“I don’t think I would reach as high in the jobs I am looking for, if it wasn’t for all the additional help from SHU”

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Natalia (right) networking with recruiters from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the recent Careers and Employability Awards evening.

Natalia (right) networking with recruiters from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the recent Careers and Employability Awards evening.

Post by Level 5 Digital Media Production student, Natalia M Wesniuk.

I am a mature, Level 5 Digital Media Production student and I have been out to the ‘real world’ only to come back to the University and finish my degree. It’s a challenging world out there and the problem is that you can be qualified for the job but if you don’t know how to cope with complicated and demanding recruitment process, you may just fall short of getting your dream position.

On top of computerised, test based, long and tiered process, there is always a stress and fear factor. It’s not easy for us students out there; it’s not easy for anyone. Luckily Sheffield Hallam University offer a special preparation for its students interested in applying to large graduate recruitment schemes called ‘Career Impact’, in which Level 5 and 6 students can gain the inside full knowledge into the process of getting their dream jobs and becoming ‘graduates with more’.

For me personally, I feel like the workshops boosted my confidence and enhanced my employability skills. I had a chance to speak to the employers and realise that they actually do want us to succeed and get the job, but we just need to follow their procedures to do so. I learned a lot about graduation recruitment practices, as well as making my CV and applications stand out. Receiving guided support, helped me get my own CV up to scratch before all the careers fairs in March. I was taught about leadership development and applying for management roles. I also attended a workshop about effective networking, which enabled me to learn how to use social media into my advantage and how to extend my network in a professional manner. Most importantly I was able to face so called Psychometric Tests. Career Impact advisers gave all of us plenty of links, where we could practice and prepare before the real test itself.

I feel like I can effectively face the whole recruitment process now and a bit more practice after this boot camp could get me far. I still have the other half of the course to undergo and I am confident that with support through Career Impact I will secure a place on a Graduation Recruitment Scheme and I really do I hope I will get my dream job in the end. I would not have that much of a prospective view if not the extra help from Careers and Employability staff and their reassuring support. I really don’t think I would reach out as high in the jobs I am looking for if it wasn’t for the employability fairs and workshops and all the additional help that SHU has for its students.

Frankly knowledge is power but knowing where to apply it, in order to benefit from it and how to get where we want to be, is certainly a whole new chapter. I really do recommend all students to check their emails frequently and to sign up to additional workshops such as Career Impact as it can work a long way and make things easier.

Career Impact will open to new applicants in the autumn term, current students can find out more about Career Impact here: https://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/getting-experience/career-impact

Scholarships for Masters study at SHU

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Looking to improve your career prospects? Hoping to get ahead in the job market? Sheffield Hallam University is giving away Scholarships worth £10,000 for Masters study for the academic year 2015/16.

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If you started your Undergraduate degree in 2012/13 and are finishing this year you could be eligible for receiving one of these scholarships of which the University have up to 141 to give away across all faculties!

The closing date for these scholarships is 31 May* so you will need to act fast. To view more details on the scholarships and to see if you are eligible please visit www.shu.ac.uk/ad/masters-scholarship-2015/ . If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact Jack Aizlewood in our UK Recruitment team on 0114 225 4979, or via j.aizlewood@shu.ac.uk.

 

*Please be aware that you would also need to have applied for the course you hope to study by this date.

Student’s African summer brings a wealth of experience

Last year we told you about Dan Garlick’s adventures with the Balloon Kenya project. This year, Megan Snape shares her story.

A driving force behind business innovation in Kenya

BK3 (2)Megan Snape, A Sheffield Hallam Sport Business Management student, recently received funding and support from Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union to spend her summer in Nakuru, the fastest growing town in Africa, as part of the Balloon Kenya programme. Balloon Kenya is an award winning social enterprise that brings students and graduates from around the world to work in Kenya for six weeks with budding local entrepreneurs, with an aim to tackle poverty and bring about positive social change.

Speaking to Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union upon her return, Megan talks about the application process, her time in Kenya and how the opportunity will help with her future career aspirations.

How did you find the Balloon Kenya Application Process

2014 was a busy year for me and I only slotted in my application between numerous library stints and meetings. It was only after I’d sent off my application at 4am, that I went back and checked the Balloon Kenya (BK) website and thought “I’m such an idiot, I remember now why it looked so good!”

How did you feel when you found out you had been successful?

When I found out I’d been successful I felt absolutely shocked! I’d been told I’d know the decision by the weekend, so by the following Tuesday I’d already beaten myself up about the interview and resigned myself to the fact I’d missed out on this amazing business project. So to then receive a call from the Students’ Union it was the most shocking thing I could think of.

Tell me about your Balloon Kenya experience?

I’ve always wanted to get out and do something worthwhile with my summer. But the idea of becoming your stereotypical ‘gap-yar’ student made me cringe. Especially whenBK2 (2) from the start I’ve been openly very selfish about my motives to travel and had no intention of pretending to be in love with a charity just to make myself look more employable.

I applied for BK because it sounded different to all the other charity programmes, but I never thought I’d learn so much or be so motivated by it. BK doesn’t give away donations- it teaches local entrepreneurs how to make business decisions based on evidence and research, something BK refers to as ‘challenging assumptions’. More than this however it taught all of us how to challenge our own assumptions about western business.

What was the highlight for you?

For me I never felt like I was working for a charity. The process wasn’t even a mentoring one in the end. It was a team effort between me, my partner and my entrepreneurs to get them a loan. They became the driving force behind their business innovation and pulled apart, scrutinised and tested my western ideas into something that suits their life, their family and their ambitions.

BK5 (2)I also satisfied my selfish ambitions. I met 23 other people with a passion for entrepreneurship and business. Overall we came from England, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Chili, Texas, Pennsylvania, Somalia and Egypt. We studied business, religion and philosophy, education, anthropology, responsible charity, music and marketing. Some didn’t even study, they travelled, had husbands, children and jobs. Between us we enjoyed Boxing, travelling, yoga, painting, fashion and drinking with the locals. We have met up since and are a very close group with many memories.

Would you recommend fellow students apply to for Balloon Kenya?

Without a doubt. I did it. I am terrified of flying alone, terrified of new places, new foods and new people. I think of myself as being a very independent person, but this was a huge learning curve for me. Some people were leaving the UK for the first time in their lives, others were seasoned travellers just joining in for 6weeks before continuing. You don’t need to already be studying business. People are accepted for all kinds of different reasons. Some were natural entrepreneurs, others were conducting research on music and politics. You just have to know why you want to go.

How do you think this opportunity will help you in your future career?

Before this process I was considering starting up my own business. Since BK I feel so much confident and capable of doing this and have learnt and practiced how to move it from paper to reality. I have a strong network of professionals and students, some of which have found job interviews for each other and all of which I know I could turn to for advice within their own industries. I feel confident saying I can consult, and am knowledgeable about responsible charity and working with other cultures.

Each academic year Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union offers funding for a student to complete the Balloon Kenya programme, applications for Balloon Kenya 2015 are now open.

Social Enterprise Unleashed

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) was recently named as a HE social entrepreneurship partner by UnLtd and HEFCE as part of their HE Support initiative. During the last few months SHU and its Student’s Union have been working on establishing a social entrepreneurship culture which will allow their staff and students to start up social ventures and create social change.

So far the awards have gained a great deal of attention in Sheffield and have sparked new conversation around social innovation. Sheffield Hallam University are being looked at as one of the leading HEIs involved in the programme and have already awarded 13 projects with grant funding, with more to be issued in the summer.

With support from academics working in Social Enterprise, SHU and the Students Union have been able to run specialist workshop days enabling applicants to gain one to one advice on writing bids and starting their own social ventures.

Sheila Quairney, Business and Enterprise Manager at the Research and Innovation Office commented, “We’ve been delighted with the dramatic increase in interest in social enterprise across the University since we launched the UnLtd programe.  The partnership between the University and the Student’s Union has been key to achieving this and has worked extremely well. The programme has also attracted the attention of senior staff who value the impact that it is having on the student experience”.

The collaboration between SHU and it’s Student’s Union has led to a great start to the HE Support initiative. With over 50 applications already, the SHU & Students Union partnership expects to create further developments in the ever growing student led social enterprise landscape.

You can follow the Union, the Research and Innovation Office and Sheffield Hallam University on Twitter 

To find out more look on the Hallam Union website.