Ten graduate schemes to consider if you want to ‘make a difference’

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Summer is a good time to find, research and apply for graduates schemes. Here are ten graduate schemes which may interest you if you’re looking for something a little less ‘corporate’:

  1. Charity works
  2. LGA National Graduate Development
  3. Frontline
  4. Civil Service Fast Stream
  5. NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme
  6. Think Ahead
  7. Year Here
  8. The GEM Programme
  9. Teach First
  10. Leeds City Council Graduate Scheme

If any of these schemes interest you, it’s also looking at other vacancies with relevant employers (e.g. Civil Service, Housing Associations, healthcare providers) so you can gain some experience before you apply.

“Internships boosted my confidence and I’m 100% more prepared for the job I want”

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Many students and graduates pursue internships to build experience, but have you considered the broad range of benefits that could be gained? I caught up with Creative Arts Practice graduate, Lydia Jackson, to get her perspective on how she gained her recent internships as part of the Hallam Internship Scheme. During her internships, Lydia acted as Exhibition Coordinator for Platform 18 at Sheffield Hallam Students Union and Assistant Exhibition Coordinator at Cupola Contemporary Art.

Why did you want to undertake an internship?

I came out of University not knowing what to do to start my career, all the jobs I found required experience which I didn’t have. These internships make such a fantastic transition from the comfort of the university to the big wide world of jobs. They’re a great chance to get a feel for a job you like the sound of and for me they have changed my path to what I want as a career; they boosted confidence and give me a world of experience within my field and I now know what I want to do as a career and feel I’m 100% more prepared for the job I want.

What do you think you have added to the business?

At SHSU, I joined the Platform 18 team with a wealth of knowledge and experience in exhibitions, having done so many on my degree and being a selected artist in the previous Platform 17 exhibition. So, I feel I added knowledge to the team in what is required for an exhibition. I’m also a very organised person which was a very important aspect to have when coordinating an event like this, so I added further method to the exhibition. As a young artist fresh from a degree, I was very adaptable to the busy gallery life that Cupola was. I went in everyday with a new task to do and I believe I did so efficiently and rose to everything I was asked to do. I also had great input into their social media posts and adapted to their style of social media to encourage customers.

What has been the biggest surprise whilst completing your internship?

With both, I was very impressed with how capable I became, not only with the pressures of organising an exhibition and working in a busy gallery but using my initiative to think or do things before I was asked. I became independent in both of my internships quickly and made sure I fit in with my new surroundings and colleagues. I’m surprised with how much I’ve grown in such a short space of time and how much more confident I have become both personally and professionally.

What is the most exciting thing you did as part of your internship?

Working on the Platform Exhibition it was amazing how much responsibility they gave me and how much they valued my input. I think when you hear the term intern you expect to be treated differently as a junior, but it was really exciting to be treat as a valued part of the team and trusted so much. I became a vital part of the exhibition process and I think rising to that and having the attitude that you are part of the team and not just an intern really helped me with this. Overall the most amazing thing is that I’ve organised an exhibition that was in the Millennium Galleries that feels like such a big achievement for me. Another exciting aspect that these internships gave me was being asked to be a panellist at the ‘get_in there’, which is run by Sheffield Creative Guild, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union and the university and attracted over 100 people. It was so amazing to be considered for this and realise how valued my opinion was, giving advice to people just about to graduate who were in my position. This was also great for me as I don’t consider myself a confident public speaker and doing this just helps me evolve in an area I want to improve.

What have you gained from your internship experience?

The confidence aspect is huge for me, It was so amazing to be there with the crowd when the doors first opened on launch day for Platform 18 – being told how well I had done and being thanked for all my hard work in the opening speech and by attendee’s at the exhibition was such a highlight for me, having been there through all the organising and finally seeing that come to fruition was incredible. Not only that, I’ve gained a lot of contacts through my internships and networking events that will be valuable to me from a professional and art world perspective.

Would you recommend an internship to current students?

100% yes! When I left university, I was thrown into this world and was unsure what to do, I was very persistent with wanting to achieve a career in the arts. I constantly sought advice and kept asking for help from the careers department at Hallam and it really paid off. Although I was unsure about what I specifically wanted to do, I was given great direction and now I know what I want to do with my career and I’m excited for my next steps.

Thank you, Lydia, for taking the time to share your experiences.

If you’re a student or graduate seeking an internship, I encourage you to search for opportunities via UniHub and to have a chat with your employability adviser if you’d like further advice.

Spotlight on Careers in Landscape #ChooseLandscape

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The Landscape Institute have launched a new campaign to attract more people into landscape careers. Here are some interesting things I learnt from the campaign:

  1. ‘Landscape’ = outdoor space (urban and rural, green space and landscaping around buildings)
  2.  ‘Landscape careers’ = being involved in the design, management, planning or science of the landscape (see Choose Landscape)
  3. Types of organisations Landscape Institute members currently work for: 44% private practice, 27% consultancy, 14% local authority, 6% engineering company, 4% third sector
  4. Sheffield Hallam University are one of the only universities in the UK to offer an Environmental Science undergraduate degree which is accredited by the Landscape Institute (see list of courses)

These are the current issues within the landscape profession (according to Landscape Institute’s ‘The Future State of Landscape’ report):

  • a shortage of new entrants and limited routes into the profession (most common route: undergraduate or masters degree in landscape architecture – see list of courses)
  • employers finding it difficult to attract, recruit and retain the ‘right’ people
  • the need to create a more inclusive profession with more people from ethnic minority backgrounds, greater age diversity and better career progression for females
  • the need for digital skills including virtual reality (VR) Augumented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) and use of spatial data and digital collaboration (BIM – Business Information Modelling) for the future

To help address the current issues, The landscape Institute have launched the #ChooseLandscape campaign are working to provide a wider range of ways to gain qualifications in the future.

twitter: @landscapecareer

fb: @chooselandscape

ig: @landscapeinstitute

“I wouldn’t have a job in the Criminal Justice Sector without volunteering!”

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Olivia, Criminology & Psychology graduate, is now a Case Worker at Remedi, where she initially volunteered as a student. For more information about Remedi, and their work in restorative justice, visit  www.remediuk.org/

Hi Olivia, how did you get involved with Remedi?

I had a meeting with Sheryl, my Employability Adviser, and after talking about my interests she suggested that I contact Remedi to enquire about volunteering. The Derbyshire team offered me three sessions a week working on the Victim Support Programme.  I was responsible for making telephone contact with victims of all different types of crime and offering them help and support.

After about 5 or 6 months Remedi offered me some paid work on a temporary basis and then in June 2017 I was offered a permanent job on the Restorative Justice project!

Tell me a little bit about your current role

There are two strands to my job; one with young offenders and the other with adults. In my work with young offenders, I deal with people who have been referred from the Youth Justice Panels.  We have one-to-one sessions based around their conviction and we might do things like sending a letter of apology to the victim.  I also get to sit on Youth Justice Panels, which means I get to be part of the decision making process about what happens to an offender.

On the adult side my referrals come from Witness Care; if a victim shows an interest in restorative justice they are passed onto me and I make contact with both parties. Initially, I meet with the victim and the offender separately and then we decide what happens from there.

How did your degree prepare you for this role?

When I first started there was a lot of training based around theories of psychology and I was already familiar with most of it. Also, my degree gave me prior knowledge of community sentencing and the terminology used in Youth Justice Panels

What is the best part of your job?

I really like working with young people, and if I’d not volunteered I don’t think I would have considered it as a career option

What do you see yourself doing next?

More work with young people, maybe Case Management with young offenders

What advice would you give to new students starting at Hallam this semester?

Start volunteering in your first year! I left it until my final year and it was really difficult to fit around my academic study.

Thanks Olivia!

The Fairs – from the inside, out…

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Written by Georgia Widdowson, Psychology placement student.

“Don’t miss the Part- time jobs fair tomorrow…”,
“Do you want to find a job whilst studying?”,
“Georgia, you don’t want to miss out…”

After receiving what feels like a life time of emails – similar to the above – promoting Job fairs, volunteering opportunities and undergraduate roles which will make us ‘more employable’ I thought, “Do you know what, I think I’ll take a rain check this year.”

Well, now I am kicking myself for closing a door to opportunities I had never opened my eyes to in the first place. I would always think “How is this actually going to help me? Companies won’t choose me. Employers won’t want to work around my busy University schedule.” But, I was wrong. Being on placement in the Careers Team has enabled me to experience University job fairs from the ‘inside’, where I have got my hands dirty with tasks. I now see why fairs are so important to get stand out work experience as a student. Attending a careers fair isn’t scary, its set up for us, SHU students.

Taking an undercover role as a staff member at SHU has forced me to take my fingers out my ears and listen to what employers can offer us. They DO want to help us. If I’d have never taken up a work placement role at the University careers and employability team, then the skills which I have learnt would still be buried under a towering pile of ‘denial’. I have uncovered abilities I’d never have the self-confidence to develop.

When I first arrived at my work placement, I was gobsmacked by how much work goes into the creation of job fairs for us students. The team do everything possible to help us and all the work that goes into fairs is solely with the benefit of students in mind. Without sounding biased the fairs amazing! Some quotes below from students at the recent Work While You Study Fairs can give you a bit of insight into exactly why job fairs are a must to attend…

            “Great variety and there a few companies here which I am definitely going to sign up to! There are opportunities here I didn’t think we could get involved with and get paid for.”

“Really good to be able to talk to employers in person as it’s easier to ‘sell’ yourself face to face rather than over your CV.”

            “It has been excellent! It made finding a job so easy! Everyone was really helpful.”

            “It was good because there are companies here that I wouldn’t think of applying for, so it was great to have some variety!”

These are just handful of student quotes which undoubtedly highlight how valuable, helpful, fun and eye-opening the careers fairs are!

However, I had to save the best until last…

            “We LOVE it! Loads of fun jobs and opportunities- I have signed up everywhere!”

This student was beaming like a Cheshire cat and was so enthusiastic and excited it was as if someone had told her she had landed a dream date. This really made me giggle and reminded me what exciting and interesting opportunities are handed to us at this University – we shouldn’t take them for granted!

So, when the next fairs come around,  don’t be a hermit and exchange Netflix for job finding. Find and drag yourself and your mates on campus and get involved! Whether this is talking to employers, taking leaflets or better yet, signing up to a job or volunteering opportunity! It doesn’t matter if you don’t find an opportunity; at least you got yourself out there! There’s no harm in trying and excelling yourself.

All I can think now is “I am so glad I decided to do a work placement! I’m a new ‘strong, independent woman’ who can achieve anything thrown her way!

Seven things to do if you’re thinking about teaching as a career

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  1. Work out whether you are aiming for Primary or Secondary teaching – or perhaps you’d prefer teaching in a completely different setting, for example sixth form college, training centre, or a prison (depending on your personal strengths, previous qualifications, and interests).
  2. Register with Get Into Teaching and the UCAS Teacher Training site; both have information on different routes into teaching.
  3. Set up a chat with a teacher to ask them what working in a school is really like. For example, you could ask about their typical day including lesson planning, marking and tasks other than teaching, what they like about being a teacher, challenges they face and strategies they use to manage the class and maintain their resilience.
  4. Arrange a visit to a school (or even better to two completely different types of schools – large Vs small intake, different age ranges), so you can see how you feel about the environment and working culture. Use your networks to find out if anyone works in a school you could visit. The Department for Education has a School Experience Programme (SEP) which can help you find local opportunities.
  5. Set up experience (volunteering or paid work) so you are in a position to apply for teacher training courses if you decide that’s the right option for you. (Getting work experience in a school or other education setting can be a stepping stone to other areas of work beyond teaching in any case).
  6. Have a look at TryTeaching (paid internships within schools to see whether you like the environment, then further support if you decide you want to apply for teacher training)
  7. Have a look at the information on getting into teaching on Careers Central and book onto one of our Career Focus Teacher Training events via: https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/

International Women’s Day 2018

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Our event is on Thursday 8th March at 12pm in the Careers and Employability Centre and is called ’Women Leading Social Change’.

Women Leading Social Change is part of SheFest and is hosted by Sheffield Hallam University and the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network www.ssen.org.uk

On International Women’s Day we will be hearing from successful social entrepreneurs. They will talk about why social enterprise is changing the face of the business sector, as well as the challenges and successes they have faced along the way.

There will be time for networking after the panel discussion. 

The speakers are:

Sangita Basudev is a founder member of Sheffield Live! the local community media organisation. She has spent a majority of her working life in social enterprises, co-ops and the community voluntary sector.

Jo Hercberg is the founder and co Director of The Real Junk Food Project Sheffield, a social enterprise saving food from being wasted and doing amazing things with it. The project began in 2015 and now runs 2 cafés, the Sharehouse Market, an ethical catering operation and an educational program for schools with 180+ volunteers and 6 employees.

Sophie Maxwell founded the Really NEET Project back in 2011, she wanted to develop a college where young people who had complex needs including mental health issues, care-leavers, young people on probation, young parents, young people with learning disabilities and other such barriers could learn in a safe environment, most of Really NEET’s young people have struggled in all previous education placements including school. Really NEET works with a 160 young people a year across Rotherham, Barnsley and Sheffield. Sophie was driven by her own experience, she was pulled out of school at 14 to escape domestic violence and ended up homeless at 16. She has won many national awards for the work she has done including the high sheriffs award for devoted services to the community and the Duke of York Award. 

Students can book their place via UniHub https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/students/events/detail/579242

We ask an environmental consultancy practice: what does your company actually do and what are the routes into working in this area?

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Sophie Lewis, Landscape Consultant for Tyler Grange explains what the company does and gives two case studies of routes in:

What Tyler Grange Actually do:

Tyler Grange (TG) offer expert advice, assessment and consultancy services in relation to planning applications and new developments. Their work covers a broad range of projects in both urban and rural contexts and includes complex urban extensions, major infrastructure proposals (roads, rail, housing), and commercial development. Depending on the project, work might include site surveys (existing physical features including trees and habitats, protected species surveys), environmental assessments (e.g. animal and plant species on site) and recommendations to ensure clients comply with environmental legislation when planning new developments including strategies for minimising the impact of new developments on the ecological environment.

Specialist teams cover each area:

Arboriculture

Our team of arboriculture consultants specialise in the production of BS5837 surveys, the formulation of tree protection strategies associated with complex development sites; and, the critique and challenge of Tree Preservation Order (TPO) designations.

Ecology

Our team of ecologists are members of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), working in accordance with the Code of Practice, to carry out surveys and assessments on protected species such as bats, badgers, newts and birds.

Landscape

Our team of landscape architects provides advice in relation to all aspects of landscape planning; from initial site appraisal, through the preparation of Landscape/Townscape and Visual Impact Assessments (L/TVIA) to the presentation of landscape evidence at public inquiries.

Getting into this area of work:

There’s no set route in, it’s a case of building up practical experience and securing additional qualifications in areas which interest you (for example experience with protected species if you’re considering ecology).

Team Member Case Studies

Laura Mason – Landscape Consultant

Following an initial degree in Geography and Environmental Management, Laura gained further masters-level qualifications in Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Landscape Architecture.

Laura says: “I was uncertain what to do after my first degree in Geography so went on to study GIS. This led me towards working as a Graphics Technician within a large multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy company. Once there I discovered landscape assessment and decided to undertake further studies into Landscape Architecture to become a qualified landscape professional and a member of the Landscape Institute. I enjoy working in this sector because of the cross-over between the different disciplines and the variety of work available.” 

Introducing Hilary Thumpston – Landscape Intern

Hilary is undertaking a ‘Master of Landscape Architecture’ (MLA) degree at Manchester Metropolitan University and joined TG as part of her placement module for the summer of 2017. Before the MLA, Hilary completed the BSc in Environmental Science course at SHU. Her time at SHU led her towards a career in environmental consultancy through her studies into topics such as remediation, EIA, atmospheric and water quality and ecology.

Hilary says: “My placement is based within the landscape department and my work involves providing technical landscape advice to improve development designs to the benefit of the local landscape and users. TG also provide Ecology and Arboriculture services which I am encouraged to become involved with. There are many different careers within companies such as TG which can stem from an initial qualification in Environmental Science.”

For further information about working within this area and things you can do to increase your chances of getting into this area, have a look at the case studies on Tyler Grange’s site and the ‘environmental consultant’ and ‘landscape architect’ profiles on National Careers Service or Prospects

Nine tips if you’re still looking for a sandwich placement

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If you’re still looking for a sandwich placement for your second year, don’t despair. Here are our top tips for securing a placement:

  1. Use the Placement Portal as one option (placements are uploaded throughout the year including summer), but try a range of other approaches – advertised vacancies, speculative applications and networking (to get inside information)
  2. Don’t forget to search on UniHub – the ‘search employers’ section is also useful as you can identify potential employers to contact
  3. Identify the type of work you’d like and the location, identify potential organisations and then approach them directly – discussing strategies with an Employability Adviser can help
  4. Take the time to get a named person to call or address your email to, then make sure you follow up to check they’ve received your email/CV after around two weeks if you don’t hear anything
  5. Utilise social media: create a positive online presence, use twitter and LinkedIn to get ideas about potential organisations, positions and contacts – see if you can arrange to talk to your contacts face-to-face.
  6. Look out for full-time vacancies: contact the employer to explain that you’re available for 12 months and ask whether they would still consider your application
  7. Check websites such as student ladder, Targetjobs, Prospects and Rate My Placement – identify organisations which interest you then identify alternative companies you could approach which are less well known
  8. Make a list of 50 employers you’d consider: use UniHub, try Googling “top 10 transport companies in Yorkshire” (or whatever criteria suits you), ask others for suggestions, check professional bodies’ websites, then ring the employers on your list to ask whether they offer sandwich placements and ask for suggestions for other companies to try
  9. Find a list of previous employers who’ve offered sandwich placements to students from your course in previous years and contact them to ask whether they’ve recruited this year: you may need to ask lecturers or placement administrators to help you locate the list