Jobs Fair impresses employers and final year students

by Kayleigh Gray, graduate intern with Careers and Employment team  

On 13 March the Careers and Employment team put on another recruitment fair for students in the Careers and Employability Centre; it was focused on final year students, and invited these soon-to-be graduates to talk to local and national employers.

The day was a success, with over 300 students interacting with currently advertising organisations, thereby increasing their chances of jumping into a graduate job after leaving Sheffield Hallam. The event was so popular that we had students queuing out of the door – luckily it was a nice day and our ambassadors gave them some biscuits whilst they waited! Before coming to the fair, students had the opportunity to read who was there and what they do and as a result, they were able to prepare questions and bring relevant CVs. This contributed to positive employer feedback, with representatives saying that our students were friendly, enthusiastic and knowledgeable in their subject areas.

Each organisation had a stand where they answered student enquiries about their company and jobs; one of our pre-requisites for the fair was that all employers on the day had live graduate job vacancies. Employers present included Decathlon, Kin Speed and G Media. Some of the organisations stayed on to take part in a Question and Answer session which was very productive and offered our students the chance to engage with the companies in a different, more direct manner. Some of the questions included, ‘What do you value more, paid work or voluntary experience?’ and ‘When asking an interviewee about teamwork, what skills do you want to hear?’

Some employers were so impressed that they expressed an interest in taking part in our Career Mentoring scheme and have said that they would like to return for any other recruitment fairs we may have. In addition, the students benefitted from the employer interaction, the opportunity to ask questions and the chance to see a small sample of the jobs available upon graduation.  We appreciated the time that these companies voluntarily offered to us and our students and we will certainly be repeating the experience again next year for all to enjoy. If you have any Careers and Employment questions, please ring us on 0114 225 3752.

Support for Summer Leavers

We’re a little over half way through our two-week programme of support for Summer Leavers.  Running to 11 April we’ve got workshops, drop-ins, and offering on-line advice for students who are nearing the end of their studies. So if you’d like some help with getting a job when you graduate, look for

  • faculty pop-up Adviser stands  and CV checks (in the Careers and Employability Centre, Stoddart, Cantor, Owen level 2 and  Collegiate Learning Centre
  • specific workshops, jobsite help and guided tours of the Careers and Employability Centre (tours available between 11am-3pm)

Check out:

  • the ‘Leaving this summer’  information  on shuspace
  • careers workshops beginning ‘Leaving this summer’ (Please book on Shuspace > Employability > Events)
  • emails from your faculty employment adviser
  • SHUCareers on Twitter and Facebook

This week’s events include:

Jobsite help for jobseeking 08/04/2014 10:00- 12:00 Careers and Employability Centre, next to main entrance, Owen Building

Help! I don’t know what to do!  08/04/2014 15:00- 16:30 Chestnut Court S001, Collegiate Crescent

Jobsite help for jobseeking 09/04/2014 12:00- 14:00 Careers and Employability Centre, next to main entrance, Owen Building

Postgraduate Study and Funding     11/04/2014 12:00- 13:00The Careers and Employability Centre, next to the main entrance of the Owen Building, City Campus.

There’s also faculty careers advice for you:

Faculty careers advice drop-in times

  • ACES: Between 12:30-13:30pm every weekday in the Cantor building from 31March- 11 April
  • D & S at City: Between 12-13:30pm every weekday from Tuesday 1st April- Friday 11th April on level 2, Owen building
  • Biosciences, level 7 Owen building: 
    • Tues 1st April, 11am-1pm
    • Thurs 3rd April, 12-2pm
    • Friday 4th April, 12-2pm
    • Tue 8th April, 11am-1pm
    • Wed 9th April, 12-1pm
    • Thu 10th April, 4-5pm
    • SBS: from 12-13:30 every weekday in Stoddart (except for the 31st March, 12-12:30)
    • Collegiate: varied, please see shuspace > employability tab  > events > careers workshops > Leaving this summer? Employability advice for Collegiate students



Journalism students capture launch event

Recently we told you about the official opening of our Careers and Employability Centre, and promised to tell you a little more about the students who had been selected to work on the event.

This is the story of Kelly, Harriet, Emily, Emma and Charli – five final year BA Journalism students. Selected by tutors, Sue Featherstone and Graham Moorby, based on their outstanding work, the students were tasked with using everything they’ve learned on the radio and TV module, to provide us with a video of the event. The footage had to be filmed in real time, with key guests being interviewed – so this involved quite a bit of prep and briefing before the event, during the event itself, and then editing afterwards.

The students contacted guests in advance and selected those that were happy to be filmed or interviewed on the night. They sent questions around the theme of ‘why choose a Sheffield Hallam student?’.

Kelly says she saw this as a good opportunity to improve her skills at a live event, especially as she’s loved her tv module. Harriet realised it was a great chance to get experience and improve her CV while Emma felt that with graduation only a few months away this was a timely piece of work that gave her a real taste of the working environment.

Tutor Sue said: “I was very impressed with the efficiency and professionalism with which the girls approached the project.”

So with all the equipment returned at the end of the evening, the task of editing footage down to three minutes was next on the list – using more skills from their recent studies.

And you can see the results for yourself here

Students demonstrate high interest in working while they study

We held another Work While You Study Fair in the Careers and Employability Centre a few weeks ago at the end of February. We know from previous years and enquries from our students that many of them are keen to find some kind of work to supplement their income while they’re studying, which also provides them with experience to have on their CV.

In just three hours we welcomed  over 500 students and the feedback from employers, students and staff was excellent. Here’s a flavour of what they told us…

BSKYB “Very nice centre, very modern and well equipped”

G4S “Excellent hospitality with a warm welcome from the Team at SHU along with very good approachable students” they also said “can you improve on excellence?! A most enjoyable venue with constructive, successful events”

Whitbread / Premier Inn said “Excellent service very caring, friendly and professional”

Ant Marketing “Your staff were welcoming and ensured we had everything we needed”

Transline Group “The students were great, friendly and open about work opportunities”

And our students told us…

“Great opportunities and good that the University arranges this type of event”

“This was really helpful, I hope to hear back for the jobs I have applied for today”

“Very informative and helpful, the fair showed me opportunities I may not have previously considered”

“Lots of choices and opportunities to choose from.  All very insightful and informative”

If you’re interested in finding part time work while you study here, contact our team in the Careers and  Employment Centre.

University employing its key strengths in survey

by Laurie Harvey, Public Relations Officer

A UK student survey has seen Sheffield Hallam University maintain its top spot for employability for a second year running, whilst also sealing first place for careers advice from academics, the low cost of its accommodation, international student support and research activity.

Sheffield Hallam came first out of 22 UK Universities in five categories from last Autumn’s Student Barometer Survey, with 93.5 per cent of students satisfied that the learning they undertake at the university will help them get a good job when they graduate.

The University also came first for students’ satisfied with the opportunities to earn money while studying, and third for the availability of financial support.

Paul Helm, assistant director of student and learning services at Sheffield Hallam, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve maintained our performance in last year’s survey and have added new strengths to our learning portfolio.

“Students are coming to us because they know the package of low priced accommodation, exemplary research and teaching, careers advice and a high rate of employability, is hard to beat.

“Employability is a crucial component of our courses and as an institution we place a huge emphasis on preparing our students for the world of work. That’s why Sheffield Hallam has the highest number of students enrolled on courses with a placement year in Great Britain ”

The Student Barometer survey is administered by the International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate), and tracks the opinions of students at higher education institutions at 22 of the UK’s universities. Results are from the latest survey which tracked opinions in autumn 2013.

Why I chose an internship

Meet Kayleigh. She’s one of our graduates who decided to take up a one-year placement as an intern to help improve her employability. Here’s her story:

Degree: English Literature BA, graduated in 2013 with First Class honours

Current job title:  Careers and Employment Graduate Intern for Sheffield Hallam

Early on in my studies I realised that leaving university and getting into a graduate job should not be viewed as a right for a graduate: I had to consider my employability throughout my degree. English DOES make you employable because you will leave university with analytical, negotiation and communication skills (to name a few).  But only a small number of graduates will appeal to employers if they only draw upon skills that they have acquired academically. You should show that you have developed these skills and have gained new, complementary ones in other roles, whether that’s through part-time work, volunteering, joining a society or taking part in other extra-curricular activities like sport.

For example, during my first year at university I worked as a Student Course Ambassador and an Exam Invigilator whilst also volunteering as a Student Course Representative and a Faculty Representative. As a result, I developed my communication skills in a variety of ways and had interview experience under my belt just from that first year. There is an extra-curricular activity to suit everyone, so I’d advise you to visit the Careers and Employability Centre or the Students’ Union to find something to suit you.

Here are some of the tasks I’ve been working on as a graduate intern:

  • I undertake a variety of roles within the Careers and Employment Centre. Primarily I help organise and deliver the Career Impact Programme, am the Career Mentoring Scheme administrator, write tweets for the @SHUCareers account, manage the Career Impact LinkedIn page, organise meetings and work on both the Employment team and Information team for the Careers and Employability enquiry desk.
  • Alongside this I have also been involved with the launch of our new Careers and Employability Centre, including meeting the Vice Chancellor, contributing photos and feedback to the ‘SHU employability blog’, promoting the events and building relationships with relevant and important employability organisations, such as Hallam Union, the Sheffield Universities Recruitment Fairs (SURF) and the Research and Innovation Office.
  • I have created a strong relationship with the Students’ Union, conducting presentations with them to present a united employability front to the students; I have developed this further by starting a Students’ Union drop-in in the Careers and Employability Centre for students to talk to a Students’ Union representative every week about volunteering, joining a society or applying for the Hallam Award recognition scheme.
  • I supervise the Employability Ambassadors on a daily basis to review their role, conduct focus groups for the Careers and Employment service and am their first contact when they have any work-related queries.
  • Although I have developed a social media specialism within my job I also regularly use my English Literature skills to analyse data, write reports, articles and training documents for my colleagues and the service.

I’m three-quarters of the way through my internship now, and during that time (and the other experience I gained as an ambassador, rep and invigilator) I’ve upped my skills in so many ways. I’m an experienced organiser, event planner, and supervisor now. I’ve worked with a huge range of people – from students to employers to senior academics at these events and have used those opportunities to promote the services we offer.

I’ve learned to listen to feedback, conduct focus groups, to collate it and present it, and to present it to help influence change and improvement. And yes – I still love literature (as a staff member I can still use the learning centres here to borrow books!).

My internship finishes in July so I’m now focussing on the completing my employability journey and I am hoping to continue working in Higher Education- at Sheffield Hallam if I can!.  Here are my top tips for yours…

 My employability journey

                Reflect upon your potential career and find a few graduate jobs that you would like to do

Look at job applications for that sector and identify any skills that you’re missing

Consider how you may use those skills in your current paid and unpaid work

Locate some volunteering, activities or societies so that you can develop the missing skills

Regularly reflect upon the work that you’re doing and make a note of when you have excelled, faced challenges and/ or brought about a change

When you’re in your final year at university continue your paid and unpaid work because it shows organisational and time management skills

However alter your workload so that you do less work and if you’re volunteering, ensure that it is flexible so that you can do less during important academic periods

Consider doing work-based learning modules so that you get experience, skills and personal professional reflection whilst gaining academic credit

Remember your large amount of experience and employability skills when applying for jobs during both the application stage and the interview

Never give up. If you’ve put the effort in to make yourself employable then you will get a graduate job, so don’t get disheartened if you have a few unsuccessful interviews

Utilise the help available to you. The Careers and Employment service offers help to all SHU students and are still here to help for up to three years after you graduate. The whole graduate recruitment process can be confusing, so use the professional advice that the Careers and Employment Advisers offer. Come into the Careers and Employability Centre to the left of the Owen building entrance or ring 0114 225 3752.

Volunteering Fair Success

by Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviser

Recently, SHU Careers and Employability Service worked with D&S academic departments, the D & S placement team and Hallam Union to host a targetted volunteering fair. Over 350 students studying Psychology, Sociology, Politics, Law and Criminology came along to investigate opportunities open to them and network with local organisations.

The team designed the fair to encourage these students to learn about  and get involved in,  the broad range of volunteering opportunities available that are relevant to their degree subject and could ultimately enhance their career prospects.

We’d arranged for 20 external organisations to be there –  including South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Children’s Hospital Trust, Caudwell Children, Making Space, Catch 22 and local political parties.  Our students found out about voluntary opportunities in areas such as campaigning, mental health support, advice work, youth work, research, helplines, tutoring and mentoring. We also provided information about the additional opportunities offered by Hallam Union Volunteering, and shared about placement opportunities and support available from the Careers and Employment Service.

Around 50% of those who attended were in their first year of study. It was good to see that students are now thinking about gaining experience early on in their course. 90% of those who completed the feedback questionnaire stated that the fair was useful in helping them find voluntary work, with 70% of respondents having signed up to a voluntary opportunity that day.

The event also helped to build stronger relationships with local organisations and discuss opportunities to work together in the future. The feedback was generally very positive; Catch 22 representatives commented, “Students seemed very willing and enthusiastic about the opportunities on offer,” whilst Sue Butler from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue stated,  “This event was ideal for a new role we are currently recruiting for – which is particularly for students.”

From our perspective in the Careers and Employment team, working with colleagues in faculties always proves beneficial – we can create a highly focussed event for our students, utilise a wider network of contacts and promote it more effectively to the students. We hope to build on the success, to repeat and expand the event in future years.


Careers and Employability Centre officially opened

Journalism students recording an interview with Hugh Facey, MBE

In the six months it’s been open, our new Careers and Employability Centre has seen over 6,500 students come through the doors and has organised 63 employer presentations and skill sessions.  Dedicated to helping students plan their careers and find work, the centre also provides students and graduates with careers workshops and employer-led networking sessions.

So last week seemed an excellent opportunity to open our doors to local employers,  to promote the opportunities to work with our students and graduates to keep the best and brightest of them in the City and help to grow our industries and businesses – and even generate new businesses.

Chief executive of Gripple, Hugh Facey, officially opened Sheffield Hallam’s new Careers and Employability Centre on Thursday 6 March as part of National Careers Week. The event gave students the chance to network with a range of employers the University works with, including Morrisons, IBM, Nestlé and Network Rail.

Paul Helm

Paul Helm, lead for employability at the University, explained: “This new centre provides us with a focal point where we can help students develop the skills needed to launch their careers.

In this brand new centre, we’re providing workshops to help them plan their careers and find jobs. We work with them to improve their online presence for networking with potential employers, and offer advice on how to fill in application forms and shine in interviews.”

Hugh Facey ‘cutting’ the virtual ribbon

Hugh Facey, MBE, Chairmain of Gripple Ltd spoke to the attendees about his student days at what was then the City Polytechnic and the importance he and his company place on offering opportunities to our students.  He then performed a first for the University, by cutting a ‘virtual ribbon’ using an iPad linked up to a short, animated film of the centre made by some of our final year interactive media with animation students.  The event also gave some of our final year journalism students the opportunity to film interviews with our guests. We’ll be bringing you a report on both sets of students and the work they did for the evening in future posts on this blog.

In 2013 Sheffield Hallam came first in the Student Barometer Survey for employability and second place for the quality of its careers advice. The University also employs a large number of students – 1629 students were recruited last year into a variety of roles, including events assistant, laboratory assistant and photographer.

Here are just a few more facts about the impact our  Employability initiative is having here:

  • 59 per cent of Sheffield Hallam students study on courses with a work based learning opportunity (10 points higher than the sector average)
  • our latest employment figures show that last year 89 per cent of Sheffield Hallam students either entered work or went onto further study
  • during the last semester our Employment team advertised 1108 graduate jobs and internships and 2790 part-time/vacation positions
  • during the last semester our Employment team established working relationships with 1218 new employers
  • of the 6500 students who’ve been into the centre in the last six months, just under 3500 had a 1:1 session with an adviser
  • Over 600 students were also seen by our team of employment advisers in their own departments within each of our 4 faculties


Thumbs up from students for our hands-on sessions

A recent presentation for Camp America

It’s always good for us to hear that the sessions we run are worthwhile. If you’re a student and need to know a bit more, ask a few questions, and hear about the application process, then have a look through our up and coming events and book onto one that suits your needs. You just book via the Employability tab on shuspace.

There is even a session next week (4pm on Wednesday 4th December) entitled Help! I don’t know what to do! – Lots of students are unclear about what they are going to do after university. If this is you then book in for this session. It’ll look at the factors that will influence your career plans, help you to clarify and research your career ideas and enable you to plan your next steps.

We try to offer a mix of employer presentations, skills workshops and hints and tips. Some days we’ll help you with interview skills and answering tricky questions, others we may focus on helping you get onto a graduate scheme.  Here’s just a bit of feedback from last week’s events:

‘good, informative… I learned a lot and will now apply to them’

‘Informative- successful- all good’

‘Helpful- good to speak to people who are graduates working here, can relate.’

‘Great, gave me a lot of information- helped with application process.’

‘Helped me with application, I now know the process they take and what I need to do.’

‘it was great… useful’

‘really useful… will now apply’

Workshops and events 2-6 December in the Careers and Employability Centre

Monday 2nd December

10.00 – 11.00am – Self employment workshop – Are you interested in self employment? Come and find out about the support that’s available to you at SHU at this informative and interactive workshop.

12.00 – 1.00pm – How to get a Campus Job – This session will prepare you to be able to successfully apply for work on Campus with Sheffield Hallam University. It will cover: How to access Campus Job roles through shuspace; Our recruitment and selection procedures; How we shortlist applicants; How to make a strong application – with examples, good and bad; The additional support available to you through Careers and Employment to help you to develop your ability to write application forms, CVs and succeed at interview

3.00 – 4.00pm – International Students Workshop – Graduate Jobsearch Using the Going Global Website – A Careers Information session – an introduction to the Going Global website – graduate jobsearch around the world and in the UK. This workshop will also focus on other key websites including Prospects, Targetjobs, and Graduates yorkshire. Find out how you can use these resources to help you make effective job applications and create a strong CV.

Tuesday 3rd December

12.00 – 1.00pm – CCUSA – CCUSA are coming in to talk to you on 3rd December about their organisation and what they have to offer. If you like the sound of getting paid to play in the sun, then you have found the perfect job. If you like Sports/Water sports, Arts/Crafts, Performing Arts, Outdoor Environment/Science or generally having fun, then we have a job for you at one of the best children’s summer camp in America!

1.30 – 2.30pm – Getting Onto A Graduate Scheme – Find out how to make a successful application to get on a Graduate Scheme in 2014. Find out about the recruitment methods used by graduate recruiters – Where to look for Graduate recruiters – What schemes are available – Make an attempt at answering a “competency” question – Draw up an application to get you started with your applications – Find out which graduate recruiters are coming to Hallam.

Wednesday 4th December

10.00 – 11.00pm – Interview success and answering tricky questions – Learn about the different types of interviews,how you should prepare for them and how to perform well on the day. An interactive session where you will get a chance to be interviewed and also be an interviewer. You will learn about the kinds of questions you will be expected to answer at interviews and given advice on how best to frame your answers as well as lots of other practical advice and tips to help you be succesful in obtaining a placement, internship or graduate job.

1.30 – 3.00pm – Baxter Storey – Food & Hospitality students –  A presentation for final year and placement students – Baxter Storey will be on campus to promote their Graduate Catering Management Programme. The programme will give you the opportunity to gain experience in managing your own team, whilst working on the front line of the operation. The scheme is very hands on and will allow you to develop a broad range of skills to help prepare you for a bigger management role in the future.

4.00 – 5.00pm – Help! I don’t know what to do! – Lots of students are unclear about what they are going to do after university. If this is you then book in for this session. This session will: Look at the factors that will influence your career plans – Help you to clarify and research your career ideas – Enable you to plan your next steps.

Book your place at these events via the Employability tab on shuspace