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 (, 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:


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:


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