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 firstname.lastname@example.org and are encouraged to join the departments’ LinkedIn group “SHU Psychology, Sociology and Politics Students and Alumni”.
Tara Seipel, Graduate Intern, Development and Society