Creative Careers Week, 1 – 5 February!

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Following on from the success of the first ever Creative Careers Week last year, the Careers and Employability Service is hosting this year’s event with an even bigger programme of presentations & workshops for you to choose from.

You will have the opportunity to learn about a whole range of career options open to graduates with an interest in the creative arts/design sector. These sessions will be delivered by professionals already working in a variety of creative disciplines.

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Monday 1 February
What’s it like working in the creative industries?
An overview of the challenges and benefits of working in the creative sector
YAS presentation & tour of Exchange Place & Persistence Works
Meet 12.45pm, Made North Gallery Yorkshire Art Space, Persistence Works, Brown Street
Top tips on finding a placement in the creative sector
Advice on securing a placement and an overview of support and advice available at SHU

Tuesday 2 February
Working in Museums and Culture Management
Museums Sheffield; Sheffield Industrial Museums; SHU MA Arts and Cultural Management
Becoming a Performer
ALRA Drama School; SHU graduate (actor/comedian)
Working in the Community Arts sector
A Mind Apart (theatre); Junction Arts; Arts & Culture volunteering programme (SHU)

Wednesday 3 February
Running a Commercial Art Gallery
Karen Sherwood: owner and curator of Cupola Gallery
A career in Art Therapy
Arts Therapy Northern Programme & Trainee Art Therapist

Thursday 4 February
Top tips on using Social Media for Professional Networking
SHU graduates: Georgia Ball and Dora Damian
Being self-employed in the Creative Arts & Design sector
Freelance artist; jewellery designer; creative writer
A career in Creative Arts/Media Festivals & Events
Made with Design (Peucha Kucha 20×20); Ignite Imaginations

Friday 5 February
Working in the Creative Marketing and Advertising sector
Yommee; Creative Marketing Agency (Sheffield)
Working behind the scenes in TV, Theatre & Film
West Yorkshire Playhouse; Screen Yorkshire; Set/prop designer (freelance);Costume Supervisor (Sheffield Theatres); South Yorkshire Film Network

For further information (including times) and to book your place(s) go to: careerservice.shu.ac.uk / events / Creative Careers Week. Book soon to avoid to disappointment.

The Sky’s the Limit with Statistics

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Many students cover research skills, statistics and SPSS on their courses, but may not have considered how these abilities could help them in their career. Patrick graduated from BSc Psychology in 2014. Here he explains how his aptitude for figures led to an exciting career opportunity as Statistical Officer for the Civil Service and how research modules and careers support helped him on this journey.

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“I currently work on the Statistical Consultancy and Survey Support team. We offer an internal support service for anyone in the department. Customers can come to us with any issue related to analysis, research, or surveys and we will help resolve their issue efficiently and professionally, from delivering advice to taking on the projects ourselves and returning to the customer with a tailored analytical report. Highlights of this role include working with many different customers allowing me to see a range of work across the department, as well as allowing me time to meet other young statisticians at networking events and conferences, the most recent being the Young Statistician’s Meeting 2015 in Cardiff.

After graduation, I worked briefly (4 months) as a Research Analyst Trainee for a private sector market research company. This was a great development role as it gave a first taste of full-time employment. As it was a trainee role it also helped develop analytical skills I had gained at University (Excel, SPSS, and PowerPoint etc.) and apply these in a real-world setting. I then accepted a role with the Civil Service. I mainly use analytical skills in my current role, so everything learnt in our research methods modules from my Psychology degree has been useful. I also use a lot of SPSS to conduct analysis, so learning that was helpful. Knowing how to conduct research and how to conduct it ethically is a big help in my current role, as this is where a lot of our work comes from. Finally, an official writing style learnt from writing essays is helpful when drafting reports or briefings.

The Careers and Employability Service were vital to my getting my current role. It was following an ADAPT session (personal development module) that I begrudgingly went to the careers office to start thinking about what I’m going to do after third year. It was there I was told about the Civil Service Fast Stream Recruitment. I applied and eventually made it through every step, going from online numeracy tests to two full day assessment centres held in London. I unfortunately didn’t get the Fast Stream role, but due to my statistical knowledge was offered a general stream role instead, which only really adds a couple of years to my progression ladder so isn’t too much of a letdown!

To prepare for my interview, the main thing I did was revise all my statistical notes from the last three years. There was a statistical techniques interview that was a large part of the assessment and so revising for that was a must. I also booked in to have a mock interview with the Careers team. It was quite a scary process as I’d never really had a proper interview before, but the team was very helpful and provided me with lots of feedback on how I did, as well as where they thought I needed work. It was a very helpful process and definitely helped me improve my interviewing skills.

 I would advise students to make sure you use the careers team, my employment adviser was immensely helpful in finding me roles to apply for (She also emailed me about the research analyst trainee role that I mentioned earlier) so without her I wouldn’t have had either of the jobs I’ve had! Definitely make use of the mock interviews too, it might seem daunting but trust me it helps!

 I’d like to stay in this career for a while and make my way up the ladder to a more senior role. There lots of opportunity to move to different teams, with the option of staying analytical or not. This should allow a lot of variation in work whilst maintaining nice job security. Later in life I’ll probably head back to the private sector in another analytical role, or try to move abroad, possibly to Canada as there are plenty of statistical roles over there.”

Interviewed by Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviser, Careers and Employability

What happened when SHUCareers went to China…

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Our Employment Adviser Laura Kerley visited China last summer…

On 11th June 2015, the faculty of Development & Society piloted a new and innovative event in Beijing. This was no typical marketing event; its aim was two-fold. Not only did it aim to raise awareness of D&S courses, employability and associated careers; it also included an interactive training session about supporting students with career planning. China’s rapid development has led to a significant increase in the need for career guidance, a premise confirmed by university contacts in Beijing and the audience on the day. The main audience was education professionals and agents, who support both high school and university students when making choices about their future, particularly about study abroad.

I was responsible for the development and delivery of the training session, so armed with this intriguing brief, I set about doing a little research. I spoke to some Chinese students at Hallam to glean a better understanding of their experiences of careers advice and guidance before they came to the UK. A research article about career guidance for university students in China confirmed that although career guidance is becoming more prominent and professionally delivered in some educational institutions, overall it is still at a fairly elementary stage. Although the research emphasises the importance of evolving career guidance practices being tailored to specific Chinese contexts, it also acknowledges that some general principles hold true in both UK and Chinese cultures.

Vitally, the event struck a good balance between the international and Chinese context overall.

Although my UK experience underpinned the training session, it was also informed by my experience with international students. Common ground was certainly found between myself and delegates (and with the help of some brilliant interpreters!) For example, when discussing typical questions asked by students (best epitomised by the question “what should I study to help me get a good job?”), there was mutual recognition of the importance of supporting students to develop self-awareness alongside opportunity awareness. After presenting ways that this is done in the UK, some good discussions were had around relevant case studies and how these ideas could be used and adapted to the context of delegates’ working lives. Resources and websites I wanted to share were tested in advance by the trusty SHU Beijing team and worked on the day (phew!) The response to these was positive, and delegates reported that comparable national resources limited, and were keen for some to be developed. At the end of the session, I was surprised that every delegate wanted their photo taken with me. Although I like to think of this as an immediate form of feedback, I think was largely due to the fact that at 5ft 10, I was seen as unusually tall!

The national and local context was provided by a range of engaging speakers directly related to many D&S subject areas, including:

  • The role of RICS China (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and future of Built Environment in China
  • Key attributes to be successful in the property industry (General Manager, U-Town Mall, Beijing)
  • My career development after SHU (TESOL alumni)
  • Psychology in China (Professor from the Institute of Psychlogy, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

All in all, a successful event and one I very much hope the university can build upon.

Laura Kerley

Employment Adviser, Careers and Employment

Teacher training – when the dream hasn’t become reality….

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…yet.

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So, you’ve been unsuccessful with your first three choices for teacher training through Apply 1 – what now? The dream isn’t over yet, but you’re going to need to do some more work to try and turn the situation around. So you want to teach? That means you’re resilient, right? Then it’s time to get straight ‘back onto the horse’ and see what training places are still available and make a further application using Apply 2. Of course that means putting yourself up for consideration again.

If you weren’t shortlisted for any of your choices, then you may need to revisit your application. You cannot change it, but what you could do when you’ve made your new choice is contact the training provider and ask whether you can supply any supplementary information in support of your application. If this is the case then have a think about how you can add to your original statement. You will still need to be concise though – providing reams and reams of additional content is likely to hinder rather than help.

If you were lucky enough to get an interview, but were unsuccessful at that stage, did you get feedback from the training providers after each interview? We all come out of an interview thinking; I wish I’d said this? Why didn’t I say that? Your first port of call should be to get the panel’s take on where you can improve – was it the answers to your questions, your performance during any activities or simply that you were outperformed on the day? The answers to these questions will help you to work on the things that are within your control, but also you will need to accept those that simply are outside of your control – you can’t mitigate for someone else’s performance for example.

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SHU students and recent graduates are welcome to make an appointment to talk through your interview preparation and you could also see if there are any practise interview slots available in the run up to the real thing to help you to hone your skills. We have information available to help you to prepare for teacher training interviews on our Careers Central website.

Andrew Walton
Employability Adviser

Ready, Steady, GEW at SHU!

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As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union teamed up to put on a range of exciting events to get students, graduates and the community inspired, engaged and connected! In recognition of our contribution to this year’s campaign, we were selected as a winner of the High Impact award for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015.

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There were seven events held throughout the week, including collaboration on Startup Weekend Sheffield. The week saw a variety of events from workshops and talks through to pitches and fairs! Some of the highlights of the week were ‘The Pitch’ which saw students pitch social enterprise ideas to an expert panel, with the winner proposing to sell second hand items in the UK, with all of the profits going towards buying teaching aids for schools in Africa. Another highlight was the Hallam Hand Made fair, which showcased creative and enterprising students selling their artwork, jewellery, prints and more!

Other events including a workshop on creating enterprising ideas, which encouraged people to think outside the box, break the rules, and be as innovative and enterprising as possible! A photography workshop and walk around Sheffield led by current students, and there was also a talk from two graduate entrepreneurs, who spoke about their inspiring journeys and how far they’ve come since graduating. The Sheffield Business School Enterprise Society held an enterprise pub quiz, and there was the brilliant Social Enterprise Social, a regular event co-hosted with The University of Sheffield, bringing together local social enterprises, entrepreneurs and students from across the city to network, collaborate and to be inspired.

After a jam-packed week of excitement and events we are already starting to talk about how we can collaborate to make next year even more of a success; how to engage and inspire more people, be more creative and enterprising in our events and have an even more GEW-tastic week!

To view the video of the “Hear from the Entrepreneur” event click here.

Lawyer in London 2015

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During this year’s summer break, twenty 1st and 2nd year students from the Law and Criminology department, took part in “Lawyer in London 2015”.  Selected students spent three days experiencing and exploring the different routes they could take with a law degree.

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On day one the group toured the Royal Courts of Justice and took part in a mock criminal trial.

Day two was spent at Magic Circle firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.  The students met with partners, the recruitment team and current trainees, took part in a negotiation exercise and toured the impressive offices (they have hotel-style bedrooms, an onsite dentist and a restaurant!!).

Day three had a Human Rights focus and was spent at the trendy Shoreditch offices of Amnesty International.  The students debated the importance of preserving international human rights and also heard from the Prisoners’ Advice Service.

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The three days provided an insight into different career areas and all students felt that their career aspirations had developed as a result of the trip.  In fact, two students have subsequently set up a SHU Negotiation Society, inspired by their experience at Freshfields.

Feedback from the trip included:

“Great experience – I am so grateful! Definitely learnt so much and it has fulfilled everything I wanted to gain from the trip”

“I would definitely recommend this to others as I know it will help my career development and CV for the future”.

Sheryl Cruickshank, Employment Adviser, Law and Criminology

 

My Assessment Day Experience at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Mustafa is a second year Law student.

So, in early April I ventured to the capital and felt like a high street commercial lawyer for a couple of days;  taking the tube to Fleet Street, enjoying the surroundings of London, staying in a rather sumptuous hotel for a couple of days and being warmly welcomed by a Magic Circle Law Firm. I had been invited to take part in the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, a scheme designed for Black Minority Law students to take part in a two day assessment centre at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.   I took the opportunity to take part in this scheme so I could gain some valuable experience, and obviously aim for a scholarship.

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After talks with the career advisers at Sheffield Hallam I realised preparation was key, so I did background research on the Law firm to get the gist of what work they do and what type of qualities they look for in a person they hire or award scholarships to.

There were just over fifty Black first year Law students like myself from across the country, all with different backgrounds and rather remarkable stories.  I enjoyed meeting highly motivated individuals who have all strived to get where they were on that day and I really enjoyed the competitive edge that every individual brought to the table.

We took part in many activities that tested our aptitude to think fast on our feet and it was really an action packed couple of days, as it is with most assessment centres.   I was initially daunted by the fact that every move I made was being watched and tested, but once we got started I genuinely found it was surprisingly fun.   If I were to pick my favourite part of the assessment centre it would be the interview I had at the end, with two Senior Partners at the firm, as this allowed me to demonstrate myself on a more personal level with the lawyers that I aspire to develop into.

Unfortunately, I did not receive the scholarship. I felt as though if I engaged more in discussions when all the students were together, I may have stood out a little more. Obviously this requires confidence in public speaking and I am sure that is something I can work on.

I was invited back for a feedback session where I was told I narrowly missed out and they gave me some valuable feedback that provided me with confidence in myself going forward.   I was also lucky enough to secure a work placement where I will be required to shadow selected partners and solicitors that work at Freshfields.

This was a priceless experience that I am very proud of taking part in.   It has motivated me to work harder in studies as it has shown me firsthand what future holds for those who strive for success.

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My advice for anyone taking part in this scheme in the future, or for anyone with an upcoming assessment centre, is to without a doubt prepare, this can be achieved by making sure you know about the type of activities that will occur on that day, and what it is they want to see in you, that way you will stand a better chance in showcasing yourself in the best way.

 

Psychology Graduates Return to Share Experiences

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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.

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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 c.hanson@shu.ac.uk and are encouraged to join the departments’ LinkedIn group “SHU Psychology, Sociology and Politics Students and Alumni”.

 

Tara Seipel, Graduate Intern, Development and Society

Top 5 common sense tips for your placement search

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Business and Marketing student Alice, who is just starting her placement year, sets out here her top 5 tips for successful placement search.

Research:

When applying or preparing for any application or interview it is vital to prepare yourself, with both company and role research. This is a great tactic for setting yourself apart from other candidates and in an employer’s eye often extremely important as there is a significant need for  understanding of the skills required for the role. Start with basic history research of the company moving further to understanding the company ethos and values (matching these to your own, nobody wants to be stuck in a company with values they can’t connect with!)

Prepare:

Read and re-read the job description and skills specific within the role, although this seems like blatant common sense it is often missed that the job role description holds many clues to the questions you are likely to be asked during the interview process. In many instances an employer will devise both job description and a set of interview questions in correspondence to the desired skill set at the same time.

Match your skills and previous experience to the specific skills identified within the job brief, providing an example of an instance you  have demonstrated each of the skills! This will allow you to provide physical evidence of having the required skill set needed.

Smile:

Relax and smile! Over the phone or face to face interviewing. Believe it or not a smile can even be heard over the phone, in a sense, it will help create an upbeat positive tone of interview. Employers are more likely to remember a smiling face, enthusiasm is a great attribute and will communicate a sense of ease in a stressful situation.

LinkedIn:

More than ever employers are following interviews with further research on their candidates using LinkedIn. It is vital to update all aspects of your LinkedIn, with the fact you are a placement seeking student at the forefront of your profile. Reach out to relevant connections to increase your credibility, including endorsements, up to date qualifications and a suitable profile picture. Sheffield Hallam university offer fantastic support on getting your placement profile ready!

Feedback:

Successful or unsuccessful, it is always useful to receive feedback even if successful in the interviewing process. Contact the employer and ask politely for feedback on which aspects you performed well in and what can be improved upon. I can guarantee there will be sometime later in your future you will use both positive and negative feedback  to learn from and will be grateful for the information.

Go Further, Go Higher

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Go Further Go Higher Summer School gives school pupils insight into the world of Law

 by Belle Fletcher (Pre-enrolment officer, Schools Outreach Team)

This year’s Go Further Go Higher Summer School took place on 23 – 25 June 2015 and centred on the theme of Law. The event was attended by 11 year 10 pupils currently under local authority care from Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Activities developed and delivered by Sheffield Hallam in collaboration with The University of Sheffield (UoS) and supported by The Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP) and Careers and Employment Service aimed to give the attendees a taste of studying law at university and build confidence through teamwork and communication.

The first day was held at UoS, where attendees took part in a law lecture, learnt about strange and wonderful laws from all over world and were introduced to debating.

The attendees were in for a treat on Day 2 as the day was focussed on communication and presentation skills and delivered by Sheffield Theatres. During the morning the young people had a tour of the three theatres, found out about the history and had the opportunity to raid the costume and props department! In the afternoon a local actress (who appeared in the television show ‘This is England’) delivered a workshop to encourage team building, speaking and listening and performance to help make the young people more comfortable with speaking in front of each other – which was crucial for the final day’s debate.

Sheffield Hallam’s Careers and Employment Service also led a workshop to enable the young people to consider what jobs might suit their personality and explore the broad range of careers open to them, challenging common stereotypes. This included considering how the labour market is changing and investigating emerging roles such as social media manager and robotics engineer. Carers were also offered advice on how they can best support the young people with their educational and career choices.

On the final day at SHU, the attendees had dedicated time to research their ideas and concepts and bring these together to debate the legalisation of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports. Teams of 5/6 argued their points to a panel of experts in the mooting court and after much deliberation it was decided the teams were awarded a draw! The summer school ended with a graduation and prize giving ceremony where the students got to wear a cap and gown to celebrate their achievements over the past three days!

The feedback from attendees was great, with 100% of young people wanting to attend similar events in the future. Staff involved were truly astonished at the journey the attendees had taken in such a short space of time – from individuals not wanting to interact with each other at the beginning, to standing in front of a full courtroom and rebutting comments about their debate topic.

The summer school is a wonderful way of engaging and raising the aspirations of local looked after children, who may not otherwise have had the opportunity. One attendee stated; “I have learnt how to debate, I am proud of myself, I want to join university, I am happy.”

You can find out more about support for Care Leavers at Sheffield Hallam here: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/studentadviceandinformation/students/info-for/care-leavers/