Journalism graduates make headlines in the industry

by Nicole Kelly, public relations intern

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Students and lecturers from Sheffield Hallam University welcomed back 25 journalism and media graduates last week to hear their secrets of how they got a start in the industry.

The graduates, who are now working in a range of careers including TV, radio, print, magazines, PR, social media and communications, took time out of their work schedules to come back and share their experiences about how to land that dream first job.

The professionals gave talks about preparing for interviews, how to write an eye-catching CV, and dealing with rejection, to a crowd of second and third-year journalism students, who will soon be making their first steps in the industry.

BA journalism graduate Ian Barber now works as a production journalist at Granada TV. He said: “The work placements I did were so important in giving me the experience I needed to get my job. Getting a job is tough in this climate – be prepared to face some knockbacks but keep at it.”

Eleanor Ingleby, in her third year studying journalism at Sheffield Hallam, said: “Today has been so inspiring, everyone has given some really valuable tips for getting ahead. It’s been reassuring to know that all these people have managed to get jobs at the other end.”

After the talks students and graduates were given the chance to mingle and Pro Vice-Chancellor & Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences Roger Eccleston thanked the alumni for giving up their time.

He said: “This is a daunting time for all students, but thank you to our alumni for coming back to share their experiences and to prove there is life and hope beyond graduation.”

Senior Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism  Philo Holland organised the event. He said: “Getting graduates to come back and talk about how they got their jobs to undergraduates is such a simple idea – but it’s so successful.

“Students find it reassuring and inspiring to see that, despite the gloomy talk, there are so many jobs which their degree can help them get. Perhaps not necessarily in traditional journalism roles, but in social media, PR, marketing, website management, and teaching for example.

“It’s wonderful that our graduates are so happy to help the next generation, that they’re prepared to take a day off work to come back to pass on their pearls of wisdom. ”

For press information: Nicole Kelly in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email n.kelly@shu.ac.uk

Journalism student shares three tips for success

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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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student uses our support and advice to boost her first business

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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.

www.LiveLifeByCandlelight.com

The Sweetcorn Theory… and becoming more employable

Student Danielle Pearson (BA English Language) explains the connection!

Danielle Pearson

So, I often think to myself as a student, “Danielle, what do you want to get out of university?” and I always find the same answer occurs to me “to get a good job.”  This is probably the same answer that billions of students across the globe use in order to provide a justification for the study of their degree. A qualification at such a high level is an extraordinarily impressive achievement that many employers find admirable and so it has become renowned that graduates have the possibility of ending up with an incredible (and highly paid) job.

The average student however, believes that this degree is a golden ticket into a job; this may not be the case. If you end up with just a degree after university, then you’ve ended up just like sweetcorn (all will be explained.)

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Student’s African summer brings a wealth of experience

Last year we told you about Dan Garlick’s adventures with the Balloon Kenya project. This year, Megan Snape shares her story.

A driving force behind business innovation in Kenya

BK3 (2)Megan Snape, A Sheffield Hallam Sport Business Management student, recently received funding and support from Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union to spend her summer in Nakuru, the fastest growing town in Africa, as part of the Balloon Kenya programme. Balloon Kenya is an award winning social enterprise that brings students and graduates from around the world to work in Kenya for six weeks with budding local entrepreneurs, with an aim to tackle poverty and bring about positive social change.

Speaking to Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union upon her return, Megan talks about the application process, her time in Kenya and how the opportunity will help with her future career aspirations.

How did you find the Balloon Kenya Application Process

2014 was a busy year for me and I only slotted in my application between numerous library stints and meetings. It was only after I’d sent off my application at 4am, that I went back and checked the Balloon Kenya (BK) website and thought “I’m such an idiot, I remember now why it looked so good!”

How did you feel when you found out you had been successful?

When I found out I’d been successful I felt absolutely shocked! I’d been told I’d know the decision by the weekend, so by the following Tuesday I’d already beaten myself up about the interview and resigned myself to the fact I’d missed out on this amazing business project. So to then receive a call from the Students’ Union it was the most shocking thing I could think of.

Tell me about your Balloon Kenya experience?

I’ve always wanted to get out and do something worthwhile with my summer. But the idea of becoming your stereotypical ‘gap-yar’ student made me cringe. Especially whenBK2 (2) from the start I’ve been openly very selfish about my motives to travel and had no intention of pretending to be in love with a charity just to make myself look more employable.

I applied for BK because it sounded different to all the other charity programmes, but I never thought I’d learn so much or be so motivated by it. BK doesn’t give away donations- it teaches local entrepreneurs how to make business decisions based on evidence and research, something BK refers to as ‘challenging assumptions’. More than this however it taught all of us how to challenge our own assumptions about western business.

What was the highlight for you?

For me I never felt like I was working for a charity. The process wasn’t even a mentoring one in the end. It was a team effort between me, my partner and my entrepreneurs to get them a loan. They became the driving force behind their business innovation and pulled apart, scrutinised and tested my western ideas into something that suits their life, their family and their ambitions.

BK5 (2)I also satisfied my selfish ambitions. I met 23 other people with a passion for entrepreneurship and business. Overall we came from England, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Chili, Texas, Pennsylvania, Somalia and Egypt. We studied business, religion and philosophy, education, anthropology, responsible charity, music and marketing. Some didn’t even study, they travelled, had husbands, children and jobs. Between us we enjoyed Boxing, travelling, yoga, painting, fashion and drinking with the locals. We have met up since and are a very close group with many memories.

Would you recommend fellow students apply to for Balloon Kenya?

Without a doubt. I did it. I am terrified of flying alone, terrified of new places, new foods and new people. I think of myself as being a very independent person, but this was a huge learning curve for me. Some people were leaving the UK for the first time in their lives, others were seasoned travellers just joining in for 6weeks before continuing. You don’t need to already be studying business. People are accepted for all kinds of different reasons. Some were natural entrepreneurs, others were conducting research on music and politics. You just have to know why you want to go.

How do you think this opportunity will help you in your future career?

Before this process I was considering starting up my own business. Since BK I feel so much confident and capable of doing this and have learnt and practiced how to move it from paper to reality. I have a strong network of professionals and students, some of which have found job interviews for each other and all of which I know I could turn to for advice within their own industries. I feel confident saying I can consult, and am knowledgeable about responsible charity and working with other cultures.

Each academic year Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union offers funding for a student to complete the Balloon Kenya programme, applications for Balloon Kenya 2015 are now open.

Work while you study fair a great success

WWYS OCt 2014 1It’s been a fantastic start to the new academic year in Careers and Employment.  We welcomed over 1000 new and returning students in to the Careers and Employability Centre during the Work While You Study Fair on 1 October and for the first employer presentation of the year by Airbus.

The students who came along and the employers who were there both had a great experience, and gave us a lot of positive feedback (which we always like to get!).

The employers thought the fair was excellent and they were overwhelmed with the responses they had to the job opportunities on offer.

BSKYB commented “The service was excellent.  The staff in the Careers and Employment service who set this up  were extremely helpful and informative”

Home Fundraising said “Spacious and well organised”, “Fantastic service and very helpful”

Big Band Promotions fed back “Thank you for a successful event – we are working through the application forms today”

NHS Professionals told us “The event is a great opportunity to meet the students of Sheffield Hallam and raise our profile within the Sheffield Hallam University Campus”.

Of course the event is organised for our students, and we wanted them to benefit too. WWYS OCt 2014 2The feedback from them was also very positive and some even said they were amazed by the number of job opportunities on offer from employers at the fair.

Here’s a selection of their comments:

We were amazed at the number of jobs on offer”

“I found it really interesting to see the number of types of jobs on offer on a part time basis”

“The types of jobs were really varied and I was very interested in the voluntary options”

So if you didn’t manage to get along to the Work While You Study event, but would like to search for jobs, workshops and employer presentations please see the Careers Central Jobs and Events via the Employability tab on shuspace.

If you want to hear more about Student Employment within the University or would like to advertise a role to students, please contact the Student Employment Team on 0114 225 3940 or email: employment.service@shu.ac.uk

www.shu.ac.uk/careers

Follow us on Twitter @SHUStudentJobs or Facebook www.facebook.com/SHUCareers

 

A student’s story – Producing a Radio Show

by Kayleigh Gray

Charlotte Perry headshot

Charlotte Perry is about to graduate from her BA Honours Journalism course. For the last 8 months she’s been co-presenting a hospital radio show in Sheffield and last year spent some time as a Radio Team member at My Student Style.  She’s keen to pursue a career in radio journalism, so it made sense for her final year project to write and present a radio show with a careers and employment theme – talking about interviews, jobs and university. We asked her to tell us a about it and how she’s increased her employability.

Tell me about the radio show that you did, why you did it and what was successful and unsuccessful?

It was part of my applied project, and it had to have an academic side to it, portray some information.  So I went to my academic tutor and he said ‘why don’t you do something on employment because that’s what you’ll be doing when you finish university and it’ll probably help other students too.’ We were given guidelines about what we were meant to achieve with our show and I couldn’t solely do it based on employment so I decided to do it on careers and university as well, and then the ideas kind of built up and up and up and I ended up doing interviews too.

It was really quite interesting actually because I spoke to Maggie Bamford (Employment Adviser in ACES) and got loads of ideas and I ended up doing something that was based around BBC Radio 1 listeners and their age range; we had to write a little bit about what we’d done as part of our project and we had to include an audience, so I thought Radio 1 audience would encompass everything because I interviewed a student, a full-time worker and a graduate. I wanted prospective students to know more about going to university. I interviewed Maggie Bamford and then I had a section about interview clothes, so it had a bit of fun to it.

What is Soundcloud, can you tell me a bit more about it?

You can get a free account and it entitles you to 2 hours of broadcasting but you can than upgrade and see who’s been listening and where from. You can freely put your sounds on it whether you’ve made a radio show or music that you want to put out there, it’s a bit like YouTube but without the video to be honest.

How and where did you record it?

We have a studio in Cantor building, it’s a mix of a TV and radio studio but I also hired out equipment to go and talk to Maggie in her room. I had the student, graduate and full-time worker in the studio and we recorded that there, including what to wear to an interview.

How did you establish your connections with Maggie and then the graduate, student and full-time worker?

The three were people I knew from university, home and school so it was fairly easy to make those connections. But with Maggie I just emailed her through our university email system and then booked an appointment with her at Cantor reception.  Then I interviewed her again because there were a few questions I missed out, but she was happy to do that for me. The employer was actually my mum; she employs a lot of people on a regular basis.

What was the Twitter fashion exercise?  Did people tweet which outfits they liked?

Charlotte Perry emp blog 1My fashion article was about what to wear for an interview. I went out and created 2 outfits for a girl and 2 for a boy.Charlotte Perry emp blog 2 One being appropriate and one inappropriate. I got an employer to comment on each outfit and posted the options on Twitter and invited comment.

Yes, I had a lot of engagement and people were asking where the outfits were from. People did vote which ones were the best and they could see a clear division between the appropriate and inappropriate outfits. I liked the exercise because students don’t seem to know what they should be wearing.

Have you ever experienced people dressing inappropriately at interviews?

Yes, I remember someone wearing loads of jewellery to an interview at Beaverbrook’s and it looked out of place. She clearly felt she needed to wear it because of the company but, as was said in my radio show, too much jewellery doesn’t look professional.

Were there any challenges with the recording?

I had a lot of support and I’ve studied radio so I know how it works but there were a few bits where there are a few jumps. I used music in the studio to set the scene and calm the interviewees because it can be daunting if you’ve never been in there before, so we played some background music but when we came around to editing it my microphone was in the wrong place and we had to record it again, but obviously the music was already there so it sounded a bit jumpy, but that’s something I’ve learned as a result.

If it’s your final year project then how is it submitted? Do you write a report with it?

Yes, I submitted mine on memory stick and we had to do an action plan at the start to say what we’re going to do, you don’t need to be really strict, but you do need to outline a timeline and audience and then you do your actual show and then a bit of a reflective log about how you did things, how you’d do it differently, bits like that.

Why did you choose a radio show?

I want to go into radio, I really really want to do that. I could do a dissertation about radio and listeners but I thought if I go to an employer and they ask what I’ve done in radio then it would be so much better to give them something I’ve actually made than a dissertation on it – they’re not interested, they’re not going to read 12,000 words.

Finally, if you had your time again at university, what would you do differently to progress your career plans?

I don’t know to be honest, it’s pushed me in the right direction, made me realise what I want to do. So I don’t think I’d do anything differently, I don’t think there’s anything I’d change. I’m glad I’ve got a direction because I’d be worried if I was going travelling not knowing what I’m going to do, but I do know.

You can listen to her show at https://soundcloud.com/#charlie-a-perry/the-fix, follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/charlieaperry and see her profile on LinkedIn.

Employers: Venture matrix seeks projects for students

English student works on editing project with theatre producer

English student works on editing project with theatre producer

Now that this academic year is drawing to an end, it’s a great time to reflect and focus on developments for the forthcoming year ahead. The Venture Matrix team are hard at work, looking for clients who require assistance on projects, which they may not have the time and/or resources to undertake, for Sheffield Hallam students to work on.

Venture Matrix is a unique work-based learning scheme. It develops students’ employability and enterprise skills through real life work related projects that are accredited as part of their degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

Whether you are a university tutor, run an organisation or have colleagues or friends who may benefit from working with Sheffield Hallam University students, you can get involved in the Venture Matrix and benefit from the diversity of skills and knowledge available.

The scheme is open to organisations, businesses and schools within the local region. Opportunities are varied and wide ranging and could involve criminology, eco-tourism, humanities, information management, bioscience, nutrition, health and lifestyle, psychology and market research.

Through the Venture Matrix, the university, local organisations and our students can build and strengthen relationships with each other, enabling more effective collaboration in the future.

If you’d like to find out more information about Venture Matrix please visit:www.shu.ac.uk/venturematrix

Regional Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) awards – more success for SHU students

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We recently told you about our SEOTY awards evening at Sheffield Hallam, which took place in May, and that our winners were being entered into the regional stage of the competition.  Following on from the success of our students and the number of nominations received (96 nominations in total) the Regional winners have now been announced.

The Regional winners from SHU are

  • Ben Plimley for his work at BSKYB in the Step Up to Leadership category
  • Jessica Dodds for her work at Keep Your Fork in the Above and Beyond category.
  • Castor Merino Perez has also won the Highly Commended award at Regional level for his work in Careers and Employment at SHU as a Student Ambassador.
  • Sheffield Wednesday FC are also Regional winners for the Student Employer of the Year for their nomination written by one of our students.

The Regional winners Ben and Jessica have both been invited to take part in the Teach First Emerging Talent Programme on Tuesday 8th July at Brunel University(1-5pm) and invited to the SEOTY Awards dinner (also on to be held on 8th July) at which they will be presented with their certificates.  The National winner will be announced at the awards evening.

This is exciting news for the University and our student employees – we wish them the best of luck and have our fingers crossed for a Sheffield Hallam student 2014 National winner.

Insight into career mentoring and new LGBT initiative

by Linda Wilson, Senior Careers Adviser and Career Mentoring Scheme Coordinator

A couple of weeks ago we told you about our event celebrating the partnerships created with our students and their mentors. Today we’re telling you a bit more about this scheme, how our students can benefit, and about the new LGBT initiative we’ve rolled out this year.

What is the Career Mentoring scheme about? The Career Mentoring scheme gives you the chance to meet with a professional from an organisation or in a job role that interests you. Your mentor can give you the benefit of their experience in a particular occupation, and an insight into the knowledge and skills you need to enter into and progress within that occupation. If you have questions about a career route that interests you, mentoring provides the opportunity to get the answers. There can also be considerable benefits in having a mentor in a non-related field. You maintain the partnership over the academic year during which time it is suggested you will arrange to meet up three or four times.

How can I benefit?  Mentoring can be highly beneficial. You have chance to discuss your career options and gain an insight into what’s required of you in the work place. You may also have the opportunity to visit a workplace, research or confirm your career ideas, gain ‘insider’ advice on the application and job hunting process, find out about specialist skills/knowledge or training required, make contacts and meet people, possibly arrange future work shadowing or work experience or get the support you need so you can face your job search with confidence.

How can I think about who I am “going to be” in the future? Whatever stage you are at with planning your career, thinking about the next stage of entering professional life can be daunting. Much of it has to do with your “professional  identity”,  that is, who you are going to be, at your workplace and with your colleagues. This is going to be much easier for you, if you can be open about who you are, and to feel comfortable (to be your true and authentic self), at work. Having a career mentor who is a strong role model, can be an enormous help in this process.

How might this affect LGBT students? If you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual and / or transgender (LGBT) student, you may be dealing with “coming out” at University, and you may well already be making decisions about who it feels OK to tell. You might also have concerns about how to be yourself in new situations, such as starting a new job in the future.

But, isn’t everything much better now that LGBT people have equal rights? New polling commissioned by Stonewall, (the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity) shows that LGBT people continue to expect to face discrimination in almost all walks of life. The report, “Gay in Britain”, (Stonewall 2013) demonstrates that, in spite of huge advances in legal equality, people still expect to face poor treatment … because of their sexual orientation. The poll also showed that over a quarter of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are not at all open to colleagues about their sexual orientation. Furthermore, in the last five years 2.4 million people of working age have witnessed verbal homophobic bullying at work.

However, on the plus side, many LGBT people work in supportive workplaces, and also enjoy the many positive aspects of being able to be “out” at work. Many of the larger organisations in both the public and private sector, have made a massive commitment to supporting their LGBT staff. Some people choose to work in the LGBT field, supporting other LGBT people with a range of issues such as employment and welfare rights, housing or health. So, if you are LGBT, having an LGBT mentor who has experienced many of these issues, may be able to help you with some of the decisions you will be faced with when planning for a career that feels right for you.

Can you tell me more LGBT Career Mentoring at Sheffield Hallam? In a new initiative this year, Sheffield Hallam University’s Career Mentoring scheme offered LGBT students the opportunity to have a career mentor who is also LGBT. The mentors are from a range of professions including Law, Engineering, IT and Community Work, and were matched with student mentees who are planning  their careers in a similar area.

Here is an extract from a conversation between Linda Wilson, Career Mentoring coordinator, with Matthew, about his experience of LGBT Mentoring:

Matthew re lgbt mentoringI’m Matthew, and I am final yearWeb Systems Design student and I study project management within IT, e-learning, and online learning and enterprise…and I’ve got a career mentor with IBM.

Linda: When you first applied for the mentoring scheme, you expressed some worries didn’t you, about how you were going to come out, when you start work? Can you tell me about how you were feeling a few months ago?

Matthew: “I had a placement with a City Council.  In my placement I found it hard to share experiences related to being gay. I found it difficult to confide in my peers when it came to my sexuality. This affected my relationships with my colleagues as I didn’t get to know them on a social level; and the whole experience with that led me to doubt myself and not feel confident with my sexuality in work.

So, from that experience I composed the application form about how I felt about coming out at work. In it, I said that I hoped that seeing someone else so confident in their own sexuality within the workplace would change my perception, in regards to gay people being accepted at work. ”

Linda: Can you tell me why you applied to have an LGBT mentor at IBM?

Mathew: “I wanted to see what it would be like for an LGBT person working in a big organisation, especially such as IBM. I wanted to know from (my mentor) Michael, what was involved with it all, how he found it, whether he was comfortable with his situation. And, at first he actually told me that he didn’t come out as LGBT. He was actually ashamed of it, and he explained to me how he developed the courage to speak about it, and how he accepted it, as being normal. That has helped me to develop myself, and now I can see that people can work together with an LGBT person, and it is just accepted in the workplace as being normal.”

Linda: Did he talk to you about the support he’s got from IBM, from being in an LGBT staff group?

“Joining this group has helped him come out, and helped him appreciate himself, so then other people, can appreciate him as well, so I think it’s definitely helped him. Now he works on a scheme with Stonewall in London, and does projects and group work with other IBM employee, around LGBT and diversity issues.”

Linda: What do you say when people say that you shouldn’t get special treatment, just because you are gay?

“I do think you do need that support there, to start with.. .even though some people might think you don’t. But I definitely think you do need that support. I felt as if I needed help, needed some guidance, needed someone’s experience to draw from… and this has definitely helped me with that.”

“People perform better when they can be themselves”

Sheffield Hallam University is currently working with Stonewall, the country’s leading LGBT charity, to become a Stonewall Diversity Champion employer.