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!