Top 3 web pages all our fashion students should read!

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Getting a foot in the door of the fashion industry can be daunting. It’s an extremely competitive world which requires creativity, an ability to work alongside strategists and keep up with rapidly changing trends whilst engaging with a demanding client base always on the look-out for new and exciting creations.

That being said, fashion can be a very exciting and fulfilling career option for graduates whose love for the fashion industry is only paralleled by their determination to leave their mark on it.

Whether you’re just about to join us in Sheffield, or you’re about to graduate and are currently setting up this year’s Degree Show Fashion Show, here’s our top 3 web pages every Hallam Fashion student should read!

Number 1: Work Experience and Networking in the Fashion Industry

Summary: Work experience is crucial for entering the fashion industry and can take the form of internships, volunteering, placements, work shadowing or part-time work.

Number 2: Becoming a Freelance Fashion Designer 

Summary: It is extremely common for people working in the creative sector to be self-employed either full-time or on a part-time basis whilst combining it with employed work; the latter is known as a portfolio career. Designers tend to be independent, creative thinkers and are often self-employed and/or in occupations involving project work and short-term contracts with both small and large organisations.

Number 3: Finding and Applying for Jobs in Fashion

Speculative approaches are generally more effective ways to find jobs in the design/arts industries.  A speculative application involves approaching a company about the possibility of working for them rather than applying to an advertised vacancy. It could be an effective way to bypass the huge number of applications that any individual company may receive to one advertised vacancy. Also, remember that many SMEs (small-medium sized companies) very rarely advertise vacancies as they receive sufficient speculative applications to recruit in this way.  Fashion directories can provide a list of companies to approach!

 

 

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!

 

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. 

Get ahead. Get International Experience

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By Nikki Abbott, Employability Adviser.

Research has found that students who have spent time abroad studying, working or volunteering during their degree are more likely to be in a higher salary graduate job, are more likely to attain a first or upper class second degree and are less likely to be unemployed.

In addition you will develop many skills sort after by employers and will gain valuable experiences to add to your CVs. By matching opportunities with your motivations and objectives, gaining experience abroad can help give you an edge.

There are a range of international experiences that could be open to you including: internships and exchanges; temporary and seasonal work; teaching English as a foreign language, and volunteering. If you are a first year student you may be able to apply to the Cantor Bursary for up to £500 to help with travel costs, accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the period of work experience.

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Look at international internships, summer work experience and volunteering opportunities offered by companies such as those referred to on Careers Central and advertised on the Careers and Employability Services’ UniHub website.

New opportunities will be added regularly up until the end of term so remember to keep checking the site.

To find out more about the wide range of opportunities open to you, visit Careers Central or speak to an adviser.

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.

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.

ceo-for-a-dayin-the-news-1

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 I won a £160,000 award competition for my graduate employer

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Post by 2015 BA (Hons) Marketing graduate, Liam Soloman (Marketing Executive at lovethesales.com)

Liam Soloman with the award#TEASELONDON was a Twitter competition specifically aimed at UK start-ups for London’s Technology Week. Run by a digital software company Eyetease and partnering company Verifone UK (who creat the digital advertising boards on top of London’s black cabs).

The winner would receive £160,000 worth of advertising on 200 black cabs in London. The challenge, to tweet in the reason why you think Londoner’s need to know about your start-up.

Since finding the competition through social media, I was given the amazing opportunity to come up with an entry for my employer, Lovethesales.com, and submit it through our Twitter page, using the #TEASELONDON.

Step 1 | Research

I dedicated a few hours a week looking into both Eyetease and Verifone UK, searching through press publications, previous campaigns they did with other companies to get as much background information about what they would be looking for and what type of company impressed them.

By taking note of the other entries in the competition, it appeared most start-ups didn’t fully grasp the brief given by Eyetease. Most entries tried to sell their brand, using impressive stats and numbers or pitching why their company were amazing, very much an X Factor style of entry.

Through the research and evaluation of competitor entries, I found that our best chance of winning was not showing how great our company is (which is difficult with only 127 characters) but to try and show how our advertising on their taxis can benefit different demographics on Londoner’s.

Step 2 | Implementation

I came up with a series of situations in the form of pictures, where different types of Londoner’s would need our business (see pictures of entries below). A student needing a laptop but not being able to afford paying fullprice, a mum busy with her kids not having time to go out to shop, or a girl desiring a designer dress in a shop window but finding it to be out of her budget.

In the corner of each picture I put one of Verifone UK’s black cabs with a digital advertising board on top. On the board would be a personalised lovethesale.com ad for each scenario.SLIDE

This was a succinct way of showing how we could be helpful to everyday Londoner’s whilst using an example of what it would actually look like on their black cabs, which no other entry had thought of yet.

Step 3 | Finalists

The entrants were shortlisted to 5 start-ups who would meet with the owner of Eyetease for a 15 min discussion followed by a Q&A.

There was no presentation needed, however I along with my two bosses took the initiative to create a few slides fleshing out the key points as to why we thought Lovethesales.com would work really well with their company, pointing to how we can help Londoner’s “shop more, spend less” (our company slogan).

Eyetease were extremely impressed with our initiative, eagerness and passion for what we do. Along with a few stats on Lovethesales.com’s current progression and a few anecdotes about its inception, we were delighted to be announced at London Technology week as the winners of such a mind boggling prize.

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Step 4 | What’s next?

Over the next few months I will be involved in putting together a 4-week campaign that will run over 200 black cabs in geo-targeted London locations. We expect the competition to increase traffic to the site and dramatically improve our brand awareness.

Being able to take the lead on this crucial campaign was a great feeling and one that I don’t think I would’ve been given working in a large corporate environment. The added bonus of actually winning gives me a fantastic story for my CV and great experience going forward in my future career.

I would highly recommend anyone in their first job to constantly ask their superiors for more responsibility, always be eager to take on new challenges and never be afraid of failing at a task as there is always something to learn from.

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.