Guinevere shares her top tips on gaining a Tier 2 sponsored Graduate role in the UK

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The Careers and Employability service provides students and graduates help with careers advice, CV writing, application forms, mock interviews, assessment centres, psychometric testing, skills workshops as well as in class lectures as part of your course. 

Students are also able to access a dedicated Employability Adviser as well as a Careers Consultant dedicated to their course.

Guinevere Chan (Sze Kei Chan), International graduate in MSc International Business Management and was able to fully utilise these services during her time at Sheffield Hallam University.

We spoke to Guinevere recently where she updated us on how she’s progressing after graduating and her current role at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Guinevere Chan (second right) whilst working at the ICE club.

Guinevere Chan (second right) whilst working at the ICE club.

What made you choose to study your courses?

I chose to study a MSc programme in International Business Management at Sheffield Hallam mainly because I developed an interest in different cultures and how these differences have an impact on the interactions between people and businesses. As I was undertaking a Business and Human Resource Management course at the time, I quickly realised that I would be interested to deepen my business knowledge with an international focus.

What were your experiences of each course?

I really enjoyed being part of the course for three main reasons.  First of all, the course is highly practical and we were constantly given the opportunity to apply theories and models to real life business cases, in the form of analysis, reports and presentations.  Secondly, the academic staff always challenged us to think critically from different perspectives. I found that having such a mind-set has been very useful in my current job. Finally, the people who are on the course are from a range of different cultural backgrounds, which I thoroughly enjoyed and I made really good friends who I still keep in touch with today.

How did you adjust to living in Sheffield?

I also completed my undergraduate degree at Sheffield Hallam so I was already familiar with the city when I joined the master’s course. However, it was quite difficult at the beginning when I first came to the UK. The main reasons were the different education systems, cultural difference and not knowing anyone in the city.

In comparison to the Hong Kong education system, the biggest differences I found in the UK was the emphasis on autonomy in learning, critical thinking and practical applications. It seemed to me that the higher level of the qualification, the more these aspects apply to my study. 

So for new students coming from Hong Kong and China, be prepared to:

  • Be a lot more involved in expressing your own opinions in class
  • Challenge other perspectives and be prepared to being challenged
  • Take responsibility for your own learning progress
  • Take part in group work
  • Take initiative (e.g. be a course rep)
  • Take a leadership role (e.g. leader of a group project)
  • Read quality news regularly to keep up to date with what is happening (e.g. BBC News, Financial Times, Guardian)
  • Develop your skill set outside the classroom through engaging with extracurricular activities
Guinevere appeared in marketing material for the university during her time in Sheffield

Guinevere appeared in marketing material for the university during her time in Sheffield with hints and tips for other students.

Did anything help you to adjust to UK life?

Yes, definitely. I adapted to the new city very quickly as I built my circle through taking part in the social activities at Sheffield Hallam. As time progressed, I also started to volunteer to participate in different projects and societies, through which I expanded my social circle and sharpened my skills at the same time. My favourite social activities were the day trips that are organised by the International Experience Team as I was able to travel and see more of the UK and meet new people at the same time.

Did you do any part time work whilst in the UK?

I did. I started off working in the ICE club at the university which is part of the University’s Campus Jobs (paid roles to work for the university) and later I also worked at a retail store called Argos during the summer months.

You have recently gained a Graduate role. Tell us more about this.

Company: Price Waterhouse Coopers. Role title: Associate Management Consultant

My role is part of a two year graduate scheme, in which I will have the opportunity to experience a range of different projects. My responsibilities are varied depending on the projects but a few examples would be conducting market research to identify potential clients and opportunities for  the company; and assisting in designing and implementing sustainable transformation programmes for our clients.

Can you outline some of the support you received during your course from the various parts of the University?

During my four years at Sheffield Hallam, I received a lot of support from different people. The tutors helped to shape my thinking and always challenged me to achieve more than I thought I could be. The Careers Consultants and Employability Advisers helped me to build my CV and helped me to understand the steps that I needed to take to secure a job in the UK. I believe that the understanding of the UK job market is absolutely critical to landing a job as an international student. As for the International Experience Team, they offered an excellent visa advice service which helped me to understand the various types of Visas that I would need to obtain to work in the UK after graduation. Finally, taking part in the ICE club and other volunteering opportunities helped me to develop my communication skills, confidence, English language capability and to expand my network, which was also critical to my path in landing a graduate job in the UK with Tier 2 sponsorship.

What advice do you have for any other international students who are seeking a placement or graduate role in the UK?

To the international students who are looking for a placement or a graduate role in the UK, my advice would be plan ahead, make good use of the services on offer from the Careers and Employability centre, take part in extracurricular activities and gain a good understanding of the UK job market.

Here are some questions I recommend to you to get your thinking started:

  • What roles and in what industry you are interested in and what skills are required for those roles?
  • What kind of experiences or opportunities do you have access to right now that can help you develop those skills? (Such as volunteering, societies, part time work, internships.. etc)
  • What do you know about the job market that you are interested in? (Such as who are the major companies that sponsor work visas in the UK or elsewhere, what are their recruitment processes.. etc)
  • Why do you want to find a job in the UK and are you prepared to go through some of the vigorous recruitment processes involved?

All in all, landing a job in the UK as an international student can be very challenging. However, it is definitely not impossible as long as you are willing to put in great effort for preparations. If there is one thing that I want you to take away from this, it would be: Prepare, prepare and prepare!

Anything else you want to add?

I wish I had known that everything will work out eventually, and that I shouldn’t put too much stress on myself. 

Make the most of your Summer – The Future is Yours

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What will you be doing this summer? Now’s your chance to shine and give yourself the best possible opportunity of starting a successful career by taking control of your future.

Log onto UniHub, search the jobs field with the words Summer 2017 and start building a standout CV.

Summer to remember

You can change your summer by:

  • Volunteering – Get involved in local and national opportunities which make a real impact for charities, festivals and events as well as equipping you with real world skills and experience.
  • Global Internships – Get stand-out global work experience through summer internships with organisations worldwide.
  • Cantor Bursary – Your chance to apply for a flexible bursary of up to £500 to help you experience living and working overseas.
  • Summer Campus Jobs Earn cash in a flexible and familiar environment on campus here at SHU. Be an Ambassador, a Shelver in the library, a Mentor for fellow students or a crucial part of an administration team.

This is your opportunity to get employability experience and give yourself the best possible opportunity of finding a career you love, whatever your year of study.

Be employable and make this year the one where you gain new skills and make an impact locally or globally to stand out from the crowd. 

To view these opportunities, please click here or log onto UniHub and type Summer 2017 in the jobs field.

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/

 

Come to our careers fair on Thursday 23rd March

With our Spring Fair taking place on Thursday 23rd March, this is your chance to meet with dozens of local, national and international employers who are offering graduate recruitment, internship and placement opportunities.

If you want to hear five great reasons why you should attend our careers fair, have a look at the video below:

To book your attendance at the fair, please click here.

If you’re already attending, then here’s some great student tips on how to prepare for the fair!

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 23rd March between 11am – 3pm in Hallam Hall and the Careers and Employability Centre.

Students prepare for launch date

Zoe promoting launch week

With launch week (7-11 Oct) for the new Careers and Employability Centre approaching fast, student ambassadors have been out and about on both campuses to spread the word. Armed with promotional materials, they’ve been telling our students all about the events next week and encouraging them to attend.

We even have 20 of our students coming along to tell their stories about the service, share their experiences and give tips to current students on how to become more employable.

A full week of workshops is planned for 7th-11th Oct and highlights include:

 

Monday 7 October
Theme: Using social media for finding work
All day from 10.30am Welcome to the new centre       Come and have a cupcake and see what’s on offer.
12-1 and 1-2pm (two workshops) Are you LinkedIn? This practical workshop gives you the chance to create, edit, and improve your LinkedIn profile, and learn how to use Twitter and Facebook for job seeking.
2-3.30pm How to make your mark – building a professional online presence Improve your use of social media.

 

Tuesday 8 October
Theme: Boosting your CV
10.30am-12.30pm Top tips on becoming an employable graduate       Student ambassadors share their experiences of gaining employability skills.
1-3pm The Global Graduate Scheme Find out how current students have gained experience working with people from different cultural backgrounds both abroad and in the UK.
3-4.30pm Presenting yourself positively This light-hearted, interactive session provides advice about building confidence in interviews and presentations.

 

Wednesday 9 October
Theme: What employers are looking for
All day from 10.30am Drop in to find out how the Careers and Employment Service can help you.
12noon-1pm, 1.30-2.30pm, 2.30-4.30pm (three workshops) IBM graduate schemes and work placements Including a CV workshop, a presentation and a guide to IBM assessment centres.

 

Thursday 10 October
Get creative – self-employment
10am-12noon Civil service fast stream: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Find out about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and where you might fit.
1-2pm Innovation workshop with Gordon Macrae from Gripple
2.30-3.30pm Meet the entrepreneurs Current students discuss how they set up their own business or social enterprise and answer your questions.

 

Friday 11 October
Selling yourself – making the most of you!
10-11am International student workshop: how to look for part-time and voluntary work
12-2pm Morrisons graduate schemes Find out about the wide variety of schemes on offer.
2.30-4.30pm ICE Club Xtra session – the pizza game A fun simulation to test your business acumen and practice your employability skills.

 

Opening times Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am–5.15pm Wednesday 10.30am–7pm (5.15pm during vacations) Friday 9am–4.45pm

How to find us We’re next to main Owen Building entrance in Hallam Square, City Campus.

more information about all the events is on the website at: www.shu.ac.uk/Graduatewithmore by following the link to the Centre.

 

Careers and Employability Centre coming soon! More posts to follow.

This is the first of regular series of postings aimed at keeping you up-to-date on the development of the new Careers and Employability Centre.

After many months of planning and consultation, we’re almost at the stage when the building formerly known as Blackwells will start its makeover, here is a Floorplan– as soon as we have more details of the planned works, I’ll post them here.

As you can see with the ‘before’ shots below, a fair amount of work needs to be done by the beginning of October – I will keep updating the photographs to show progress over the next couple of months.

Ground Floor: access to the Centre will be via the ground floor (entrance on Hallam Square).  Staff from the Careers and Employment  Service will be on hand to help with employability related queries including help and support in finding and applying for part-time and graduate jobs.

Students will also be able to book in to see a careers advisor or employment adviser.

First Floor:  four interview rooms will be available for appointments and for employers  who may wish to use the facilities to interview students.  There will be a large open space which can be divided into 2 smaller spaces which can be used for presentations and events.

This aim of this space is to be as flexible as possible –  chairs and tables can be reconfigured depending on the activity taking place.

The space on both floors is very much aimed at  ‘delivery’  and will therefore not include staff offices.