9 Tips for Job Interviews

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Post by Laura Burden, final year student at Hallam

So if, like me, you’re coming to the end of your time studying at Sheffield Hallam, you’re probably starting to think about getting one of those job things. I’ve had a few job interviews recently; I wanted to share some of my experiences and tips.

Let’s assume, for the purpose of this post, that you’ve secured an interview. Pat yourself on the back because that in itself isn’t easy. Clearly, there’s something in your application that they like!

So here’s a bit of a roundup of what I do before, during and after a job interview.

Research the company/organisation

No matter what I know about an organisation, I do a sweep of all the interview and job description information I’ve had and make notes. Then a quick Google search and a poke around their website provides some more general information about the company.

It’s all useful to know and trust me; it’s really obvious when you’ve done your research.

Know where you’re going and who you’re meeting

If I’m not sure where I’m going I do as much research as possible about the place I’ll be going to for my interview – is there parking available, what time will the train arrive there, what if the train’s late?

I’ve arrived more than an hour early for an interview before because I was nervous about being late, thankfully there was somewhere nearby where I could have a coffee. Try to arrive no more than 15 minutes early.

Have you got everything?

Typically you’ll need to bring some ID with you such as a passport. You might also need proof of any qualifications you mentioned on your application so, don’t forget your certificates. I also like to have some water with me (although it’s usually provided in interviews) and some pens and paper. Make sure to check the interview information and see whether you need to do any prep, in the past I’ve had to prepare a presentation and take it with me.

What type of interview is it?

I’ve been to group interviews, presentation interviews, panel interviews and one-to-one interviews; it just depends on the organisation, department and specific role you’re applying for. Each interview type has its pros and cons, usually I find it less nerve-wracking if there’s more than one person interviewing but really it depends on the people! It’s always important to know what type of interview you’re going to, and try to find out the name/s of the interviewers.

First impressions are vital

I know it’s a cliché but it’s true.

Dress smartly (yes, you have to iron your shirt), smile, introduce yourself, shake hands with your interviewers, please and thank you etc. Don’t sit down until a seat is offered, sit up straight, listen to your interviewers carefully and ask for clarification if you’re unsure about something.

Make eye contact and nod or respond where appropriate. Address the person who has asked you the question but also make eye contact with the other members of the panel.

The questions

Top tip – have a look at the job specification; you can usually work out what kind of questions you’ll get. I’ve had questions on personal strengths and weaknesses, working through a difficult situation, why I would be suitable for the role, and everything in between.

I definitely recommend having a couple of examples of situations you’ve been in and do some personal reflection.

If you’re struggling to think of the best example to use or how to answer a question, ask if you can come back to it. I’ve done this a few times – they aren’t judging you for it.

STAR

The most important thing to remember for interviews – use the STAR technique.

I’m really bad for waffling and trying to cram in a lot of information – have you noticed? The STAR technique helps me give focused, concise answers.

Situation – Who, what, when, where and why

Task – What was the challenge or problem, what was the end goal?

Action – What did YOU do?

Result – What was the outcome?

Ask your own questions

Always ask at least one question yourself. It shows you’re interested – in the job, the company, the people sat in front of you. Rather than trying to think something up on the spot, I tend to go with a few questions in mind, and then whatever isn’t answered; you’ve got some questions to hand.

Just make sure you don’t ask anything that’s already been answered.

After the interview

Before you leave, make sure they have your contact details and that you know when they will contact you. When they do get in touch, I make sure to thank them for their time and for contacting me, I also always ask for feedback on my interview – even if I’m offered the position.

If you need to take a day to consider a job offer, don’t be afraid to ask for some time. Remember, even though a job offer over the phone is brilliant, it’s not binding, and it’s important to ensure you get some kind of written offer.

Good luck out there and remember to check out the Careers Central Interviews page for more advice, tips and to book a mock interview if you’re feeling unprepared or unsure!

Recognition and relationships

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Post by James Beighton, Employer Partnerships Officer (Student Employment) at Sheffield Hallam University

There’s an age-old saying “Self-praise is no recommendation.” Proverbs have to start somewhere so at some point, somebody must’ve been willing to shout about their success and it must’ve meant something to someone.

Last week we crowned institutional winners of The Sheffield Hallam University Student Employee of The Year Awards (SEOTY). The Awards themselves are the largest of their kind in the UK and recognise students who successfully combine part-time work with study. 81 of our students were put forward as nominees by their Manager for going above and beyond their job duties, showing leadership or having a commercial impact on a local or national business.

Sheffield once again sits at the top of the table for student employment with the city’s two Universities finishing 2nd and 3rd in the overall nominations table for 2018.

What does this mean for our students? For some, I dare say most, a job fits one purpose, an income alongside study. This year, more than any other, our students are starting to reflect on the skills they are taking from employment. We’ve heard about the competitive job market, being work ready as a graduate, being tech-savvy and digitally orientated. What is refreshing is the way that all our winners reflected on their achievements in their victory speech, with confidence and humility. Soft skills will take you far.

The labour market is increasingly consumer driven. The 2018 employer is open to those with portfolio careers and it’s accepted that stand out workers will likely have exposure to different sectors, jobs and skill sets. Yorkshire’s rich list was released by The Times Newspaper last week and emphasised the trend that fortune is increasingly self-made. The rise to wealth of those setting up their own business or believing in an idea is stark. Proof, if ever it was needed, that graduates will go far with belief and resilience, two distinguishing factors amongst those who work part-time and those who work part-time with distinction.

It is possible to have an impact working as little as 8 to 10 hours per week. Looking at this year’s SEOTY nominations, our students are proving to be a driving force behind some of the bigger issues facing the Higher Education Sector. Our Commercial Impact Award winner won her award for bringing an estimated £1 million of new business to a company specialising in mental health and wellbeing. The winner of the Above and Beyond Award is a true ambassador, promoting the value of getting into further education amongst school children through sports coaching in the community. The ability of our students to apply themselves through part-time work and champion their own experience of higher education is admirable.

Work experience is as much a part of an education as learning a system or reading a textbook. It allows students to build relationships on a professional level and the confidence gained from seeing the reward in working is markable. Our students have to work, it’s no longer a desirable.

On campus, our student casual payroll paid 402 individual students last month. Between them, these students worked over 4000 hours in paid part-time work, working for teams on campus at Sheffield Hallam University. The demand for work is on the increase and through initiatives like SEOTY, the importance of a successful working partnership between students and employers is becoming ever more prominent.

The 2017 national SEOTY winner is a Sheffield Hallam student. At the time, 1st year Law student Nabeela stood out as a clear winner for her work with young people as part of The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme. Students are leading by example and working as advocates for the importance of getting out there and doing something meaningful. They may not identify it at the outset but they are resilient in a time where it’s easy to become insular in an uncertain political and financial labour market. Nabeela featured via video at our awards evening and summed up exactly what a SEOTY Award can do for the confidence of a student, “When I went to interviews I was able to say, I’m student employee of the year, hire me!”. A stand out example that work experience at any level of study is valuable both to the individual and a business.

The SEOTY Awards are now at a regional stage where winners from institutional awards will compete across the country to be named as National Student Employee of The Year 2018.

Winners will be announced at The National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) Conference in July. For more information, head to www.nases.org.

If you’re a student, look at the hundreds of part-time on campus and off campus job roles advertised on UniHub. You could be the next SEOTY Awards winner!

If you’re an employer, you can benefit from flexible, casual workers and advertise for FREE today.

 

Top Tips for improving your performance with psychometric assessments

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If you find the idea of completing online psychometric assessments daunting you’re not alone. Saqib Saddiq, Senior Psychologist at Graduates First shares his top tips for tackling psychometric tests:

  1. Start thinking about psychometric assessments well in advance so you have time to research the types of assessments you might be asked to complete and familiarise yourself with them. Many employers use the same test publishers to source their psychometric tests, so it’s worth spending time practicing to familiarise yourself with the types of psychometric tests and typical formats before you sit the assessments for real.
  2. Spend time practicing tests in advance. Most universities purchase packages to enable their students and graduates to practice online assessments under similar conditions to the real thing and receive detailed feedback so they can identify and work on areas for improvement. Along with Graduates First, (subscribed to by Sheffield Hallam University and other universities), other sites offering practice tests include CEBGlobal and Assessment Day.
  3. Find out which types of tests you’re likely to face with specific employers (for example look at the employer profiles on Graduates First), then spend time preparing for those specific tests. If you know you’ll be sitting a numerical reasoning test (tests your ability to reason with numerical information using basic arithmetic calculations) practice basic calculations in advance e.g. via BBC Bitesize. If you are expecting to take a situational judgement test or work personality questionnaires research the type of candidate the company is looking for and try to match your characteristics. When answering questions in the real assessment try to think of behaviours that a good candidate would demonstrate.
  4. Use practice tests to identify areas you can improve on, then work on improving your performance in those areas. If you find you struggle with accuracy, work on your concentration. If you run out of time you might need to take more practice tests and work on your speed.
  5. Realise that you’re not expected to finish the assessments –  they’re designed to stretch all candidates (meaning that no-one will reach the end). Stay calm and do your best – without getting upset if you do not manage to answer all questions. This is especially important if you are expected to go through a number of assessments in a row.
  6. Make sure you have the right conditions to maximise your performance completing the assessments use a PC or laptop in a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed etc. Make sure you have all the necessary items to hand before your start, such as a few sheets of paper, a pen and a calculator (if needed).

For more tips from myself and my colleagues at Graduates First, follow us on YouTube

 

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

My first week on placement!

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Blog post by Psychology student Georgia Widdowson – my first week on a work placement in the Careers and Employability Centre…

A bit about me…

I’ve always loved people, I love chatting with them, listening to them, but most of the time, talking at them. That is why I decided Psychology was the perfect course for me; the study of human behaviour never fails to get me excited!

During the open day for Sheffield Hallam, I was instantly attracted to the course once it was stated that we had the option of doing a work placement .I thought “Fab, a chance to get out into the real world and explore what a field in Psychology has to offer!” As a fantasist, I always envisaged I’d end up pulling a Freud and being a counsellor for the 8 weeks, or taking a leaf out of Milgram’s or Zimbardo’s book and conducting some crazy experiments. However, although it has not been as juicy as this, that’s not to say, I haven’t already learnt a lot during my work placement so far!   

So, where am I doing my work placement?

Originally, I was assigned to work at a sexual health charity in Sheffield. I was really looking forward to this as it covered one of the many areas within Psychology of interest to me. So, I thought “Amazing, for once, things have actually worked out for me!” Well…I spoke to soon. A couple of days later, when enjoying a nice Jacket potato in the Heart of the campus café, I received an email stating that a change in circumstances within the organisation meant I could no longer carry out my placement there. So, after one of my classic dramatic and blubbery phone calls to my Mum (and in front of the unfortunate souls who happened to be in the café) I concluded that this was down to fate, and that I had to trust that it was meant to be!

So, to get to the point…thankfully, the lovely and friendly careers team at Sheffield Hallam said they’d take me on, and as such I was assigned to work in their team for 8 weeks.

Now, I am sure you’re all wondering. How has my first week been?

As my first day arrived, I woke up at 7am, blurry eyed and zombified, and feeling very nervous and anxious about being in a professional environment and meeting new people. Despite this, I immediately felt welcome, and the positive and vibrant atmosphere within the department got me very excited about the opportunities and activities I would be getting involved with. Of course, I was apprehensive as it was not my original placement or line of work which I would originally chose or was interested to get involved with, yet this was the kick I needed to get me out of my comfort zone.

Luckily, I came at the perfect time. In the height of the organisation of the department’s two biggest job fairs ‘GoGlobal’ and ‘Work while you study’ (which I encourage everyone to come and check out!) I have helped towards the planning and promotion of these. I devised floor plans for the space at which the fairs will take place, deciding how the layout should be and where each company will stand. I’ve chosen the promotional videos for each company who will be at the fair (Apologies in advance if these bore you) and completing admin work, such as coding on the UniHub website, and I have sat in meetings among the careers team which was great to analyse from a Psychology perspective! These are things which I’d have never in a million years seen myself doing- yet, thank goodness I have! As it has provided me with skills which I’d have never have pushed myself to achieve. I am now looking forward to getting more stuck in!

So, what am I trying to say?

My first week of work placement has already provided me with the most important thing of all…confidence; Self-confidence, confidence in my abilities and skills and the confidence that my opinion, as a student, does matter. My view of Sheffield Hallam has changed.

Already, I have learnt that the University, especially within the careers and employability team, want you to succeed and do well and do all they can to help you achieve your life goals. So, don’t shy away and pop in to the department and ask any questions you may have about your future, or apply for an on/off campus job to earn some pocket money and gain invaluable skills, helping you to be more employable! And if you’re unsure about doing a work placement, all I can say is… Do IT, as no experience is ever wasted.

Making it in digital marketing without a marketing degree

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Hear top tips from Creative Writing graduate, Hannah Tomaszewski about how she got into Digital Marketing, took a risk and followed her heart to career satisfaction!

Hannah TomaszewskiHow I managed to land my dream job in digital marketing with no relevant degree and very little experience!

I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the summer of 2016 with a 2:1 Degree in Creative Writing and not much clue as to what I wanted to do next. I knew I wanted to write but couldn’t seem to figure out what route to go down. When I eventually researched marketing jobs and realised it sounded perfect for me, there was one problem – I didn’t have a marketing degree. In a world where most graduate jobs seem to require at least 2 years’ experience, it seemed impossible. Here’s how I beat the odds and managed to bag a job I’d only ever dreamed of.

What do you do and how did you end up there?

I work as a Digital Marketing Strategist for Bigfoot Digital, an award winning SEO Barnsley Agency. Worried about my lack of experience, after graduating and moving to Chesterfield, I pestered a local marketing agency to let me learn from them in exchange for witty jokes and sarcastic comments. I ended up doing some work experience with them for a month trying to soak up as much knowledge as I could. When I left, I was certain Marketing was the career for me but decided to take a break and worked in a castle hotel in Northumberland for a year – a hilariously odd yet fun experience.

I ended up back in Chesterfield and working in a marketing job that wasn’t what I thought it would be. The job was much more analysis based than advertised and I’m not ashamed to admit I was bored, uninspired and felt like I was sinking. I lasted 4 months until I took a risk, handed in my notice and left with no job lined up. I was told I was being naïve, that any job was better than none, but I followed my gut and, as I walked out on my final day, knew I’d made the right decision. I fired off what felt like millions of applications and, two weeks later, started at Bigfoot. The rest, as they say, is history!

What does an average day at work look like for you?

The thing I love most about my job is that no two days are the same. Although I mainly write content and blog posts for the website, it’s interesting to learn about the more technical aspects of digital marketing and how everyone’s roles interlink and fit together. Our office at Bigfoot is super relaxed and there’s often a background of Spice Girls to get you through the day. My colleagues all have different degrees and experience but we all share a common talent for all things marketing related and help each other out no matter what. I’m so lucky that I get to work with a load of like-minded people who genuinely get on, love their jobs and, most importantly, have a laugh!

My top tips:

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others:

It’s human nature to pit yourself against your peers, especially in a creative industry where everything is so subjective. In my office, everyone’s writing approach and styles are so different that it’s completely pointless to try and compare techniques and, often, while you’re busy being jealous of their talent, they’re thinking the same about yours.

  1. Think about what makes you different:

While I was at university, everyone was writing about serious topics while I dedicated my time to writing chick-lit, simply because I enjoyed it more! At the time, I worried that people would perceive me in a certain way, however I’ve since learnt that you should always play to your strengths. I’m proud to be individual and wrote my cover letter for my current job in my own humorous and informal voice – this is what made my boss hire me as I stood out from everyone else!

  1. Try not to panic and don’t give up.

I often still remind myself of this! The world of graduate jobs is extremely daunting! Always remember that you’re still young and no employer should expect you to know everything. When I left my previous job, I felt entirely lost and hopeless, but just weeks later I felt like a completely different person. There are great companies are out there – you’ve just got to find one!

  1. Be brave and have confidence in your own abilities:

In my first Graduate role, I shied away from speaking up and found it embarrassing to admit if I didn’t understand a task. In my team at Bigfoot, our mantra is ‘there are no stupid questions’ and it’s along these lines that I now try to live my life. Don’t be ashamed to admit if you don’t yet know something, everyone starts somewhere!

If you’re looking for marketing work experience, we’re always looking for talented individuals to join our ever-growing team so get in contact with us today!

 

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

Insight into publishing, my student perspective

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Kate Whittle, a first year BA English student at SHU recently attended an ‘Insight into Publishing’ event, run by Hachette UK, the UK’s most diversified trade publishing group.

“What are you doing at University?”, I sometimes get asked. Getting the most out of it, or at least trying to!

As a first-year student I initially felt a little out of my depth, I’d gotten up at half past four and travelled down to London for nine. I arrived at Carmelite House and thought “what am I doing here?”

Navigating the way to Hachette

However, within five minutes of being there I’d got a coffee in hand, a biscuit in the other and was making my way towards a table of smiling faces. Hachette UK put all the students into groups of about 8-10 to a table with a brief on it for a book, my table got the genre of ‘cookery books’ and so we had to brainstorm and work together to create a plan. This was so that throughout the day we could slowly work up a brief presentation where we attempt to sell our ‘book’ to the publishing house. This meant that everyone had to be friendly and work together to produce an original and interesting brief, they were some incredibly interesting people who I worked with and I honestly felt I learnt so much just from my table.

The day was split up by different talks from the different departments within the company, they had a director, Martin Neild who came and gave us an over view of the company and re-assured us that the book is definitely not dead! I think this causes a lot of people to not go into the industry and therefore they wanted to calm our fears and really get us enthusiastic about it. This was followed by some more senior staff who covered everything from production, to marketing, sales, publicity and so much more. To me the most striking thing about the day was just how broad the term ‘publishing’ is, it’s not just an editor and publicist doing all the work!

For example, Sarah Clay, the special sales person form Hodder & Stoughton made me realise that there is a lot more to getting the books on the shelfs past just writing and creating the physical book. She goes out to the major supermarkets, to the major bookstores, anywhere they think a book will sell. Her job role is to be enthusiastic and exited about why they would want this book in their stores, she said “it requires a lot of creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit”. This made me realise I don’t have to use my love of books in a typical sense, I could use that love and enthusiasm to get other people into books!

Publishers names on wall by the lifts

Over all it was a truck load of information crammed into a 9-hour day. I left feeling a little overwhelmed but even more in love with books and the English language than before, I honestly think the day on a whole was a must for anyone who is even considering a job leading from English or to English. Its not just about the specifics of publishing but also the general knowledge and confidence you get from doing something out of your comfort zone, such as travelling to London alone and talking to people much older and much more experienced than yourself.

Hachette UK is an incredible company that provides opportunities to those attempting to get into the industry. The ‘Inside story’ event was perfect for me as a student to go and get a better idea of what it actually meant to go into Publishing and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any who can spare the day.