This week in the Careers & Employability Centre

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Have a look and see what is taking place within the Careers and Employability Centre this week.

To book, please visit the Careers and Employability Centre or visit: https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/

 

Don’t miss your chance to be a CEO for the day

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Ever wondered what it’s like to be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a multi-national company – the meetings that take place, the important decisions to be made, the hours worked and the people you network with?

Thanks to one of the UK’s leading executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, now you can as part of their CEO for a Day programme.

This unique opportunity allows University students to apply to spend a day shadowing a top CEO in order to learn from the UK’s most experienced leaders. It’s also designed to uncover promising future leaders and give students the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a senior executive.

Students go through a rigorous recruitment process, including online assessments and face-to-face interviews with our partners and consultants. Each finalist spends a day shadowing a CEO and learning about their background, career path, and an opportunity to transfer skills and better understand what drives these future leaders.

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CEO for a Day launched in the UK in 2016 with 15 undergraduates from UK universities chosen to shadow a cross-section of leaders for a day. Participating companies and organisations included BT, ITV, Standard Chartered, Deloitte, Legal & General, The Cabinet Office and the National Trust.

So have you got what it takes to be a great leader in 2017? Then apply for this unique work experience opportunity.

Students are required to complete the application form, upload their CV and answer the following two questions.

About you: Please tell us about your career goals (100 words max.)

Your thoughts on leadership: Please answer the following question in under 500 words… What are the most important attributes of good leadership? (500 words max.)

Applications are now open and close at the end of June.

For more information including how to apply visit: https://unihub.shu.ac.uk/students/events/detail/432789/ceo-for-day-have-you-got-what- 

How we can help you during National Careers Week

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Helping students to plan out the next steps of their careers is an everyday occurrence here at Sheffield Hallam University.

This week is no exception as we host a series of events to support the 2017 National Careers Week.

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These events include:

To book your space, click the link on each event.

So you want to be an artist…..?

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The Moor, SheffieldAs part of Departure Point Yorkshire, a creative venture to support emerging theatre companies the Moor Theatre Delicatessen is currently offering a series of free public workshops for early career artists (and those wanting to work in the arts industry). As the new Employability Adviser for Humanities (including Stage & Screen), the opening session was unmissable.

Led by Jess Brewster, Co- Artistic Director of Theatre Delicatessen, this engaging discussion was about what it means to be an artist and how you might become one. The panel of four speakers includedSheffield Hallam University graduate Sarah-Jane Parker, a visual artist and founder of Muriel Design; Terry O’Connor, a creative member of Forced Entertainment and Professor of Contemporary Theatre and Performance Practice at the University of Sheffield; Nina Segal, a playwright/producer and Malaika (‘Max’) Cunningham, Artistic Director of local theatre company, The Bare Project.

Like the panel members, this event did not lend itself to being pigeonholed! Not only did it tackle issues that artists grapple with, but it also offered insight that could also be applicable outside of the arts industry, particularly if you are interested in freelance work and/or a ‘portfolio career’. A number of themes and useful tips came out:

Don’t be afraid of a fluid career and practise articulating the value of what you do

The pressure to focus on a particular role to be remembered and taken seriously was acknowledged, but the most important thing is to have an inner conviction that you are an artist. One tip was to focus on a form of work rather than an individual role; something which Nina, as both a writer and producer, has embraced.

As many people are unfamiliar with non-play based theatre, Terry finds explaining what Forced Entertainment does a challenge, but suggested that perseverance can pay off!

Departure Points

Avoid direct comparison with others

It was recognised that it can be a struggle not to compare yourself to others, particularly those who secure certain high status venues and reviews etc. ‘Look for value in your own work rather than competing with others’ and ‘resist following trends for the sake of it; stick to what you want to do,’ advised Max.

Persevere to strike the balance between financial survival and your artistic development

Working outside of the industry is common, particularly in early careers, but aim to choose roles that leave you the energy to continue developing your art. Sarah spoke of her long term determination to become financially independent rather than relying on external funding. She has gradually built up a wallpaper design business (supported by our very own enterprise team). ‘This allows more time for my individual art work than previous jobs have done,’ Sarah added. As it is a creative business, it feels part of her artistic life consisting of ‘interconnected strands’, which can be individual or collaborative; commercially focused or not.Departure Points 2

Be aware of the realities of the market but maintain a positive perspective

To some extent, both the panel and audience acknowledged that trends and marketing can sometimes lead to being pigeonholed by funders and venues. However, there is a flipside to this coin, as branding can also be useful to sustain a career. There is no easy answer, but the consensus was to compartmentalize different aspects of the industry; ‘get perspective – distance yourself from the parts of the industry you don’t like and focus on those that you love!’ advised Max.

There are three more public Departure Point workshops; see full details here – https://goo.gl/AXfWpN 

Post written by Laura Kerley, Employability Adviser for Humanities (including Stage & Screen) at Sheffield Hallam University.

From Career Impact to a Leadership Graduate program

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Farida Tejan

Farida Tejan

Post by Public Relations and Media graduate Farida Tejan

At present, I work for Capita Resourcing- part of Capita Group Plc, a FTSE100 Business Process Outsourcing Company- on the Leadership Graduate program.

The scheme is comprised of 4 rotational placements across different business units with exposure to a diverse range of customers across public and private sectors, with on-going formal business training whilst working towards an MSc in Leadership and Management.

Having completed my first rotation with the division’s sales and marketing team, I am now holding a new business development executive role with the Write Research Company, engaging with business leaders within the consumer and services industry.

The highlights of the role include having access to and engaging with senior personnel within the Consumer and Service industry and being able to earn a commission for results delivered.

Following completing my degree, I went into a role as a Digital PR Executive at a digital marketing agency for just over a year. I was then approached for an internal Digital Marketing Executive role at Capita Customer Management where I worked across the marketing and Communications teams, implementing the online strategy and maximizing brand presence and engagement online.

I think the fact that I began my job search very early on in my final year of university attributed to my success in securing a role. Attending sessions with the career service meant that I had realistic expectations of application processes, salary and what employers were looking for. In addition to being proactive, I invested time in gaining work experience as and when I could and tried to open myself up to any opportunities.

During my time at Capita Customer Management, an internal re-structure took place that motivated me to look into other opportunities within the business. I began to consider the graduate program as a viable option as I knew one of the graduates already on the scheme. I expressed an interest to my line manager who helped me to start the process of an internal application that required me to be a graduate with a 2:1 degree. Following on from this, I had to pass personality and psychometric testing followed by a telephone interview and was then invited to an assessment centre once I passed these stages. I prepared for the psychometric tests online utilising free web databases in order to practice. A similar approach was taken for the telephone interview, where I brushed up on competency-based questions and general interview techniques. The assessment centre was harder to prepare for because I had little knowledge of what to expect, here I spoke to the graduates that I knew from within the business about their experience and tried to prepare general interview and team activity skills.

My course at Hallam really pushed me to take a proactive approach to getting organised and building up my CV in addition to our academic requirements. I think this balanced focus was really key in in preparing me to excel post-university. The sessions made available to me through Career Impact were invaluable in helping me to understand the caliber of applicant that graduate employers are looking for and how to prepare for the assessments within their application processes.

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get onto a graduate scheme or even the job of your dreams- it just gives you something to work towards. In fact, it turned out that I was completely wrong about what I initially thought of as my dream job! I found that by being open to opportunities and working hard in the roles that I did manage to get, doors opened up for me and I somehow made it onto a path that worked for me.

Choosing the right digital marketing role for you

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SEO Digital Marketing to improve website views

Using SEO Digital Marketing to increase website traffic

This post was written by Samantha Cooper – Director of Little Acorn Digital Marketing

Graduates with marketing degrees often don’t realise just how many different roles are available to them, especially down the digital route. This is because huge developments in technology and culture have completely changed the landscape of marketing over the past ten years, creating a demand for a whole host of new roles which are not yet being taught in our education system.

Each role within digital marketing is vastly different, requiring a different set of skills and a different type of individual.

In this post I will run through the main digital marketing roles in order to help you determine which is most suitable for you.

PPC

PPC is short for ‘pay per click’. PPC adverts are placed on the results page of search engines such as Google or Bing with the aim of driving traffic to your website which will then convert into a sale or another form of conversion for non-e-commerce sites. A PPC exec will carefully chose the search terms which ads are visible for and bid on those terms. This role requires somebody with a mathematical and analytical mind to ensure that the company achieves the highest possible return on investment.

SEO

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ which refers to the process of developing a website to become naturally visible in search engine results pages. Again the aim of this is to increase traffic to your site and in turn increase conversions. To rank well an SEO exec needs to ensure the website is technically well built as well as providing all of the information the user desires from their search, presented in an easily digestible manner. This role mixes technical web knowledge with creativity and is therefore great for anyone who wants variation in their job.

Affiliate

Affiliate markers place adverts on third party websites in order to attract people to their website and increase conversions. They carefully chose websites which have a cross over in target audience and agree commission rates with the sites. This role demands somebody with great communication skills as well as string maths and analytical skills. 

Email

If you are a little more creative and have some design skills then email marketing may be for you. The role includes creating great looking emails using ‘subliminal’ marketing tactics to be sent out to a database of subscribers. The end goal is to get people to take a particular desired action off the back of reading the email, whether that is to visit your website, make a purchase, sign up to an event, enter a competition and so on. You will also need some degree of analytics to review what tactics provide the best results.

Social Media

The usage of social media has grown rapidly over the last few years providing companies with a means of speaking directly with a huge proportion their target audience on a regular basis. The majority of companies with an online presence include social media in their overall marketing strategy. This role is really popular with outgoing and creative people although it does also require some degree of analysis to define a strategy which achieves a constant increase in followers, likes, shares etc.

Social media provides companies with a regular means of speaking directly with their target audience.

Social media provides companies with a regular means of speaking directly with their target audience.

 

If there is more than one role which you would like to pursue or you don’t want to limit yourself to one area then you will be glad to know that some companies combine two roles together. For example you may see some adverts for SEO/PPC exec where time is split between the two or alternatively you could opt for a digital marking assistant role where you will gain a small amount of experience in each area and then go on to decide which area you wish to specialise in. 

TravelBird Scholarship

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Travelbird Scholarship

Travelbird have an exciting opportunity for one student to win a €3,000 scholarship prize to go towards their travel experiences, work placement or studies, based on a creative project. The most successful applicant will also have the chance complete an internship at their Headquarters in Amsterdam for 3 to 6 months, and students are now eligible to enter.

What’s the Opportunity?

  • The TravelBird Scholarship will enable a talented and motivated student to work at their Amsterdam office for a period of 3 to 6 months based on the winning project about a travel experience.
  • The benefits don’t stop at the invaluable insights you’ll gain during your time there, or even the €3,000 prize you’ll receive for having been awarded the scholarship. You can also look forward to delicious, healthy lunches, free wine and beer at the end of a great week and the use of your own Macbook Pro.
  • In addition to this, you will also receive an intern allowance of €350 per month. Sound good? Then they want to hear from you!

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How to Apply?

To apply for this scholarship you need to be a current student and answer the following question:

“What has been your most inspirational travel experience?”

  • There are no limits as to how you can approach the question, we would actively encourage you to think carefully about and approach the question from as wide, creative or inspiring a perspective as possible! You are also free to choose which format you want to answer the question with, please go to the Travelbird website for more details and how to apply.
  • The application deadline is at 23:59 (CET) on May 31st, 2016, and the winner will be announced on June 15th. The internship will last for 3 to 6 months and you can choose when you want to start, as long as are you are still a university student aged 18 and over (ie, have not yet graduated) at the point at which you begin.
  • This is open to all national and international students, however only entries in the following languages will be accepted: English, German, Dutch, French, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian.

Benefits of working for small firms during your 20’s

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liam-solomon-1Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman

I graduated last year (2015) from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Marketing. It was extremely daunting seeing my class mates beginning to get jobs and the pressure was building to jump into a career and start paying back those student loans.

I explored the possibility of working for a start-up after watching an inspiring talk from Jack Ma on career paths (click here to view video). In the video, the founder of Alibaba gives a powerful speech on the benefits of working for small firms during your 20’s, to learn a range of new skills, gain valuable mentoring and to be submerged in an environment of passion and desire to succeed. I can honestly say that working for a start-up has ticked all the above and more.

I had briefly worked for two large corporate entities (one in my placement year and one after graduating) and found I was very limited in regard to challenges I faced. I felt I wasn’t regularly learning new things and found it hard to make my mark in an already established company.

With this in mind, I applied for a paid internship in an exciting start-up. I was fortunate enough to get the role at Love the Sales, a company that aggregates all retail sales and displays them on their website. They have a completely unique idea which has been eye-opening to work on. The innovation and creativity in the team is contagious and you get a real sense of achievement from the effort you put into the business.

liam-solomon-2I have always worried about making mistakes when starting a new job, however, working for a start-up is a world apart from the corporate pressure and office politics you find at larger companies. In a start-up, learning is key. Knowing what works and what doesn’t is essential to improving the businesses position. So, if you do something and it doesn’t work you have still learnt something. The atmosphere in the office is always very relaxed and encouraging, the ideology of testing ideas, learning and building from them if they succeed or fail is great to be apart of.

It’s funny, when you’re sitting in a lecture half listening, wondering whether you’ll use this information at all, well, you do! It’s scary how much you recall and put in to practice when brainstorming or trying to figure out a solution to a problem.

If you’re like me and you worry about the possibility of cementing your career choice in the first job you take, then a start-up is a perfect solution to give you time to decide what you like and don’t like and where your skills lie.

Learning something new everyday, no matter how small, is so important at the beginning of your career. Since the start of my internship I have worked on social media, copywriting content, building SEO, email marketing and writing code to name a few. In this internship I’ve been able to gain an array of skills in different areas of the business, not just within a specific silo.

What’s surprised me most since working in this start-up though, is the amount of time my bosses have dedicated to teaching me new skills and enhancing my learning. It’s a very motivating feeling to have bosses that really invest in your personal development.

Now half a year on from graduation, I have progressed from an internship to an SEO executive with the company, learning valuable career skills and enjoying every minute!

Insights from “I want to Work with People” Careers Week (Part 2)

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Close to 200 students attended the first dedicated careers week hosted by the Psychology, Sociology and Politics department which included seven separate events with a variety of engaging guest speakers. In the second of two blog posts, Psychology placement student Olivia Royston, shares an overview of the events, student feedback and key learning points:

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Sexual Exploitation: Working with Young People at Risk

Guest speaker Phil, spoke about the work of Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service (http://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/home/about_us/sheffield_sexual_exploitation_service/), which he manages, and I found this especially interesting. It was remarkable to discover that 46% of referrals they received last year were online sexual exploitation, and that this number is thought to be much higher this year. He discussed in depth about what can make a young person vulnerable and the indicators of risks. He mentioned many challenging aspects of the job, but how rewarding it was at the same time. It was shocking to find out how little justice the victims get because of the difficulties in prosecution. Furthermore, it was fascinating to find out how closely the service has to work with so many other services, such as the criminal justice system, social workers, public protection officers and how many different career routes they are which involve working with young people at risk.

Non-Teaching Roles in Education

Before I attended this talk I was not aware of the extensive range of job roles that involved working with children in schools, aside from teaching. Employability adviser, Andrew Walton from the Department for Education, Children and Inclusion at Sheffield Hallam, led the workshop and shared his expertise on the topic. I think it showed just how broad the horizon was when discussing the numerous jobs, ranging from Welfare Support to a Cover Supervisor to an Educational Psychologist! Something that I think was extremely useful was the websites shared and navigation through some of them. On these websites were a wealth of different jobs, some of which were full time roles, others were fantastic volunteering opportunities but all offering a route into the education sector and showing that there are many interesting opportunities out there.

You can find useful resources to research this area further here: https://targetjobs.co.uk/sites/targetjobs.co.uk/files/public/Education_Alternatives_2015.pdf

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Insights into Human Resources

The final event of the week began with a group discussion around the purpose of human resources and what activities HR professionals are involved in. We then gained insight into the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and their qualifications. These qualifications aren’t essential to begin a career in the area; however would extremely beneficial if you wished to advance within HR. The qualification focuses on the main skills needed to work in HR, including: – being a team player, working in a fast paced environment, being able to meet deadlines and prioritise work and conducting research. The talk also covered various routes into HR. Sometimes this can be through a placement, an internship, a graduate job or simply just a job you have seen advertised. The guest speaker, Helen, HR manager for Sheffield Hallam University, first entered HR through a graduate scheme for Sheffield City Council following her Geography degree, who then funded her Masters, which involved the CIPD qualification. Helen gave tips on how to present oneself positively in an interview. She shared the importance of showing that the skills you have gained in other areas of work are transferrable to what the employer is looking for, even if you don’t think it relates directly. Another useful tip was to do your research on the business you are applying for, this way you can incorporate their values into yours and show a good fit with the company. Another student commented they had found it useful “How many examples were given, it was very practical and offered a good insight into what is needed to get into HR and what it really is”

If you want to know more about a career in HR, CIPD have produced a useful guide: https://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/hr-careers-guide_2015.pdf

 

by Olivia Royston with edits from Caroline Hanson

 

Students from Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology courses can view all slides and resources from the sessions on their course Blackboards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insights from “I want to Work with People” Careers Week (Part 1)

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Close to 200 students attended the first dedicated careers week hosted by the Psychology, Sociology and Politics department which included seven separate events with a variety of engaging guest speakers. In the first of two blog posts, Psychology placement student Olivia Royston, shares an overview of the events, student feedback and key learning points.

 

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Forensic Psychology in a Prison Setting

Anna and Andy kicked off our ‘Working with People’ week with an exciting start and also the most popular event of the week, with near 70 students in attendance! These two Psychology graduates work as Programme Managers and Facilitators at HMP Moorland and HMP Lindholme and shared with students about their fascinating careers and what it is like working in the prison services. They found every day was different, entertaining and challenging. They get to see offenders make positive changes and see them challenge their own thoughts and perceptions. As well as rewards there are also many challenges, their expertise is frequently scrutinized by offenders, the difficulty of balancing individual needs with organisational outcomes and the struggle to tackle the individual motivation of some of the prisoners. Andy outlined the key skills that are required to work within the prison services, which students reported finding useful in their feedback. These skills included leading and communicating, open mindedness and resilience or ‘thick skin’ as they put it. Students were challenged to think of evidence from all aspects of their life which could show they meet these competencies.

Anna outlined in detail about the drug and alcohol six week therapeutic programme which she runs and it was interesting to also find out about the longer programmes available to prisoners which Psychology departments and Forensic Psychologists work on, such as anger management, thinking skills and victim awareness. Many students commented on how useful the information was about the qualifications and experience needed to pursue a career in Forensic Psychology. You can find out more here http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/forensic. Further study and professional training is required to become a chartered forensic psychologist but programme facilitator roles with a psychological focus can be entered by Psychology or join honours graduates with relevant experience and skills. Furthermore, knowing the relevant job sites to look at (NARCO, G4S, Civil Service Jobs) to gain experience was particularly useful.

Routes into Health Psychology

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Chartered Health Psychologist Kate Greenwell (left), with Psychology lecturer Katie prior to her guest lecture

One of the biggest pieces of feedback from Kate’s talk about Health Psychology was how much students learnt about what Health Psychology is! With Health Psychology being a relatively new and developing area of Psychology it was very insightful learning about its focus on the links between the mental health of the mind and the physical health of the body.  Key areas include the promotion and maintenance of good health, use of psychology to prevent illness, analysis and improvement of the healthcare system and supporting those with long term health conditions. I also learnt who a health psychologist was likely to be employed by and the many different research projects Kate had been involved with. Through her PhD work on the coping mechanisms of individuals with Tinnitus, she had discovered that the more stressed about their Tinnitus a patient was, the worse their physical symptoms became.

Personally, it was very interesting to learn about the differences between Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology. It was particularly useful learning about the different routes into becoming a Health Psychologist, you can find out more here: http://careers.bps.org.uk/area/health . I think it was reassuring to those listening to Kate to know that, in some situations, there is funding available and that there are several possible routes into health psychology.

Routes into Counselling

This popular event was really enjoyable for undergraduates as well as students on master’s courses.  It began with advice on relevant volunteering using counselling skills and was really helpful to hear about all the opportunities especially from a past student of Sheffield Hallam who now works with Hallam Volunteering (https://www.hallamstudentsunion.com/volunteering/). Gerry, from the Samaritans talked about his involvement in the helpline service and how rewarding and yet difficult it can be at times. The service offers training and support for volunteers and is currently recruiting in the Sheffield area (http://www.samaritans.org/volunteer-us )

The second part of the session Gail Evans, a professional counsellor and counselling trainer from www.counsellingacademy.org/ spoke about how to become accredited in this area. Graduates with relevant experience can work in a related role using and developing their counselling skills straight from their degree, but to qualify and receive accreditation as a counsellor, an introductory course is required before progressing onto a Diploma course which is completed part time over a number of years. Gail also gave useful information, including financial details, useful websites to help gain experience and information on the different bodies of accreditation. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a counsellor some useful starting points can be found here: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/counsellor.aspx

 

by Olivia Royston and Caroline Hanson with additional contribution from Georgia Robinson

 

Students from Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology courses can view all slides and resources from the sessions on their course Blackboard sites