London Calling – spook busting!


For some students, whether thinking about a  job on graduation or undertaking a placement year, almost as frightening as the prospect of not getting a job, is the daunting reality of getting one and having to relocate to a perhaps unknown or unfamiliar location.  Below are some myth-busting insights from a student who has ‘been there, done that’ encouraging you to take the plunge.

Thanks to Charlotte Stanbridge, a current final year student of Business and Enterprise Management, for sharing her positive reality check on what it was really like moving to London.  You can see Charlotte’s earlier post on ‘Top Tips for Placement Seekers‘ below.


What’s stopping you?

When applying for graduate and placement roles, you will often find that a lot of opportunities are London based but don’t let this put you off! I often hear ‘I’m not going to London’ from peers but it is important to be flexible where you can.

So, what is it that is holding you back from tackling the big smoke?

Londong calling

1)       ‘It’s too expensive, I can’t afford to move there’

True, living in London will cost you considerably more in terms of rent however you will find that this is often compensated by higher salaries or ‘London weighting’ which on placement added an additional £3,000 to my annual pay.  A lot of the larger companies will also pay a month in advance in order to help you get set up in London.

2)      Likewise, ‘It’s too expensive, I can’t afford to live there’

And again, travel and leisure can be expensive however as students, you will be more than used to being thrifty. Something I found particularly helpful around travel is the student oyster card which just cost £10 to issue and gives you cheaper travel rates on trains, tubes and buses which can also be teamed with a 16-25 railcard for further savings. There are also plenty of things that you can do for free in London – which I now miss greatly – including festivals, museums, television filming (check out Applause Store) and lots of tourist attractions which are free too!

dome         arts

3)      ‘It’s too big, I’ll get lost all the time’

So I did get lost once in London however there are so many landmarks (Big Ben was my landmark of choice on this occasion), apps and maps dotted around to help you and all the thousands of tourists wandering around. Some fantastic apps I would recommend downloading are; Citymapper and Tube Map (both great for navigating your way around the city on foot, by bus or taxi) and Uber and Hailo which are taxi apps.

4)      ‘I’ll be a little fish in a big pond’

Don’t see this as a negative. Focus on the fact that there will be hundreds of opportunities around you every day. London is also a great place to meet and network with others. Whilst on placement, I met other like-minded placement students who worked for all kinds of companies like Unilever, Microsoft and Arcadia. The experience and people I have met have greatly helped shape my career aspirations for the future.

5)      ‘It’s not safe’

As with any city, it is important to be aware and mindful of crime in London. Even small things, for example, not leaving your phone in your back pocket as an advertisement to thieves or travelling alone late at night. In my experience, I did not feel any less safe as in Sheffield or other cities I have visited but always be aware of your surroundings.

I feel it is important to point out that this is my personal experience of living in London for 13 months whilst on placement. I am also not a ‘city’ person at all having grown up on a family farm 2 miles from civilisation so was pleasantly surprised by how much I have fallen in love with London.

Best of luck with all your applications and hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Any questions, please feel free to contact me on LinkedIn.




SHU Careers and Employment Service – Finalists for the Prospects Postgraduate Awards

The Careers and Employment Service Sheffield Business School Delivery Team are delighted to announce that one of their projects was a finalist at the prestigious Prospects Postgraduate Awards 2014.

Lucy and Kent with certificate

The Prospects Postgraduate Awards are the only annual accolades solely dedicated to celebrating best practice and the most exciting developments in UK postgraduate education.

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Grappling with Gripple – a student perspective on an employer visit

Earlier this month an excited group of ICE (International Career Enhancement) Club members went to see a successful Sheffield Manufacturing company in action to learn all about their business and how they recruit their staff.  Below Phuong Mai, MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management student at SHU, shares her impressions of the visit to Gripple:

On 3rd Nov 2014, 20 students of Sheffield Hallam University were honoured to visit Gripple Ltd. Company in Sheffield. The company is pioneer in manufacturing “Gripple Fastener” which can be used in construction and agriculture. It was established by Mr. Hugh Facey in 1988 in Sheffield and now they became one of the leading innovation companies in United Kingdom in 2014. After 25 years, Gripple Ltd. sold more than 500 million units and went global to Europe, America, South America and India. The sustainable growth in a short time of Gripple Ltd. is worthy to learn and inspire young students.


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Top Tips for Placement Seekers

If you are thinking of undertaking placement year, but aren’t sure where to start, here are some top tips from a student who successfully navigated the journey from placement seeker to placement success!

Thanks to Charlotte, a current final year student of Business and Enterprise Management, for her insights which will help you to ‘stand out from the crowd’.

It can be very daunting entering into the professional world and the highly competitive job market. Here are a few ‘top tips’ to hopefully put you at ease.


I began looking at placements in mid-October,  many large organisations close their applications in December. It’s nice to get the process underway before deadlines and the January exam period starts looming. I found that making a list of the employers and roles I was interested in and ordering them by closing date was a good way to keep organised with my applications. Additionally, by starting early there are often more opportunities to choose from to find the right placement for you. Continue reading

Torn in between: Fashion / Economics?

Stephanie Masuwa

My name is Stephanie, and I am a first year student studying BA Business Economics.

Coming to study at university was not my immediate choice as really I wanted to experience different routes and explore all my options first, because at that time I was undecided on what I wanted to study at university. So, I took a two year long gap after sixth form, during which I travelled and took part in volunteer work in Africa for three weeks and I also started working on my fashion blog. Continue reading

Making your CV stand out from the crowd!

My name is Ayesha Hope, I am a second year Business student. I am currently writing and rewriting my CV on a daily basis as I am sure many of us are! I think we all know the importance of a CV and the general layout of one, but I’m going to give you some tips on how to make it stand out against the rest:

  • Make sure you sell yourself – do not lie but consider what you have achieved; you may not think your part time job means very much but you will have learnt a lot skills which you did not have before! Show this off! (ALWAYS use the star technique see e.g. )
  • Position the most relevant information on the first page – for example, if you are a Business student and you’re applying for a Business related position you’re degree needs to be on the first page along with any relevant modules. If you are a biology student and you have work experience within this should also be on the first page, this is the first thing that you want them to see.
  • Make sure it’s not generic – tailor your CV to each individual organisation. When you look at a job description look at what they are implying that they want from the person for example if they want someone that has attention to detail, adapt your personal profile to say this and why you have this skill.
  • Back up your skills with an experience – if you just say that you are ambitious you need to explain why, how else are they going to know it is true? If you are reliable tell them why. It sounds so much better and makes you sound more like a real person.
  • Use your hobbies – Think of appropriate interesting hobbies that make the employer want to know more for example if you like sport say which and how you are involved in it, simply stating that you like sport does not have any meaning.



  • Sometimes gaining professional advice can be confusing, I had an employment adviser look at my CV then a seminar tutor from an employability skills related module asked to see it. Even though their advice was brilliant it was completely different, if this happens to you which I am sure it probably will take advice from both then your CV will be even more fantastic.


Look over your CV and apply these tips, it will make a world of difference!

Editor’s note: get more advice on CVs and applications through Careers Central, SHU’s dedicated resource for all topics relating to careers including forthcoming events, presentations and more about the STAR approach.

Choices choices… who would have guessed it?

Here Danny Farber, who is currently studying for a BA Hons in Business Studies, shares the story of his unexpected metamorphosis from ‘science geek’ to retailer extraordinaire in the making … and the influences that got him there:

One of the most important decisions in my lifetime has been what do I want to study at University!

When I was 16, I was a ‘Science geek’ who adored Motor Sport and would actually revel whenever I had the chance to talk about aerodynamics and possibilities on how to get more down force on the car (I still do by the way).  Thus when I joined Sixth Form, I studied Physics, Chemistry and Maths.  If you have never had the chance to study these, they are extremely difficult subjects to learn especially when you have all three together.

I was one of those ‘Science geeks’ who didn’t really do much revision when I had my GCSE’s but was successful, so when the first set of A-Levels exams came in the January and I had still kept the same revision timetable, it was a massive reality check. I ended up with 3 U’s, which was something I had never envisaged. So this was when I first started to question myself in my lifetime, and started to begin exploring possible other ventures. Obviously the number 1 lesson I learnt was that I had to work 100% harder, it was nowhere near the amount that I had to put in. I was well and truly humbled by this and went into my shell even more.

However, with lots more revision, when it came to the summer and after resits, I ended up with C’s across the board, which upon reflection was probably a big save after such a disastrous start. But even still, from that summer, that doubt and questioning was still on my mind. So when I had the chance to work in a supermarket part time, I grabbed it with both hands. (Luckily, my Auntie was a section leader there, so this confirms my theory, it’s who you know, not what you know).

Throughout my childhood, I was always seen as the brainy kid who is ‘useless’ working with his hands according to my Mum. So what would I be like in a Supermarket hustling and bustling to get done what was required of me? This is when I started to surprise myself and started to spot another opportunity. I found the work brilliant (and still do) and gained the confidence of my Section Leaders and Store Manager. But most importantly, my personality came out of its shell, where confident Danny was born and I would say where I began to mature even more as an adult.

So when applications for UCAS began for Universities, I had a massive dilemma! Do I go and study Orthoptics, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Motor Sports Engineering, or do I go and risk everything and go and study a subject I’ve never done at school, but have fallen in love with, due to my job? This was my list of courses I would have liked to have done, not which Universities I would like to attend, which was quite different to my peers.

You’ll have obviously guessed I risked it all. When researching all the possibilities, I noticed that the chance of me getting a job at the end of it, in that particular field, were slim. My confidence was and still is so high in Retail that I applied to study Business here. This confidence grew even more when my Manager offered me a Section Leader job a couple of weeks before A-Level results came out, but I knew University was something I wanted to do and that if I could show them how well I work, and the experience I keep gaining, to have a degree in Business at the side of my name, surely could make me a good candidate for getting one of these Manager jobs that I now crave.

So how am I getting on you ask? Quite well I would have to say. I managed to get an overall grade of 2:1 (64%) in my first year which gave me even more confidence particularly when I had achieved a higher grade compared to people who had studied Business at GCSE and A-Levels for instance. But I don’t think this is due to ability or intelligence, but the hard work ethic I have adopted since my ‘show up’ at Sixth Form and my time at ASDA. However, I would say I did significantly well because throughout my stay at University I have kept on working for my local Supermarket, balancing my time at Uni to work over 16 hours every week with a group of people who have and still give me more confidence in life, in a job that I am adore and even developing my own ideas on how I would run a Store if I ever get the opportunity (hopefully).

Real World Workshop – tackling CVs and applications

Sarah Gledhill, Final Year Events Management with Tourism student, on the challenges of CV writing!

Approximately one month or so ago, we (all students on Events Courses, Level 6) received an email from the Event Management Hub, inviting us to a “Real World Workshop focusing on CV & Applications”.  I confirmed my attendance because I was eager to gain tips and knowledge from others about how it is really quite vital to show the best of yourself in a professional, yet creative way.

We’re paying X amount for the fees, so why not sign up to anything that is remotely beneficial to you whilst you’re here?  That’s how I see it.

After being on a placement year, I’d felt I had stuffed about a gazillion and one name badges and delegate packs so it was really nice to be greeted with one.

The evening was held on the 12th floor in the Owen building; I had never been up there before so that was pretty exciting.  There were 24 other like-minded students who attended and we were welcomed into a professional atmosphere. The evening consisted of presentations, speeches from people in the industry, as well as useful hints and tips.

Overall, I grasped that there is no right or wrong way to write a CV or a cover letter, but it was so useful to find out about other people’s views and their experiences.  We were joined by some people in the Alumni group, who are people that have graduated from University and are out working in the big wide world.  It was so interesting to hear their views too, as they are sifting through people’s CVs every day – for example, have you ever heard of a skills based CV?  I hadn’t…

cv blog

Here is a bit of a ‘To Do’ list for me to look into after the workshop:

  • Link my CV to my LinkedIn profile
  • Get my CV down to two pages, rather than the three that it is currently
  • Make a base CV and then have five or six other versions ready to mix and match to fit job descriptions


For Event Students, this workshop is being repeated again in mid-November for anyone that is interested and another workshop focusing on Interviews is planned for February.

Editor’s note: don’t forget, there is support for all students in CV writing and making applications both through central workshops and one to one appointments available both in faculty and in the Careers and Employment Centre.  Make sure you take up the support available, and use the resources on line too (Careers Central via the Employability Tab in SHUspace)!

Curiouser and curiouser … mermaid to marketer!

Alice Buck on her developing career ideas.

Alice Buck‘’What do you want to be when you’re older Alice?’’ was a question I was never able to answer with 100% surety. From an early age I had decided upon being a mermaid, however with this unrealistic dream I had to find a career path that would utilize my somewhat vivid imagination. It wasn’t until attending Sheffield Hallam’s University open day that I found this release, after attending an inspirational Business and Marketing talk I was sold.

Currently in my second year of Business and Marketing it has given me the opportunity to innovate, network and channel my imagination with the prospect of a placement year within this exciting industry. After attending a talk given by previous placement students the search for my perfect placement begins, my aim was then to build my employability and better my chances of competing within the placement pool of applicants. Becoming an active member of SHU Raising and Giving society allowed me to not only put to use my imagination for new ideas on large events but also allowed me to build upon my marketing, organisation, communication and team work skills, whilst giving back to charity gave me a great sense of achievement. I then decided to join the SHU Marketing society in which I began to build networks and attend employer presentations proving to be extremely insightful.

It wasn’t until I arranged a meeting with my tutor to discuss my CV that I had even realised, whilst having all this fun I was developing skills that are vital to all employers such as confidence in public speaking, team work, problem solving and communication skills, all of which are invaluable within all organisations! The confidence I had gained through joining these societies allowed me to feel comfortable in talking to prospective employers, I was able to recognize the strength and weaknesses of my skills and which I needed to develop. Although I’m sure my placement search will throw a few hiccups my way for now I am enjoying the ride. So now when people ask me my reply is ‘’I am an aspiring ambitious marketer’’ ..with 100% surety.