The Fairs – from the inside, out…


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!

Want to work with people? A week of events just for you


Hi all! I’m a second year Psychology student, currently on my work placement with the Careers and Employability Service, writing to you about the fantastic opportunities available to you as students of Sheffield Hallam.


An entire week has been designated to allow you to gain insight and advice on a variety of job roles involving working with people. Events are based at Collegiate and planned to be specifically relevant to Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology students, but open to students and graduates from all courses. Commencing Monday 8th February, there will be a wide range of speakers from different professional backgrounds, coming to speak about their careers in supporting, advising, educating and counselling others. If you are, like myself, undecided about your future career path, then this week is the perfect opportunity for you to gain awareness of the diverse possibilities. There is something for everyone, ranging from insight into careers in a prison setting, to different job roles in education. If you are interested in forensic psychology or social issues these opportunities are perfect for you.

As a Psychology student I often have an interest in a certain area but am unaware of the routes into it and how competitive it is so I’m looking forward to finding out more. Special guests will be discussing the different routes into areas such as health psychology and human resources and their own personal journeys, also providing opportunities to network and make new connections. Many people pursue careers in teaching. However, if that isn’t for you but the education sector is something that interests you then, one event will allow you to explore other roles such as family support worker and learning mentor which may be perfect for you and would utilise your course specific knowledge.

Follow the link to book your place for events during the ‘Working With People’ week. Places are filling fast, so don’t miss out!

Olivia Royston, second year Psychology student

Psychology Graduates Return to Share Experiences


The Psychology Alumni Networking event ran on the 3rd November, attended by 35 students, 12 alumni and staff from the Psychology Department. This event celebrated the success of Psychology graduates and current students and allowed them to share experiences and employability advice. Psychology graduate and SHU graduate intern Tara, who assisted with organising the event, tells us more:

“This event was a great way of building relationships between students and alumni and provided current students with vital insight to the world of work and knowledge of how the skills gained throughout their time at SHU can be used in future jobs. It is a brilliant way of building links between SHU and local businesses Psychology alumni work for. This will open new opportunities for students in terms of finding volunteer work, placements and mentoring possibilities. It additionally gave Alumni the chance to stay in contact with the university by introducing them to upcoming events they can attend and opportunities to give talks at the University.


The event involved a presentation about masters and PhD courses, short talks from two enterprising alumni who have gone on to find their niche and set up a new business in the field of Psychology. The event went on to include a group networking session among alumni and students separately and opportunity for each student to network with the Psychology graduates in small groups, including hearing their stories, asking questions and gain insight into their career area.

As a Psychology alumni, now working in Student Services as a Graduate Intern, it was a brilliant event for me to attend and to have helped organise. I found that many of the other alumni and postgraduate students had some different experiences I felt I could learn from. With the varied lengths of time since graduating, the Alumni could provide different perspectives and applied knowledge that students need to make the decision of what to apply for after they graduate. It was also really interesting to speak to students at different levels of study across under and postgraduate courses as I could explain how important the work placement module was for me to first and second years, and how important the Careers and Employability Service was for me to get the job I am in now to final years and postgraduates. In addition, I felt I could help current students understand the broader range of skills they will gain from a degree such as Psychology and how you can apply them in jobs such as mine which are not an obvious career route.

There were 12 alumni at the event including myself:

Jack – works in Outreach and UK Recruitment Development team here at Sheffield Hallam as a Schools and Colleges Engagement Coordinator who organises and delivers activities and events with 30 local schools and colleges.

Holly – works at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union as a Volunteer Support Worker Graduate Intern who oversees 12 Health and Wellbeing student led projects.

Rebecca – in the second year of a three year Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology.

Emma – started her own business as a Mental Health & Behaviour Facilitator in her local community and now has her own team helping vulnerable people on a one to one basis.

Jos – studying MSc in Speech and Language Therapy to become qualified therapist at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Andrea – founded a Children’s Behavioural Psychology Consultancy called Unravel and work in schools and work with parents, children and young people privately in Sheffield. She is also developing a series of children’s novels called The Blinks which help children understand different emotions and how to manage them at difficult times.

Victoria – works as a Practice Manager at Selby Wellness Clinic as a part time Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Steve – Currently a second year Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Sheffield.

Acen – works as an assistant Psychologist in Leeds with offenders with severe personality disorder.

Stephen – PhD and part time lecturer in Education Studies at Sheffield Hallam.

Kathy – doing MSc Psychological Research Methods at University of Sheffield specialising in substance related behaviours.

We had some really great responses from the event with Andrea (one of the Alumni speakers) saying “Thank you so much for giving us all the opportunity to share and learn from each other“. Students commented that the event gave them more idea about “how much variety there is in Psychology” and that it made them realise the importance of volunteeringStudents found that it was very useful for getting “different opinions“, “meeting a diverse group of people and knowing their routes into different careers” and “the guest speakers have inspired a new possible career option for me“.

This event was able to inform and inspire not just those in final year / postgraduates who will leave in a few months’ time, but also those in first year who have more time at University, about the areas they may wish to work in and how to get experience. It was also helpful for postgraduates to see how they can become more employable and the types of careers they can go into in their Psychology field”

Students or graduates seeking further information about careers and alumni events can contact Caroline Hanson on and are encouraged to join the departments’ LinkedIn group “SHU Psychology, Sociology and Politics Students and Alumni”.


Tara Seipel, Graduate Intern, Development and Society

Find out about a career in Neuroscience


Tom Doherty studied BSc Psychology and MSc Applied Cognitive Neuroscience, graduating from Sheffield Hallam in 2013. He now works as an Operational Scientist for an organisation that provides cognitive assessment software for clinical trials, academic research and healthcare provision. Employment Adviser Caroline Hanson catches up with him to find out more about his current role, and the opportunities open to graduates with an interest in neuroscience.


 What does your current job involve?

 My current role involves a number of things but is predominantly concerned with putting together scientific proposals for a range of pharmaceutical companies in order to convince them of the science behind products for use within their latest clinical trials. My role also includes surveying the data collected from a scientific point of view for a broad range of ongoing trials, in areas such as cardio-vascular safety to the latest clinical trials in Alzheimers disease, and highlighting any unwarranted data points.

 Before my current position I worked as an unpaid research assistant at Hallam following on from my research undertaken at Masters level, I then came to the company I am working in at a more junior position and was promoted to my current role after 3 months.

 What factors do you think helped you to secure your current position?

 Factors that helped were writing up my research for publication and reading a vast number of journal articles from both my study, research post and previous role in this company. After I qualified, I found that the job market for neuroscience graduates is really tough, the main career paths of research and clinical work can feel like all there is. I would say that there are industry posts out there you just have to look a lot harder for them. It took me a full year to find this post but it was worth the perseverance.

 What was the selection process like for your role?

 The selection process for the role included three interviews which included a presentation; two face to face interviews and a brief chat with two members from the board, I would stress that this will not usually be the case, but this company is fairly small in comparison to many others. In order to prepare I read up a lot on the company and prepared mock answers to potential questions along with being well versed in what I had been doing previously.

 How do you use skills and knowledge gained from your course in your current position?

 The key thing for me was the research I did as part of my course, because ultimately, whether you go into industry, research or clinical lines of work, this is what you will be judged on from a scientific viewpoint. These are the skills which I have used most in my role and essentially you want to find answers to questions no matter what role you are in.

 What advice would you Neuroscience students interested in your career area?          

To decide which of the three streams of work you are most suited to and are most interested in, read as many current papers on a broad a range as you can, but most importantly pick your research topic well. By doing this you can do something that is new or innovative and likely to get you noticed or even better published, this will help you stand out and that is what, in my opinion, employers are looking for.

Opportunities to work in Mental Health


As part of the Degree+ programme of careers events run by the Psychology, Sociology and Politics department and the Careers and Employment Service, national employers Alpha Hospitals and Cambian Group visited us to discuss the roles and opportunities they offer. Close to 80 students attended the event, seeking to gain insight into the sector and to apply for full and part time roles. Professionals from each organisation began by sharing about their own career journeys and healthcare services, and this was followed by a networking opportunity where students asked individual questions and presented their skills to the employers. Both companies are continuously recruiting for a range of roles including nurses and support workers.


Alpha Hospitals have three hospitals within the UK including one in Sheffield, providing low and medium secure mental healthcare, and are continually seeking to recruit new staff. Throughout the year they hold a number of open days for newly qualified nurses. Students from other courses such as psychology can apply for support worker roles to gain insight and build experience. Alpha Hospitals’ HR director emphasised this role as a way into the organisation, with opportunities to progress and gain responsibility for those who impress. Assessment days are held once a month, which include a talk with a current employer about their role and responsibilities followed by candidates completing an aptitude test. Following the Degree+ event a special assessment day was arranged especially for Sheffield Hallam students! One particular bonus is that support is offered to successful applicants to any role regarding accommodation, as the company own a number of houses within their hospital area.

Cambian Group are the largest providers of specialist behavioural health services for children and adults in the UK. They offer over 249 services and employ over 6000 people. The jobs they offer include; nurses, therapy co-ordinators, support workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, assistant psychologists and social workers. They have three sites in the South Yorkshire area. They are particularly seeking mental health nurses at present but regularly have opportunities for candidates from other disciplines. For jobs linked to psychology, their assistant psychologist highlighted the importance of demonstrating volunteering on CVs, to stand out from other applicants.  Cambian at times is able to offer work experience opportunities, and interested candidates should contact their local sites. There is also opportunity to work as a bank support worker on a casual basis to build experience whilst studying.

Both employers were impressed with the quality of the candidates at Sheffield Hallam and hope to return for future events. Overall, both companies offer great opportunities to enter and succeed in a career within mental health. For more information on these companies visit their websites at;

by Grace Ellis – second year Sociology student who has completed an 8 week placement with Careers and Employment Service, supporting the team with careers fairs and events, and edits by Caroline Hanson, employment adviser

Braving the Snow to Volunteer!


Last week saw the annual Volunteering Fair run by the Psychology, Sociology & Politics and Law & Criminology departments, in connection with Hallam Union Volunteering and Careers and Employment Service. Despite the snow and wintery conditions, eleven external organisations attended to showcase their opportunities and share about their good work. 160 students from across the departments attended to find out more, network with guests and explore their career options. The Criminology Society and Psychology Society stands proved popular as students learned about talks and social events they could attend relevant to their course.

Of the students who attended 60 completed a short evaluation form:

  • 2/3 of respondents stated they were planning to begin volunteering with an organisation they had met at the fair
  • 68% of respondents felt that the opportunities were relevant to their course and career aspirations
  • 85% of respondents were level 4 or 5 students, indicating that many were considering volunteering early on in their degree

Students who missed the event but are keen to volunteer, are advised to contact Hallam Union Volunteering or the organisations using the weblinks below.

A big thank you to all our guests for being involved!

vol fair

Organisations who attended and a brief summary of their opportunities are listed below:

ESCALEvery Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate

Volunteers will be supporting primary school children with their reading on a one-to-one basis which also develops their self-esteem and confidence. You will receive full training and all resources will be provided by the school.

Sheffield Liberal Democrats are looking for volunteers who are wanting a different kind of volunteering experience on their C.V.s. Typical volunteering opportunities can include: Helping to produce political literature, creating social networking content, coordinating ground communications, leading doorstep teams, community outreach and organising campaigning events for Councillors, MEPs and even the Deputy Prime Minister!

Sheffield Labour Party

Sheffield Labour Party covers the area represented by the 28 council wards that make up Sheffield – and the 6 constituencies that send MPs to Westminster. We’re also part of the Yorkshire and the Humber Euro Region that elects 6 MEP’s – and the areas in the north of the city that have parish councils. You can join or volunteer via this site…. or just come back and see what we are up to.

Silent Cities work with anyone without a voice in mainstream society and teach individuals and community organisations the skills to get their voice heard. Anyone with an interest in media activism, supporting vulnerable people, or just wanting to know more about social enterprise would make a suitable volunteer.

Rotherham Hospice is not just a building – it’s a way of caring for people both in the Hospice and the community. Our care places the patient and not the illness at the centre of everything we do. Opportunities include Hospice Good Neighbours, Community Volunteering, Patient Care Volunteering and Bereavement Support

TimeBuilders is an exciting and innovative project based at St. Mary’s, sandwiched between the City Centre and Sharrow. TimeBuilders enables people to transform the community in bite-sized chunks. Our main focus at the moment is finding and developing volunteer leaders or organisers to plan and deliver projects, social events or one-off activities.

Roundabout Roundabout is Sheffield’s local youth housing charity, providing shelter, support and life skills to young people. We give emergency accommodation for homeless young people at our direct access hostel and support young people to live independently. Roundabout also offers young people a comprehensive programme of training and involvement which breaks the cycle of homelessness and develops long term independent living skills.

We have voluntary opportunities in advice, admin, peer education, fundraising and befriending.

ASSIST helps destitute asylum seekers in Sheffield by providing accommodation, food and support to those in most need or distress. We’re a charity and we’re totally reliant on volunteers, grants and the generosity of the people of Sheffield and the surrounding area. We require volunteers who would like to provide face-to-face support to asylum seekers, plus volunteers to support our admin, finance, events and fundraising activities.

 South Yorkshire Community Foundation aims to improve lives in our communities. We do this through raising funds from businesses, philanthropists, trusts and statutory bodiesand using them to meet the needs oflocal people facing economic hardship and other barriers to aspiration.  Our organisation is always seeking individuals to join our team on a voluntary basis to help up with ongoing project and grants admission. Those include: research and data analysis, including face to face interviews and writing case studies. Furthermore, active volunteers help out with creating and managing our regular events and conferences.

Inova Consultancy Ltd is currently involved delivering on a number of UK-based projects covering our interest areas of diversity, mentoring, enterprise, career development and coaching.  More information is available at

 Sheffield Volunteer Centre  advertise volunteer roles on behalf of third sector organisations, and run an advice service for people interested in volunteering. We match people to roles and advise both individuals and organisations on expectations, new ideas and good practice.  You can look at current voluntary vacancies at

Volunteering with Hallam Union exists to provide students and staff at Sheffield Hallam University with the opportunity to contribute to the community through a variety of enjoyable community projects in and around Sheffield. There are lots of opportunities to choose from and you can volunteer as much or as little as you like. The staff team are based in the Activities Pod in the HUBS (Student’s Union). You can drop in any time to find out more about the opportunities available.

vol fair 2

Calling all Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology students!


Degree+ Career Talks are for students on Psychology, Sociology, Politics and Criminology courses, and are aimed at giving you an insight into a range of careers. Many of the talks will be by external speakers – professionals with direct experience of these varied career areas. Booking is essential, go to shuspace>employability>events.


The full programme is here:

Working in the Charity Sector Mon 2nd Feb, 2pm- 3pm

Careers and Employability Centre, City

Routes into Teaching aimed at L4 and L5 students Thursday 5th Feb, 11-12pm

Main Building, D011


Routes into Nursing

with nurse and course leader David Wood

Wed 11th Feb, 1pm – 2pm

Main Building, D011


Routes into Social Work

with social worker Lee Pollard

Mon 16th Feb, 1- 2.30

Main Building, D104


Non-Teaching Roles in Education Thurs 19th Feb 11-12.30

Heart of Campus HC 0.15

Forensic Psychology and related careers with guest speakers Mon 23rd Feb, 12noon – 1pm

Main Building, D008

From Social Sciences to Business with SHU Politics graduate Sam Douglas-Cregan Friday 27th Feb, 1pm – 2pm

Main Building D007

Routes into Journalism  with Philo Holland, Radio 5 Live Broadcast Journalist Mon 2pm Feb, 12-1pm

Careers and Employability Centre, City


Careers in Mental Health Services with employers Cambian, St Andrews, Alpha Hospitals Tues 3rd March,3- 4.30pm

Heart of Campus 0.29

Working with Young People at risk of Sexual Exploitation Mon 9th March, 4pm – 5pm

Heart of Campus, HC0.29


Routes into Counselling with guest speakers


Thurs 19th March, 4pm – 5.30

Main Building D014


Working for an MP, Supporting People with Substance Misuse Issues


To be confirmed



Networking Success for Psychology Students


This month the Psychology department, working alongside the Careers and Employment Service and Alumni office, hosted their first alumni networking event. The purpose of the event was to celebrate the achievements of graduates from the department and maintain relationships with alumni, encouraging them to network with each other and hear about other opportunities to stay involved with the university. Over 30 current students also attended and were given the chance to gain insight into the real life experiences of recent graduates and develop their networking skills through discussion and questioning the graduates in small groups.

psp psp2

Continue reading

“Get involved!”

Find out how one of our final year students has developed her employability…

My name is Laura and I am currently a third year psychology student at SHU. I am interested in Health Promotion and by becoming a Student Ambassador it has enabled me to acquire some of the skills that will be beneficial to my chosen career.

L Wray

When I started university in 2012 I was looking forward to studying a subject that interested me and like most first year students I was looking forward to making the most of first year! So I hadn’t even considered the factors that would make me more employable after I graduated.  But over the course of my first year I realised studying Psychology was in fact allowing me to develop skills that would be transferable to my future workplace, for example statistical analysis and presentation skills.

But I was also very aware that Psychology is a particularly popular course so post-graduate courses and jobs in this area are extremely competitive. I decided I needed to develop additional skills outside of studying to show I had good organisational and time management skills.

During the summer before I started my second year I applied to become a student ambassador, although the initial thought of talking in front of lots of people and giving tours scared me a little I am so glad I applied! Since becoming an ambassador my confidence and my verbal communication skills have improved massively. There are also many social benefits to becoming an ambassador. As well as speaking to many prospective students and their families you also met many other student ambassadors which makes the job even more enjoyable. Plus when you work an open day you get a free lunch voucher…what more could a student ask for!!


Gaining this experience led to the exciting opportunity of working as a tour guide for staff at the Heart of the Campus; which is the new £27 million development at Collegiate, which just opened last month! It was a pleasure to be involved in the fine-tuning of the building as I asked staff for feedback  on the new build and fed this back to the estates team to ensure all students and staff had an easy transition into the new building and to enhance the student experience.

Additionally while browsing SHUspace last year I discovered there was a talk at the university on how to be successful to gain a volunteering place for the NHS at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. I was successful and thoroughly enjoy it as I get to interact with the patients ensuring they’re having a pleasant experience while at hospital and it is warming to know you can make someone’s day … So look out for excellent opportunities to enhance you skills and make your CV stand out!

Finally, becoming a student ambassador is the perfect opportunity for any student who wants to earn extra money without it impacting on their academic studies. If you think you’d enjoy talking to others about your experiences at university and would be able to make others feel welcome and at ease, this would be the perfect opportunity to add something else to your CV… so get involved!

It’s best to start thinking about extra things you can do to make your CV stand out right now! I know I wish I’d started acting on my thoughts in my first year when I had lots of spare time and you certainly don’t want to be cramming it all in in your third year when you will have your dissertation to think about!