post-graduation, as part of British Science Week, the Careers and Employability Team are offering STEM-specific CV drop-in sessions all week to help you stand out to employers.

Alongside this, we’re also offering support for students who would like assistance creating a technical STEM CV.

So if you are applying for graduate roles in any of the STEM sector areas then bring your CV along to the Careers and Employability centre (unless otherwise stated) from Monday 13th to Friday 17th March.







Monday 13th March: 10.00am – 11.00am: Technical CV’s for STEM students

Tuesday 14th March: 10.00am – 12.00pm: STEM CV drop-in

Wednesday 15th March: 10.00am – 12.00pm STEM CV drop-in; 2.00pm – 3.00pm: Finding graduate jobs for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) students

Thursday 16th March: 10.00am – 12.00pm: STEM CV drop in

Friday 17th March: 10.00am – 12.00pm: STEM CV drop in

No need to book – just turn up!

We also offer CV drop-in sessions for students from all courses every day from 12.00pm – 1.00pm in the Careers and Employability Centre.

How we can help you during National Careers Week


Helping students to plan out the next steps of their careers is an everyday occurrence here at Sheffield Hallam University.

This week is no exception as we host a series of events to support the 2017 National Careers Week.

main-News Article Image

These events include:

To book your space, click the link on each event.

With our help… the future is yours


Final year student? Then it’s not too late to access the Careers and Employability Service.

We’ll help you to: Create winning CVs and application forms, ace interviews, assessment centres and psychometric tests and find jobs and internships.

Future is yours plasma


Check out these six exciting steps to take control of your future: 

  • Careers Focus – attend sessions to help you become more employable
  • Enterprise – Want to become self-employed? We can offer you support to do so
  • RISE Internships – six month salaried jobs with local employers
  • SHU Internships – access quality, paid work experience
  • Spring Fair – speak to employers about their graduate schemes on Thursday 23rd March, 2017
  • UniHub – search hundreds of vacancies and find the right job for you after university

What do you need to do now? Book an appointment to access our help and support.

Online: unihub.shu.ac.uk

Over the phone: 0114 225 3752

In person: Careers and Employability Centre, Hallam Square (next to the entrance to Owen Building)

With our help, the future is yours.

What do Graduates do? Using Labour Market Info to kick start your search for the perfect career


By Anjlee Gupta, Employability Adviser

It is that time where after much procrastination and trying to avoid the endless barrage of questions from friends, and family asking ‘What are you going to do after graduation?’, that you finally decide to join in the search for your graduate career.

To answer the question above for some people is a piece of cake. These people are the go-getters who know what they are good at and what they want to do and let’s face it they will probably ace their first interview.

But what if you are in the ‘I have no idea what I want to do’ category? Where do you start? Well firstly let me put you straight, there are no magic answers. You have got to put in the work.


You can start by looking up graduate labour market information. This research will come in handy when you are preparing for interviews, networking and during your employment.

Take a look at some key facts taken from The Graduate Market in 2017;

  • Did you know that over 800 graduate roles were unfilled in 2016?
  • A growing number of vacancies in 2017 are expected to come from public sector organisations and online retailers.
  • Opportunities for internships, work shadowing and taster or open days are increasing with at least three quarters of employers offering students to have an opportunity to build their work experience.

So how can facts and information like this help? To help you kick start your journey, I have put together a few tips;

  1. Firstly find out your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, preferences – use the prospects career planner – a quick and simple quiz to get you thinking.
  2. Research the opportunities available with your degree. Prospects has a great list of jobs by sector to give an idea of what you can do with your degree. Keep your options open and don’t be afraid to look at roles outside of your degree subject. Questions to find answers to include; what roles are out there, what jobs have other graduates done, which industries are growing and what roles are there demands for.
  3. Use LinkedIn to search for and make connections with alumni and industry professionals. Join the SHU Alumni Connect Group and use the LinkedIn alumni connections tool. For information on using LinkedIn come along to one of our workshops.
  4. Do a placement, internship, work shadowing or volunteering – trying different types of roles and gaining a variety of experiences will help you build key skills and shine on your CV whilst also helping you to make decisions about potential career paths. Use Unihub to start your search.
  5. Start applying! – start making applications, attend interviews and get the ball rolling! The key is to be persistent and to try. Even if it’s not your ‘forever’ job, it will shape your development both personally and professionally which will continue as you progress in your career.

Nominations open for the Student Employee of The Year Awards 2017


Be a part of the UK’s largest student awards and get the reward you deserve for working alongside your studies and you could be Student Employee of The Year 2017 (SEOTY). 

Amazing companies don’t exist without exceptional employees. Make sure your boss nominates you for your hard work and in return, why not nominate them in the best employer category.

seoty student poster A6

A SEOTY nomination will give you a stand out CV when applying for jobs. This is your chance to be a regional winner in the categories below;

  • Above and Beyond Award – The category for student workers who regularly go above required duties.
  • Step Up To Leadership Award – The category celebrating future Managers and business leaders.
  • Commercial Impact Award – The category for student workers who have made an impact on the profits or sales of a business.

All nominees are invited to our SHU Awards evening where winners will be announced who will then go on to the regional and then national awards to be crowned National Student Employee of The Year 2017.

Send your boss the link and nominate now for the reward you deserve. Nominations open until Wednesday 19th April 2017.

Send the link to your boss or nominate your employer at: http://www.nases.org.uk/seoty

Celebrate International Women’s Day at the Careers & Employability Centre


International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and IWD can be an important catalyst and vehicle for driving greater change for women and moving closer to gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap wont close entirely until 2186.


Wednesday 8th March at the Careers and Employability Centre.

Women In Business: 11.30am – 1.30pm

We have invited five women entrepreneurs across a range of business sectors to come and share their business experiences with you. The areas of business range from social enterprise to pharmaceuticals to photography. There will be a chance to ask questions and time for informal discussions with the entrepreneurs over refreshments at the end.

To book onto this event, click here.

Women In STEM: 2pm – 3.30pm

We have invited women speakers in different industry areas within the STEM sector to share their career experiences with you. There will be a chance to ask questions and time for informal discussions with the speakers over refreshments at the end.

To book onto this event, click here.

Both events are aimed at women students on all courses but is open to all students to attend.

Ex-Hallam & star of The Apprentice gives us his employability advice


One of the stars of the 2016 series of The Apprentice and Hallam alumnus, Samuel Boateng was recently back in Sheffield visiting his old stomping ground. 

The reason his the visit to his city was to meet current Sheffield Hallam students and offer them his hints, tips and advice on how students can take a business idea and turn it into a reality.

Whilst on campus, he sat down and spoke to Senior Information and Communications Officer for the Careers and Employability Team, Aidan Begley, about his time in Sheffield, how he feels you can make yourself more employable as well as how his experiences on the 2016 series of The Apprentice is shaping his future.

You can watch the interview below:


Make it Personal – Be a Health and Social Care Personal Assistant


Do you want to know more about one of the fastest growing professions in the country for both full and part time employment?

If so, come along to an information event and learning session run by Disability Sheffield and start a career in health and social care.

The event is being held in Sheffield Hallam’s Heart of the Campus building (room HC.0.29) on Wednesday 15th February from 3:00pm to 5:30pm.

This event will give you an opportunity to increase your knowledge and understanding of the role of the Personal Assistant within health and social care.

Disability Sheffield are aiming to increase the recruitment and retention of those working in the PA role by giving you access to the information and resources required to gain employment in this line of work.

There will be opportunities to chat to those who not only employ their own Personal Assistants, but also people who are currently working as PAs themselves. Individual Employers and Personal Assistants will also be on hand to share their knowledge and experiences alongside informal learning sessions for you to get involved in.


The event will feature three key sessions which are a must for any student wanting to get into Health and Social Care work;

Session 1 – Terminology and Differences
This session is a short exercise that will help you understand the differences between the care roles in the Health & Social Care industry.

Session 2 – What is the PA role?

As well as covering what attributes an ideal PA would possess, this session also involves a short Q&A that will help to dispel any myths you may have heard about the role of a Personal Assistant. We will also present you with a number of scenarios that will lead you to question what a PAs values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours might be.

Session 3 – Being a PA
This session will be an informal discussion around what it might mean to support an employer in the various roles that a PA may encounter.

Alongside this, there will be audio and visual information running that will detail real life experiences of Employers and their PAs. There will also be lots of resources available on the day for you to take away with you.

Read Francine’s PA journey here.

Read Lucy’s PA story here.

Find part-time jobs to fit around your timetable at the Work While You Study Fair


Our Work While You Study Fair takes place on Wednesday 22nd February from 11am – 2pm in the Careers and Employability Centre and gives you the opportunity to meet employers offering part-time jobs, including evening and weekend work to fit alongside your study.

Employers are here to see you so bring your CV, talk to great local and national companies and make yourself more employable.

Our fairs can offer you the vital work experience needed to gain a competitive edge once you’ve graduated. In today’s job market, recruiters will be looking for stand out work experience and this fair is the ideal opportunity for you to find the right job to fulfil your potential.

No need to book a place; just arrive on the day ready to meet companies and secure work to earn cash whilst you study.

WWYS17 plasma 4 by 3 L

We also advertise hundreds of part time jobs via the following link: Part Time Jobs

Don’t miss this opportunity to talk to companies and make an impression. You might be talking to your future boss!

Companies booked on so far include;

  • Apple
  • British Army
  • Crew Clothing Company
  • Explore Learning
  • G4S Events
  • Global Security Stewarding Ltd
  • HCS UK
  • Magna
  • Master Class Education
  • NHS Professionals
  • Rotherham United Community Sports Trust – NCS
  • The Challenge
  • The Leadmill

Look out for more great local and national employers booking on in the run up to the fair.

Join Samuel from The Apprentice at an all day Enterprise bootcamp


Now’s your chance to join Samuel Boateng, Sheffield Hallam graduate and star of BBC One show The Apprentice, to learn how to turn an idea into a viable concept in just one day on Thursday 2nd February. 

Do you think you have what it takes to be the next Hallam Apprentice? Based loosely on the TV show, students will work in groups to compete against each other in an Apprentice style task.

At the end of the day each team will pitch their idea to the panel of experts, including Samuel and a member of staff from CADS (Creative Arts Development Space).

This will be a unique chance to combine your skills with students from other faculties, build upon your professional networks, and challenge yourself to come up with creative solutions.

The Hallam Apprentice

This will also be a fantastic opportunity to hear from Samuel about his time studying at Hallam, his entrepreneurial journey and his advice for students on the first rungs of the career ladder.

The event is for any student, of any level or course and not just for those looking for a career within business.

To register for this one-off opportunity, search ‘Hallam Apprentice’ on UniHub (unihub.shu.ac.uk) or click here.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday 31st January.

Make your mark by volunteering in 2017


Every Thursday from 10.00am until 12.00pm, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union (SHSU) will be running a drop in session in the Careers and Employability centre which focuses on the multitude of benefits that volunteering can bring. 

Volunteering can help you meet new people, gain invaluable experience, increase your employability and help your local community. There are hundreds of different projects for you to take part in, lasting from a few hours to a full year.

Volunteering Careers Drop In_University Screens

You’ll also have access to an exciting programme of socials, our coveted Volunteer Awards scheme as well as engaging training sessions and workshops to boost your employability.

Find out how you can make your mark on Sheffield in 2017 at our new informal drop-ins, taking place at the Careers and Employability Centre every Thursday, from 10.00am – 12.00pm.

No need to book, just turn up to find out more.

Helping you decide your future at Creative Careers Week 2017


If you’re looking to make an informed decision about your future career within the creative industries then make sure you attend Creative Careers Week 2017 (CCW17).

Taking place from Monday 6th to Friday 10th February at the Careers and Employability Centre, CCW17  is a full week of talks, presentations and various workshops from industry professionals across the creative industries discussing their careers, how they started, what it’s like working in the industry and the realities of working on a freelance basis.

CCW poster front

Guests include a graphic designer, jewellery designer, photographer, illustrator, fine artist, creative writers, bloggers.

Also, a panel of current placement year students able to provide a useful insight into the placement year experience and tips on how to make the most of it.

The week will also include tours of local art studios, CV and portfolio clinics for students across all years of study to access and gain vital advice and information about progressing within the creative industries.

You can view the full timetable below:

A4 CCW 2017 flyer back

For students to book onto any of these events, go to: https://goo.gl/oeykJb

A quick career question? Work Ready Wednesdays are here for you


Starting on Wednesday 18th January 2017, if you have a quick careers-related question before or after a lecture, then you can pop into the Careers and Employability Centre where one of our Employment Advisers will be on hand to help.

The drop-in sessions will be held each and every Wednesday between 12pm – 1pm and no appointment is needed – just turn up and a member of our friendly team can assist you with any career queries you may have.

Work Ready Wednesday plasma screen


With our help, we’ll make you work ready.

Find out how we can help you disclose your health condition or disability to an employer


Come to the Careers and Employability Centre in Hallam Square on Tuesday 24th January between 2.00pm – 4.00pm, to hear from employers and students discussing how to confidently disclose disability during the recruitment process and support whilst in work, including hearing the reasonable adjustments they have made.

There will also be an input from ‘Change 100’, an organisation currently recruiting summer interns for major companies. You can also join careers staff and learn about the positive action employment programmes and support services available.disability disclosure











As well as the above, contributors on the day include HR Department at Sheffield Hallam University, Big Ambitions, Sheffield Hallam Disabled Student Support Service.

For current students and graduates to book their attendance, please click here.


How diversity programmes can help you find work after graduation


By Karen Allan, Employability Adviser.

Making the most of the opportunities available to you are what resourceful people try to do to achieve their ambitions. Here are some opportunities that could make the difference in securing future career success.

What are ‘diversity programmes’?

The majority of organisations recognise that having a diverse workforce that reflects the community makes good business sense. For a number of reasons, many businesses find they have underrepresentation in their workforce from people from specific groups. This could be people with disabilities, black and minority ethnic groups, gender bias in certain job roles.

To try and redress this some employers and training organisations promote ‘diversity programmes’ to give an insight and practical experience to specific groups of people. It is hoped that following such a programme, whether it is one week or three months that the participants will have the knowledge and confidence to apply for a regular job.

Here are examples of some opportunities currently being advertised. Many have closing dates in January 2017, so why not give these some thought.

Civil Service

Are you on track for 2:2, in the last two years of university and interested in working for the government? Their Summer Diversity Internship Programme will allow you to gain experience within the Civil Service, as well as being paid!



Change 100

For students with a disability or specific learning need such as dyslexia then Change 100 may be offering that first entry into your ideal job.

Change 100 offer summer internships in a variety of business, IT and engineering roles. The roles are paid and supported by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation

Apply for a Change100 internship today!

To apply you must meet the following criteria:

  • have a disability or long-term health condition
  • be in the final or penultimate year of your degree, or have graduated in 2015 or 2016
  • have achieved or be predicted a 2.1 or first (mitigating circumstances will be taken into account)
  • be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of a full-time summer work placement

To find out more about the application process, please download the Change100 student brochure. For more information: email us

You can find more information and vacancies for ‘diversity programmes’ on: http://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/planning-your-future/disabled-students then click into the most appropriate drop down tab.

Our GoGlobal Fair could give you a 2017 to remember


The GoGlobal Opportunities Fair is coming to campus on Wednesday 25th January from 11.00am – 3.00pm

Meet a mix of employers offering jobs across the globe, overseas volunteering organisations and Sheffield Hallam University students with global work experience.

Apply and explore the opportunities available for you to get international work experience.

Don’t miss this chance to;

  • Speak with employers offering overseas internship opportunities to fit alongside your studies,
  • Get involved in global volunteering
  • Meet Sheffield Hallam students like Mark (above) who have recently worked across the globe.
  • Be a part of a virtual fair and hear from employers based across the globe

Almost 30 employers are already signed-up to attend on the day.

Companies already booked on include;

  • InternChina (Paid internships across all industry sectors in China)
  • CCUSA (Be a Camp Counsellor in the states – paid work in summer camps in the USA)
  • AIESEC (Opportunities in 126 countries with a focus on Indonesia, China, Brazil and Colombia)
  • The British Council (The UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations Worldwide opportunities through internships)
  • American Summers (Work, Travel and live the culture with paid work in the USA)
  • Americamp (Work at Camp South Africa, Camp Thailand, Aus-Job – We’re more than just America!)
  • CRCC Asia (Be exposed to China’s dynamic culture and lifestyle by working in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen)
  • SLV Global (Mental Health work in Sri Lanka and Bali, Indonesia)
  • International Service (Volunteer opportunities helping young people and children in the developing world across Africa, Asia and Latin America)
  • ImmerQi (Be an intern, teach or volunteer in mainland China. Opportunity to learn Mandarin as you work)
  • Into Peru (Paid Internships in Lima, Peru.  Experience Latin America whilst learning Spanish)
  • USA Summer Camp (The summer job experience working at camp in the USA)
  • ICYE UK (support communities and projects across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe)
  • Teach English in China (Immerse yourself in the most dynamic culture on earth and Teach English across major cities in China)
  • Smaller Earth (An opportunity for first time travellers – work in New Zealand, Czech Republic, Australia, Thailand and South Africa)
  • Pave Internships (Get career focussed, industry experience across India)
  • Place Rec USA (Paid internships in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain)
  • Yummy Jobs (Work In the Universal Resort and the Disney experience in the U.S.A, Florida, Chicago and California)
  • Travel Teacher (Volunteer Teaching opportunities in Fiji, Aitutaki (Cook Islands) and Internships in India)
  • AIESEC Volunteering (Opportunities in 126 countries with a focus on Indonesia, China, Brazil and Colombia)
  • Sporting Opportunities (Work doing the sport you love in Africa, Asia or South America. We also have snowboarding jobs in Canada)
  • STA Travel (Your one-stop student travel shop. Help with Travel Arrangements and Visa’s)
  • Challenges Abroad (Support children and local villages by volunteering in Romania)
  • SHU International Experience Team (Work on campus at SHU for International students)
  • Travelteer (Volunteering opportunities in Sri Lanka)
  • Wild Packs Summer Camps (Paid summer work in the USA)
  • East African Playgrounds (Volunteering opportunities in Uganda, Africa)
  • International Citizen Service (ICS) Restless Development (Government funded volunteering opportunities in Nepal, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)
  • Childreach International (global child rights movement with opportunities in Tanzania)
  • UK International Soccer (Be a Soccer coach and travel the USA)

So come along on Wednesday 25th Jnauary, 11am – 3pm to find out more!

Maryah’s schooled for career success


The quest for students to secure themselves a graduate job can either be straightforward, or a period of time which takes perseverance.

It may be that it’s a challenge filling in an application form, ensuring a CV is up-to-date and accurate or when it comes to an interview, a student needs additional support to ensure that they can answer questions confidently in order to secure that all important job.

The advice and guidance offered by the Careers and Employability team – in particular Employability Adviser Nikki Abbott – helped final year BA Hons Youth and Community Work student, Maryah Hussain, secure herself an offer to undertake a teaching course, when she was previously unsure of which direction she needed to take for her future career.

Maryah was able to secure a place on a teaching course thanks to Nikki from the Careers & Employability Team.

Maryah was able to secure a place on a teaching course thanks to Nikki from the Careers & Employability Team.

Maryah said: “Nikki originally helped me to apply for a PGCE in primary education. However, I later decided I didn’t want to do this course, but I had used up all my choices via UCAS.

“She then helped me to apply through apply for a PGCE in secondary education, after which, she arranged a mock interview for me and gave me feedback on the way I answered and how to expand and improve upon these answers. This was very useful and all these techniques were used in my real interview which led me to securing a place on the course.

“The Careers and Employability team were supportive throughout and answered all my questions and helped me feel at ease applying for new courses. 

“The service they provide is excellent and I would recommend if you are struggling with an application for a job or course to go and see the team. I was reluctant to ask for help at first but they were very supportive and provided me with the skills I needed to be successful. I would definitely see them again.”

The Careers and Employability service is available to all currently students, as well as graduates for up to five years after leaving Sheffield Hallam University.

To see how we can help or to book an appointment, click here.

International student Stephanie: “I’d definitely recommend the Careers & Employability service.”


Leaving home to go and study at university can be a daunting prospect for students staying within their own country.

For those students who decide that they want to take their educational journey across the other side of the world – to a country with different cultures, customs, climate – it is even more nerve-wracking.

At Sheffield Hallam University, we have a wide-ranging support network available to ensure that upon their arrival here, our international students are able to access a wide range of provisions to help ensure them settle in to life in the UK.

This support also includes assisting international students in finding part-time work or placement opportunities, to allow them to develop their work experience both now and in the future.

Employability Adviser, Teresa Corcoran, recently interviewed Chinese International student Xingyue Zhao (likes to be known as Stephanie in the UK).

Here, Teresa writes about how the help and support from the Careers and Employability team has really helped Stephanie develop over her time in the UK.

Xingyue Zhao(also known as Stephanie) heaps praise on the Careers and Employability service

Xingyue Zhao(also known as Stephanie) heaps praise on the Careers and Employability service

International Student Q & A

Name: Xingyue Zhao (likes to be known as Stephanie in the UK)

Course: BA (Hons) Business and Financial Management (which includes a placement in 2017/2018). Stephanie entered the course in the second year.

What have you used the Careers Service for?

“I’ve used the Careers and Employability service in a number of ways. When I first came to the UK in September, it became clear that in order to be successful in gaining part time work or a placement role I should get some guidance. I booked in for CV help initially. I was applying for roles which eventually required me to undertake an interview as part of the recruitment process.

“I realised I’d never had an interview in the UK and as the culture here is quite different so I booked in for a practice interview session, which involved providing the role details and being interviewed by two members of staff (Teresa and Philippa) from the SBS Careers Service team.

“I was interviewed and received detailed feedback. I also applied for a Campus Job which I know is part of the Careers Service offer. I’ve more recently gained help and support with job application forms via e-mail.”  

What information did you gain from the CV Help session that you didn’t already know?

“I learned how to make my personal skills and experience stand out to employers by using “action” words (active and positive words, usually verbs). I learned how important it is to match your skills to the role which involves clearly demonstrating your skills and not simply listing them. I also received guidance on how to summarise and explain my experiences clearly.

“This sometimes involved using the STAR technique. It was also suggested that I undertake a range of activities in the University to further improve my conversational English skills which would really help in securing a placement next year.”

What did you gain from the Practice interview session?

“I felt much more confident in my own abilities and previous experiences, it also increased my confidence. Also, I learned that in an interview you need to demonstrate enthusiasm for the role and organisation. I learned how to effectively use the STAR Technique to answer interview questions which involves explaining how I’ve demonstrated certain skills. It was also highlighted that I should demonstrate the outcomes or results of the things I’ve done.”

How did you find the staff you met in Careers in terms of Support?

“The staff members who supported me really gave me confidence; they were also really helpful and nice. They provided me with a lot of professional advice.”

Would you recommend the service to new International students?

“I would definitely recommend the service to other students. I recently applied for and was successful in gaining a part time role working for the University within the International Career Enhancement Club as a member of their Student Crew. This role was gained through a competitive recruitment process where over 200 students applied.

“I am now undertaking training and will perform this paid role throughout the year ahead. I’m still seeking a placement role to start in summer 2017 and will continue to access support from the Careers Service as and when I need it.”

This case study is currently located on Sheffield Hallam’s account on the WeChat social media platform, to promote the help and support on offer at the university to international students within China.

WeChat is a platform used predominately in China and has over one billion accounts, with 700 million active daily users. It’s fundamentally a messaging app, but it also serves many of the functions of PayPal, Facebook, Uber, Amazon, Expedia, Slack, Spotify, WhatsApp and more. People use WeChat to pay rent, locate parking, invest, make a doctor’s appointment, donate to charity etc…

To see how the case study looks on the page once translated into Mandarin, please click here.

External Careers Adviser praises service


The sharing of best practice is a key aspect of ensuring the continuous improvement of the services and provisions which are offered by an ogranisation.

Recently, Jill Valentine, a Sixth Form college Careers Adviser, visited Sheffield Hallam University to spend time with our Employability Advisers (EA). Here, she recounts her time spent working with our EAs and the benefits she found from spending time with them.

Sixth Form Careers Adviser, Jill Valentine praised the work of the Sheffield Hallam Employability Advisers.

Sixth Form Careers Adviser, Jill Valentine praised the work of the Sheffield Hallam Employability Advisers.

“I really enjoyed the fabulous opportunity I had to observe three excellent Employability Advisers at Sheffield Hallam University. Each Adviser made their students feel comfortable, gave them the space to explain their issues and spent time professionally addressing their concerns.

“At the end of each appointment the student left with a developed understanding of what to do, the tools and skills to do it and the knowledge of where for find further support if necessary.

“The three workshops I observed included:  Creating a Competitive CV; Working for Enterprise Rent a Car and Getting LinkedIn. The workshops were delivered in an engaging face paced interactive manner; using well designed bright and eye catching Power Point presentations and supported with appropriate and easy to read hand-outs.

“What more could you want?

“Throughout the day everyone was helpful, supportive and very informative making the whole experience so worthwhile providing me with an insight into the role of Employability Adviser.

“This leaves me to say a big thank you to Maggie Bamford, Arnett Powell, Theresa Corcoran, Johanne Gilroy, and Anjlee Gupta for allowing me to sit on your sessions and to the students who I also observed. 

“All this could not have been done without Linda Wilson, who not only suggested the idea but organised it superbly. Thanks!”

Want to get into Publishing? Blogger Emma gives you the inside track


If being a published author is your dream or perhaps being part of the process of helping others to become a paperback writer is where you want to be, then second year BA (Hons) English student Emma Graham blogs about the steps you need to follow in order to make it a reality.

“Last month I attended the ‘Everything you ever needed to know about Publishing’ event at the University of Sheffield’s’ lovely Bar One. As a second year Sheffield Hallam student, walking into this unfamiliar territory was a considerably nerve wracking experience. Once the crowd got settled and the presentation began the butterflies dissipated.

“The talk was presented by two women in the publishing profession, Stephanie Cox and Vicky Smith, who volunteer for the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) and they gave a really full account of, well, literally everything you ever wanted to know about publishing.

“The presentation began with an overview of publishing in modern day society, explaining how competitive the publishing industry is as it has rapidly become one of the most popular media industries outside of TV since publishing is no longer confined to just books and magazines. Vicky and Steph then went on to explain their experience of getting into publishing and how a lot of it came through perseverance and a passion for the industry. Basically if you don’t have these characteristics, it’ll be tough going.

“The discussion then went onto the three I’s that define why publishing is in such high demand and why you should want to be part of it; it’s innovative, interesting and important. This is the Society of Young Publishers way of explaining that publishing is incredibly useful in this day and age because it is one of the quickest ways to connect people.


Emma Graham blogs on the Publishing world

Emma Graham blogs on the Publishing world


























“Connect with people in other parts of the world, connect authors with their audiences, connect teachers with their students. Publishing is solely about connections and that is why we need it. There are three main types of publishing which are, trade, academic and educational. Within these three publishing groups there many different roles to be carried out before any work can be published. After watching the YouTube video ‘The Life of a Book’ which briefly showed the jobs required before anything gets published, Steph and Vicky then delved deeper into the roles of the publishing industry.

“A literary agent reads through any manuscripts sent in by authors wanting to be published and decides if any have potential. This job is definitely for all the bookworms in the world; this is living the dream! If successful the manuscript gets forwarded to a publishers and the copy editor will read through and see how the narrative flows and decides how the piece reads.

“The copy editor is the person who gets to work very closely with the author. Then it goes to the proof reader who checks all the grammatical errors before going to the editorial and production departments. These are the people who build the book up with the author and make sure it’s the best version of itself. Once commissioned then the cover artists get creative to make some cover art to grasp peoples’ attention because as much as we deny it, we all judge a book by its cover.

“This leads on to the marketing team sell it to the public through posters and social media. Then the pretty shiny finished edition gets put on the shelves for everyone to purchase. Finally, if a roaring success, the international sale managers get involved to sell the work internationally.

“The presentation was informative, enjoyable and the literary bingo wasn’t bad either. Lastly Steph and Vicky gave out their quick tips to publishing. Network, network, network! Get yourself noticed; tenacity is vital here. Think outside the box and become an active problem solver. Get involved in book fairs and SYP.

“Most importantly, you must believe in yourself.”

Companies including British Airways, Nissan and Fujitsu tell us their top employment tips


Sheffield Hallam University recently held three careers fairs for students, focusing on a wide-ranging portfolio of employment sectors.

These fairs covered Business and Finance; Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and the Natural and Built Environment and gave students at all levels at the University the chance to discuss graduate, internship and placement schemes with a number of multinational organisations face-to-face.

They were also able to gather some fantastic hints and tips from employers including; British Airways, Nissan, Royal Mail, Fujitsu and Network Rail.

youtube graphicYou can watch the advice they give – as well as from other organisations – on our YouTube channel.

To view these videos, please click here.

The hidden benefits of working in a Small to Medium Enterprise


Third year Business and Marketing student, Alice Buck, has blogged about how working for a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) – a central and vital part of business – brings more advantages than first meets the eye.

Often overlooked for the large multi-national companies, students tend to focus their attention and efforts on the large scale organisations.

Alice writes about the positives of working in a smaller organisation

Alice writes about the positives of working in a smaller organisation

I’m talking the Bosch’s, the John Lewis’s, the Unilever’s the IBM’s…and why not!? You’ve studied and worked so hard throughout your time at university, why not aim high!?

Well, here’s the hidden benefits and opportunities that working within a SME can lead to;

You’ll have a voice and make an impact:

Working in smaller teams, your opinion is likely to make a bigger difference to the team and the organisational as a whole. In many SME’s you will be the main point of contact in your particular area of expertise, you will be able to see the difference you make to the organisation as SME’s tend to be transparent in working practise and this often leads to greater job satisfaction.

Invaluable experience:

Working with an SME often means being an all-rounder and wearing many hats, depending on the nature of your role you could find that each day brings about different tasks. This allows you to get endless amounts of hands on experience across a variety of functions. This not only makes you more valuable in your experience but also allows you to investigate which areas you’re best at, which can often surprise you as you may find you enjoy a different aspect of a job role more.

You’re closer to decision makers. There are definite advantages to being a big fish in a small pond.

‘Keep them satisfied’: Why employees in SME’s have the edge on happiness

Research by The Global Recruiter found that employees working within a SME have the edge of happiness and engagement at work, within companies with fewer than 10 people coming out on top. The study stated that “the opportunity to have a positive impact on others is one of the key differentiating factors according to smaller employers surveyed.”


Small businesses accounts for 99.3% of private sector firms in the UK (2016). So don’t forget to remain open minded when job hunting and recognise all opportunities that are within your market!

Taruka secures placement at Manchester United thanks to ‘phenomenal’ Careers service


The Careers and Employability service provides students and graduates help with careers advice, CV writing, application forms, mock interviews, assessment centres, psychometric testing, skills workshops as well as in class lectures as part of your course. 

Students are also able to access a dedicated Employability Adviser as well as a Careers Consultant dedicated to their course.

Taruka Srivastava, International graduate in MA Sports Journalism, was able to fully utilise these services during her time at Sheffield Hallam University.

We spoke to Taruka recently where she updated us on how she’s progressing after graduating, as well discussing how the Careers and Employability Team allowed her to undertake a dream placement at one of the biggest football clubs in the world, Manchester United.

Sheffield Hallam graduate Taruka Srivastava outside Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United during her work placement

Sheffield Hallam graduate Taruka Srivastava outside Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United during her work placement

Where did you undertake your placement year?

“I recently completed work experience at Manchester United Football Club where I worked with their Digital team and with Manchester United TV. I also undertook a lot of Social Media research for their different marketing campaigns. I assisted with and provided operational support for the production of the show ‘Wembley 1990’. I attended and wrote about Louis Van Gaal’s last press conference at Carrington Park before the FA Cup Final. I also generated content for the Manchester United website.

“Here is ab example of my work. http://tinyurl.com/hr4qdpb. I helped to market HCL’s Teamswork app in collaboration with Manchester United FC. I gave inputs in terms of marketing, channel strategies, social media and also helped HCL arrange moderator for the Google Hangout/Twitter which took place at Old Trafford.

“I also used my experience to produce an advert for the Special Olympics Summer Games which are due to take place in 2017 in Sheffield. I met two former Special Olympic Gold medal winners who won in the Los Angeles 2015 World Cup. https://youtu.be/9Cftm3DoafQ.” 

Tell us about your current role

“I’m currently working as a Media Intern with Twitter India (working remotely for now in the UK) my role includes helping them to collate information under their “Moments” hashtag. I have also recently been offered a role at Manchester United Supporter’s Trust.”

How would you describe the support you’ve gained from the Careers and Employability service at Sheffield Hallam University?

“The support from careers was phenomenal! I was able to take advantage of a bursary scheme offered by the Careers Service to help to fund my work experience with Manchester United Football Club. I gained help and support from the service to create an effective skill-based CV, which I now know is just what employers look for. I also worked in a paid role within the University under their Campus Jobs programme.”

What do you think you gained from working on campus?

“I wouldn’t say teamwork was a strength of mine initially, but Campus Jobs helped me to break out of my mould and gave me the confidence and experience to be able to work well in a team. Since I’m inherently an introvert I feel it helped me to open up more to others.”

Would you recommend working on campus?

“Campus Jobs are the best type of part time work there is. Working at the University is convenient but also when you are starting to gain UK experience they are within your comfort zone. Also, you get paid to undertake roles through Campus Jobs, which is great.”

Would you recommend the careers service to current students/recent graduates?

“Yes. It is definitely one of the best services on campus and has helped me immensely and everyone should exploit the great service they provide.”

To find out more about the help we can provide students or graduates, click here.

If you’d like to book an appointment with any of our Employability Advisors, then click here.

Employers give hints and tips on how to ace their graduate interviews


Last week, Sheffield Hallam University held two graduate jobs and placement fairs – one focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) whilst the second focused on the Business and Finance sector.

STEM FairDuring the fairs, Aidan Begley from the Careers and Employability team spoke to a number of employers about their graduate and placement schemes.

Many of these companies had employed Sheffield Hallam students via these schemes and they were on hand to talk about their experiences.

They also gave some great hints and tips on how students can impress in interviews with their organisation.

To see what the likes of British Airways, Nissan, Royal Mail and Fujitsu had to say, then click here.

“I now feel much more confident applying for a job.”


My name is Lauren Banner and I am currently in my final of studying a degree in LLB Law and two weeks ago attended Trowers and Hamlins Aspiring Solicitors open day.

The Open Day at Trowers and Hamlins, organised by Aspiring Solicitors, was an insightful day at a leading international, commercial law firm in London. On the day, I did not only gain a deeper understanding of the firm and its unique culture, but I was able to develop my skills that are crucial for becoming a commercial lawyer.

Lauren Banner was able to gain lots of confidence after her visit to an open day at a Law firm.

Lauren Banner was able to gain lots of confidence after her visit to an open day at a Law firm.

The day began with a fun introduction, with a description of why Aspiring Solicitors and diversity are important to them: this was hugely comforting to hear that other people experience the same worries as do I in relation to being offered a training contract at a top commercial law firm.

We then had a talk with four fourth seat trainees on ‘Life as a trainee at T&H’ and they had only positive comments to say about the firm and its distinctive culture. We were then joined by the Senior Partner and had the opportunity to ask her and the graduate recruitment team any questions we had about the firm and the application.

We participated in a commercial group task called ‘The Apprentices’ Den’, where we worked in groups to create our own Superfood product and then present this to a panel of associates and the head of graduate recruitment.

This allowed me to develop my commercial understanding whilst working in a team and it was also extremely fun! Once we had presented, the head of graduate recruitment gave detailed individual constructive feedback, which was extremely helpful to help develop my skills in the future.

We finished the day with a talk from trainees on ‘A Seat in the Middle East’ and a tour around the offices, again having the opportunity to ask questions to various trainees.

Throughout the whole day, I felt as if I was part of the firm and everyone was approachable. Most importantly, it has helped increase my confidence to persevere and attain a training contract at this type of law firm.

Flying the Flag for Sheffield Hallam students down south


Diversity Careers Show – 7th October 2016, London

By Karen Allan – Employment Advisorkaren allan

I was looking forward to my day trip to London.  Conferences can sometimes be a little too prescriptive in terms of what you have to sit through. What is new information for one person is not necessarily ground breaking for another. Careers Fairs are another matter. Employer’s representatives are there and although there is often a theme, they are generally open for any questions you wish to ask. Students get your questions ready when employers attend the Careers Fairs here at Sheffield Hallam.

I was travelling to London to talk with the exhibitors at the Diversity Careers Show in Islington. These employers were promoting their jobs and internships and keen to encourage students from all backgrounds to apply. Sheffield Hallam is the fourth largest university in the UK with students from a variety of social backgrounds, cultures and ethnicity. Twelve percent of our students have declared a disability and we offer one of the largest varieties of courses in the UK. Armed with these facts I was all set to start promoting our students.

Here is a snapshot of what I found out.

Are you intelligent enough for the intelligence service?

Of course you are. Did you know that the intelligence services MI5 and MI6 along with GCHQ want to recruit 1000 people this year? Applicants need a minimum 2:2. It turned out that the person I was talking to was ex-Sheffield Hallam and graduated in 2011. Of course I wasn’t allowed to know her identity being the secret service and all…

Is money more your thing?

The Bank of England has a number of opportunities for first years all the way through to graduate roles in IT business and finance. You need 300 UCAS points in total and Vicky is waiting for your applications: www.bankofenglandearlycareers.co.uk

HeathrowThe National Audit Office was promoting their positive action eight-week internship for students from minority ethnic groups and lower income families HRServiceDesk@nao.gsi.gov.uk This will be running next summer and they are taking enquiries now.

Many companies at the Diversity careers show have support groups in the work place for specific groups – LGTB, BAME. Although some companies were promoting specific positive action programmes the majority were encouraging people to apply to their regular graduate / internship opportunities.

Talking about flying the flag… Heathrow Airport was on stand-by. Sophie, (pictured here) was interested in the range of courses and diverse student population at Hallam.I may have convinced her to come to the Tourism careers fair here in November. She is keen to hear from you in any case. They are continually recruiting and have an internship and future leaders programme. http://careers.heathrow.com/emerging-talent

Although I cannot write about everyone I talked to I will make sure the careers information gained is entered onto the Careers Central website. I also managed to get a few exhibitors to speak to camera (although some did have to help me with the IPad settings!) Here are some of the other companies who want to hear from Sheffield Hallam students:

Rolls Royce PLC:

Law firm Berwin, Leighton Paisner: This recruiter worked at Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield for seven years and has fond memories of the city. Watch the video below.

Whitbread: They will be here at the Hospitality / Tourism / Food and Events fair on the 2nd November. Watch the video below.

Viacom: Who doesn’t want to work for Channel 5. MTV, Comedy Central to name just a few brands. Internships will be advertised in the New Year. George on the video is waiting for your application: http://www.viacomcareers.com

Coca Cola, Land Lease, GSK, MOD Police and Bloomberg all asked me to encourage you to apply.

You may have gathered that I do like to talk although I couldn’t speak to everyone that day. The full list of exhibitors is listed on the website link below. I have invited these companies to Sheffield Hallam and after hearing all about you I am sure many of them will come.

With tired feet and a dry throat I headed back to Sheffield…



“I literally had the best summer of my life.”


Sheffield Hallam University student, Natasha Blackburn, spent the summer of 2016 teaching in Xuzhou, China.

Writing about her time in Xuzhou, she described it as the best summer of her life and has cherished memories from her time in the Far East.

If you’ve ever thought about working abroad during the summer, then click here to find out more about Natasha’s time in China.

Natasha Blackburn (right) enjoying her time teaching in China.

Natasha Blackburn (right) enjoying her time teaching in China.


Award-winning Niall is a ‘volley’ good fellow


A Sheffield Hallam University student was celebrating last week after coming third in an awards ceremony held by the sporting body Volleyball England.

The organisation hosted its first ever Work Experience Celebration Evening at SportPark, Loughborough, part of Fair Train’s National Work Experience Week, which celebrated the achievements of the 29 fantastic interns who have undertaken work experience placements in the last twelve months at Volleyball England.

Throughout the evening, interns and college and university staff heard about the growth of the work experience programme at Volleyball England, as well as hearing from key note speakers from Fair Train and the Youth Sport Trust.

Niall Robertson celebrating after winning his award

Niall Robertson celebrating after winning his award

The inaugural “Intern of the Year” award was also decided, with three very capable finalists taking part, including Sheffield Hallam’s Niall Robertson, who was delighted to have been chosen in third place in the awards.

Niall joined Volleyball England on a six week placement in February and became a vital part of the Business & Finance Team. Providing key administrative support for the Finance Team, Niall has since taken on the role of Higher Education Volleyball Officer at Sheffield Hallam to continue his involvement within the sport.

Niall said: “Being an Intern at Volleyball England gave me a great insight into how sport works at National Governing Body Level. It’s been a really valuable experience and I have learnt a lot from my time there.

 “The staff made me feel welcome and the work they set for me wasn’t just made up for the interns so you really are a part of the business whilst you are there. I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about a career in sport.”

Hannah Winsbury, Membership & Business Support Officer, thanked the interns for their willingness to get stuck in and their capacity to learn and develop during their placements.

“This is the first time we have chosen to run an event like this, and it is because 2016 has been a year of fantastic growth for the work experience programme. Volleyball England had 29 students participating in work experience over the last twelve months, contributing a total of over 1,400 hours to the organisation.

“The standard of interns has never been higher either. This year we had a number of standout students, and they deserve a huge amount of recognition for the role they play in ensuring that Volleyball England works, and works well.”

Get one step ahead with the LinkedIn student app


At Sheffield Hallam University, we want help you to find your dream job which is why we’ve teamed up with LinkedIn to bring you the new Students App.

By downloading the app, each day you’ll get a handful of relevant job and company matches based on your course and what similar Sheffield Hallam alumni have done.

It will also help you to:

  • Discover relevant jobs and companies for you, based on career paths of similar Sheffield Hallam alumni
  • Be the first to hear about and apply to jobs matched to your background and interests
  • Read expert tips on CV’s, interviews and more from top career influencers on LinkedIn

linkedin student app shu poster

Download the app now from the Google Play or Apple iTunes store.

LinkedIn is increasingly used by employers for recruitment and is a great way to research and network.Want to know more about how it works?

Come to one of our sessions to find out how to get the most out of this powerful tool. Click here to book.

How I won a £160,000 award competition for my graduate employer


Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman (Marketing Executive at lovethesales.com)

Liam Soloman with the award#TEASELONDON was a Twitter competition specifically aimed at UK start-ups for London’s Technology Week. Run by a digital software company Eyetease and partnering company Verifone UK (who creat the digital advertising boards on top of London’s black cabs).

The winner would receive £160,000 worth of advertising on 200 black cabs in London. The challenge, to tweet in the reason why you think Londoner’s need to know about your start-up.

Since finding the competition through social media, I was given the amazing opportunity to come up with an entry for my employer, Lovethesales.com, and submit it through our Twitter page, using the #TEASELONDON.

Step 1 | Research

I dedicated a few hours a week looking into both Eyetease and Verifone UK, searching through press publications, previous campaigns they did with other companies to get as much background information about what they would be looking for and what type of company impressed them.

By taking note of the other entries in the competition, it appeared most start-ups didn’t fully grasp the brief given by Eyetease. Most entries tried to sell their brand, using impressive stats and numbers or pitching why their company were amazing, very much an X Factor style of entry.

Through the research and evaluation of competitor entries, I found that our best chance of winning was not showing how great our company is (which is difficult with only 127 characters) but to try and show how our advertising on their taxis can benefit different demographics on Londoner’s.

Step 2 | Implementation

I came up with a series of situations in the form of pictures, where different types of Londoner’s would need our business (see pictures of entries below). A student needing a laptop but not being able to afford paying fullprice, a mum busy with her kids not having time to go out to shop, or a girl desiring a designer dress in a shop window but finding it to be out of her budget.

In the corner of each picture I put one of Verifone UK’s black cabs with a digital advertising board on top. On the board would be a personalised lovethesale.com ad for each scenario.SLIDE

This was a succinct way of showing how we could be helpful to everyday Londoner’s whilst using an example of what it would actually look like on their black cabs, which no other entry had thought of yet.

Step 3 | Finalists

The entrants were shortlisted to 5 start-ups who would meet with the owner of Eyetease for a 15 min discussion followed by a Q&A.

There was no presentation needed, however I along with my two bosses took the initiative to create a few slides fleshing out the key points as to why we thought Lovethesales.com would work really well with their company, pointing to how we can help Londoner’s “shop more, spend less” (our company slogan).

Eyetease were extremely impressed with our initiative, eagerness and passion for what we do. Along with a few stats on Lovethesales.com’s current progression and a few anecdotes about its inception, we were delighted to be announced at London Technology week as the winners of such a mind boggling prize.


Step 4 | What’s next?

Over the next few months I will be involved in putting together a 4-week campaign that will run over 200 black cabs in geo-targeted London locations. We expect the competition to increase traffic to the site and dramatically improve our brand awareness.

Being able to take the lead on this crucial campaign was a great feeling and one that I don’t think I would’ve been given working in a large corporate environment. The added bonus of actually winning gives me a fantastic story for my CV and great experience going forward in my future career.

I would highly recommend anyone in their first job to constantly ask their superiors for more responsibility, always be eager to take on new challenges and never be afraid of failing at a task as there is always something to learn from.

Come along and join us for a week of fun events and meet the Careers and Employability Team


Careers Welcome Week

Monday 19th September – Freebie Fair (The Hubs 1 – 5pm)

We will be at the Students’ Union Freebie fair, so come and see us to find out what we can do for you, from helping you find a part time job to creating a winning CV! And of course pick up some freebies!

Tuesday 20th September – All the Fun of the ‘Careers’ Fair (Hallam Sq 11am – 2pm

Take part in Fairground stall games, win prizes and enter competitions.

Wednesday 21st September – Careers Market Place (Careers & Employability Centre 11am – 2pm)

Come along to our Careers Market place to meet the people that are here to support you during your time at University and see what the Careers & Employability Service has to offer you from your very first day through to graduation! Have a chat and eat some cake!

Thursday 22nd September – Volunteering Fair (The Hubs 1 – 5pm)

We will also be at the Students’ Union Volunteering fair, so come along and meet us to find out how we can support you in finding and gaining volunteering opportunities both in the UK and abroad.

Friday 23rd September – Collegiate Fresher’s Fair (Heart of the Campus 10am – 3pm)

A combination of our events earlier in the week, games, competitions, prizes, cake………….

Everyone loves Coffee, right? Every question is recruitment…



Did you say hello to a stranger today? Despite what ‘the elders’ told you, you’d be surprised how often you are approached by a total unknown and offer an answer either out of human decency or merely because you feel obliged.

It’s pretty difficult to go through a day without somebody asking you a question. Even those who already know you cannot resist. “Hiya?”, “The weather’s not great is it?”. You’d be forgiven for thinking I’m anti-social but believe it or not, I don’t completely avoid interaction!

Every question is a form of recruitment. People want to befriend you, make you see their way of thinking and are prepared to get on board with your thinking and offer conversation. We want to know other people’s opinions and every conversation gives you the chance to take something from it.

Today’s job market is very much the one asking the questions. To give it a personality, the job market would be a cross between the recent EU referendum and Lord Sugar. It seems to know what it wants but gives you the chance to make its mind up. If you’re in it, you do your best to make other people’s minds think that they need you. If you’re not, are you confident enough that you won’t undersell your skills the next time you’re required to prove yourself?

Whether it’s your opinion or someone else’s fact, the next time you make or hear a statement you have the opportunity to;

A) Accept it and move swiftly on.

B) Dissect it and keep your thoughts to yourself.

C) Tolerate it, dissect it, offer your take on it and watch the dust settle.

D) Pretend you’re busy and store it for later!

The sooner you can reflect on your skills the better. Take the time to step out of a situation and see the bigger picture. The simplest of thought processes can often answer someone else’s problems. You can always offer something to someone, it’s knowing what to offer and in what context that’s crucial.

So, why the Coffee question? I task you with walking half a mile from your work place and not running into a coffee shop. Like it or not, coffee now has a way of quietly (in some cases) asserting itself as a constant in our lives. Flavoursome, adaptable, open to change. Solid characteristics with a take it or leave it approach. If you take it, your sold. If you don’t, you can bet your last pound that you will still see its face not too far away from every street corner. Coffee, like or lump it, is always available.

If you take anything from this post, let it be that coffee didn’t give examples of how it prioritises a workload or remains focused whilst using its own initiative. It just gets it! Coffee knows itself to the point where if it had an opinion, then it wouldn’t matter, people would automatically take notice. Be sure of your skills.

What things have you done that someone else might value? How can you recruit people to believe in what you have to offer?

Yes, I’ve posed a lot of questions but the key to success is knowing ‘your’ best answers. I’m yet to meet someone who has the right answer to everything, so be selective about your best qualities and what you can bring to the table. We all have something to offer and a place in society, let coffee be the example! Who knows . . . being sure of your skills and being open to share your success, however small you think it may be, could see you on the right side of the table when Lord Sugar says “you’re hired”.

Post written by James Beighton, Student Employment Co-ordinator at Sheffield Hallam University. For more of his musings, you can connect with James on LinkedIn.

Careers Fairs – the blind date you need to be attending!



I wonder what the person behind me on this train would say to me if they had 30 seconds to hold my attention? I’ve never met them before but I like to think I’m quite easy to get on with. My ability to remember random information about the most bizarre of topics should mean that i am confident we could at least hold a conversation beyond the simple nod of fellow commuter approval!

It just so happens that this guy is wearing my Football teams colours. The knowing nod turned into a question and answer session based on long suffering Sheffield Football opinions.

Consider this scenario. . .

Say I had booked this train well in advance knowing that the guy was going to be on there along with several others with a similar passion and enthusiasm for the same topic. Throw the team manager and a couple of the players on the first class carriage and all of a sudden we have everything needed in the confines of one train to truly make a difference and impact on what is essentially a profit making business.


Do you work for an enthusiastic retail company and are you looking for enthusiastic team members to make a difference on the shop floor?

Do you work in construction and would your company benefit from being in a room of Building Surveying or Urban Planning students? We’re giving you access to top future talent with up to date and innovative thinking from within your industry. This could prove invaluable and give you that competitive edge in the market.

Are you an Engineer looking for Engineers? It’s the same principle. A recruitment fair is a blind date you can’t afford to miss.

Why, I can hear you thinking?

Number 1 – Its free of charge for you to access highly skilled, specialist students and graduates that will make a difference to the future of your business. The best thing is, they’re all under one roof! We spend so much time on smart phones in today’s society but is there really a better form of communication than face-to-face contact?

Number 2 – Students want to see YOU! The competitive labour market has given our students a desire to forge a career whilst they are still studying. There will be attendees who have the skills and specialisms that you’re looking for.

Number 3 – Brand Awareness! First impressions are everything. Your competitors won’t miss a trick, they will be there too. This is your opportunity to showcase your company and exactly what you are looking for and can offer. By the time our students graduate, they will be looking for opportunities to join companies who they are familiar with.

Number 4 – One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. We make our students aware well in advance that you are coming on campus. This means you have a chance to appeal to non-traditional applicants. What’s interesting to a Bio-Science student might not be what you initially think. Thinking outside the box is often a catalyst for positive change.

Number 5 – Give something back to those who could make a difference in your business. Utilise any alumni connections you have with our University and bring along an ex-Hallam graduate who is working for you. What better way to get your message across than it coming from someone who automatically has things in common with our students?

Get involved in our recruitment and careers fairs starting with the Work While You Study Part-Time Jobs Fairs on Wednesday 5th October . Employ our students in paid part-time roles to fit alongside their studies.

To attend please complete a booking form as an expression of interest, and our team will be in touch to discuss.

Wednesday 5th October 2016 – Work While You Study Fair – City Campus
Thursday 6th October 2016 – Work While You Study Fair – Collegiate Campus
Tuesday 25th October 2016 – Business & Finance – placement and graduate jobs fair
Wednesday 26th October 2016 – STEM – placement and graduate jobs fair
Wednesday 2nd November 2016 – Events, Tourism, Hospitality & Food – placement and graduate jobs fair
Thursday 10th November 2016 – The Natural and Built Environment Careers Fair

So, without further ado . . . Let the jobs, see the students!

Post written by James Beighton, Student Employment Co-ordinator at Sheffield Hallam University. For more of his musings, you can also connect with James on LinkedIn.

So you want to be an artist…..?


The Moor, SheffieldAs part of Departure Point Yorkshire, a creative venture to support emerging theatre companies the Moor Theatre Delicatessen is currently offering a series of free public workshops for early career artists (and those wanting to work in the arts industry). As the new Employability Adviser for Humanities (including Stage & Screen), the opening session was unmissable.

Led by Jess Brewster, Co- Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen, this engaging discussion was about what it means to be an artist and how you might become one. The panel of four speakers includedSheffield Hallam University graduate Sarah-Jane Parker, a visual artist and founder of Muriel Design; Terry O’Connor, a creative member of Forced Entertainment and Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Practice at the University of Sheffield; Nina Segal, a playwright/producer and Malaika (‘Max’) Cunningham, Artistic Director of local theatre company, The Bare Project.

Like the panel members, this event did not lend itself to being pigeonholed! Not only did it tackle issues that artists grapple with, but it also offered insight that could also be applicable outside of the arts industry, particularly if you are interested in freelance work and/or a ‘portfolio career’. A number of themes and useful tips came out:

Don’t be afraid of a fluid career and practise articulating the value of what you do

The pressure to focus on a particular role to be remembered and taken seriously was acknowledged, but the most important thing is to have an inner conviction that you are an artist. One tip was to focus on a form of work rather than an individual role; something which Nina, as both a writer and producer, has embraced.

As many people are unfamiliar with non-play based theatre, Terry finds explaining what Forced Entertainment does a challenge, but suggested that perseverance can pay off!

Departure Points

Avoid direct comparison with others

It was recognised that it can be a struggle not to compare yourself to others, particularly those who secure certain high status venues and reviews etc. ‘Look for value in your own work rather than competing with others’ and ‘resist following trends for the sake of it; stick to what you want to do,’ advised Max.

Persevere to strike the balance between financial survival and your artistic development

Working outside of the industry is common, particularly in early careers, but aim to choose roles that leave you the energy to continue developing your art. Sarah spoke of her long term determination to become financially independent rather than relying on external funding. She has gradually built up a wallpaper design business (supported by our very own enterprise team). ‘This allows more time for my individual art work than previous jobs have done,’ Sarah added. As it is a creative business, it feels part of her artistic life consisting of ‘interconnected strands’, which can be individual or collaborative; commercially focused or not.Departure Points 2

Be aware of the realities of the market but maintain a positive perspective

To some extent, both the panel and audience acknowledged that trends and marketing can sometimes lead to being pigeonholed by funders and venues. However, there is a flipside to this coin, as branding can also be useful to sustain a career. There is no easy answer, but the consensus was to compartmentalize different aspects of the industry; ‘get perspective – distance yourself from the parts of the industry you don’t like and focus on those that you love!’ advised Max.

There are three more public Departure Point workshops; see full details here – https://goo.gl/AXfWpN 

Post written by Laura Kerley, Employability Adviser for Humanities (including Stage & Screen) at Sheffield Hallam University.

From Career Impact to a Leadership Graduate program


Farida Tejan

Farida Tejan

Post by Public Relations and Media graduate Farida Tejan

At present, I work for Capita Resourcing- part of Capita Group Plc, a FTSE100 Business Process Outsourcing Company- on the Leadership Graduate program.

The scheme is comprised of 4 rotational placements across different business units with exposure to a diverse range of customers across public and private sectors, with on-going formal business training whilst working towards an MSc in Leadership and Management.

Having completed my first rotation with the division’s sales and marketing team, I am now holding a new business development executive role with the Write Research Company, engaging with business leaders within the consumer and services industry.

The highlights of the role include having access to and engaging with senior personnel within the Consumer and Service industry and being able to earn a commission for results delivered.

Following completing my degree, I went into a role as a Digital PR Executive at a digital marketing agency for just over a year. I was then approached for an internal Digital Marketing Executive role at Capita Customer Management where I worked across the marketing and Communications teams, implementing the online strategy and maximizing brand presence and engagement online.

I think the fact that I began my job search very early on in my final year of university attributed to my success in securing a role. Attending sessions with the career service meant that I had realistic expectations of application processes, salary and what employers were looking for. In addition to being proactive, I invested time in gaining work experience as and when I could and tried to open myself up to any opportunities.

During my time at Capita Customer Management, an internal re-structure took place that motivated me to look into other opportunities within the business. I began to consider the graduate program as a viable option as I knew one of the graduates already on the scheme. I expressed an interest to my line manager who helped me to start the process of an internal application that required me to be a graduate with a 2:1 degree. Following on from this, I had to pass personality and psychometric testing followed by a telephone interview and was then invited to an assessment centre once I passed these stages. I prepared for the psychometric tests online utilising free web databases in order to practice. A similar approach was taken for the telephone interview, where I brushed up on competency-based questions and general interview techniques. The assessment centre was harder to prepare for because I had little knowledge of what to expect, here I spoke to the graduates that I knew from within the business about their experience and tried to prepare general interview and team activity skills.

My course at Hallam really pushed me to take a proactive approach to getting organised and building up my CV in addition to our academic requirements. I think this balanced focus was really key in in preparing me to excel post-university. The sessions made available to me through Career Impact were invaluable in helping me to understand the caliber of applicant that graduate employers are looking for and how to prepare for the assessments within their application processes.

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get onto a graduate scheme or even the job of your dreams- it just gives you something to work towards. In fact, it turned out that I was completely wrong about what I initially thought of as my dream job! I found that by being open to opportunities and working hard in the roles that I did manage to get, doors opened up for me and I somehow made it onto a path that worked for me.

Five weeks into my internship, a whole host of experience under my belt, and 0 coffees made for anyone but myself!


What the intern saw

Post written by Hayley Adams, a BA Public Relations graduate. 

Five weeks into my internship, a whole host of experience under my belt, and 0 coffees made for anyone but myself! What more could I want? Aside from a huge, comfy chair of course…

I arrived in Halifax (from Sheffield, England) just five days before starting with Ammp (A Million Moving Parts), and with a homemade coin chart in hand, Chris and Ben had everything set for me from the get go. When trying to tailor my experience, they asked exactly what I wanted to learn in my time with them. I listed a few things before stopping and thinking ‘actually, I just want to try everything’ and so that’s the way it’s going.

There’s no denying that I have been a bit of a Bambi – needing the reassurance that what I am doing is right, good enough. However, beyond their eye-rolls at my panics, their laughter, patience and growing belief in the skills they drill into me daily constantly reinforces my confidence.

Halifax, Canada

Ammp’s consideration of my opinion when it comes down to major business approaches and actions makes me feel less like an intern, and more like a valued team member – something that just doesn’t happen when you’re trying to gain that always necessary experience.

Lastly, and most importantly to me is their willingness to let me go out and exercise the entire purpose of the business – being creative. Getting stuck in there with my own ideas is the sort of experience that is invaluable to my future.

With only three weeks left, I fully intend on making the most of my time with Chris and Ben, so get yourself prepared for more panic and simple questions, guys. You won’t be getting rid of me at the end, that’s for sure!

Lawyer in London 2016


Post written by Helen Cuthbert, Helena Kennedy Law Clinic at SHU

This year’s Lawyer in London trip, which took place from 21-23 June, was a resounding success. During the trip the students, supported by SHU staff, visited the Royal Courts of Justice, Amnesty International and Freshfields.

Each of the days highlighted different aspects of the legal profession, from highflying magic circle lawyers to human rights based charities, showing the diverse range of careers available to Law graduates.

Some of the additional experiences which were not expected included joining with hundreds of people in Trafalgar Square for the Jo Cox MP memorial and seeing the Princess Royal at Amnesty.

Some of the students who attended Lawyer in London have summed up their experiences and highlight the great time that they had.

Lucy says:

‘Lawyer in London was an amazing experience. Throughout the trip I gained many skills that will help me in the future with my career.

Lawyer in London Group Photo

Lawyer in London Group Photo

Spending time at Freshfields was my favourite. Speaking to lawyers and also trainee Lawyers helped to gain an insight into how a magic circle law firm works.

Overall it was an incredible experience and I would encourage everyone to apply next year as it has made me even more determined to be successful.’

 Taylor says:

“The experience overall was interesting, a fantastic learning opportunity and most of all fun.

Selfie at Lawyer in London 2016

Selfie at Lawyer in London 2016

Getting to go to the Royal Courts of Justice, Amnesty International and Freshfields not only provided useful career information but genuinely made me interested in areas of law that I never took interest in before!

From my experience this was a great opportunity which gave useful tips and information for going forward into a career in law. Thanks for a great trip!”

Product design graduates return to share their experiences


Product Design Workshop

Post written by Caroline Hanson, Employability Adviser, Art and Design

Last month saw the first ever “Employability Week” aimed at Product and Furniture Design students, organised by senior lecturer Dean, in collaboration with industry experts and the Careers and Employability Service. The first day included three graduates from product and furniture design courses at Sheffield Hallam sharing about their current roles and career path since completing the course. Tom was using his creative skills to work as a marketing manager for Harris Brushes. He shared from his own experience about the negativity that can be faced after graduation which he called the hope/doom seesaw, to him, listening to the hopeful and aspirational voice was important to persevere through initial rejections. He encouraged students to go the extra mile at interviewing order to be memorable, for instance he designed and showed different elements of his design and marketing skills in his portfolio. Since beginning the role, it has developed greatly into a hybrid of marketing and design, he emphasised “Don’t be confined but the boundaries that are given when you secure a role.” Approaching people directly had paid off for him in the past and he even used LinkedIn to contact staff members within an organisation before the interview.

Abby had worked in a number of product design positions before her current role at W’innovate, which is a company based locally in Worksop and designs products for Wilkinsons. She has worked for in house design teams, in consultancy roles and also on a freelance basis, even having the opportunity to visit the production factories in China and gain an understanding of how her designs are manufactured. She emphasised the importance of commercial awareness, especially in consultancy roles, including being aware of the cost of the materials, the target market of your product and the selling price. Her advice for students was “Know yourself and the things you are good at and like working on, then you can sell yourself more effectively.” Her organisation is a graduate centre of excellence, offers short placements and is currently recruiting for a graduate positions of Assistant Product designer, so do take a look if you think this could be the role for you.

The afternoon session focused on portfolio development and every student had the unique opportunity to receive portfolio feedback from a professional in industry. Speaker Nick, reminded listeners that a portfolio should “Sell you, not just your products” and include broad a range of skills. As a recruiter he wanted to see your best work in your portfolio, not everything you’ve ever done, include rough sketches to show development of ideas and ensure a visual impact, by getting rid of any large blocks of text. Key advice was to “Build your personal brand and be thick skinned,” he also recommended entering design competitions open to recent graduates.

Students spoke positively about the day and went away with practical feedback on how to improve their portfolio and CVs. The remainder of the week included input from a top branding agency, practical workshops from the careers team and a boot camp for students to develop their enterprising skills, a number of students took up the offer of one to one appointments or enterprise advice to develop their plans further. Keep an eye on https://careerservice.shu.ac.uk/ to find out about other events coming up!


#NWED2016 – National Women in Engineering Day






Post by Level 4 Sport Technology Student student, Arona Morrison.

I chose my course, BSc Sport Technology because it combined all the subjects from school that I love and excel at, some more than others. I excelled at both design and P.E. at A-level and combined they lead me to the sports line of engineering, however my passion for science and maths was what truly pushed me to become an engineering.


I say passion because I had to work hard at both as I often struggled in maths. I have always had a need to want to know how things work and operate and this course allows me to figure this out from looking at the materials equipment is made from to the forces acting upon each separate piece. My course specifically also looks at human anatomy and how equipment interacts with the human body, which I really enjoy.

I hope by completing this course that in the future I will be able to get a job designing equipment specific to climbing as this another of my passions and being able to combine the two would be a dream job.

Choosing the right digital marketing role for you



SEO Digital Marketing to improve website views

Using SEO Digital Marketing to increase website traffic

This post was written by Samantha Condliffe – Digital Marketing Exec at Infinities Designer Menswear.

Graduates with marketing degrees often don’t realise just how many different roles are available to them, especially down the digital route. This is because huge developments in technology and culture have completely changed the landscape of marketing over the past ten years, creating a demand for a whole host of new roles which are not yet being taught in our education system.

Each role within digital marketing is vastly different, requiring a different set of skills and a different type of individual.

In this post I will run through the main digital marketing roles in order to help you determine which is most suitable for you.


PPC is short for ‘pay per click’. PPC adverts are placed on the results page of search engines such as Google or Bing with the aim of driving traffic to your website which will then convert into a sale or another form of conversion for non-e-commerce sites. A PPC exec will carefully chose the search terms which ads are visible for and bid on those terms. This role requires somebody with a mathematical and analytical mind to ensure that the company achieves the highest possible return on investment.


SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ which refers to the process of developing a website to become naturally visible in search engine results pages. Again the aim of this is to increase traffic to your site and in turn increase conversions. To rank well an SEO exec needs to ensure the website is technically well built as well as providing all of the information the user desires from their search, presented in an easily digestible manner. This role mixes technical web knowledge with creativity and is therefore great for anyone who wants variation in their job.


Affiliate markers place adverts on third party websites in order to attract people to their website and increase conversions. They carefully chose websites which have a cross over in target audience and agree commission rates with the sites. This role demands somebody with great communication skills as well as string maths and analytical skills. 


If you are a little more creative and have some design skills then email marketing may be for you. The role includes creating great looking emails using ‘subliminal’ marketing tactics to be sent out to a database of subscribers. The end goal is to get people to take a particular desired action off the back of reading the email, whether that is to visit your website, make a purchase, sign up to an event, enter a competition and so on. You will also need some degree of analytics to review what tactics provide the best results.

Social Media

The usage of social media has grown rapidly over the last few years providing companies with a means of speaking directly with a huge proportion their target audience on a regular basis. The majority of companies with an online presence include social media in their overall marketing strategy. This role is really popular with outgoing and creative people although it does also require some degree of analysis to define a strategy which achieves a constant increase in followers, likes, shares etc.

Social media provides companies with a regular means of speaking directly with their target audience.

Social media provides companies with a regular means of speaking directly with their target audience.


If there is more than one role which you would like to pursue or you don’t want to limit yourself to one area then you will be glad to know that some companies combine two roles together. For example you may see some adverts for SEO/PPC exec where time is split between the two or alternatively you could opt for a digital marking assistant role where you will gain a small amount of experience in each area and then go on to decide which area you wish to specialise in. 

“I don’t think I would reach as high in the jobs I am looking for, if it wasn’t for all the additional help from SHU”


Natalia (right) networking with recruiters from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the recent Careers and Employability Awards evening.

Natalia (right) networking with recruiters from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the recent Careers and Employability Awards evening.

Post by Level 5 Digital Media Production student, Natalia M Wesniuk.

I am a mature, Level 5 Digital Media Production student and I have been out to the ‘real world’ only to come back to the University and finish my degree. It’s a challenging world out there and the problem is that you can be qualified for the job but if you don’t know how to cope with complicated and demanding recruitment process, you may just fall short of getting your dream position.

On top of computerised, test based, long and tiered process, there is always a stress and fear factor. It’s not easy for us students out there; it’s not easy for anyone. Luckily Sheffield Hallam University offer a special preparation for its students interested in applying to large graduate recruitment schemes called ‘Career Impact’, in which Level 5 and 6 students can gain the inside full knowledge into the process of getting their dream jobs and becoming ‘graduates with more’.

For me personally, I feel like the workshops boosted my confidence and enhanced my employability skills. I had a chance to speak to the employers and realise that they actually do want us to succeed and get the job, but we just need to follow their procedures to do so. I learned a lot about graduation recruitment practices, as well as making my CV and applications stand out. Receiving guided support, helped me get my own CV up to scratch before all the careers fairs in March. I was taught about leadership development and applying for management roles. I also attended a workshop about effective networking, which enabled me to learn how to use social media into my advantage and how to extend my network in a professional manner. Most importantly I was able to face so called Psychometric Tests. Career Impact advisers gave all of us plenty of links, where we could practice and prepare before the real test itself.

I feel like I can effectively face the whole recruitment process now and a bit more practice after this boot camp could get me far. I still have the other half of the course to undergo and I am confident that with support through Career Impact I will secure a place on a Graduation Recruitment Scheme and I really do I hope I will get my dream job in the end. I would not have that much of a prospective view if not the extra help from Careers and Employability staff and their reassuring support. I really don’t think I would reach out as high in the jobs I am looking for if it wasn’t for the employability fairs and workshops and all the additional help that SHU has for its students.

Frankly knowledge is power but knowing where to apply it, in order to benefit from it and how to get where we want to be, is certainly a whole new chapter. I really do recommend all students to check their emails frequently and to sign up to additional workshops such as Career Impact as it can work a long way and make things easier.

Career Impact will open to new applicants in the autumn term, current students can find out more about Career Impact here: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/getting-experience/career-impact

TravelBird Scholarship



Travelbird Scholarship

Travelbird have an exciting opportunity for one student to win a €3,000 scholarship prize to go towards their travel experiences, work placement or studies, based on a creative project. The most successful applicant will also have the chance complete an internship at their Headquarters in Amsterdam for 3 to 6 months, and students are now eligible to enter.

What’s the Opportunity?

  • The TravelBird Scholarship will enable a talented and motivated student to work at their Amsterdam office for a period of 3 to 6 months based on the winning project about a travel experience.
  • The benefits don’t stop at the invaluable insights you’ll gain during your time there, or even the €3,000 prize you’ll receive for having been awarded the scholarship. You can also look forward to delicious, healthy lunches, free wine and beer at the end of a great week and the use of your own Macbook Pro.
  • In addition to this, you will also receive an intern allowance of €350 per month. Sound good? Then they want to hear from you!


How to Apply?

To apply for this scholarship you need to be a current student and answer the following question:

“What has been your most inspirational travel experience?”

  • There are no limits as to how you can approach the question, we would actively encourage you to think carefully about and approach the question from as wide, creative or inspiring a perspective as possible! You are also free to choose which format you want to answer the question with, please go to the Travelbird website for more details and how to apply.
  • The application deadline is at 23:59 (CET) on May 31st, 2016, and the winner will be announced on June 15th. The internship will last for 3 to 6 months and you can choose when you want to start, as long as are you are still a university student aged 18 and over (ie, have not yet graduated) at the point at which you begin.
  • This is open to all national and international students, however only entries in the following languages will be accepted: English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian.



Natalia M Wesniuk 1Post by Level 5 Digital Media Production student, Natalia M Wesniuk.

One of my most recent assignments at Sheffield Hallam University was for the module called Managing Creative Processes. All the students from my course were delegated to manage and organize The Creative Media Networking Event at Sheffield Hallam University, called Pathways 2016.

Natalia M Wesniuk 2My responsibility was: Project Management of a Marketing Team and VIP Management on the day of the event. Apart from designing the marketing campaign and managing a group of 4 in order to appropriately deliver the social media campaign, I was also responsible to meet and greet our guests and speakers on the day. I also needed to make sure they were at their workshop on time and help them with anything they needed to set up their presentations.

It was a very hard working month before the event and even more hectic on the day but hell yeah it was so exciting! As a student behind the scenes of the event I really enjoyed the buzz around managing a creative process like this. I met a lot of important people from film, TV, radio and photography and this has motivated me in setting up my future goals and to figure out what I actually want to do when I finish University. It has been a great learning experience, as much as it has been fun to be part of a live project for a change. Being in charge of things and people is not for everyone but, when you do get a chance to try it and you do it right, the gratification is astonishing and gives a great injection of self-belief.
SHU gives us access to some brilliant projects and I am so grateful to be a part of this University. I intend to make the most out of each opportunity it gives me, as quite frankly you only get one shot in life so make it count I say!

Natalia M Wesniuk 3Being able to speak in person to the media industry guests has given me the inspiration to keep going and push myself that one more step to stay ahead; and be able to get a dream job at the end of my university degree.

Especially after listening to Fiona Hanlon from BBC Radio 1 and Marie Clare from BBC Radio 5 Live, both SHU alumni and once were just like me – a student and didn’t really know what to do with themselves, but worked hard and things just happened.

I think what students underestimate the most is the power of doing those extra curricular efforts like attending speeches from experienced people and seeking advice. Everyone loves being an expert in something but every expert was a student one day and they are all there to help you. All you need to do is be passionate about your interests, seek answers and dig deeper. Sooner or later you will become anyone you want. I got the impression that every workshop at SHU Pathways 2016 was trying to tell us this simple truth.


Benefits of working for small firms during your 20’s


liam-solomon-1Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman

I graduated last year (2015) from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Marketing. It was extremely daunting seeing my class mates beginning to get jobs and the pressure was building to jump into a career and start paying back those student loans.

I explored the possibility of working for a start-up after watching an inspiring talk from Jack Ma on career paths (click here to view video). In the video, the founder of Alibaba gives a powerful speech on the benefits of working for small firms during your 20’s, to learn a range of new skills, gain valuable mentoring and to be submerged in an environment of passion and desire to succeed. I can honestly say that working for a start-up has ticked all the above and more.

I had briefly worked for two large corporate entities (one in my placement year and one after graduating) and found I was very limited in regard to challenges I faced. I felt I wasn’t regularly learning new things and found it hard to make my mark in an already established company.

With this in mind, I applied for a paid internship in an exciting start-up. I was fortunate enough to get the role at Love the Sales, a company that aggregates all retail sales and displays them on their website. They have a completely unique idea which has been eye-opening to work on. The innovation and creativity in the team is contagious and you get a real sense of achievement from the effort you put into the business.

liam-solomon-2I have always worried about making mistakes when starting a new job, however, working for a start-up is a world apart from the corporate pressure and office politics you find at larger companies. In a start-up, learning is key. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is essential to improving the businesses position. So, if you do something and it doesn’t work you have still learnt something. The atmosphere in the office is always very relaxed and encouraging, the ideology of testing ideas, learning and building from them if they succeed or fail is great to be apart of.

It’s funny, when you’re sitting in a lecture half listening, wondering whether you’ll use this information at all, well, you do! It’s scary how much you recall and put in to practice when brainstorming or trying to figure out a solution to a problem.

If you’re like me and you worry about the possibility of cementing your career choice in the first job you take, then a start-up is a perfect solution to give you time to decide what you like and don’t like and where your skills lie.

Learning something new everyday, no matter how small, is so important at the beginning of your career. Since the start of my internship I have worked on social media, copywriting content, building SEO, email marketing and writing code to name a few. In this internship I’ve been able to gain an array of skills in different areas of the business, not just within a specific silo.

What’s surprised me most since working in this start-up though, is the amount of time my bosses have dedicated to teaching me new skills and enhancing my learning. It’s a very motivating feeling to have bosses that really invest in your personal development.

Now half a year on from graduation, I have progressed from an internship to an SEO executive with the company, learning valuable career skills and enjoying every minute!

Insights from “I want to Work with People” Careers Week (Part 2)


Close to 200 students attended the first dedicated careers week hosted by the Psychology, Sociology and Politics department which included seven separate events with a variety of engaging guest speakers. In the second of two blog posts, Psychology placement student Olivia Royston, shares an overview of the events, student feedback and key learning points:


Sexual Exploitation: Working with Young People at Risk

Guest speaker Phil, spoke about the work of Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service (http://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/home/about_us/sheffield_sexual_exploitation_service/), which he manages, and I found this especially interesting. It was remarkable to discover that 46% of referrals they received last year were online sexual exploitation, and that this number is thought to be much higher this year. He discussed in depth about what can make a young person vulnerable and the indicators of risks. He mentioned many challenging aspects of the job, but how rewarding it was at the same time. It was shocking to find out how little justice the victims get because of the difficulties in prosecution. Furthermore, it was fascinating to find out how closely the service has to work with so many other services, such as the criminal justice system, social workers, public protection officers and how many different career routes they are which involve working with young people at risk.

Non-Teaching Roles in Education

Before I attended this talk I was not aware of the extensive range of job roles that involved working with children in schools, aside from teaching. Employability adviser, Andrew Walton from the Department for Education, Children and Inclusion at Sheffield Hallam, led the workshop and shared his expertise on the topic. I think it showed just how broad the horizon was when discussing the numerous jobs, ranging from Welfare Support to a Cover Supervisor to an Educational Psychologist! Something that I think was extremely useful was the websites shared and navigation through some of them. On these websites were a wealth of different jobs, some of which were full time roles, others were fantastic volunteering opportunities but all offering a route into the education sector and showing that there are many interesting opportunities out there.

You can find useful resources to research this area further here: https://targetjobs.co.uk/sites/targetjobs.co.uk/files/public/Education_Alternatives_2015.pdf


Insights into Human Resources

The final event of the week began with a group discussion around the purpose of human resources and what activities HR professionals are involved in. We then gained insight into the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and their qualifications. These qualifications aren’t essential to begin a career in the area; however would extremely beneficial if you wished to advance within HR. The qualification focuses on the main skills needed to work in HR, including: – being a team player, working in a fast paced environment, being able to meet deadlines and prioritise work and conducting research. The talk also covered various routes into HR. Sometimes this can be through a placement, an internship, a graduate job or simply just a job you have seen advertised. The guest speaker, Helen, HR manager for Sheffield Hallam University, first entered HR through a graduate scheme for Sheffield City Council following her Geography degree, who then funded her Masters, which involved the CIPD qualification. Helen gave tips on how to present oneself positively in an interview. She shared the importance of showing that the skills you have gained in other areas of work are transferrable to what the employer is looking for, even if you don’t think it relates directly. Another useful tip was to do your research on the business you are applying for, this way you can incorporate their values into yours and show a good fit with the company. Another student commented they had found it useful “How many examples were given, it was very practical and offered a good insight into what is needed to get into HR and what it really is”

If you want to know more about a career in HR, CIPD have produced a useful guide: https://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/hr-careers-guide_2015.pdf


by Olivia Royston with edits from Caroline Hanson


Students from Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology courses can view all slides and resources from the sessions on their course Blackboards








Law students inspirational day at court dinner


Lincolns Inn Dinner 1

Post by Level 5 Law student, Millie Broadbent.

The Lincoln’s Inn of Court Dinner was one of the most inspirational days I have had since beginning my degree. As a law student who is still unsure whether to go down the solicitor or barrister route, this day gave me the assurance that the bar is ‘hopefully’ my next step.
Lincolns Inn Dinner
The opportunity to speak to practising barristers and hear about their routes was a great chance to be able to learn about the differing choices before and after studying for the bar. The meal was of course fantastic and this gave us the opportunity to question the barristers on what it is really like in their profession. The building and the people you were able to chat to inspired me for the next steps into my career and gave me an insight into what my career could turn into.


The best advice I could give students is to volunteer


Psychology graduate Dani, shares about her current role as an Assistant Psychologist and highlights the value of gaining experience, both in demonstrating your skills to future employers and also in deciding on a career path.

Dani Mounfield at Graduation

Dani Mounfield at Graduation in 2015

“Since graduating, in 2015, I worked for a few months at a residential facility for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Learning Disabilities before getting my current role.

I currently work for Chrysalis Associates (www.chrysalisassociates.org), a private company who offer therapy for children with attachment and trauma difficulties. As an Assistant Psychologist I complete assessments of the children, both pre and post therapy, looking into their attachment and trauma symptoms, as well as their behavioural difficulties and receptive vocabulary. Additionally I oversee childcare sessions, which requires me to ensure the children are as calm and regulated as possible; this can range from just one child to multiple at one time.

During University I took the Work Placement Module, where I worked for South Yorkshire Fire Departments Youth Service. I also completed a two day Mental Health First Aid Training course, which I would highly recommend, and training at Doncaster Prison, with the charity Catch 22. However most importantly I volunteered for around two years with my current employer, Chrysalis Associates, where my role was solely data entry. Arguably this volunteering was the most important factor in gaining my current job. Without my previous contact with Chrysalis Associates they wouldn’t have contacted me again to offer me an interview, which ultimately got me the job. Before the interview I read through all the reflection notes I had made whilst volunteering, this consisted of all the tasks I had completed and my thoughts and considerations of my time there. I also went through any notes and lecture slides I had from University that were relevant to the job role; additional to this I researched online, looking at what current literature was revealing about children with attachment and trauma difficulties.

In my job I use lots of skills that I learnt in University every single day, from my confidence and people skills to those more specific to psychology; report writing and data analysis. When thinking about my future I am hoping to get one of the very competitive places on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate. However until I can secure one of these places I am trying to build up my CV, with both paid and volunteer work.

The best advice I could give to current students is to volunteer; these days’ employers want you to not only finish university with a good grade, but also show that you are committed to your career path. Employers want to see that you have made efforts during university to go out into the working world and start to build up your practical skills. However, volunteering is also beneficial for yourself, it helps you to figure out what you’d like to specialise in. For example; throughout my first and second year I was confident that my main focus was forensic psychology, however after volunteering at Chrysalis Associates and having done training in Doncaster Prison, I realised that I was more interested and passionate about a clinical psychology career path.”

My time working for Careers and Employability


Olivia – our second year Psychology placement student – has written her final post for us.

We’re already half way through March and I can’t believe my placement is nearly over! During the seven weeks that I’ve been here I’ve experienced so much it’s hard to sum it up in this one blog post. I’ve witnessed an entire week of creativity happening around me. I’ve been involved in successful part-time jobs fairs both at City and Collegiate. At the University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Day I was fortunate enough to meet loads of companies relevant to jobs that I’m interested in. Only last week I was involved in the organisation of celebrating International Women’s Day which couldn’t have gone any better! Listening to inspirational women talk about their success in careers, which are typically male dominated, was extremely interesting and thought-provoking.


During my time here I have worked on many aspects of social media, ranging from promotion of events on twitter, creating a campus jobs group on LinkedIn, and producing a short video summary of the Creative Careers Week for Facebook. On a similar note, the videoing didn’t just stop there! In a hope to encourage more students to visit City Campus, so as to not miss out on some of the great opportunities, a colleague and I created a short video to demonstrate just how quick and easy the journey from Collegiate is.

Within my time at the Careers and Employability Centre I was able to complete two small projects. One of which was a spreadsheet and information pack on what psychometric tests are, and what psychometric tests are used by different companies. This will hopefully be useful for future students to use as a way of familiarising themselves with what may be expected of them when applying for specific jobs. Another project I worked on throughout my time here involved thinking of ways to gain feedback from students who don’t utilise the Careers and Employability Service. I wanted to know why this was and ways students believe the Careers Service could be improved. I was able to send a questionnaire to a list of students who haven’t used the Careers and Employability Service and gain useful feedback that way.

centreFurthermore, another part of the placement I particularly enjoyed doing was helping with practice interviews and observing student consultations and business advisor meetings. This really allowed me to interact with the students and gain first-hand experience of just some of the day-to-day jobs the Careers Consultants and Advisers do.

Overall, it has been a fantastic experience with so many things happening at all times. I have been privileged enough to work in an amazing team with some truly wonderful people!


Inspirational Women at Sheffield Hallam


Post by our placement student, Olivia Royston, on the recent International Women’s Day event in the Careers and Employability Centre.

International Women’s Day was such a huge success at Sheffield Hallam this year; it was truly wonderful to see so many inspiring women in one room. The first session consisted of women, in typically male dominated job roles, talking about their success within that company, and how that company strives for equality. It was really interesting to hear from Liz Ledger, from HSBC, about the tremendous steps that HSBC are taking in order to create a more balanced workforce, for example nameless CVs! Liz also gave excellent advice, which I know will have been extremely valuable to the students, on the many challenges that women have to face when juggling a career and home life.


Following on from this was Jennifer Standish from FDM, an international ICT services company. ICT job roles are usually a male dominated workforce, which made Jennifer’s talk about her life at FDM really eye-opening about the changes companies are trying to encourage. Especially, their ‘International Girls in ICT Day’ which they run in hope to encourage girls and young women into ICT through engagement in workshops, debates and ‘smashing the stereotypes’

The final inspirational talk came from a team of women who worked for Enterprise Rent – a -Car. Hearing about their personal career paths was especially inspiring for me as it was clear to see how passionate and successful these women were at effectively balancing their busy lives. A story that stood out in particular, was one women’s personal experience of an interview she had gone for and been successful, against nine other male candidates, whilst eight months pregnant! She successfully relocated her family and went back to work full time after maternity leave whilst her husband became a stay at home dad.

Each one of these speakers contributed so much and built up such a good atmosphere ready for the next event, the Role Model Carousal! This was a great opportunity for the speakers to interact with the students. Each female speaker went round small groups of students sat on tables and discussed anything that was of interest and was able to chat about each other’s career goals and skills. This was an invaluable experience for students to open up and talk about their successes as well as inspiring each other at the same time.


My favourite part of the day was reading about and speaking to students who have been nominated by members of staff as inspirational students. I think this really put into perspective how much of a difference female students can make in so many aspects of life. To be inspired by these students, as I was, visit this website to find out more about the women Sheffield Hallam are proud to call their students. It was superb to see such a variety of women at the event and I hope they got as much from it as I did as it was such an empowering and successful day. However, I do believe the year that we don’t need to celebrate International Women’s day will be the biggest celebration, as that will be the day we have finally reached equality.

Hallam helped me gain the confidence to apply for internships…


Post by Emily Jefferies

I study BA English Language at Sheffield Hallam and as part of second year we all take part in a module named ‘Work-based Project’. This is where we are encouraged to contact various organisations and companies to gain some work experience. At the end of the year, we compile everything we have learnt, from both the successes and the failures, into a folder to present for assessment. I am still currently involved in this module and, although it has not been completely straightforward or without its problems, the key thing I have picked up from it is how to deal with each set back and move forward from it. This has built up my confidence as the idea of things failing doesn’t seem so daunting anymore; I am learning how I can manage complications and overcome obstacles.


This spurred me on to take some initiative and investigate possible opportunities for work experience in summer. I worked on creating a new CV and this is when I realised how important every little bit of experience I had gained over recent years was; every bit of volunteering, employment and writing I had done as it all came together to produce an impressive body of work. I then began researching internships and workshops that I could apply to, and asked around if anyone knew of anything I would be interested in. I cannot emphasise enough how surprisingly useful it is to simply talk to people and enquire about any experiences available that they know of; this is how I discovered both an internship and a workshop that appealed to me. The internship was for ‘Now’ magazine in London and I got in contact with one of their employees and sent in my CV. I then had a phone call in which we discussed further details and I was informed I had got a place on the internship for four weeks in May.

The workshop is with a company called ‘The Writer’; it spans over two days and is targeted to second year undergraduates each year. They offer some experience of writing in a professional environment, and ask that applicants send in a short piece of writing explaining why they want to take part in the workshop and why they should be chosen. I am awaiting their response but, regardless of what they say, I am pleased I tried for it anyway. I often used to not give things a go in fear of being unsuccessful, however since working on Hallam’s work-based project I have learnt that there is no harm in contacting people and sending in applications. If you are reading this and are also a student looking for some experience then I urge you to just do a bit of research, whether it be online or communicating with people, and just give the applications a go. Also, when working on your CV try to make it appeal to the areas in which you wish to work in or apply to. A bit of perseverance and initiative can go a long way, and it will be worth it.


A Year 10 student’s thoughts on Creative Media Pathways


Madison Lever is a Year 10 student from Yewlands Academy, who has been on placement with the Employer Partnerships team this week. She attended the Creative Media Pathways event on Wednesday, and here are her thoughts:

My role at the event was to take notes on the event as a whole and go to some of the talks to have an idea on what the students would benefit from the entirety of the day. I also had to take pictures during the careers fair, of the employer stands and the event as a whole.

CMPI attended Olly Mann’s talk. During the talk, Mann spoke about his career as a broadcaster, podcaster and columnist and how he felt he generated his career himself. He mentioned a few tips for students wanting to pursue a profession in the media, one of them being, “Have confidence to push yourself and your own abilities”. Overall, Olly Mann provoked self-confidence to the students and was honest about himself and his career.

The event was quite full and every stand seemed to have students asking them questions on what their company has to offer them now and in the future. While walking around I overheard some students discussing about how useful the workshop and talks were that they attended, which shows that the event was successful.


 To the students it seemed to be very beneficial. They seemed to enjoy being able to talk to people that are in the positions they want to be in later in life and discuss how the speakers got there and the barriers they had to face. The employer stands had students at each one while I was going around, showing that students were taking the opportunity to go to the careers fair and think about future prospects.


What’s it like being a Graduate Intern at SHU?


Tara and Lucy, two of the four Graduate Interns in the Development and Society Faculty, have written about their roles in the faculty and their future plans.

As a team of graduate interns we work mainly on process improvement in the faculty.

Tara – I completed a degree in BSc Psychology and I decided to apply for this job because I had done a placement at the University in HR and really enjoyed it so was looking to work here. I wanted experience doing varied types of work (project work) using my transferable skills from Psychology. In my final year I was having meetings with Careers and Employability Advisors who were helping me with my CV and application forms and I found this job on a newsletter they sent out.

The interview process was demanding but I drew on the Careers Centre for practice interviews and assessment centre advice. I also had a career mentor at the time who read through my application form and supported me through the process. My advice would be to use your contacts and experiences to prepare.

This job has helped me find out what I want to do. I am now looking for work as a Business Analyst which involves process improvement.

Lucy – I studied BA (Hon) Sociology, graduating last year. I was attracted to the graduate internship here at SHU because of the participation that I previously had within the University. I was a course rep and the idea of enacting change within the institution is something that I found really enjoyable. During my final year I thought about a career in education but on leaving university I knew I needed more ‘on the job’ training, an internship such as this offered me the skills and an insight into this area. The job has offered a great working experience, giving an in depth overview of how a University functions, offering great new opportunities.

I would describe the interview process as challenging, but an invaluable experience. I also used the Careers and Employability Advisors in my department who read through my application form prior to submission and offered practise interviews. My advice would be to practise, practise, practise!

I am involved in interesting, varied work, with supportive managers. The job has enabled me to realise that I would like a career in Higher Education, which involves project work.

Some of the tasks we have been asked to do this year are:

  • Make a guide for administration staff to understand the process of mobility (sending and receiving students to/from other countries)
  • Improve the process of postponing classes (what happens when an academic calls in sick/ unable to attend a session) and the DBS process for Education students
  • Analyse the NSS results by department in D&S
  • Work in the student rep process management group to make decisions on the rep process, facilitating and designing training and trying to improve engagement with it.
  • Organise a staff wellbeing event and wellbeing scheme to increase staff volunteering.
  • Analyse student withdrawals to identify demographics of students who withdraw and action plan how students could be supported more.

Some of the challenges we have faced:

  • Unexpected and tight deadlines which involved good time management and the ability to reprioritise.
  • Communication with stakeholders and customers
  • Learning how to write in a business style instead of academic style
  • Implementation of new strategies / action plans

by Tara Seipel and Lucy Shanks

Insights from “I want to Work with People” Careers Week (Part 1)


Close to 200 students attended the first dedicated careers week hosted by the Psychology, Sociology and Politics department which included seven separate events with a variety of engaging guest speakers. In the first of two blog posts, Psychology placement student Olivia Royston, shares an overview of the events, student feedback and key learning points.



Forensic Psychology in a Prison Setting

Anna and Andy kicked off our ‘Working with People’ week with an exciting start and also the most popular event of the week, with near 70 students in attendance! These two Psychology graduates work as Programme Managers and Facilitators at HMP Moorland and HMP Lindholme and shared with students about their fascinating careers and what it is like working in the prison services. They found every day was different, entertaining and challenging. They get to see offenders make positive changes and see them challenge their own thoughts and perceptions. As well as rewards there are also many challenges, their expertise is frequently scrutinized by offenders, the difficulty of balancing individual needs with organisational outcomes and the struggle to tackle the individual motivation of some of the prisoners. Andy outlined the key skills that are required to work within the prison services, which students reported finding useful in their feedback. These skills included leading and communicating, open mindedness and resilience or ‘thick skin’ as they put it. Students were challenged to think of evidence from all aspects of their life which could show they meet these competencies.

Anna outlined in detail about the drug and alcohol six week therapeutic programme which she runs and it was interesting to also find out about the longer programmes available to prisoners which Psychology departments and Forensic Psychologists work on, such as anger management, thinking skills and victim awareness. Many students commented on how useful the information was about the qualifications and experience needed to pursue a career in Forensic Psychology. You can find out more here http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/forensic. Further study and professional training is required to become a chartered forensic psychologist but programme facilitator roles with a psychological focus can be entered by Psychology or join honours graduates with relevant experience and skills. Furthermore, knowing the relevant job sites to look at (NARCO, G4S, Civil Service Jobs) to gain experience was particularly useful.

Routes into Health Psychology

Health psych

Chartered Health Psychologist Kate Greenwell (left), with Psychology lecturer Katie prior to her guest lecture

One of the biggest pieces of feedback from Kate’s talk about Health Psychology was how much students learnt about what Health Psychology is! With Health Psychology being a relatively new and developing area of Psychology it was very insightful learning about its focus on the links between the mental health of the mind and the physical health of the body.  Key areas include the promotion and maintenance of good health, use of psychology to prevent illness, analysis and improvement of the healthcare system and supporting those with long term health conditions. I also learnt who a health psychologist was likely to be employed by and the many different research projects Kate had been involved with. Through her PhD work on the coping mechanisms of individuals with Tinnitus, she had discovered that the more stressed about their Tinnitus a patient was, the worse their physical symptoms became.

Personally, it was very interesting to learn about the differences between Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology. It was particularly useful learning about the different routes into becoming a Health Psychologist, you can find out more here: http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/health . I think it was reassuring to those listening to Kate to know that, in some situations, there is funding available and that there are several possible routes into health psychology.

Routes into Counselling

This popular event was really enjoyable for undergraduates as well as students on master’s courses.  It began with advice on relevant volunteering using counselling skills and was really helpful to hear about all the opportunities especially from a past student of Sheffield Hallam who now works with Hallam Volunteering (https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/volunteering/). Gerry, from the Samaritans talked about his involvement in the helpline service and how rewarding and yet difficult it can be at times. The service offers training and support for volunteers and is currently recruiting in the Sheffield area (http://www.samaritans.org/volunteer-us )

The second part of the session Gail Evans, a professional counsellor and counselling trainer from www.counsellingacademy.org/ spoke about how to become accredited in this area. Graduates with relevant experience can work in a related role using and developing their counselling skills straight from their degree, but to qualify and receive accreditation as a counsellor, an introductory course is required before progressing onto a Diploma course which is completed part time over a number of years. Gail also gave useful information, including financial details, useful websites to help gain experience and information on the different bodies of accreditation. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a counsellor some useful starting points can be found here: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/counsellor.aspx


by Olivia Royston and Caroline Hanson with additional contribution from Georgia Robinson


Students from Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology courses can view all slides and resources from the sessions on their course Blackboard sites



My first week of placement


Olivia, our second year Psychology placement student, has written about her first week with the Careers and Employability Service.

I was lucky enough to begin my placement at an exciting time for the Careers and Employability Centre. Creative Careers Week was full of brilliant opportunities for a variety of students ranging from Fine Art students to Psychology students. There was a wide selection of workshops going on, including help with your CV as well as top tips on how to survive as a freelancer in the creative industry.


The start of the week looked at what it was like working in the creative industry. It was fascinating listening to Jane (from Sheffield Creative Guild)’s personal experience of her journey in the creative arts industry. She talked about the numerous years of a variety of jobs she had been in; some of which lasted two days, others lasting two years. All of which had accumulated numerous skills which had been helpful in focusing on the career she enjoys today in the unpredictable creative industry. Something that I especially enjoyed was listening to NatashaMcGowan talk passionately about the company she cofounded  ‘A Mind Apart’. It sounded like a thoroughly rewarding job for anyone looking for experience in the performing arts whilst working with challenging and inspiring children.

Something that was discussed in almost all of the guest speakers’ talks was how unpredictable job opportunities are in such a competitive industry. This meant that many people pursuing their passion often found themselves in a wide range of jobs in order to fund their true drive. This was demonstrated in Kyle Williams’ talk about how tough it was to break into the performing industry straight from his course at Sheffield Hallam. Common to all of these people’s journeys was their wealth of experience and networks gained from volunteering and other part time jobs which have helped them get to where they are today.


A particularly creative workshop was the Art Therapy talk. It involved learning about what Art Therapy was and we were lucky enough to hear from a current student doing an Art Therapy Masters. She shared her experiences on the placement she was currently on and what she thought the future looked like for her. The workshop even involved students interacting with clay, to demonstrate some of the activities that may occur in an Art Therapy class. This was particularly fun – yet messy!

The talk about being self-employed taught me crucially that someone who is very talented can remain unknown if they don’t create contacts, get themselves out there and to some extent encounter a bit of luck. I found that the best pieces of advice the speakers gave were to be confident and proud of your work and that first impressions mean everything. Always have examples of your work with you, whether that be drawing or jewelry making, as you never know who you’re going to meet.

The talk on ‘Creative Arts, Media festivals and Events’ was really eye opening, If I do half as much in my career as Jonny Douglas has, it would be a pretty big achievement. His current and previous work involved interior designer, his work with ‘Sheffield Soup’, ‘PechaKucha Sheffield’ and ‘Avenues to Zero’. All of which were such big projects and accomplishments. The week ended excellently in the ‘Working behind the scenes in TV, Theatre and Film’ workshop, with over five speakers talking about their own experiences, none two of which were the same, in some of the most exciting jobs in the Creative Industry. We had Richard Knight speak to us, who had been a location set finder for Screen Yorkshire, to people like Debbie Gamble, who is head of wardrobe at the Crucible Theatre!

One day perhaps I will have done something in my career that I can come back to Hallam and talk about to students which will let them know that they are capable of doing what they’re passionate about. My first week of placement was an enjoyable experience, with Creative Careers week being just a small snippet of the many things I got up to; overall it couldn’t have gone better!

Inspired by Creative Careers Week


Creative Careers Week was put on to inspire and inform students, with talks and presentations from creative professionals from around the city. As a Careers Adviser listening to some of the talks, the week has highlighted for me the range of brilliant creative professionals out there in Sheffield, doing their thing and making a difference. Some of the key messages coming out from many of the sessions were:


  • Know what skills you have to offer, but also think about your values – what is important to you? What sort of work do you want to do? Who do you want to work for?
  • Keep learning. You aren’t going to leave university with a complete set of skills required for a job – much of what you need in a job you will learn as you go along, and this is an ongoing process. If there is a skill you don’t currently have that you think will be useful in a future career (coding, blogging, photo editing, running workshops…) teach yourself, do a course, ask a friend to teach you, or volunteer to gain the experience.

  • Don’t be defined or restricted by your degree – for instance, just because you haven’t done a creative degree doesn’t mean you can’t be creative in your job; you don’t have to have an events management degree to organise events…

Finally, and most importantly:

  • Talk to people. Everywhere and anywhere. It’s all about making connections – people who can inspire you, help you, give you feedback, give you work, but who might also gain from you as well. Make those first contacts online, use social media, but then good old face-to-face conversation is the best way to develop meaningful professional relationships.

Rachel Firth, Careers and Employability

Being a Graduate Intern at Sheffield Hallam


By Emma Burkinshaw

After hours of writing applications, days and evenings full of job search and a hand-full of unsuccessful interviews, I was finally successful and gained a role as a Graduate Intern at Sheffield Hallam University. To say I was surprised is an understatement as I had fallen trap of the ‘I’ll never get a job!’ way of thinking! Finally, months of job search, applications and interview preparation had paid off and I couldn’t wait to get involved in what sounded like a fantastic opportunity in a great institution. After months of unemployment, I couldn’t have been more ready to get back into a routine, challenge my brain and earn money, helping me finally stand on my own two feet after three years of University.


I am based in the (very large) Careers and Employability team and most of the first couple of weeks involved meeting colleagues, finding out what they did and where they fitted in with the various services on offer. I must admit those first couple of weeks involved trying to absorb A LOT of information and remember countless names and faces – however every single person I met greeted me with a warm smile and insisted I shouldn’t worry about remembering everything – for the mean time anyway!

So, the first weeks were over and after a very indulgent Christmas break, I was back in the office – eager to get stuck in.  My first main work load came from ‘Career Impact’ – a programme comprising of advice and information for a diverse group of highly motivated students looking to apply for placements or graduate opportunities. I was encouraged to get as involved as possible from the word go and was soon one of the main contacts for any queries regarding the programme. Something I particularly enjoyed while working on this project was attending a celebration event, where I was able to speak to participants of the programme and really gain an insight into how helpful they had found it.

Another of my main duties involves working on the Careers and Employability Centre Help Desk, which is a really diverse area of work and one that I sometimes find quite challenging. Every day is different and to start with it feels as though every query is too! This is a great experience as it puts me out of my comfort zone by requiring an on the spot response, however, moving out of your comfort zone is never easy.

In the near future I have plenty of things to look forward to, including being a part of practice interviews for students, creating and maintaining a Careers and Employability Instagram account and getting involved in some of the many fairs and events run by the team.

A couple of months in and I’m over the moon that that interview panned out!


Want to work with people? A week of events just for you


Hi all! I’m a second year Psychology student, currently on my work placement with the Careers and Employability Service, writing to you about the fantastic opportunities available to you as students of Sheffield Hallam.


An entire week has been designated to allow you to gain insight and advice on a variety of job roles involving working with people. Events are based at Collegiate and planned to be specifically relevant to Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology students, but open to students and graduates from all courses. Commencing Monday 8th February, there will be a wide range of speakers from different professional backgrounds, coming to speak about their careers in supporting, advising, educating and counselling others. If you are, like myself, undecided about your future career path, then this week is the perfect opportunity for you to gain awareness of the diverse possibilities. There is something for everyone, ranging from insight into careers in a prison setting, to different job roles in education. If you are interested in forensic psychology or social issues these opportunities are perfect for you.

As a Psychology student I often have an interest in a certain area but am unaware of the routes into it and how competitive it is so I’m looking forward to finding out more. Special guests will be discussing the different routes into areas such as health psychology and human resources and their own personal journeys, also providing opportunities to network and make new connections. Many people pursue careers in teaching. However, if that isn’t for you but the education sector is something that interests you then, one event will allow you to explore other roles such as family support worker and learning mentor which may be perfect for you and would utilise your course specific knowledge.

Follow the link to book your place for events during the ‘Working With People’ week. Places are filling fast, so don’t miss out!

Olivia Royston, second year Psychology student

Creative Careers Week, 1 – 5 February!


Following on from the success of the first ever Creative Careers Week last year, the Careers and Employability Service is hosting this year’s event with an even bigger programme of presentations & workshops for you to choose from.

You will have the opportunity to learn about a whole range of career options open to graduates with an interest in the creative arts/design sector. These sessions will be delivered by professionals already working in a variety of creative disciplines.

Monday 1 February
What’s it like working in the creative industries?
An overview of the challenges and benefits of working in the creative sector
YAS presentation & tour of Exchange Place & Persistence Works
Meet 12.45pm, Made North Gallery Yorkshire Art Space, Persistence Works, Brown Street
Top tips on finding a placement in the creative sector
Advice on securing a placement and an overview of support and advice available at SHU

Tuesday 2 February
Working in Museums and Culture Management
Museums Sheffield; Sheffield Industrial Museums; SHU MA Arts and Cultural Management
Becoming a Performer
ALRA Drama School; SHU graduate (actor/comedian)
Working in the Community Arts sector
A Mind Apart (theatre); Junction Arts; Arts & Culture volunteering programme (SHU)

Wednesday 3 February
Running a Commercial Art Gallery
Karen Sherwood: owner and curator of Cupola Gallery
A career in Art Therapy
Arts Therapy Northern Programme & Trainee Art Therapist

Thursday 4 February
Top tips on using Social Media for Professional Networking
SHU graduates: Georgia Ball and Dora Damian
Being self-employed in the Creative Arts & Design sector
Freelance artist; jewellery designer; creative writer
A career in Creative Arts/Media Festivals & Events
Made with Design (Peucha Kucha 20×20); Ignite Imaginations

Friday 5 February
Working in the Creative Marketing and Advertising sector
Yommee; Creative Marketing Agency (Sheffield)
Working behind the scenes in TV, Theatre & Film
West Yorkshire Playhouse; Screen Yorkshire; Set/prop designer (freelance);Costume Supervisor (Sheffield Theatres); South Yorkshire Film Network

For further information (including times) and to book your place(s) go to: careerservice.shu.ac.uk / events / Creative Careers Week. Book soon to avoid to disappointment.

The Sky’s the Limit with Statistics


Many students cover research skills, statistics and SPSS on their courses, but may not have considered how these abilities could help them in their career. Patrick graduated from BSc Psychology in 2014. Here he explains how his aptitude for figures led to an exciting career opportunity as Statistical Officer for the Civil Service and how research modules and careers support helped him on this journey.


“I currently work on the Statistical Consultancy and Survey Support team. We offer an internal support service for anyone in the department. Customers can come to us with any issue related to analysis, research, or surveys and we will help resolve their issue efficiently and professionally, from delivering advice to taking on the projects ourselves and returning to the customer with a tailored analytical report. Highlights of this role include working with many different customers allowing me to see a range of work across the department, as well as allowing me time to meet other young statisticians at networking events and conferences, the most recent being the Young Statistician’s Meeting 2015 in Cardiff.

After graduation, I worked briefly (4 months) as a Research Analyst Trainee for a private sector market research company. This was a great development role as it gave a first taste of full-time employment. As it was a trainee role it also helped develop analytical skills I had gained at University (Excel, SPSS, and PowerPoint etc.) and apply these in a real-world setting. I then accepted a role with the Civil Service. I mainly use analytical skills in my current role, so everything learnt in our research methods modules from my Psychology degree has been useful. I also use a lot of SPSS to conduct analysis, so learning that was helpful. Knowing how to conduct research and how to conduct it ethically is a big help in my current role, as this is where a lot of our work comes from. Finally, an official writing style learnt from writing essays is helpful when drafting reports or briefings.

The Careers and Employability Service were vital to my getting my current role. It was following an ADAPT session (personal development module) that I begrudgingly went to the careers office to start thinking about what I’m going to do after third year. It was there I was told about the Civil Service Fast Stream Recruitment. I applied and eventually made it through every step, going from online numeracy tests to two full day assessment centres held in London. I unfortunately didn’t get the Fast Stream role, but due to my statistical knowledge was offered a general stream role instead, which only really adds a couple of years to my progression ladder so isn’t too much of a letdown!

To prepare for my interview, the main thing I did was revise all my statistical notes from the last three years. There was a statistical techniques interview that was a large part of the assessment and so revising for that was a must. I also booked in to have a mock interview with the Careers team. It was quite a scary process as I’d never really had a proper interview before, but the team was very helpful and provided me with lots of feedback on how I did, as well as where they thought I needed work. It was a very helpful process and definitely helped me improve my interviewing skills.

 I would advise students to make sure you use the careers team, my employment adviser was immensely helpful in finding me roles to apply for (She also emailed me about the research analyst trainee role that I mentioned earlier) so without her I wouldn’t have had either of the jobs I’ve had! Definitely make use of the mock interviews too, it might seem daunting but trust me it helps!

 I’d like to stay in this career for a while and make my way up the ladder to a more senior role. There lots of opportunity to move to different teams, with the option of staying analytical or not. This should allow a lot of variation in work whilst maintaining nice job security. Later in life I’ll probably head back to the private sector in another analytical role, or try to move abroad, possibly to Canada as there are plenty of statistical roles over there.”

Interviewed by Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviser, Careers and Employability

What happened when SHUCareers went to China…


Our Employment Adviser Laura Kerley visited China last summer…

On 11th June 2015, the faculty of Development & Society piloted a new and innovative event in Beijing. This was no typical marketing event; its aim was two-fold. Not only did it aim to raise awareness of D&S courses, employability and associated careers; it also included an interactive training session about supporting students with career planning. China’s rapid development has led to a significant increase in the need for career guidance, a premise confirmed by university contacts in Beijing and the audience on the day. The main audience was education professionals and agents, who support both high school and university students when making choices about their future, particularly about study abroad.

I was responsible for the development and delivery of the training session, so armed with this intriguing brief, I set about doing a little research. I spoke to some Chinese students at Hallam to glean a better understanding of their experiences of careers advice and guidance before they came to the UK. A research article about career guidance for university students in China confirmed that although career guidance is becoming more prominent and professionally delivered in some educational institutions, overall it is still at a fairly elementary stage. Although the research emphasises the importance of evolving career guidance practices being tailored to specific Chinese contexts, it also acknowledges that some general principles hold true in both UK and Chinese cultures.

Vitally, the event struck a good balance between the international and Chinese context overall.

Although my UK experience underpinned the training session, it was also informed by my experience with international students. Common ground was certainly found between myself and delegates (and with the help of some brilliant interpreters!) For example, when discussing typical questions asked by students (best epitomised by the question “what should I study to help me get a good job?”), there was mutual recognition of the importance of supporting students to develop self-awareness alongside opportunity awareness. After presenting ways that this is done in the UK, some good discussions were had around relevant case studies and how these ideas could be used and adapted to the context of delegates’ working lives. Resources and websites I wanted to share were tested in advance by the trusty SHU Beijing team and worked on the day (phew!) The response to these was positive, and delegates reported that comparable national resources limited, and were keen for some to be developed. At the end of the session, I was surprised that every delegate wanted their photo taken with me. Although I like to think of this as an immediate form of feedback, I think was largely due to the fact that at 5ft 10, I was seen as unusually tall!

The national and local context was provided by a range of engaging speakers directly related to many D&S subject areas, including:

  • The role of RICS China (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and future of Built Environment in China
  • Key attributes to be successful in the property industry (General Manager, U-Town Mall, Beijing)
  • My career development after SHU (TESOL alumni)
  • Psychology in China (Professor from the Institute of Psychlogy, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

All in all, a successful event and one I very much hope the university can build upon.

Laura Kerley

Employment Adviser, Careers and Employment

Teacher training – when the dream hasn’t become reality….





So, you’ve been unsuccessful with your first three choices for teacher training through Apply 1 – what now? The dream isn’t over yet, but you’re going to need to do some more work to try and turn the situation around. So you want to teach? That means you’re resilient, right? Then it’s time to get straight ‘back onto the horse’ and see what training places are still available and make a further application using Apply 2. Of course that means putting yourself up for consideration again.

If you weren’t shortlisted for any of your choices, then you may need to revisit your application. You cannot change it, but what you could do when you’ve made your new choice is contact the training provider and ask whether you can supply any supplementary information in support of your application. If this is the case then have a think about how you can add to your original statement. You will still need to be concise though – providing reams and reams of additional content is likely to hinder rather than help.

If you were lucky enough to get an interview, but were unsuccessful at that stage, did you get feedback from the training providers after each interview? We all come out of an interview thinking; I wish I’d said this? Why didn’t I say that? Your first port of call should be to get the panel’s take on where you can improve – was it the answers to your questions, your performance during any activities or simply that you were outperformed on the day? The answers to these questions will help you to work on the things that are within your control, but also you will need to accept those that simply are outside of your control – you can’t mitigate for someone else’s performance for example.


SHU students and recent graduates are welcome to make an appointment to talk through your interview preparation and you could also see if there are any practise interview slots available in the run up to the real thing to help you to hone your skills. We have information available to help you to prepare for teacher training interviews on our Careers Central website.

Andrew Walton
Employability Adviser

Ready, Steady, GEW at SHU!


As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union teamed up to put on a range of exciting events to get students, graduates and the community inspired, engaged and connected! In recognition of our contribution to this year’s campaign, we were selected as a winner of the High Impact award for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015.


There were seven events held throughout the week, including collaboration on Startup Weekend Sheffield. The week saw a variety of events from workshops and talks through to pitches and fairs! Some of the highlights of the week were ‘The Pitch’ which saw students pitch social enterprise ideas to an expert panel, with the winner proposing to sell second hand items in the UK, with all of the profits going towards buying teaching aids for schools in Africa. Another highlight was the Hallam Hand Made fair, which showcased creative and enterprising students selling their artwork, jewellery, prints and more!

Other events including a workshop on creating enterprising ideas, which encouraged people to think outside the box, break the rules, and be as innovative and enterprising as possible! A photography workshop and walk around Sheffield led by current students, and there was also a talk from two graduate entrepreneurs, who spoke about their inspiring journeys and how far they’ve come since graduating. The Sheffield Business School Enterprise Society held an enterprise pub quiz, and there was the brilliant Social Enterprise Social, a regular event co-hosted with The University of Sheffield, bringing together local social enterprises, entrepreneurs and students from across the city to network, collaborate and to be inspired.

After a jam-packed week of excitement and events we are already starting to talk about how we can collaborate to make next year even more of a success; how to engage and inspire more people, be more creative and enterprising in our events and have an even more GEW-tastic week!

To view the video of the “Hear from the Entrepreneur” event click here.

Lawyer in London 2015


During this year’s summer break, twenty 1st and 2nd year students from the Law and Criminology department, took part in “Lawyer in London 2015”.  Selected students spent three days experiencing and exploring the different routes they could take with a law degree.


On day one the group toured the Royal Courts of Justice and took part in a mock criminal trial.

Day two was spent at Magic Circle firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.  The students met with partners, the recruitment team and current trainees, took part in a negotiation exercise and toured the impressive offices (they have hotel-style bedrooms, an onsite dentist and a restaurant!!).

Day three had a Human Rights focus and was spent at the trendy Shoreditch offices of Amnesty International.  The students debated the importance of preserving international human rights and also heard from the Prisoners’ Advice Service.


The three days provided an insight into different career areas and all students felt that their career aspirations had developed as a result of the trip.  In fact, two students have subsequently set up a SHU Negotiation Society, inspired by their experience at Freshfields.

Feedback from the trip included:

“Great experience – I am so grateful! Definitely learnt so much and it has fulfilled everything I wanted to gain from the trip”

“I would definitely recommend this to others as I know it will help my career development and CV for the future”.

Sheryl Cruickshank, Employment Adviser, Law and Criminology


My Assessment Day Experience at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


Mustafa is a second year Law student.

So, in early April I ventured to the capital and felt like a high street commercial lawyer for a couple of days;  taking the tube to Fleet Street, enjoying the surroundings of London, staying in a rather sumptuous hotel for a couple of days and being warmly welcomed by a Magic Circle Law Firm. I had been invited to take part in the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, a scheme designed for Black Minority Law students to take part in a two day assessment centre at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.   I took the opportunity to take part in this scheme so I could gain some valuable experience, and obviously aim for a scholarship.


After talks with the career advisers at Sheffield Hallam I realised preparation was key, so I did background research on the Law firm to get the gist of what work they do and what type of qualities they look for in a person they hire or award scholarships to.

There were just over fifty Black first year Law students like myself from across the country, all with different backgrounds and rather remarkable stories.  I enjoyed meeting highly motivated individuals who have all strived to get where they were on that day and I really enjoyed the competitive edge that every individual brought to the table.

We took part in many activities that tested our aptitude to think fast on our feet and it was really an action packed couple of days, as it is with most assessment centres.   I was initially daunted by the fact that every move I made was being watched and tested, but once we got started I genuinely found it was surprisingly fun.   If I were to pick my favourite part of the assessment centre it would be the interview I had at the end, with two Senior Partners at the firm, as this allowed me to demonstrate myself on a more personal level with the lawyers that I aspire to develop into.

Unfortunately, I did not receive the scholarship. I felt as though if I engaged more in discussions when all the students were together, I may have stood out a little more. Obviously this requires confidence in public speaking and I am sure that is something I can work on.

I was invited back for a feedback session where I was told I narrowly missed out and they gave me some valuable feedback that provided me with confidence in myself going forward.   I was also lucky enough to secure a work placement where I will be required to shadow selected partners and solicitors that work at Freshfields.

This was a priceless experience that I am very proud of taking part in.   It has motivated me to work harder in studies as it has shown me firsthand what future holds for those who strive for success.


My advice for anyone taking part in this scheme in the future, or for anyone with an upcoming assessment centre, is to without a doubt prepare, this can be achieved by making sure you know about the type of activities that will occur on that day, and what it is they want to see in you, that way you will stand a better chance in showcasing yourself in the best way.


Psychology Graduates Return to Share Experiences


The Psychology Alumni Networking event ran on the 3rd November, attended by 35 students, 12 alumni and staff from the Psychology Department. This event celebrated the success of Psychology graduates and current students and allowed them to share experiences and employability advice. Psychology graduate and SHU graduate intern Tara, who assisted with organising the event, tells us more:

“This event was a great way of building relationships between students and alumni and provided current students with vital insight to the world of work and knowledge of how the skills gained throughout their time at SHU can be used in future jobs. It is a brilliant way of building links between SHU and local businesses Psychology alumni work for. This will open new opportunities for students in terms of finding volunteer work, placements and mentoring possibilities. It additionally gave Alumni the chance to stay in contact with the university by introducing them to upcoming events they can attend and opportunities to give talks at the University.


The event involved a presentation about masters and PhD courses, short talks from two enterprising alumni who have gone on to find their niche and set up a new business in the field of Psychology. The event went on to include a group networking session among alumni and students separately and opportunity for each student to network with the Psychology graduates in small groups, including hearing their stories, asking questions and gain insight into their career area.

As a Psychology alumni, now working in Student Services as a Graduate Intern, it was a brilliant event for me to attend and to have helped organise. I found that many of the other alumni and postgraduate students had some different experiences I felt I could learn from. With the varied lengths of time since graduating, the Alumni could provide different perspectives and applied knowledge that students need to make the decision of what to apply for after they graduate. It was also really interesting to speak to students at different levels of study across under and postgraduate courses as I could explain how important the work placement module was for me to first and second years, and how important the Careers and Employability Service was for me to get the job I am in now to final years and postgraduates. In addition, I felt I could help current students understand the broader range of skills they will gain from a degree such as Psychology and how you can apply them in jobs such as mine which are not an obvious career route.

There were 12 alumni at the event including myself:

Jack – works in Outreach and UK Recruitment Development team here at Sheffield Hallam as a Schools and Colleges Engagement Coordinator who organises and delivers activities and events with 30 local schools and colleges.

Holly – works at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union as a Volunteer Support Worker Graduate Intern who oversees 12 Health and Wellbeing student led projects.

Rebecca – in the second year of a three year Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology.

Emma – started her own business as a Mental Health & Behaviour Facilitator in her local community and now has her own team helping vulnerable people on a one to one basis.

Jos – studying MSc in Speech and Language Therapy to become qualified therapist at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Andrea – founded a Children’s Behavioural Psychology Consultancy called Unravel and work in schools and work with parents, children and young people privately in Sheffield. She is also developing a series of children’s novels called The Blinks which help children understand different emotions and how to manage them at difficult times.

Victoria – works as a Practice Manager at Selby Wellness Clinic as a part time Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Steve – Currently a second year Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Sheffield.

Acen – works as an assistant Psychologist in Leeds with offenders with severe personality disorder.

Stephen – PhD and part time lecturer in Education Studies at Sheffield Hallam.

Kathy – doing MSc Psychological Research Methods at University of Sheffield specialising in substance related behaviours.

We had some really great responses from the event with Andrea (one of the Alumni speakers) saying “Thank you so much for giving us all the opportunity to share and learn from each other“. Students commented that the event gave them more idea about “how much variety there is in Psychology” and that it made them realise the importance of volunteeringStudents found that it was very useful for getting “different opinions“, “meeting a diverse group of people and knowing their routes into different careers” and “the guest speakers have inspired a new possible career option for me“.

This event was able to inform and inspire not just those in final year / postgraduates who will leave in a few months’ time, but also those in first year who have more time at University, about the areas they may wish to work in and how to get experience. It was also helpful for postgraduates to see how they can become more employable and the types of careers they can go into in their Psychology field”

Students or graduates seeking further information about careers and alumni events can contact Caroline Hanson on c.hanson@shu.ac.uk and are encouraged to join the departments’ LinkedIn group “SHU Psychology, Sociology and Politics Students and Alumni”.


Tara Seipel, Graduate Intern, Development and Society

Top 5 common sense tips for your placement search


Business and Marketing student Alice, who is just starting her placement year, sets out here her top 5 tips for successful placement search.


When applying or preparing for any application or interview it is vital to prepare yourself, with both company and role research. This is a great tactic for setting yourself apart from other candidates and in an employer’s eye often extremely important as there is a significant need for  understanding of the skills required for the role. Start with basic history research of the company moving further to understanding the company ethos and values (matching these to your own, nobody wants to be stuck in a company with values they can’t connect with!)


Read and re-read the job description and skills specific within the role, although this seems like blatant common sense it is often missed that the job role description holds many clues to the questions you are likely to be asked during the interview process. In many instances an employer will devise both job description and a set of interview questions in correspondence to the desired skill set at the same time.

Match your skills and previous experience to the specific skills identified within the job brief, providing an example of an instance you  have demonstrated each of the skills! This will allow you to provide physical evidence of having the required skill set needed.


Relax and smile! Over the phone or face to face interviewing. Believe it or not a smile can even be heard over the phone, in a sense, it will help create an upbeat positive tone of interview. Employers are more likely to remember a smiling face, enthusiasm is a great attribute and will communicate a sense of ease in a stressful situation.


More than ever employers are following interviews with further research on their candidates using LinkedIn. It is vital to update all aspects of your LinkedIn, with the fact you are a placement seeking student at the forefront of your profile. Reach out to relevant connections to increase your credibility, including endorsements, up to date qualifications and a suitable profile picture. Sheffield Hallam university offer fantastic support on getting your placement profile ready!


Successful or unsuccessful, it is always useful to receive feedback even if successful in the interviewing process. Contact the employer and ask politely for feedback on which aspects you performed well in and what can be improved upon. I can guarantee there will be sometime later in your future you will use both positive and negative feedback  to learn from and will be grateful for the information.

Go Further, Go Higher


Go Further Go Higher Summer School gives school pupils insight into the world of Law

 by Belle Fletcher (Pre-enrolment officer, Schools Outreach Team)

This year’s Go Further Go Higher Summer School took place on 23 – 25 June 2015 and centred on the theme of Law. The event was attended by 11 year 10 pupils currently under local authority care from Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Activities developed and delivered by Sheffield Hallam in collaboration with The University of Sheffield (UoS) and supported by The Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP) and Careers and Employment Service aimed to give the attendees a taste of studying law at university and build confidence through teamwork and communication.

The first day was held at UoS, where attendees took part in a law lecture, learnt about strange and wonderful laws from all over world and were introduced to debating.

The attendees were in for a treat on Day 2 as the day was focussed on communication and presentation skills and delivered by Sheffield Theatres. During the morning the young people had a tour of the three theatres, found out about the history and had the opportunity to raid the costume and props department! In the afternoon a local actress (who appeared in the television show ‘This is England’) delivered a workshop to encourage team building, speaking and listening and performance to help make the young people more comfortable with speaking in front of each other – which was crucial for the final day’s debate.

Sheffield Hallam’s Careers and Employment Service also led a workshop to enable the young people to consider what jobs might suit their personality and explore the broad range of careers open to them, challenging common stereotypes. This included considering how the labour market is changing and investigating emerging roles such as social media manager and robotics engineer. Carers were also offered advice on how they can best support the young people with their educational and career choices.

On the final day at SHU, the attendees had dedicated time to research their ideas and concepts and bring these together to debate the legalisation of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports. Teams of 5/6 argued their points to a panel of experts in the mooting court and after much deliberation it was decided the teams were awarded a draw! The summer school ended with a graduation and prize giving ceremony where the students got to wear a cap and gown to celebrate their achievements over the past three days!

The feedback from attendees was great, with 100% of young people wanting to attend similar events in the future. Staff involved were truly astonished at the journey the attendees had taken in such a short space of time – from individuals not wanting to interact with each other at the beginning, to standing in front of a full courtroom and rebutting comments about their debate topic.

The summer school is a wonderful way of engaging and raising the aspirations of local looked after children, who may not otherwise have had the opportunity. One attendee stated; “I have learnt how to debate, I am proud of myself, I want to join university, I am happy.”

You can find out more about support for Care Leavers at Sheffield Hallam here: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/studentadviceandinformation/students/info-for/care-leavers/

Get that Job! Boot Camp


Final year student looking for your first “proper” job, but don’t know where to start? Don’t panic – Boot Camp is here… Two days in September aimed at kick-starting your journey into your first job.

Join students in the same position as yourself – you are not alone!

Have fun

Challenge yourself

Discover your strengths


Feedback from previous Boot Campers:

Would you recommend Boot Camp to other final year students?

 100% It has been brilliant! 🙂

 Yes, yes, yes!

 Yes, I would as I have gained more knowledge and understanding of what employers are seeking


What aspects of the Boot Camp did you find useful?

 Everything! Assessment centres tests, CV help, LinkedIn help, Mock interview

 The CV, Interviews and Alumni talks were very useful as it enabled me to network.


What will I be doing?

Boot Camp is action-packed and intensive, so come prepared to work. You will be thinking about yourself, what you are looking for…and developing a plan to help you get there. Over the two days you will:

  • assess your strengths and skills
  • discover different approaches to finding jobs
  • hear from recent SHU graduates/alumni about their own experiences
  • write a great CV/application
  • find out how you can use LinkedIn
  • have a go – practice being interviewed and take part in assessment centre activities


8 and 9 September, 9am – 5pm (You need to be able to attend both days)

10 September : One to one 45 minute feedback appointments available throughout the day

Lunch and refreshments provided. Boot Camp takes place in the Careers and Employability Centre.

Places are limited, so book on here: https://careerservice.shu.ac.uk/students/events/detail/252310/get-that-job-boot-camp-for-fin

Who is Boot Camp for?

Boot Camp is aimed at 2014-15 final year ‘Home/EU’ students who have an idea of the sector/industry or job/role they are looking for.

If you are unclear as to what career path to follow or if you do not have eligibility to work in the UK beyond early 2016, we suggest that you book a Careers Guidance appointment via the Careers and Employability Centre,  0114 225 3752.


Disability, Diversity and Career Ambition  


I caught up with Politics graduate Henna Khan, two years on from leaving Sheffield Hallam. Henna now works as an Early Talent Policy Manager with the Civil Service. We discussed how her career has progressed and how she tackled challenges through her own determination and the support of others.

Henna speaking

“My life and background is based around challenges I have dealt with threefold; my disability, my race and religion, my gender. Each stage of life I reached be it school, college, and university had its own unique challenges for me dependent on the situations and environments I entered.The one thing I refused to accept growing up was that there was a limit, an end to my ambition, I didn’t let the negativity that faced me falter my ambition. I often felt that the “barriers” I faced growing up were inflicted on me by someone else, but I quickly realised that it was me letting them create a barrier for me to then feel trapped within, it was not the way you define your life. Your actions define you and your life’s route. Because I didn’t believe in barriers, they didn’t exist when I was one of the only disabled Pakistani women who graduated with a 1st class Honours, and got onto the sixth out of top 100 graduate schemes in the country, leading changes at the heart of government on the Civil Service Fast Stream.

cv image_mini

 I applied for Politics at Sheffield Hallam as I was interested in the breadth of topics the course had, with modules on Anarchy, British Parliament and Failed States. When I started university I loved the diversity of knowledge the course gave me, from classic to contemporary political conversations. I was also interested in applying for the Erasmus exchange programme which took me to The Hague University in the Netherlands, where I took part in internships at the United Nations and Embassy of Pakistan. Each lecturer  challenged me intellectually and I enjoyed the environment university provided for me to nurture my academic thinking to what it is now. My university helped me in two ways, firstly student support services provided me with a bespoke learning agreement, a contract which allowed me to have access to the support I required as a disabled student. This allowed me to work in an environment where I was on equal footing with fellow peers. Secondly, the careers services my university offered provided me with various opportunities. Firstly I had a career mentor, I attended mock assessment centres, and mock interviews, and my career advisor Caroline Hanson was extremely supportive when I decided to apply for the Fast Stream.

I initially applied for the Summer Diversity Internship Scheme and a year later for the Fast Stream. For both roles I received coaching to help me prepare for the tests, the e-tray and the assessment centre, successfully securing a place within a week of my assessment day. My university equipped me with the skills I required to get the job I wanted.

After graduating I worked in the private and charity sector for a year, and then successfully applied for the Civil Service HR Fast Stream, which is one of the top graduate schemes in the country, I am currently on my first placement based in the Fast Stream Team at Civil Service Resourcing. I am due to start a HR Business and Management Masters later this month as part of my scheme. I am really enjoying my time on such a fast paced and challenging scheme, the challenges I have in this role are very unique with decisions shaping the very graduate scheme that is internationally known. The benefits of this role are also the same as the challenge, every email or meeting brings an exciting piece of work, and I look forward to coming to work every day so that I can make a change to the way the public sector works in order to make a positive impact to this country.”

Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviser


Further information: The Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship Programme aims to give people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to see what a career in the Civil Service is like, you can find out more here:   https://www.gov.uk/civil-service-fast-stream-summer-diversity-internship-programme

The Careers and Employment Service offers specialist information and advice for disabled students: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/planning-your-future/disabled-students

Disabled Student Support identifies any barriers and obstacles to learning and aims to remove them thus giving disabled students the opportunity to realise their full potential. See: https://staff.shu.ac.uk/sls/qess/ss/ds/default.asp



RISE: Paid internships with local companies


Are you about to graduate, or are you a recent graduate  – looking for that first job that will give you a foothold and relevant experience in the industry of your choice? RISE Sheffield are advertising their latest round of paid internships with local SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises).

Most of these exciting roles are open to students from any degree, and include HR, PR, Sales, Recruitment, SEO, IT, Marketing, Business Development, Project Management, Events Management… Local organisations offering internships include charities and not-for-profit organisations, companies ranging from IT and software solutions, manufacturing, plastering and drylining, a hotel and a sports café! All of these organisations are looking to take on a graduate who will be able to help their business grow and develop. Many previous RISE interns have gone on to longer term work with the organisation.


Interested? The RISE website has full details of the scheme and the vacancies, which have a closing date of 21 June. You are strongly advised to see an adviser for advice on any application, to make sure that you are making the strongest possible application. Click here for details on booking to see an adviser, or call 0114 225 3752.

SHU is top for working while you study


A national student satisfaction survey indicates that Sheffield Hallam students feel their experience here gives them a flying start with their careers. Students placed Sheffield Hallam first out of 24 universities for opportunities to work while studying, and second for students satisfied that their learning during their studies will help them get a good job when they graduate.


A huge 93.2% of students were either satisfied or very satisfied with their overall university experience.

The Student Barometer survey is administered by the International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate), and tracks the opinions of students at higher education institutions at 24 of the UK’s universities. Results are from the latest survey which tracked opinions in autumn 2014.

For press information: PR officer Nicole Kelly in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email n.kelly@shu.ac.uk

Insight into life as a Professional Headhunter


In our first guest post by an employer, Martin Wigfield from Professional Headhunting firm Sagar Wright talks about why he loves his job.


What do I do for a day job? The best comparison is to that of a Football (or Movie) Agent, who finds the best talent, and introduces them to the best clubs, I represent some of the best clients in the Financial Services Industry (such as Aon & Deloitte) and am tasked with scouring the market for the best talent available.  For me, there isn’t a better feeling than delivering on a tricky client assignment.  Knowing you’re working with top industry professionals to help drive a business forward and in return increasing your own personal earnings is very satisfying.

The support in the Graduate Training Academy at Sagar Wright has been second to none. The first 6 weeks is all classroom based training with a really fun mix of role plays, interactive sessions and presentations (very unique in recruitment – some of my friends were only given 2 weeks training, or some none at all!).  Over the next 11 months of the training programme, David Gawthorpe (Graduate Training Academy Director) and Mark Bailey (Training Manager) showed me the ropes and gave me a phenomenal amount of ongoing mentoring and support.  I have weekly development meetings with my managers to discuss my progress, where they give me constructive advice on how I can improve.

The office culture at Sagar Wright is one of the best things about the firm: we are a genuinely close group of friends who are all likeminded and committed to being successful.  Our job can be stressful at times (it’s high level sales, but sales nonetheless!) and to break this up we make sure we rightly celebrate our successes.  We have regular social events and there is always someone to go for a drink with on a Friday.  The social side is great and includes annual all expenses paid trips to The Races, a Christmas Party at one of Leeds’ top restaurants and quarterly events which have included Private Cinema Screenings, Pool & Ping Pong tournaments, meals out and many others.

My favourite thing about this job is that I get out exactly what I put in.  The last 12 months have been great for me, I have worked my socks off and as a result I’ve regularly won the incentives competition, which has paid for new suits, weekends away in top hotels and meals out in Leeds’ leading restaurants.  The commission I’ve earned on my placements has paid for a 2 week trip across the Southern States of America – which is not a bad start for a 24 year old lad from Yorkshire who had no intention of spending £6.00 a pint in London!

I’ve now completed my training year and have been promoted to Consultant.  I’m currently one of the top performers in the team and last week the MD, Steve Wright, told me that I was on my way to achieving Fast Track Promotion.  This scheme was designed by the MD and allows top performers in the business to be promoted twice in 1 year!  Sagar Wright are hiring 15 graduates a year for the next 3 years’ so there’s lots of opportunity to grow and progress in the firm which I find really exciting!

Over the next 12 months’ I’m going to keep building my business to increase my earnings (I’m on track to earn £52k this year), and my goal for the year is to buy a house.  Sagar Wright will allow me to continue my great lifestyle in Leeds and enjoy some great holidays along the way. All of these are realistic goals at Sagar Wright and can be (and have been) achieved in your second year if you do well.  After that I can begin to build and manage my own team, becoming a Manager in the business and recruiting my own Graduate Trainees.  As I’ve always wanted to be a Manager and run my own team, reaching this milestone will give me a huge sense of pride and satisfaction.  I can’t wait!


For more information on the Graduate Training Academy and for details of how to apply, go to www.professionalheadhunter.co.uk.


Scholarships for Masters study at SHU


Looking to improve your career prospects? Hoping to get ahead in the job market? Sheffield Hallam University is giving away Scholarships worth £10,000 for Masters study for the academic year 2015/16.


If you started your Undergraduate degree in 2012/13 and are finishing this year you could be eligible for receiving one of these scholarships of which the University have up to 141 to give away across all faculties!

The closing date for these scholarships is 31 May* so you will need to act fast. To view more details on the scholarships and to see if you are eligible please visit www.shu.ac.uk/ad/masters-scholarship-2015/ . If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact Jack Aizlewood in our UK Recruitment team on 0114 225 4979, or via j.aizlewood@shu.ac.uk.


*Please be aware that you would also need to have applied for the course you hope to study by this date.

Find out about a career in Neuroscience


Tom Doherty studied BSc Psychology and MSc Applied Cognitive Neuroscience, graduating from Sheffield Hallam in 2013. He now works as an Operational Scientist for an organisation that provides cognitive assessment software for clinical trials, academic research and healthcare provision. Employment Adviser Caroline Hanson catches up with him to find out more about his current role, and the opportunities open to graduates with an interest in neuroscience.


 What does your current job involve?

 My current role involves a number of things but is predominantly concerned with putting together scientific proposals for a range of pharmaceutical companies in order to convince them of the science behind products for use within their latest clinical trials. My role also includes surveying the data collected from a scientific point of view for a broad range of ongoing trials, in areas such as cardio-vascular safety to the latest clinical trials in Alzheimers disease, and highlighting any unwarranted data points.

 Before my current position I worked as an unpaid research assistant at Hallam following on from my research undertaken at Masters level, I then came to the company I am working in at a more junior position and was promoted to my current role after 3 months.

 What factors do you think helped you to secure your current position?

 Factors that helped were writing up my research for publication and reading a vast number of journal articles from both my study, research post and previous role in this company. After I qualified, I found that the job market for neuroscience graduates is really tough, the main career paths of research and clinical work can feel like all there is. I would say that there are industry posts out there you just have to look a lot harder for them. It took me a full year to find this post but it was worth the perseverance.

 What was the selection process like for your role?

 The selection process for the role included three interviews which included a presentation; two face to face interviews and a brief chat with two members from the board, I would stress that this will not usually be the case, but this company is fairly small in comparison to many others. In order to prepare I read up a lot on the company and prepared mock answers to potential questions along with being well versed in what I had been doing previously.

 How do you use skills and knowledge gained from your course in your current position?

 The key thing for me was the research I did as part of my course, because ultimately, whether you go into industry, research or clinical lines of work, this is what you will be judged on from a scientific viewpoint. These are the skills which I have used most in my role and essentially you want to find answers to questions no matter what role you are in.

 What advice would you Neuroscience students interested in your career area?          

To decide which of the three streams of work you are most suited to and are most interested in, read as many current papers on a broad a range as you can, but most importantly pick your research topic well. By doing this you can do something that is new or innovative and likely to get you noticed or even better published, this will help you stand out and that is what, in my opinion, employers are looking for.

Win £25, and help us improve our service!


Can you give up an hour of your time to join one of our student focus groups?

 In return you will:

  • Be entered into a draw with a chance to win one of two £25 Amazon vouchers
  • Have a chance to make a contribution to the University – this will be a great extra-curricular activity to add to your CV
  • Gain a certificate to confirm your attendance and contribution

plus free cake for all who attend!

YOUR (1)

 Which students can attend?

 Any student! Our focus groups will ideally contain students from all years, and from a range of courses. You are welcome to sign up for more than one session, and increase your chances of winning one of those vouchers!

 For more details go to: http://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/home/focus-groups

Careers: Myth Busting…


In today’s post we bust five common myths around careers.

“The Careers Service is no use to me until my final year”

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There are lots of reasons to use the Careers and Employment Service before your final year. Some of the things we can help you with include:

  • Finding a part-time job
  • Drawing up a strong CV, or a LinkedIn profile
  • Finding summer work experience
  • Meeting employers at one of our Careers Fairs

In fact this year so far, 60% of all appointments at the service have been made by students who are not in their final year.


“I can’t use the Careers Service until I know what I want to do”

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We see lots of students who don’t know what they want to do – you are not alone! You can make a careers guidance appointment with a Careers Adviser, who will talk through with you what your ideas are, what your options might be, what you feel your strengths are, and what you would like out of a career. You might be surprised at how helpful it can be to talk these things through with someone who is impartial. Our aim is that you leave with a clearer idea of what your next steps might be.


“I’ve got my CV sorted. I’m going to send it out to as many vacancies as possible, the more I apply for the better chance I’ve got”

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Employers tell us this is a big mistake – they want your application to be tailored to them and their vacancy. So think quality rather than quantity. It is FAR better to make fewer applications, but to make sure your application is tailored to the job. Make sure you have picked out what the employer is looking for, use their keywords and give evidence to demonstrate your skills. Research the company and the role, and show that you have done this. Have a look at our Careers Central pages on Applications and CVs then make an appointment with an adviser if you aren’t sure how to tailor an application.


“I am rubbish at interviews, there isn’t anything I can do to change that”

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Everyone can improve their interview technique. It’s a matter of:

  • Preparing – really read the person specification and job description, which will be full of clues to what you will be asked at interview. Make sure you can talk about yourself in relation to the skills, attributes and experience they are looking for – what evidence can you give to show you have them? Really think about the role – why are you applying?
  • Practising – in front of a mirror. With a friend. Use our interview simulator package. Or book a Practice Interview at the Careers and Employment Service – we will tailor the interview to your needs, and give you detailed, confidence-building feedback.


“There’s no point thinking about my career in my first year, it’s too early to do anything”

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Many first year students don’t know what they want to do, and that is very normal. However, there are steps that you can be taking that will really benefit you in the long run, and these can be summed up as “DO SOMETHING”! Such as:

  • Get a part-time job
  • Do some volunteering
  • Try to get some work-experience/work-shadowing in an area you are interested in
  • Join a club or society
  • Become a student rep
  • Learn a language or new skill
  • Start a blog

WHY? Getting involved in some of these things will help you develop new skills, give you new experiences, meet new people, find things out about yourself, and develop your confidence. We know that employers really value the skills and experiences you can gain from activities outside of your degree.


Opportunities to work in Mental Health


As part of the Degree+ programme of careers events run by the Psychology, Sociology and Politics department and the Careers and Employment Service, national employers Alpha Hospitals and Cambian Group visited us to discuss the roles and opportunities they offer. Close to 80 students attended the event, seeking to gain insight into the sector and to apply for full and part time roles. Professionals from each organisation began by sharing about their own career journeys and healthcare services, and this was followed by a networking opportunity where students asked individual questions and presented their skills to the employers. Both companies are continuously recruiting for a range of roles including nurses and support workers.


Alpha Hospitals have three hospitals within the UK including one in Sheffield, providing low and medium secure mental healthcare, and are continually seeking to recruit new staff. Throughout the year they hold a number of open days for newly qualified nurses. Students from other courses such as psychology can apply for support worker roles to gain insight and build experience. Alpha Hospitals’ HR director emphasised this role as a way into the organisation, with opportunities to progress and gain responsibility for those who impress. Assessment days are held once a month, which include a talk with a current employer about their role and responsibilities followed by candidates completing an aptitude test. Following the Degree+ event a special assessment day was arranged especially for Sheffield Hallam students! One particular bonus is that support is offered to successful applicants to any role regarding accommodation, as the company own a number of houses within their hospital area.

Cambian Group are the largest providers of specialist behavioural health services for children and adults in the UK. They offer over 249 services and employ over 6000 people. The jobs they offer include; nurses, therapy co-ordinators, support workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, assistant psychologists and social workers. They have three sites in the South Yorkshire area. They are particularly seeking mental health nurses at present but regularly have opportunities for candidates from other disciplines. For jobs linked to psychology, their assistant psychologist highlighted the importance of demonstrating volunteering on CVs, to stand out from other applicants.  Cambian at times is able to offer work experience opportunities, and interested candidates should contact their local sites. There is also opportunity to work as a bank support worker on a casual basis to build experience whilst studying.

Both employers were impressed with the quality of the candidates at Sheffield Hallam and hope to return for future events. Overall, both companies offer great opportunities to enter and succeed in a career within mental health. For more information on these companies visit their websites at;



by Grace Ellis – second year Sociology student who has completed an 8 week placement with Careers and Employment Service, supporting the team with careers fairs and events, and edits by Caroline Hanson, employment adviser

It’s time to RISE!


Are you a final year student or recent graduate of Sheffield Hallam? Are you looking for a paid internships that can give you crucial work experience? Are you looking to stay in the Sheffield area?


If you answered “yes” to these questions, you will be interested in the RISE Internships currently being advertised. These are exciting opportunities with a range of small and medium sized organisations, and include roles in digital marketing, paralegal work, web development, data analysis, recruitment and graphic design.

The RISE website is here, where you  can find out more about the scheme, and read case studies of previous successful candidates. The vacancies are advertised on our Jobs site: https://careerservice.shu.ac.uk/

You will need to hurry, the closing date for applications is this Sunday!

LinkedIn: Five tips for a great profile



Most students who come in to use the Careers and Employment service have an idea of what LinkedIn is, many have started to create a profile…but most say they aren’t sure what to put on their profile, or how they should be using LinkedIn.

So, in this first post on LinkedIn – five tips for a great profile!


A full head shot is best, rather than an arty picture of you in the distance. Your photo will appear as a thumbnail in any search results for instance – where a full head shot will be easier to see. Aim for a reasonably professional-looking photo ie not one that is clearly of you on a beach, or in a bar…


LinkedIn will set the headline under your photo by default, and it will often say “Student at Sheffield Hallam”. While this is accurate, it does nothing to help you stand out from the other thousands of Sheffield Hallam students. Possible alternatives include:

First Year Software Engineering Student

Final Year English Student with Marketing Experience

Media Graduate | Range of Work Experience | Social Media Expertise



A good summary will entice viewers of your profile to carry on reading the rest of your profile. However, a summary can be difficult to write – after all, how do you sum yourself up?

Refer to your key strengths and skills, and the most important things you want to say about yourself. If you have a clear career in mind, include the keywords that employers in your industry look for. Refer to particularly relevant work experience, or key achievements. It is helpful to say what you are looking for – maybe: “…currently looking for a graduate management role in the UK retail industry”, or “seeking summer work experience in the advertising industry in the north of England “.

Avoid cliches and general statements. Get a friend to read your summary – do they recognise you, or could it apply to anyone on your course? If it’s the latter – change it!



Most students don’t write enough on their profiles. LinkedIn gives you more freedom than a CV where you are limited to two sides of A4. Give details of the work experience you have, and the skills you have developed. Don’t just write your degree title in the “Education” section, but add some information – don’t expect employers to know about the content of your degree. Write about particularly relevant modules, or modules you feel are a strength, projects and achievements, and your research project/dissertation.




The privacy settings can be found by clicking your tiny profile photo at the top right of the black header bar. You might want to keep your profile completely hidden while you play around with it and get it looking how you want to – go to “Edit your public profile”, then “Make your public profile visible to no-one”. Don’t forget to make your profile visible again, once you are happy with it!

Need more help?

Come to one of our weekly LinkedIn drop-ins, or an “Are You LinkedIn?” workshop: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/finding-job/social-media or book an appointment with an Employment Adviser.

Advice from Graduate Employers…


On 3 February, Jenny Cole, Graduate Employment Co-ordinator, and Sheryl Cruickshank, Employment Adviser, attended the AGR Student Recruitment Trade Show in London (AGR is the Association of Graduate Recruiters).  This event brought together employers, recruiters and universities from around the country and provided a great opportunity for SHU to showcase our talented students and graduates.  We exhibited alongside ten other Modern Universities of the North, and spoke to many employers about the skills, talent and experience SHU candidates can bring to their businesses.

AGR stand

Key messages from graduate recruiters

Alongside showcasing SHU talent, we spent time networking with graduate recruiters. This is what they said about the graduate labour market:

  • graduate vacancies are up 11.9% this year
  • there are around 70 applicants per vacancy
  • top 5 growth areas are IT/Telecoms, Public, Construction, Engineering/Industry and Investment Banking

We also spoke to employers to find out what they are really looking for in applicants during the application process.  This is what they said:

We need a balance of knowledge and employability skills”

“Students need to demonstrate drive and resilience”

“Show energy and enthusiasm in interviews”

“Awareness of the scope of roles within the sector”

“Extra-curricular activities bring breadth to applications and provide more interesting examples at interview.”

“If you get to assessment centre, rest well and be yourself.”

Overall students navigating the graduate recruitment process should do lots of research and be prepared.  The Careers and Employment service is here to help you throughout the application process, so make the most of it! Follow this link to find out what the service offers: http://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/see-adviser/types-appointment


It’s not too late!


Charlotte Stanbridge is a placement rep in the Business School. Here she gives some encouraging advice to those of you still searching for a placement…

So the clock is ticking and an increasing number of your friends are gushing about the amazing placement they have recently secured… but if you take one piece of advice today, it’s:


don't panic


There are still hundreds of opportunities available to you. Don’t be disheartened that some of the larger organisations application deadlines have passed – there is a lot to be said for placements at smaller organisations. For a start, you often have a lot more exposure to other departments within the business, particularly useful in your early career when you are still deciding which role you best fit. Charities and social enterprises also offer fantastic placement opportunities, and although often the pay may be slightly less, the experience on offer is priceless.


There are still upcoming events that can help you to refocus and energise your applications. The placement reps will be hosting an Advice Drop-In session, the ‘Pre-Placement Fair’ on Thursday 5 March in the Careers and Employability Centre (13:00 – 17:00). The afternoon will feature a range of advice; from how to apply, assessment centre spook-busting and general advice on what roles to choose and why a placement is so valuable. This is also handily a week before the Sheffield Hallam Spring Careers Fair on Thursday 12 March, so a great time to polish up your CV and make a good impression on employers attending. If you can’t make the event you can get in touch with placement reps, like myself, on LinkedIn and Facebook, just search ‘SBS Placement Reps’.

The Careers Centre is furthermore a great place to familiarise yourself with as they offer 1-1 support around applications and interview advice as well as hosting a variety of employer presentations for companies that perhaps you haven’t previously considered.


Now is a perfect time to really think about the kind of employers and roles you are applying to. There is no point in sending out hundreds of generic CVs and cover letters as the chances are you won’t get very far. Really tailor your applications and express your enthusiasm to work for that particular company. Doing your research will really pay off here and impress employers. Getting that initial foot in the door is often the hardest part!
Wishing you all the best of luck with your applications!


Teaching: The Obvious Choice?


As advisers, we see lots of students who are interested in going into teaching. For many, this is a well thought-through plan. Many students have experience of interacting with school-age children, have observed or helped out in schools, and have a realistic picture of teaching as a profession and how well they might be suited to it. However, for other students, discussion of why they want to teach often reveals a different picture.  It becomes clear that many feel they should go into teaching because they don’t know what their other options are. Some feel they should go into teaching because they need to do something using their degree subject, otherwise their degree “will have been a waste of time”.

Why does this happen? I think part of the reason is that teaching is a high profile profession – we have all been taught, and probably all think we have an idea of what being a teacher involves. It is therefore a career we all know about. While there are thousands of other careers out there, most are not as apparent or obvious as teaching. It is very difficult to know whether you will like a career unless you have some experience of it, or have at least met and spoken to someone working in that career. The result is that lots of people say they want to be teachers because it is the only career or profession they know much about.


Teaching your subject at secondary level is an obvious choice for making direct use of your degree subject. However, I would suggest that this alone is not a good enough reason to go into teaching! There are many careers where you can make use of your degree subject, but are perhaps less obvious than teaching. Finding out about these will require research and effort – for some idea of where to start, have a look at the ideas at the end of this post.

You are not limited by your degree subject – you don’t have to go into a career that is related to your degree subject. Students are often surprised to hear this! Your options are probably wider than you think, as the majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates from any degree subject. Many employers tell us that they are often less concerned about your degree subject, but are more interested in the intrinsic added-value you will have gained from studying for a degree: analytical and critical thinking abilities, research skills, presentation skills, independence, project leadership, and so on. So while not all graduate jobs will be related to your degree subject, they will still require  you to use the skills and attributes you have gained from your degree.

So, what am I saying? Yes, teaching is a brilliant career, rewarding, challenging, interesting… However, it’s not for everyone, and it is just one of many rewarding, challenging and interesting careers out there! If you are one of those thinking you should teach because you don’t think you have any other options, here are some steps you could take:

and :

  • Book to see a Careers Adviser – talking all of this through with someone who is non-judgmental and unbiased can really help!


Rachel Firth, Careers Adviser

Looking for a route into your chosen career?


We have a new series of workshops about to start, on “Routes into….” a whole range of careers, from nursing, to journalism, to IT and digital careers. Many of the sessions will give you the chance to meet professionals from these different areas.

Many of these careers are potentially open to students from any degree area, so have a look and see if there are any you are interested in.

Routes into Poster

To book, go to shuspace>employability>events

Don’t stop until you’re proud!


Business and Marketing student Alice is busy applying for placements. Here she tells us why she now feels more confident…

A sense of achievement is what every student expects when embarking on their university journey. Cliché I know, but a very wise lady once gave me a very wise piece of advice, she told me “Never stop until you’re proud”. In the thick of my second year and applying for placements I found this piece of advice to be at the forefront of my motivation. Having performed numerous telephone interviews you could say it was becoming second nature, but having secured a face-to-face interview I just couldn’t shake this overwhelming feeling of nervousness.

The company sent me over a briefing for my interview describing the days’ activities to be a ten minute individual presentation, group tasks and a competency based interview.

Arranging a meeting with someone more experienced than myself seemed like the sensible thing to do. Here I met Karen Allan my employment adviser, not only could I discuss the process and my general worries with an experienced figure but straight away I felt much more at ease and calmer about the situation.


Having had the opportunity to take part on the Common Purpose leadership course offered through Sheffield Hallam, I felt relatively comfortable with my performance in group tasks and wasn’t so anxious about this activity. However having to prepare a ten minute presentation on ‘increasing brand exposure’ seemed to be proving the most difficult task to prepare for. Despite the fact I had been doing tasks such as this throughout my university experience, in this situation I was naturally more apprehensive. But the support with my preparation hadn’t stopped at Karen, and seeking advice from my Marketing tutors who were more than happy to help, enabled them to advise and critique my work to allow the best chance of securing the placement.

With all the tips and tricks Karen has armed me with and the support of my tutors now all I have to do is take a deep breath, keep my fingers crossed and remember “Never stop until you are proud” and hopefully my next post will be a blog about how to successfully secure a placement.

Looking for a placement? Don’t give up!


Sarah (Events Management with Tourism) wrote a post for us back in October. Here she gives words of encouragement to all of you out there looking for placements.

When starting my course at University, we were actively encouraged to undertake an industrial placement year and told of the benefits it could bring.  I found it difficult and was originally unsure of even taking a placement because I couldn’t find one that interested me, as parties, festivals or weddings – the stereotypical “Event” jobs, did not particularly appeal to me.  Instead, I wanted a position that was in a corporate field, which would develop me as a professional.

I’m not going to lie to you and say that getting a placement year is easy; its not (unless you know someone, a family friend perhaps, that’s willing to take you on).  A lot of CVs and cover letters were sent out over my second year at University, but I was lucky that when the position of a ‘Project Executive’ at the second best agency in my field arose, I jumped at the chance and was lucky enough to be one of the five undergraduates taken on board.

A lot of you are probably in the process already, trying to get a placement and have received a ton of rejections. My advice to you is not to give up, the placement right for you if just round the corner, you just haven’t found it yet – I got mine well after I had sent off my 40 placement applications but know many others who applied for well over 100 before they got a position.  Talking to my friends now who all went on placement, it seemed like such an effort to even get one, but I cannot exaggerate how much that time and effort you put in looking for a placement will benefit you in the end – not one of us regret it in final year and it certainly has helped us for final year!

Although my degree course combines theory with case studies, there are hardly any opportunities to work in this specific events sector (corporate/business) either part-time or through volunteering whilst at University, so undertaking a placement year was the only way I would get specific experience to add to my CV.  I knew that it would be to my advantage, adding this to my CV, as well as the training and additional courses I was put onto during my placement year, such as Time Management and Grammar Editing & Checking.  The knowledge, attributes and skills I learnt from my placement now put me in a better position over other graduates when applying for jobs.  Following on from the training and additional courses, I became a confident and professional communicator, both face-to-face and in written communication, demonstrating sound organisational skills whilst on multiple tasks –  this was noted by my colleagues during my placement and since I have returned to University by my fellow students and tutors.

My first day on placement was very daunting; an open plan office, surrounded by managers all with their business caps on was very strange to get used to after coming out of a boozy 1st and 2nd year (lets not lie!) but being in this environment gave me the wake up call I needed and I soon realised my potential.

I was put onto a training programme to professionally develop and learn specific skills for the job. At first I was very nervous as I had no experience in how to do some of the tasks expected of me, however I grew in confidence after training and being shown by my ‘buddy’. I was thrown straight into the deep end working on the biggest Sales Conference the company ran yearly, which took place in Tenerife in January 2014.  Within a short amount of time, I was able to work independently and met all of the targets that were set for me. I was treated as a regular member of staff and was even nominated to be employee of the month on several occasions!  My role included client and vendor liaison, delegate management, website build and maintenance and travel and transfer management – all professional skills that are transferable back into my final year at University and in future careers. The event was run for a well-established pharmaceutical company for 1300 delegates. It was amazing to get hands on experience and have direct communications with such big clients, something that I had never had any experience of before.

Whilst I didn’t think much to the area where my placement was, (I wont say where just in case I offend anyone), a sleepy town compared to vibrant Sheffield or my home town, Chester, I got to go on some amazing events across the world, including Milan and Dubai. I met some really influential key people in the events sector, including, Laura Brown, my Account Manager who was recently voted as ‘The Best Event Organiser of 2014’ by Eventia Awards.  Being able to network and work alongside these people was a great opportunity for me and has influenced and encouraged me to excel in this field in the future.


Now that I am back at University and in my final year, being able to apply real life experience to the theory I am reading and being taught, I’m finding it so much easier to learn and, as a result, am achieving better grades.  The year in industry has also enhanced my time management and organisation skills, things that are essential in your final year.  The whole experience has also led me to becoming a Placement Representative for Sheffield Business School, where I offer advice to Level 5 students who are deciding whether or not to undertake a year out to work in industry.  Overall, the experience is invaluable to me and I thoroughly recommend others to undertake a placement, not only get some practical experience, but also to develop professionally and get themselves ahead of their competition.

Keep going L5’s !

If you want to contact me and want any other advice, drop me an email: Sarah.Gledhill2@student.shu.ac.uk

Career Impact students celebrate their achievements


Last week the Careers and Employment Service held the first Career Impact awards ceremony. Level 6 students who had participated in and contributed to the programme were invited to an awards ceremony to celebrate their progress. Career Impact aims to coach, inspire and support high achieving students throughout the process of their applications to graduate schemes, in connection with employers and professionals.

The ceremony was hosted by head of Careers and Employment, Pat Quinn, who assured the students that their efforts and achievements would have a direct impact on their future career. Each student was presented with a certificate and spent time sharing their experiences as part of the programme, and in their job search.


Two graduates who had previously participated in Career Impact returned to share their experiences and advice for current students: Matthew, now a Learning Technology Developer at Capita, and Kayleigh a Graduate Management Trainee at Sheffield Hallam University. Current students also presented, including Alana, who emphasised the importance of choosing an employer who matches your values and Lizzie who has recently secured a place on the graduate scheme with Microsoft. The evening closed with refreshments and networking. A number of students commented on the encouragement they had gained through peer support from others in the group, and on the friendships and networks they had formed through the programme.

Feedback from students on what they learnt from Career Impact

“It boosted my confidence so much! Seeing others go through the process has helped me, comforted me and likewise put pressure on me”

“It was increased my confidence in my own ability”

“It has enhanced my employability skills but has made me realise just how competitive the job market is and how much work is needed to obtain a job,”

“The group sessions have also been useful, especially with practice assessment centres and interviews and listening to other student’s experiences.”

Advice for students considering being part of Career Impact:

“Very much worth it, you will learn a lot, gain confidence and get practical experience,”

“Join, in order to build your confidence and gain a network of friends and employers”

The programme is currently accepting applications from level 5 students who are aiming to apply for graduate schemes. More information application details can be found here: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/finding-job/career-impact

career imp

What can you learn from business leaders?


Donna is a first year Business and ICT student, who took up a recent opportunity to meet business leaders at the Higher Education Academy in York. Here she tells us what she gained from the day…

Through the Careers and Employability Centre I recently had the opportunity to attend an “Experience” day at The Higher Education Academy. During the day I had meetings with the Head of Business Development, the Head of Business Administration and a Business Analyst. I also attended a Programme Board meeting, where department heads gave updates on their business areas.


This was a fantastic opportunity for numerous reasons but primarily because it allowed me to get an idea of what future career I want to follow, as while you can read job descriptions it isn’t the same as someone sitting down with you and telling you what they do in a typical day. Secondly it allowed me to apply what I had been learning in my modules to a business setting. Being told the theory is one thing but seeing how it is applied allows you to make connections between topics that you may not have been able to do previously.

Finally being able to socialise with business executives allowed me to ask if they have any advice for me – what did they wish they had known at my age or when they were first starting out in business. They stressed to me the importance of deciding what career I wanted to follow as a target, and then I can develop my learning around this to allow me to gain the skills that match the job description of my target job. This would enable me to be the perfect candidate for when I am ready to apply.

In addition they gave me advice in terms of the importance of continuous development. There are always going to be changes or updates in your chosen field, and if you don’t keep up with them or invest your own time in attending workshops/seminars then you may become stagnant.

Finally they stressed to me the importance of social media and creating a database of contacts who could support me in my career. With this advice in mind I have attended sessions held by the Career and Employability Centre. A key workshop for me was “Learning to use Linked In” as with me being a business student this is something my future employers will check when considering hiring me and the earlier I build connections within my chosen field the more opportunities I will be made aware of.

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Another workshop I have attended is “Creating your own Brand”. I really enjoyed this as we went through creating a business persona and deciding how you want other people to view you ie. do you want someone to think you are creative? intelligent? knowledgeable?

In conclusion it was a great opportunity that taught me loads, reinforced my knowledge and allowed me to create connections with people who could help me in my future career.

Braving the Snow to Volunteer!


Last week saw the annual Volunteering Fair run by the Psychology, Sociology & Politics and Law & Criminology departments, in connection with Hallam Union Volunteering and Careers and Employment Service. Despite the snow and wintery conditions, eleven external organisations attended to showcase their opportunities and share about their good work. 160 students from across the departments attended to find out more, network with guests and explore their career options. The Criminology Society and Psychology Society stands proved popular as students learned about talks and social events they could attend relevant to their course.

Of the students who attended 60 completed a short evaluation form:

  • 2/3 of respondents stated they were planning to begin volunteering with an organisation they had met at the fair
  • 68% of respondents felt that the opportunities were relevant to their course and career aspirations
  • 85% of respondents were level 4 or 5 students, indicating that many were considering volunteering early on in their degree

Students who missed the event but are keen to volunteer, are advised to contact Hallam Union Volunteering http://hallamunion.org/volunteering/ or the organisations using the weblinks below.

A big thank you to all our guests for being involved!

vol fair

Organisations who attended and a brief summary of their opportunities are listed below:

ESCALEvery Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate www.sheffield.gov.uk/escal

Volunteers will be supporting primary school children with their reading on a one-to-one basis which also develops their self-esteem and confidence. You will receive full training and all resources will be provided by the school.

Sheffield Liberal Democrats are looking for volunteers who are wanting a different kind of volunteering experience on their C.V.s. Typical volunteering opportunities can include: Helping to produce political literature, creating social networking content, coordinating ground communications, leading doorstep teams, community outreach and organising campaigning events for Councillors, MEPs and even the Deputy Prime Minister!  www.libdems.org.uk/volunteer

Sheffield Labour Party www.laboursheffield.org.uk/

Sheffield Labour Party covers the area represented by the 28 council wards that make up Sheffield – and the 6 constituencies that send MPs to Westminster. We’re also part of the Yorkshire and the Humber Euro Region that elects 6 MEP’s – and the areas in the north of the city that have parish councils. You can join or volunteer via this site…. or just come back and see what we are up to.

Silent Cities work with anyone without a voice in mainstream society and teach individuals and community organisations the skills to get their voice heard. Anyone with an interest in media activism, supporting vulnerable people, or just wanting to know more about social enterprise would make a suitable volunteer.  www.silentcities.org.uk

Rotherham Hospice is not just a building – it’s a way of caring for people both in the Hospice and the community. Our care places the patient and not the illness at the centre of everything we do. Opportunities include Hospice Good Neighbours, Community Volunteering, Patient Care Volunteering and Bereavement Support


TimeBuilders is an exciting and innovative project based at St. Mary’s, sandwiched between the City Centre and Sharrow. TimeBuilders enables people to transform the community in bite-sized chunks. Our main focus at the moment is finding and developing volunteer leaders or organisers to plan and deliver projects, social events or one-off activities. http://timebuilders.wordpress.com/

Roundabout Roundabout is Sheffield’s local youth housing charity, providing shelter, support and life skills to young people. We give emergency accommodation for homeless young people at our direct access hostel and support young people to live independently. Roundabout also offers young people a comprehensive programme of training and involvement which breaks the cycle of homelessness and develops long term independent living skills.

We have voluntary opportunities in advice, admin, peer education, fundraising and befriending.


ASSIST helps destitute asylum seekers in Sheffield by providing accommodation, food and support to those in most need or distress. We’re a charity and we’re totally reliant on volunteers, grants and the generosity of the people of Sheffield and the surrounding area. We require volunteers who would like to provide face-to-face support to asylum seekers, plus volunteers to support our admin, finance, events and fundraising activities. www.assistsheffield.org.uk

 South Yorkshire Community Foundation aims to improve lives in our communities. We do this through raising funds from businesses, philanthropists, trusts and statutory bodiesand using them to meet the needs oflocal people facing economic hardship and other barriers to aspiration.  Our organisation is always seeking individuals to join our team on a voluntary basis to help up with ongoing project and grants admission. Those include: research and data analysis, including face to face interviews and writing case studies. Furthermore, active volunteers help out with creating and managing our regular events and conferences.  www.sycf.org.uk

Inova Consultancy Ltd is currently involved delivering on a number of UK-based projects covering our interest areas of diversity, mentoring, enterprise, career development and coaching.  More information is available at www.inovaconsult.com

 Sheffield Volunteer Centre  advertise volunteer roles on behalf of third sector organisations, and run an advice service for people interested in volunteering. We match people to roles and advise both individuals and organisations on expectations, new ideas and good practice.  You can look at current voluntary vacancies at www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk

Volunteering with Hallam Union exists to provide students and staff at Sheffield Hallam University with the opportunity to contribute to the community through a variety of enjoyable community projects in and around Sheffield. There are lots of opportunities to choose from and you can volunteer as much or as little as you like. The staff team are based in the Activities Pod in the HUBS (Student’s Union). You can drop in any time to find out more about the opportunities available. http://hallamunion.org/volunteering/

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Are you interested in self-employment?


Ever wondered if you have got what it takes to run your own business? Are you thinking about freelancing but don’t know where to start? Have you got a great business idea but want to know what your first steps might be?


If you have answered yes to any of these questions, our self-employment workshops might be just what you are looking for. A series of six self-employment workshops will run over the six week period from Wednesday 11th February – Wednesday 11th March. 

If you would like to learn more about the content of these workshops, and find out what previous participants have gained from taking part, come along to our information session on: Wednesday 4th February in Cantor 9003 at 16.00 – 17.00

The session will cover:

  • Aims of the workshops
  • Overview
  • How it works
  • Feedback from former student participants
  • Expectations of you

If you would like to attend this session please book on at:

shuspace – employability – events and then click on: self-employment workshops – information session.

Would you like an IBM mentor?


Would you like to have a career mentor from IBM? The company have offered us around 15 of their employees as mentors to Sheffield Hallam students. Many of these mentors are enrolled on the IBM graduate scheme – some have even studied at Sheffield Hallam. If you are wondering whether this would be relevant to you, you might like to know that IBM recruit graduates from all degree areas.

What is the purpose of the scheme?

The purpose of the scheme is to prepare students for graduate employment through a number of activities. It will give you an opportunity to receive advice and insight from somebody working for a large corporation. By targeting first and second years, the aim is to encourage participation in both a placement scheme, and enrolment onto a graduate scheme, after you complete your studies.

When will it happen, and how will it work?

The scheme will run from February to June 2015, and will aim to involve at least 1 hour of contact time per month – whether that’s face-to-face, via telephone, Skype or e-mail. Some of the mentors will mentor you remotely, i.e. via e-mail, Skype and telephone calls. Others will be located in and around Sheffield and will therefore do their best to meet with you face-to-face.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students in their first or second year, of any degree.

How will the application process work?

You must complete the application form following any instructions, including the specified word counts. Spaces will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis, however please ensure your application form illustrates your desire to take part in the scheme. We will select applicants to attend an induction session, on the basis of quality of your application form, and if necessary, by date order we receive them. So, don’t delay!

Sheffield Hallam University – promoting and supporting Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

We will be ensuring that there is an equal gender balance in the applicants that are put forward, to try to redress the under-representation of women within IBM. We also hope to secure some additional IBM mentors who are LGBT, so if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender, and are dealing with issues around coming out at work, now or in the future, you may find this helpful. All information applicants disclose will be treated in confidence.

Please note: The IBM mentoring scheme has been offered to us, for first and second year students at Sheffield Hallam University. It is separate to the University’s Career Mentoring scheme.

How can I apply?
To take advantage of this offer, please complete the application form below and return it to Linda.wilson@shu.ac.uk  – no later than midnight on Monday 2nd February 2015.

IBM Mentoring application form 2015



Calling all Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology students!


Degree+ Career Talks are for students on Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology courses, and are aimed at giving you an insight into a range of careers. Many of the talks will be by external speakers – professionals with direct experience of these varied career areas. Booking is essential, go to shuspace>employability>events.


The full programme is here:

Working in the Charity Sector Mon 2nd Feb, 2pm- 3pm

Careers and Employability Centre, City

Routes into Teaching aimed at L4 and L5 students Thursday 5th Feb, 11-12pm

Main Building, D011


Routes into Nursing

with nurse and course leader David Wood

Wed 11th Feb, 1pm – 2pm

Main Building, D011


Routes into Social Work

with social worker Lee Pollard

Mon 16th Feb, 1- 2.30

Main Building, D104


Non-Teaching Roles in Education Thurs 19th Feb 11-12.30

Heart of Campus HC 0.15

Forensic Psychology and related careers with guest speakers Mon 23rd Feb, 12noon – 1pm

Main Building, D008

From Social Sciences to Business with SHU Politics graduate Sam Douglas-Cregan Friday 27th Feb, 1pm – 2pm

Main Building D007

Routes into Journalism  with Philo Holland, Radio 5 Live Broadcast Journalist Mon 2pm Feb, 12-1pm

Careers and Employability Centre, City


Careers in Mental Health Services with employers Cambian, St Andrews, Alpha Hospitals Tues 3rd March,3- 4.30pm

Heart of Campus 0.29

Working with Young People at risk of Sexual Exploitation Mon 9th March, 4pm – 5pm

Heart of Campus, HC0.29


Routes into Counselling with guest speakers


Thurs 19th March, 4pm – 5.30

Main Building D014


Working for an MP, Supporting People with Substance Misuse Issues


To be confirmed



Find out your professional interests…


English Literature graduate Kayleigh describes for us her approach to exploring her career ideas while studying for her degree.

Kayleigh’s current role: Graduate Management Development Programme at Sheffield Hallam University

A two-year programme to train people as managers in Higher Education, whilst developing their understanding of different areas of the University.

Previous role: Careers and Employment Graduate Intern at Sheffield Hallam University

An 11 month internship supporting employability programme, events, workshops and assisting with other tasks as required.


As an English literature student I spent a lot of my degree worrying about what I would do at the end: what job did I want, would my degree get me there, did I have enough experience?

Subsequently I gathered work experience in a variety of areas, exploring options such as journalism, teaching and the voluntary sector whilst complementing this with help from the Careers and Employment service. It’s fair to say that I took a scattered approach to work experience, finding roles in many areas of work that I thought I might pursue (to see some of the work I undertook at university view my LinkedIn profile).

As a result, I did find a career path that I wanted to follow in the remarkably quick time of two years at university: I realised that I wanted to go into management, preferably in Higher Education (universities).

All of my work experience provided benefits in one way or another during my graduate job search. I developed specific skills, such as writing for charities, mentoring and teaching alongside softer skills, like public speaking, engaging different audiences and initiative at work. None of these have been irrelevant despite the fact that they weren’t obviously in a management context, however they all developed skills that are valuable in the workplace, beneficial regardless of what career you choose.

In fact, when reflecting on small pieces of work that I have done I can now see how it links into my current role on the Graduate Management Development Programme.

For instance, when I was in my final year at university I was participating in the Career Impact Scheme (a programme of employability skills sessions designed by the Careers and Employment team to aid students with their graduate job search). On this programme we had a social media talk which particularly interested me and led to some voluntary social media work that I took on outside of my degree; this in turn supported my recruitment process for my internship (which preferred candidates to have some social media experience) and the internship subsequently strongly reinforced my application for the Graduate Management Development Programme.

The reason for all this? To encourage you to find out your professional interests whilst you have access to the opportunities around the city, the support from the Careers and Employment team and the luxury of not needing a job immediately.

University is undoubtedly a busy time but you can get some flexible work experiences volunteering since the majority of organisations will work around your assignments and exams, which will put you steps ahead of other graduates when it comes around to applying for jobs.

It is possible to balance both university life and improving your employability so have a go- if you need a kick start then why not book an appointment with a Careers Adviser to talk through what possible careers options you have, or with an Employment Adviser to look for opportunities suitable for you?


Journalism student shares three tips for success


Journalism student Joshua Barlow gives you the three vital tips to help you succeed that he has learnt during his three years at Sheffield Hallam.

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During my time at university I have learnt a variety of skills and developed into someone who I barely recognise – no longer am I a shrinking violet.

When I first started my degree I wanted to be a fashion editor. I wanted the hustle of a newsroom and the glamour of runways around the world, but having had the past three years to reflect on who I am as a person I have realised that I may have watched one too many episodes of Ugly Betty.


Tip 1: Network.

In my seminars and lectures we are constantly reminded that the journalism field is an extremely competitive one. We are told to take as many opportunities as we can and network, network, network.

The old saying ‘It’s not what you know it’s who you know’ has never been more appropriate.

Looking back I realise I feared putting myself out there and making myself known to ‘professionals’ – I was the kind of person who used to think to myself; “Why would they care about what I say/think?”

Everyone has a story to tell, something to share that means you should read their work over someone else’s – and whilst it may appear that I am fighting a losing battle at times, the key is to keep trying and to have a voice.

One of the biggest revelations in networking that I have discovered at university is LinkedIn, which acts as an online CV and gives you a professional space to create your own personal hive of contacts – adding that one person who you interviewed in your first year can be the difference between receiving a professional endorsement or not.

Networking makes links which in turn can lead to a whole variety of opportunities including work experience and jobs.

However, it is not as simple as walking up to someone and saying “Hi, my name is …”.  Whilst this is a nice way to approach someone, it is vital that you have something to offer.

Tip 2: Specialise.

As mentioned above when I started university I wanted to work in the field of fashion, but having developed both professionally and personally I have discovered that my goal is to work in features.

In his essay, Why I write, George Orwell says; “I lacked political purpose” and this is something that speaks to me on many levels.

I believe that as a journalist I have the ability to use my skills to change the world around me – almost like a superpower, and I intend to use this to help those who need it.

My specialisation is mental health writing and it was the realisation of this that has helped me begin to form my journalistic career. It’s led me to write for the university magazine SHUlife, form the basis of my dissertation examining mental health stigma and given me various other projects to work on.

Having a specialisation can set you apart from the rest of the world when you are applying for an internship or job. It is also a major discussion point when you network as it is more likely to make someone remember you – and whilst it is good to have a specialisation, it is also important to note that having a set of general skills ensures that you are not putting yourself into a pigeon hole.

Tip 3: Demonstrate your Skills.

Personally, I am working towards a qualification from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and am close to achieving a certificate in shorthand.

Whilst you can put a list of skills from your degree on your CV, for example;  writing, interviewing skills and blogging – you could also showcase various examples or experience from work which you may have completed outside of your academic studies. Skills from part-time employment can be transferable and you never know when they will come in handy.

You may think that the customer service experience gained from retail may not help you land your dream job, however, it shows potential employers that you know how to communicate with people and deal with their wants and needs.

Every little skill helps and it is displaying these that could very well set you apart from the crowd (and of course LinkedIn helps as I mentioned earlier.)

So remember, if you are to follow these three tips you have a fighting chance at succeeding in anything you aspire to. It’s about getting yourself out in the world and making yourself known to those who are already working in the professional field – and yes, there will be times when doubt your own ability, but it’s about dusting yourself off and trying again.

You can follow Josh on his blog https://jrbarlow.wordpress.com/









Creative Careers Week


Our first ever Creative Careers week at Sheffield Hallam is coming soon (2-6 February). Students from all courses have the opportunity to attend an exciting programme of workshops and presentations by industry professionals, from the creative arts, charity and heritage sectors.

So, if you have ever wondered:

  • How do I get into Art Therapy?
  • What does a Visual Merchandiser do?
  • How can I find out about jobs in film and the theatre?
  • What sort of jobs are there in the charity sector?
  • I’ve always wanted to run an Art Gallery…
  • What skills do you need to get into creative marketing?

….book onto one of our sessions, and get some answers!


Creative Careers Week leaflet B (2)

To book: https://careerservice.shu.ac.uk/

SHU is Going Global!


Next week is GoGlobal week at Sheffield Hallam. An exciting range of events has been put together, by the International Student Support Team and the Careers and Employment service. The week will be of interest to international students, home students who would like to work abroad, and anyone who would like to find out more about other cultures and our global community.

The programme includes sessions on:

plus Tea Drinking, and Salsa…..!

To find out more about GoGlobal: SHU GoGlobal


Student uses our support and advice to boost her first business


We recently met final year student, Jenni Growcott, at the University’s Christmas market, where she had a stall for her business ‘By Candlelight’. We loved her products, presentation and marketing, and asked her to share her story.

Jenni candleAs a Marketing and Retailing student with parents who have owned their own business since I started school, I always liked the idea of working for myself but was convinced that it was out of my reach.

I am now the owner of ‘By Candlelight’, a small candle company based in Sheffield, specialising in handmade soya candles presented in new and creative ways.

At first making candles was purely a hobby, which I learned with my mum. I didn’t think it would progress further than that but once I got the hang of it, I started to look into turning my hobby into a business. I was so excited, I just wanted to get my products into shops and out to customers.

Jenni candle 2Despite getting a lot of advice from my parents, I wanted to use every possible resource to try and make a successful little business for myself that could someday become a lot bigger. When I started looking, I wasn’t aware just how much help was available to entrepreneurs through the university.

I contacted the careers and employability centre and was put in touch with the enterprise team who were an amazing help.

I was given access to professional advice from business advisors, accountants, web design companies and legal advisors which was invaluable at the early stages of creating my business and really got me on the right track.

I still meet with the advisors at times when I want an objective view on business, as it is so easy to get Jenni candle 3too attached to your own ideas that you need to take a step back and make sure it fits with your brand and your target market. I also get invited to a number of talks and workshops run by people in industry, giving specialist advice.

Despite being a business school student, I don’t think there is anything that can prepare you for just how much work goes into setting up a business and how important multi-tasking is.

I learned so much through this process and am so grateful for the help I received. So far ‘By Candlelight’ is going really well, I love every minute and hope to turn it into a full time position when I graduate, but I could not have got here on my own.


Teacher training interviews: How I prepared


Sally is a Childhood Studies student applying for teacher training. This is her second post for us:

Well the day arrived… I had received all three interviews for teacher training places to start in September 2015! As you can imagine I was over the moon, however, the nerves and worry kicked in straight away. I printed everything off that I was sent in emails and highlighted all the important information, which at the time felt like the whole sheet! Before I went to my interviews I spent lots of time reading through The Teaching Educational Supplement (TES). This was so I was aware of everything that was happening in the world of teaching and I would feel confident answering questions around teaching in the media. I also used twitter to keep track of news within education by following organisations such as – BBC Education (@bbceducation) and Department for Education (@educationgovuk). I also printed off lots of practice questions and practised them with my cousin and countless cups of tea!


For my first interview for a PGCE course, I had to teach ‘something new’ for 8 minutes to a group of other candidates,  have an individual interview, and read a 12 page article about studying at Masters Level and present on it for 5 minutes. As you can imagine I was totally overwhelmed and petrified. I’ve not had an interview since I started my job in retail nearly 5 years ago. Straight away I booked myself  an appointment with Andrew Walton, our university Employment Advisor. We spent some time generally talking through the tasks that I would have to complete on the day but also about how the day would most likely be structured. Straight away after the meeting I felt much calmer as Andrew explained I was lucky to have been selected just on the basis of my personal statement.

When I arrived at the PGCE interview I was very apprehensive, mainly because I just didn’t know what to expect or how my day would turn out. All I kept thinking was – What if I’m rubbish? What if straight away they decided I’m not the right person for this course? I knew I had to stop thinking like this and tried to think as positively as possible. My first task was the teaching activity. Eight  minutes is such a short period of time that I was actually worried I wouldn’t be able to ‘teach’ anything, never mind something! I felt that my teaching task went fairly well, but as soon as I had finished I knew areas where I could improve. Next was the individual interview, which was the part I was most nervous about. As soon as I entered the room I instantly felt at ease. It was not at all what I expected, fairly informal and the interviewer was lovely.


Next interview was for a School Direct place, which was completely different. As well as a teaching task and  individual interview, I also had to complete a written task, which was a reflection on my teaching activity, and about my educational philosophies. After this I had a Maths and English test. Probably like most people, I have not studied Maths since I finished my GCSE’s in year 11, so straight away the Maths was going to be my biggest problem, especially when I had less than a week to revise. Thankfully the day ran smoothly and my teaching task, which was 20 minutes, was a lot better than my first interview. This was mainly because I’d had chance to improve my resources and probably because I was more relaxed.

My last interview was for another School Direct place. I felt as though this was the best and most enjoyable interview day that I had, perhaps because I felt a lot more comfortable and confident within myself. My teaching task was 15 minutes long and due to the fact it was the third time I taught it I felt as though it ran really smoothly. I even received positive feedback from both the children and the interviewers. Following from this was a 30 minutes written task about OFSTED and behaviour management within the classroom setting. I also felt that my individual interview, even though it was the most formal and had 3 people on the panel, went very well. This was probably due to the fact my confidence had built up during the other interview days and I knew what to expect.

My advice to anyone who has an interview coming up is – make sure you are totally up to date with everything that is current in the news. Also, I would advise going through practice questions just so you can be prepared. Interviewers aren’t trying to trick you, but they may ask you questions that may never even have crossed your mind. I would also strongly recommend practising your teaching task, whether this is in front of a friend/family member or just stood in front of the mirror in the privacy of your own bedroom. This way you can see exactly how you are coming across and you can time yourself.

Thankfully I had my mum and other supportive members of the family around me constantly encouraging me to strive to do the best that I could during the interviews. It is a stressful and worrying process, especially when you have other university work to worry about. It’s important to make time for yourself, whether this is having a bath featuring a glass of wine and some Shania Twain playing or just reading a book. Spending too much time worrying about interviews will only make you more nervous for the day. Hopefully my next blog will feature positive news of some teacher training offers as I am currently in the waiting process. Good luck to anyone who has an upcoming interview… Remember positive mental attitude!

 Up-date: Good news – Sally has received offers, and is currently considering her choices!






Does Networking Really Work?



Students often ask whether networking really works. In this interview Scott Mather, a second year Screenwriting student, tells how he successfully made contact with a British BAFTA-winning television writer and benefited hugely as a result.

What made you decide to start networking in the first place?

It was something Alison McHale who teaches our Work Based Project module said to me. Alison basically said that things don’t come to you and I needed to get myself out there. I knew this beforehand of course but Alison gave me the nudge I needed so I really do credit her for that.

How did you manage to get television writer’s contact details?

I just looked online. They all have agents so I managed to find the agent who represents her. It’s a good idea to check the validity of every website you go on though just to make sure they still represent the client as these often change.

How did you make the approach and what did you say?

Once I managed to find the details of the agent, I sent them a letter and politely asked if they would pass it on for me. They did and the screenwriter and I wrote a couple of letters to each other. I asked her for advice and told her how much I admired her work. A good tip here is to always make sure you send a self addressed stamped envelope for them to write back to you.

What have you gained from the process?

I got to meet the woman responsible for igniting my passion and love of writing! I was so lucky she invited me to meet and have lunch with her. It was like meeting a friend. She made me feel very comfortable, gave me advice and invited me to go on set with her when she films her new TV series! She also offered to review one of my scripts and pass it on to her producer.

What tips would you give to other students considering a similar approach?

Do it! In any creative industry, there are always disappointments and rejections but there are also triumphs too. I never thought the screenwriter would write back to me, let alone arrange for me to meet her. At the end of the day connections are important and even if nothing comes of it, it’s only costing you the price of two first class stamps.


Scott Mather, BA Film and Screenwriting

London Calling – spook busting!


For some students, whether thinking about a  job on graduation or undertaking a placement year, almost as frightening as the prospect of not getting a job, is the daunting reality of getting one and having to relocate to a perhaps unknown or unfamiliar location.  Below are some myth-busting insights from a student who has ‘been there, done that’ encouraging you to take the plunge.

Thanks to Charlotte Stanbridge, a current final year student of Business and Enterprise Management, for sharing her positive reality check on what it was really like moving to London.  You can see Charlotte’s earlier post on ‘Top Tips for Placement Seekers‘ below.


What’s stopping you?

When applying for graduate and placement roles, you will often find that a lot of opportunities are London based but don’t let this put you off! I often hear ‘I’m not going to London’ from peers but it is important to be flexible where you can.

So, what is it that is holding you back from tackling the big smoke?

Londong calling

1)       ‘It’s too expensive, I can’t afford to move there’

True, living in London will cost you considerably more in terms of rent however you will find that this is often compensated by higher salaries or ‘London weighting’ which on placement added an additional £3,000 to my annual pay.  A lot of the larger companies will also pay a month in advance in order to help you get set up in London.

2)      Likewise, ‘It’s too expensive, I can’t afford to live there’

And again, travel and leisure can be expensive however as students, you will be more than used to being thrifty. Something I found particularly helpful around travel is the student oyster card which just cost £10 to issue and gives you cheaper travel rates on trains, tubes and buses which can also be teamed with a 16-25 railcard for further savings. There are also plenty of things that you can do for free in London – which I now miss greatly – including festivals, museums, television filming (check out Applause Store) and lots of tourist attractions which are free too!

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3)      ‘It’s too big, I’ll get lost all the time’

So I did get lost once in London however there are so many landmarks (Big Ben was my landmark of choice on this occasion), apps and maps dotted around to help you and all the thousands of tourists wandering around. Some fantastic apps I would recommend downloading are; Citymapper and Tube Map (both great for navigating your way around the city on foot, by bus or taxi) and Uber and Hailo which are taxi apps.

4)      ‘I’ll be a little fish in a big pond’

Don’t see this as a negative. Focus on the fact that there will be hundreds of opportunities around you every day. London is also a great place to meet and network with others. Whilst on placement, I met other like-minded placement students who worked for all kinds of companies like Unilever, Microsoft and Arcadia. The experience and people I have met have greatly helped shape my career aspirations for the future.

5)      ‘It’s not safe’

As with any city, it is important to be aware and mindful of crime in London. Even small things, for example, not leaving your phone in your back pocket as an advertisement to thieves or travelling alone late at night. In my experience, I did not feel any less safe as in Sheffield or other cities I have visited but always be aware of your surroundings.

I feel it is important to point out that this is my personal experience of living in London for 13 months whilst on placement. I am also not a ‘city’ person at all having grown up on a family farm 2 miles from civilisation so was pleasantly surprised by how much I have fallen in love with London.

Best of luck with all your applications and hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Any questions, please feel free to contact me on LinkedIn.




Hand Made Success!


Last week the first ever Hallam Hand Made craft market was held in the Cantor Atrium. Nineteen students from a range of Art and Design courses, predominantly Jewellery and Metalwork, took part in the event. They were supported in this new venture by four craft professionals who all currently exhibit in All Good Stuff a local not-for-profit gallery on Arundel Street.

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The event ran between 11am – 3pm and there was a steady flow of interested visitors to the market throughout the day. Feedback from visitors to the event has been extremely encouraging with the majority rating the event as “excellent” or “very good”. Many commented on the excellence of the quality of products on display and that students were welcoming and friendly.

Great variety of products, some of which were quite innovative and for a range of tastes and budgets too”.

“It showcased what our students do! Nice range of products”

Others commented on the value of this event as a practical learning experience for students.

“Giving students the opportunity to experience selling and marketing their products in a controlled environment”

“It allowed [students] them to put into practice the theory related to self-employment and product promotion”.

The exhibiting students also fed back their own thoughts:

“I know I can sell now, I am going to set up an Etsy account”

“I definitely want to be involved next year”

I’d like to say that I thought the craft fair was a great experience”

We hope that Hallam Hand Made will become an established SHU annual event with students from across all Art and Design disciplines participating.

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Caroline Nouvellon (Event Organiser)

Employment Adviser, Careers and Employment


Positive student feedback on our Careers and Employment Service


We asked students recently for their views on the Careers and Employment Service, and were hugely pleased with their response! Students who attended appointments with our advisers over a two week period in October were asked for feedback, and 179 students responded.

Some highlights:

  • 100% of students who had an appointment at the Careers and Employability Centre or the Heart of the Campus said that they would recommend the service to a friend
  • 100% of students who had an appointment with an Employment Adviser in their department said that the session met their expectations, they felt more confident, they were made to feel welcome and comfortable, and the advice and support they had received was helpful

A summary of all of the responses:

% of all responses:Strongly agree/Agree
The session met my expectations 99%
I now feel more confident about this issue 97%
I was made to feel welcome and comfortable 98%
The advice and support has been helpful 99%
I am clear about what to do next 97%
I would recommend this service to a friend 99%


Here is a selection of the students’ fantastic, positive comments:

Very helpful and reassuring                                      …gave me a clear path  

          Really analysed my CV                                                                                    Fantastic

I left the meeting with a clear, targeted action plan 

                                                                     Went above and beyond what I expected

Easy to talk to

Did  not try to steer me towards a career I am not interested in

                                                           Even at 9 in the morning the adviser was wonderful

            Provided clarity 

                                                                   Really knows what he is talking about

                     Enthusiastic adviser with lots of ideas

…gave me confidence in my ability

Opened my eyes to a wider field of work

                        It’s always good to talk to someone!




Can you #Tweet your way to a Career?


Most people realise that LinkedIn is a key tool for presenting yourself professionally online, and a way to start building a network. However, what many don’t realise is that Twitter also has huge potential when it comes to making contacts, finding out about careers, and finding vacancies. Twitter has the benefit of being quick and easy, with the almost unlimited possibility of connecting with anyone with an account. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date with what is happening in your particular area.

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Networking Success for Psychology Students


This month the Psychology department, working alongside the Careers and Employment Service and Alumni office, hosted their first alumni networking event. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the achievements of graduates from the department and maintain relationships with alumni, encouraging them to network with each other and hear about other opportunities to stay involved with the university. Over 30 current students also attended and were given the chance to gain insight into the real life experiences of recent graduates and develop their networking skills through discussion and questioning the graduates in small groups.

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What are your work values and why are they important?

Values are qualities considered to be the most important guiding principles that help set priorities in your career and life. They are highly personal and define what is purposeful and meaningful to you. Though values may change in response to life circumstances, they are generally thought to be enduring and provide a compass for setting goals and making decisions.

Identifying your values can help you identify what activities and environment you might enjoy working in, focus your career aims and understand the motivators that might drive your career choice

Would earning a lot of money make you happy? Despite the phrase, “money makes the world go around” it generally doesn’t lead to job satisfaction. It’s important to consider what you enjoy and what you want from a career while thinking about your future.

Values are the things that are really important to you. They are also the things which are important to organisations and you may see them proclaimed on websites. Many organisations are beginning to recruit people who seem to have values which are in line with theirs.

Here are some examples of things you may value:- Creativity – Autonomy – Justice – Fun – Achievement – Using skills – Continuous learning – Security – Work-Life balance – Money – Status

Some values are likely to be more important to you than others so that, for example, you may be willing to sacrifice ‘security’ in a job for ‘creativity’.

Finding a job which suits you can help to give you job satisfaction and feel happier.

Imagine going to work every day and feeling proud of what you achieve. You are doing something that is important to you and you strongly believe it is worthwhile. You feel at home in your workplace and it’s as if the job were made just for you.

Faith, Hope and (working for a) Charity….. 

Eddie Smith  BSc Mathematics graduate shares his experience of looking for a role in the third sector

As a Christian, I believe that God has called me to leave a positive impact on the world. It is my belief that this calling applies in all aspects of my life, and so when looking for and applying for graduate jobs, it was important to me that this should reflect these values. I decided to focus my search on the third sector. Christians Against Poverty was a charity I had been aware of for a while, and so one day I went onto their website to see if they had any vacancies. It was then that I first heard about their internship and upon application I was successful.

The internship first appealed to me because it will give me valuable experience in an innovative charity (which has made numerous appearances on lists of best charities to work for) and will set me in good stead for a career in the third sector which is my ultimate goal. An internship role rather than a regular job attracted me because of the additional support that will be available throughout the year. This is important to me because I am aware that the leap between full-time study and the working world is large and is something I am somewhat apprehensive about. The goal of Christians Against Poverty is to free people in the UK from the grip of poverty and debt. I will be working as an intern in the Debt Operations team, putting together payment plans and negotiating repayments. This role will enable me to use the skills developed as part of my mathematics degree, whilst helping people and making a positive impact on the lives of those most in need.”

Eddie commences as a graduate intern with Christians Against Poverty on September 3rd.

To explore your values why not have a go at an online questionnaire



Sheffield Hallam Law students visit Magic Circle law firm!

Law students, Ellie Wilson and Ryan Wheatley, recently attended the Clifford Chance Open Day as part of the University Alliance programme.  These are their thoughts on the day:

EllieAfter my train being cancelled and a busy morning running around London trying to find the office I finally arrived at Clifford Chance. The graduate team were very friendly and made us feel very welcome with a lovely breakfast whilst we got to know each other. Our first session involved a talk from one of the partners about the firm and her career. This gave us an idea about the work that Clifford Chance do day to day and the successful clients that they work with. The graduate recruitment team then talked us through the application process and gave us some advice about applying for training contracts. Following this we enjoyed a networking lunch with the firm’s trainees and chatted to the head of graduate talent about the do’s and don’ts of the application process. After a tour of the office we learnt about the process of an international transaction and we had a seminar about the process of mergers and acquisitions. Going to the open day gave me a better understanding of how a commercial law firm works and gave me an insight into how commercial law works in practice. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to visit a magic circle law firm.

Ryan – The day began with a tour of the Clifford Chance head office in Canary Wharf London, there were approximately twenty people in attendance from different universities. The day was very well structured and very informative, we were welcomed by a senior partner and member of the graduate recruitment day who ran through the basics of the firm and what they looked for in terms of recruitment and progression of trainees. Following this, there was a very useful networking session with current trainees of Clifford chance, they were more than happy to ask about us and inform us on how to make the best of the application process. I was particularly impressed with how interested the current trainees were with participants of such days and were more than happy to pass on contact details and tips for applications, not only at Clifford Chance, but at any firm. The day resulted with a workshop focusing on the timeline of an acquisition process which was very interesting and gave an insight to the law in which they specialise. Overall the day was very informative and interesting, and I would recommend this sort of experience to anyone with the opportunity.