“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!!

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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!

Being a Student Ambassador

A quick peek into the world of the Student Ambassador today… meet Louise Railton, who shares her story with us.

How long have you been an ambassador?

I have been an ambassador since September 2013

Why did you become an ambassador?

I needed a flexible job to earn a bit of extra money during my third year that fit in with my studies.

What are  you studying and which year of your studies are you in?

Public Relations and Media. Final year

What sort of work have you had as an ambassador?

I have worked open days, done guided tours, worked the odd event, talking to prospective students and parents and worked during freshers week.

What have been your favourite moments?

My favourite moment was when I had to give a guided tour at short notice and managed to do this successfully.

Have you been asked any difficult/funny questions?

No.

What skills have you learnt from being an ambassador?

I have developed my verbal communication skills from speaking to visitors who come to the Careers and Employment Centre and have developed a lot of my confidence.

How do you think being an ambassador will benefit you?

I think it’s a good thing to have on my CV, the experience I’ve got has been broader than on my course.

Would you recommend to other students that it’s a worthwhile thing to do?

Yes. And I think it’s really good for prospective students to hear things from students who are here – we’re a good source of information!