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.
Five Psychology graduates attended the event and were keen to share their experiences, challenges they had faced and advice for current students. Their roles emphasised the breadth of options open to Psychology graduates:
Rebecca – Since graduating in 2006, Rebecca has worked as a Learning Mentor and assistant psychologist, before beginning her training as an educational psychologist at the University of Sheffield
Rebecca – After recently completing her MSc in Developmental Psychology, Rebecca is now training as a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and working to support victims of domestic abuse.
Steve – After completing his Psychology degree and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at SHU, Steve has worked in inpatient mental health as well as an Assistant Psychologistat University of Sheffield
Domanic – Following graduation Domanic worked in a forensic hospital as a Health Care Assistant, before progressing to his current role as as a Higher Assistant Psychologist in a Medium Secure Forensic Hospital.
Lucy – Currently a graduate intern within the Faculty of Development and Society for Sheffield Hallam University and beginning a psychological research position and a masters course in the near future.
The graduates shared honestly about their current roles and offered advice to the students, responding confidently to questions and engaging the students in discussion. Trainee clinical psychologist Steve, emphasised the importance of research in a psychology related career, advising students to “Be enthusiastic about research in interviews, the interviewer probably won’t expect this!” Whilst recent graduate Domanic, shared the satisfaction gained from his current role “Working in psychology is emotionally draining but very rewarding as you really do make a difference”.
Students responded positively to the event and there were many engaging conversations and connections made. Feedback identified the event as being both enjoyable and informative: “Really enjoyable event and lovely meeting so many enthusiastic people” and “Great to gain vital insight into jobs and to ask questions. Really good to see different pathways and hear about various routes.” Another student commented on how the event had changed their views on the career options open to them “I found the programme interesting because it opened my eyes to the possibilities out there that I can benefit from”.
Alumni guests also commented on how much they had enjoyed the evening and also the calibre of current students. Trainee Educational Psychologist, Rebecca said “Congratulations on organising such a good event yesterday evening. It was great to hear how alumni have progressed as well as seeing how enthusiastic and passionate the current psychology students are.”
The event formed part of the Degree+ series of careers events within the department and is planned to be repeated annually. Students or graduates seeking further information about careers and alumni events can contact Caroline Hanson on firstname.lastname@example.org and are encouraged to join the departments’ LinkedIn group “SHU Psychology, Sociology and Politics Students and Alumni”
Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviset