Student entrepreneur celebrates national award success

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A budding young entrepreneur and SHU student who set up his own IT company at the age of 15 has won a national business award.

Harvey Morton, aged 20, from Woodseats, Sheffield, was named Young Freelancer of the Year in the IPSE – Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed – competition.

Harvey juggles the demands of running his home-based IT consultancy full time with his studies at Sheffield Business School, where he has just completed the second year of his BA in Business and Enterprise Management.

He said: “It was a complete surprise when they announced that I was the winner. I still feel quite overwhelmed. It’s a national title and I have had a lot of attention since and I’m not really used to anything on that scale. To be recognised nationally is huge, really.”

Harvey won £3,000 prize money, champagne and a year’s membership of IPSE, which entitles him to free business support.

His firm Harvey Morton IT support (www.harveymorton-itsupport.com) offers a range of services including social media management, web design, app development and media production.

Harvey, who was nominated for the prize by Sheffield Hallam University’s Enterprise team,  is no stranger to award success.

At the age of 15, he set up an on-call IT support firm and later won enterprise prizes while still at school studying for his GCSEs. The firm has grown into a digital marketing agency with clients all around the UK, including The Cutler’s Company, Alton Towers and The Princes Trust.

Harvey said he had no plans to go to university but received help from business experts in Sheffield Hallam’s Enterprise team and after meeting other students decided to take the plunge. He said: “One of the reasons I was attracted to Sheffield Hallam was because I met people studying on the business courses at SHU and I could see how much they enjoyed it. Before that, I had never thought of going to university.”

“I have learnt so many skills which have helped me to run my business – financial management, HR, how to write a proper business plan, customer service skills, and a lot of the theory has helped with the practical element of running my business,” he said.

“The support I’ve received from the Enterprise Team has been outstanding.

“I feel privileged to have been able to access an amazing team of mentors who have given me valuable advice and have helped me to grow my business alongside my studies at Hallam.

“It’s been great to meet so many like-minded people at the university who are also self-employed. To anyone who is thinking of setting up a business whilst at Hallam, do it! The Enterprise Team will support you along the way and it’s a great way to make new friends.”

Caroline Nouvellon enterprise manager at SHU, said: “It has been an absolute privilege to support Harvey in his business venture over the past couple of years. He encapsulates the extraordinary entrepreneurial flair and mindset of many Hallam students and graduates and has been a wonderful ambassador for the Enterprise Team.

“He is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the ISPSE Young Freelancers of the Year Award and we look forward to working with him in the future to ensure the long-term sustainability of his business within the Sheffield City Region.”

Digital Ambassador wins national student employee of the year award

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Ellie Wright, aged 21, can now add winner of the Student Employee Of The Year (SEOTY) award to her growing list of achievements.

The recent English Language graduate was honoured on Thursday evening at a conference in Cardiff, for going above and beyond whilst working part-time for the university’s marketing department.

Ellie, who worked primarily as a digital student ambassador was nominated for the national award for her strong work ethic and her ability to connect online with prospective students about the merits of studying at Sheffield Hallam.

“Ellie has a natural way of illustrating her student life without coming across as a cliché or being over enthusiastic. She is honest, open and authentic. She was always enthusiastic about helping us and very willing to share every ounce of her story,” said Laura Lightfinch, senior marketing officer at SHU, who nominated Ellie for the award.

Each year, university employers are given the opportunity to nominate exceptional student workers who combine study with paid part-time work for the National Association of Student Employment services’ SEOTY Award. The national competition has surged in popularity since its inception in 1998.

This year, Ellie stood-out, despite the roughly 700 nominations that were submitted from over 30 Higher Education Institutions across the country. Ellie competed against all the winners within the North East region (which includes Universities across Yorkshire and the North East) and was chosen as a regional winner. She was then invited to join all the other regional winners, at the national awards ceremony last night in Cardiff where she won the overall competition.

“I was so excited to win the award because so many other deserving students had been nominated too. Working with Sheffield Hallam has been the best opportunity I’ve taken at university and winning this award really highlights how much I’ve been able to do and learn whilst working and studying,” she said.

Ellie, who was already an advocate for the university says the opportunity gave her more confidence to share her insights about ‘The Hallam Experience’ as well as strengthening her marketing skills and knowledge.

“I’m really grateful to have been awarded this achievement to end my time at uni in such a positive way,” she added.

A second Hallam student Leyana Akbani, who is studying at Sheffield Business School, was also a winner at both the regional and national SEOTY 2018 awards. At the conference in Cardiff, Leyana was award the national Highly Commended Commercial Impact Award.

“Internships boosted my confidence and I’m 100% more prepared for the job I want”

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Many students and graduates pursue internships to build experience, but have you considered the broad range of benefits that could be gained? I caught up with Creative Arts Practice graduate, Lydia Jackson, to get her perspective on how she gained her recent internships as part of the Hallam Internship Scheme. During her internships, Lydia acted as Exhibition Coordinator for Platform 18 at Sheffield Hallam Students Union and Assistant Exhibition Coordinator at Cupola Contemporary Art.

Why did you want to undertake an internship?

I came out of University not knowing what to do to start my career, all the jobs I found required experience which I didn’t have. These internships make such a fantastic transition from the comfort of the university to the big wide world of jobs. They’re a great chance to get a feel for a job you like the sound of and for me they have changed my path to what I want as a career; they boosted confidence and give me a world of experience within my field and I now know what I want to do as a career and feel I’m 100% more prepared for the job I want.

What do you think you have added to the business?

At SHSU, I joined the Platform 18 team with a wealth of knowledge and experience in exhibitions, having done so many on my degree and being a selected artist in the previous Platform 17 exhibition. So, I feel I added knowledge to the team in what is required for an exhibition. I’m also a very organised person which was a very important aspect to have when coordinating an event like this, so I added further method to the exhibition. As a young artist fresh from a degree, I was very adaptable to the busy gallery life that Cupola was. I went in everyday with a new task to do and I believe I did so efficiently and rose to everything I was asked to do. I also had great input into their social media posts and adapted to their style of social media to encourage customers.

What has been the biggest surprise whilst completing your internship?

With both, I was very impressed with how capable I became, not only with the pressures of organising an exhibition and working in a busy gallery but using my initiative to think or do things before I was asked. I became independent in both of my internships quickly and made sure I fit in with my new surroundings and colleagues. I’m surprised with how much I’ve grown in such a short space of time and how much more confident I have become both personally and professionally.

What is the most exciting thing you did as part of your internship?

Working on the Platform Exhibition it was amazing how much responsibility they gave me and how much they valued my input. I think when you hear the term intern you expect to be treated differently as a junior, but it was really exciting to be treat as a valued part of the team and trusted so much. I became a vital part of the exhibition process and I think rising to that and having the attitude that you are part of the team and not just an intern really helped me with this. Overall the most amazing thing is that I’ve organised an exhibition that was in the Millennium Galleries that feels like such a big achievement for me. Another exciting aspect that these internships gave me was being asked to be a panellist at the ‘get_in there’, which is run by Sheffield Creative Guild, Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union and the university and attracted over 100 people. It was so amazing to be considered for this and realise how valued my opinion was, giving advice to people just about to graduate who were in my position. This was also great for me as I don’t consider myself a confident public speaker and doing this just helps me evolve in an area I want to improve.

What have you gained from your internship experience?

The confidence aspect is huge for me, It was so amazing to be there with the crowd when the doors first opened on launch day for Platform 18 – being told how well I had done and being thanked for all my hard work in the opening speech and by attendee’s at the exhibition was such a highlight for me, having been there through all the organising and finally seeing that come to fruition was incredible. Not only that, I’ve gained a lot of contacts through my internships and networking events that will be valuable to me from a professional and art world perspective.

Would you recommend an internship to current students?

100% yes! When I left university, I was thrown into this world and was unsure what to do, I was very persistent with wanting to achieve a career in the arts. I constantly sought advice and kept asking for help from the careers department at Hallam and it really paid off. Although I was unsure about what I specifically wanted to do, I was given great direction and now I know what I want to do with my career and I’m excited for my next steps.

Thank you, Lydia, for taking the time to share your experiences.

If you’re a student or graduate seeking an internship, I encourage you to search for opportunities via UniHub and to have a chat with your employability adviser if you’d like further advice.

9 Tips for Job Interviews

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Post by Laura Burden, final year student at Hallam

So if, like me, you’re coming to the end of your time studying at Sheffield Hallam, you’re probably starting to think about getting one of those job things. I’ve had a few job interviews recently; I wanted to share some of my experiences and tips.

Let’s assume, for the purpose of this post, that you’ve secured an interview. Pat yourself on the back because that in itself isn’t easy. Clearly, there’s something in your application that they like!

So here’s a bit of a roundup of what I do before, during and after a job interview.

Research the company/organisation

No matter what I know about an organisation, I do a sweep of all the interview and job description information I’ve had and make notes. Then a quick Google search and a poke around their website provides some more general information about the company.

It’s all useful to know and trust me; it’s really obvious when you’ve done your research.

Know where you’re going and who you’re meeting

If I’m not sure where I’m going I do as much research as possible about the place I’ll be going to for my interview – is there parking available, what time will the train arrive there, what if the train’s late?

I’ve arrived more than an hour early for an interview before because I was nervous about being late, thankfully there was somewhere nearby where I could have a coffee. Try to arrive no more than 15 minutes early.

Have you got everything?

Typically you’ll need to bring some ID with you such as a passport. You might also need proof of any qualifications you mentioned on your application so, don’t forget your certificates. I also like to have some water with me (although it’s usually provided in interviews) and some pens and paper. Make sure to check the interview information and see whether you need to do any prep, in the past I’ve had to prepare a presentation and take it with me.

What type of interview is it?

I’ve been to group interviews, presentation interviews, panel interviews and one-to-one interviews; it just depends on the organisation, department and specific role you’re applying for. Each interview type has its pros and cons, usually I find it less nerve-wracking if there’s more than one person interviewing but really it depends on the people! It’s always important to know what type of interview you’re going to, and try to find out the name/s of the interviewers.

First impressions are vital

I know it’s a cliché but it’s true.

Dress smartly (yes, you have to iron your shirt), smile, introduce yourself, shake hands with your interviewers, please and thank you etc. Don’t sit down until a seat is offered, sit up straight, listen to your interviewers carefully and ask for clarification if you’re unsure about something.

Make eye contact and nod or respond where appropriate. Address the person who has asked you the question but also make eye contact with the other members of the panel.

The questions

Top tip – have a look at the job specification; you can usually work out what kind of questions you’ll get. I’ve had questions on personal strengths and weaknesses, working through a difficult situation, why I would be suitable for the role, and everything in between.

I definitely recommend having a couple of examples of situations you’ve been in and do some personal reflection.

If you’re struggling to think of the best example to use or how to answer a question, ask if you can come back to it. I’ve done this a few times – they aren’t judging you for it.

STAR

The most important thing to remember for interviews – use the STAR technique.

I’m really bad for waffling and trying to cram in a lot of information – have you noticed? The STAR technique helps me give focused, concise answers.

Situation – Who, what, when, where and why

Task – What was the challenge or problem, what was the end goal?

Action – What did YOU do?

Result – What was the outcome?

Ask your own questions

Always ask at least one question yourself. It shows you’re interested – in the job, the company, the people sat in front of you. Rather than trying to think something up on the spot, I tend to go with a few questions in mind, and then whatever isn’t answered; you’ve got some questions to hand.

Just make sure you don’t ask anything that’s already been answered.

After the interview

Before you leave, make sure they have your contact details and that you know when they will contact you. When they do get in touch, I make sure to thank them for their time and for contacting me, I also always ask for feedback on my interview – even if I’m offered the position.

If you need to take a day to consider a job offer, don’t be afraid to ask for some time. Remember, even though a job offer over the phone is brilliant, it’s not binding, and it’s important to ensure you get some kind of written offer.

Good luck out there and remember to check out the Careers Central Interviews page for more advice, tips and to book a mock interview if you’re feeling unprepared or unsure!

Recognition and relationships

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Post by James Beighton, Employer Partnerships Officer (Student Employment) at Sheffield Hallam University

There’s an age-old saying “Self-praise is no recommendation.” Proverbs have to start somewhere so at some point, somebody must’ve been willing to shout about their success and it must’ve meant something to someone.

Last week we crowned institutional winners of The Sheffield Hallam University Student Employee of The Year Awards (SEOTY). The Awards themselves are the largest of their kind in the UK and recognise students who successfully combine part-time work with study. 81 of our students were put forward as nominees by their Manager for going above and beyond their job duties, showing leadership or having a commercial impact on a local or national business.

Sheffield once again sits at the top of the table for student employment with the city’s two Universities finishing 2nd and 3rd in the overall nominations table for 2018.

What does this mean for our students? For some, I dare say most, a job fits one purpose, an income alongside study. This year, more than any other, our students are starting to reflect on the skills they are taking from employment. We’ve heard about the competitive job market, being work ready as a graduate, being tech-savvy and digitally orientated. What is refreshing is the way that all our winners reflected on their achievements in their victory speech, with confidence and humility. Soft skills will take you far.

The labour market is increasingly consumer driven. The 2018 employer is open to those with portfolio careers and it’s accepted that stand out workers will likely have exposure to different sectors, jobs and skill sets. Yorkshire’s rich list was released by The Times Newspaper last week and emphasised the trend that fortune is increasingly self-made. The rise to wealth of those setting up their own business or believing in an idea is stark. Proof, if ever it was needed, that graduates will go far with belief and resilience, two distinguishing factors amongst those who work part-time and those who work part-time with distinction.

It is possible to have an impact working as little as 8 to 10 hours per week. Looking at this year’s SEOTY nominations, our students are proving to be a driving force behind some of the bigger issues facing the Higher Education Sector. Our Commercial Impact Award winner won her award for bringing an estimated £1 million of new business to a company specialising in mental health and wellbeing. The winner of the Above and Beyond Award is a true ambassador, promoting the value of getting into further education amongst school children through sports coaching in the community. The ability of our students to apply themselves through part-time work and champion their own experience of higher education is admirable.

Work experience is as much a part of an education as learning a system or reading a textbook. It allows students to build relationships on a professional level and the confidence gained from seeing the reward in working is markable. Our students have to work, it’s no longer a desirable.

On campus, our student casual payroll paid 402 individual students last month. Between them, these students worked over 4000 hours in paid part-time work, working for teams on campus at Sheffield Hallam University. The demand for work is on the increase and through initiatives like SEOTY, the importance of a successful working partnership between students and employers is becoming ever more prominent.

The 2017 national SEOTY winner is a Sheffield Hallam student. At the time, 1st year Law student Nabeela stood out as a clear winner for her work with young people as part of The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme. Students are leading by example and working as advocates for the importance of getting out there and doing something meaningful. They may not identify it at the outset but they are resilient in a time where it’s easy to become insular in an uncertain political and financial labour market. Nabeela featured via video at our awards evening and summed up exactly what a SEOTY Award can do for the confidence of a student, “When I went to interviews I was able to say, I’m student employee of the year, hire me!”. A stand out example that work experience at any level of study is valuable both to the individual and a business.

The SEOTY Awards are now at a regional stage where winners from institutional awards will compete across the country to be named as National Student Employee of The Year 2018.

Winners will be announced at The National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) Conference in July. For more information, head to www.nases.org.

If you’re a student, look at the hundreds of part-time on campus and off campus job roles advertised on UniHub. You could be the next SEOTY Awards winner!

If you’re an employer, you can benefit from flexible, casual workers and advertise for FREE today.

 

My first week on placement!

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Blog post by Psychology student Georgia Widdowson – my first week on a work placement in the Careers and Employability Centre…

A bit about me…

I’ve always loved people, I love chatting with them, listening to them, but most of the time, talking at them. That is why I decided Psychology was the perfect course for me; the study of human behaviour never fails to get me excited!

During the open day for Sheffield Hallam, I was instantly attracted to the course once it was stated that we had the option of doing a work placement .I thought “Fab, a chance to get out into the real world and explore what a field in Psychology has to offer!” As a fantasist, I always envisaged I’d end up pulling a Freud and being a counsellor for the 8 weeks, or taking a leaf out of Milgram’s or Zimbardo’s book and conducting some crazy experiments. However, although it has not been as juicy as this, that’s not to say, I haven’t already learnt a lot during my work placement so far!   

So, where am I doing my work placement?

Originally, I was assigned to work at a sexual health charity in Sheffield. I was really looking forward to this as it covered one of the many areas within Psychology of interest to me. So, I thought “Amazing, for once, things have actually worked out for me!” Well…I spoke to soon. A couple of days later, when enjoying a nice Jacket potato in the Heart of the campus café, I received an email stating that a change in circumstances within the organisation meant I could no longer carry out my placement there. So, after one of my classic dramatic and blubbery phone calls to my Mum (and in front of the unfortunate souls who happened to be in the café) I concluded that this was down to fate, and that I had to trust that it was meant to be!

So, to get to the point…thankfully, the lovely and friendly careers team at Sheffield Hallam said they’d take me on, and as such I was assigned to work in their team for 8 weeks.

Now, I am sure you’re all wondering. How has my first week been?

As my first day arrived, I woke up at 7am, blurry eyed and zombified, and feeling very nervous and anxious about being in a professional environment and meeting new people. Despite this, I immediately felt welcome, and the positive and vibrant atmosphere within the department got me very excited about the opportunities and activities I would be getting involved with. Of course, I was apprehensive as it was not my original placement or line of work which I would originally chose or was interested to get involved with, yet this was the kick I needed to get me out of my comfort zone.

Luckily, I came at the perfect time. In the height of the organisation of the department’s two biggest job fairs ‘GoGlobal’ and ‘Work while you study’ (which I encourage everyone to come and check out!) I have helped towards the planning and promotion of these. I devised floor plans for the space at which the fairs will take place, deciding how the layout should be and where each company will stand. I’ve chosen the promotional videos for each company who will be at the fair (Apologies in advance if these bore you) and completing admin work, such as coding on the UniHub website, and I have sat in meetings among the careers team which was great to analyse from a Psychology perspective! These are things which I’d have never in a million years seen myself doing- yet, thank goodness I have! As it has provided me with skills which I’d have never have pushed myself to achieve. I am now looking forward to getting more stuck in!

So, what am I trying to say?

My first week of work placement has already provided me with the most important thing of all…confidence; Self-confidence, confidence in my abilities and skills and the confidence that my opinion, as a student, does matter. My view of Sheffield Hallam has changed.

Already, I have learnt that the University, especially within the careers and employability team, want you to succeed and do well and do all they can to help you achieve your life goals. So, don’t shy away and pop in to the department and ask any questions you may have about your future, or apply for an on/off campus job to earn some pocket money and gain invaluable skills, helping you to be more employable! And if you’re unsure about doing a work placement, all I can say is… Do IT, as no experience is ever wasted.

Insight into publishing, my student perspective

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Kate Whittle, a first year BA English student at SHU recently attended an ‘Insight into Publishing’ event, run by Hachette UK, the UK’s most diversified trade publishing group.

“What are you doing at University?”, I sometimes get asked. Getting the most out of it, or at least trying to!

As a first-year student I initially felt a little out of my depth, I’d gotten up at half past four and travelled down to London for nine. I arrived at Carmelite House and thought “what am I doing here?”

Navigating the way to Hachette

However, within five minutes of being there I’d got a coffee in hand, a biscuit in the other and was making my way towards a table of smiling faces. Hachette UK put all the students into groups of about 8-10 to a table with a brief on it for a book, my table got the genre of ‘cookery books’ and so we had to brainstorm and work together to create a plan. This was so that throughout the day we could slowly work up a brief presentation where we attempt to sell our ‘book’ to the publishing house. This meant that everyone had to be friendly and work together to produce an original and interesting brief, they were some incredibly interesting people who I worked with and I honestly felt I learnt so much just from my table.

The day was split up by different talks from the different departments within the company, they had a director, Martin Neild who came and gave us an over view of the company and re-assured us that the book is definitely not dead! I think this causes a lot of people to not go into the industry and therefore they wanted to calm our fears and really get us enthusiastic about it. This was followed by some more senior staff who covered everything from production, to marketing, sales, publicity and so much more. To me the most striking thing about the day was just how broad the term ‘publishing’ is, it’s not just an editor and publicist doing all the work!

For example, Sarah Clay, the special sales person form Hodder & Stoughton made me realise that there is a lot more to getting the books on the shelfs past just writing and creating the physical book. She goes out to the major supermarkets, to the major bookstores, anywhere they think a book will sell. Her job role is to be enthusiastic and exited about why they would want this book in their stores, she said “it requires a lot of creative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit”. This made me realise I don’t have to use my love of books in a typical sense, I could use that love and enthusiasm to get other people into books!

Publishers names on wall by the lifts

Over all it was a truck load of information crammed into a 9-hour day. I left feeling a little overwhelmed but even more in love with books and the English language than before, I honestly think the day on a whole was a must for anyone who is even considering a job leading from English or to English. Its not just about the specifics of publishing but also the general knowledge and confidence you get from doing something out of your comfort zone, such as travelling to London alone and talking to people much older and much more experienced than yourself.

Hachette UK is an incredible company that provides opportunities to those attempting to get into the industry. The ‘Inside story’ event was perfect for me as a student to go and get a better idea of what it actually meant to go into Publishing and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any who can spare the day.

Insight into publishing

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Post by Laura Kerley, Employability Adviser for Humanities

I recently attended an ‘Insight into Publishing’ event, run by Hachette UK, the UK’s most diversified trade publishing group. The Hachette UK group includes many autonomous publishing companies, whilst providing some group level support. This combination of big and small proved a fascinating context to gain insight into the publishing industry.

Over the course of the day 60 students from across the UK heard from people working in a range of roles at Hachette and beyond. Speakers ranged from the very experienced (eg. the founder of inclusivity focused Dialogue Books ; and the literary agent of best seller ‘Girl on a Train’), to more recent graduates. But it wasn’t all chalk and talk. In groups, students were given a book genre and in between talks were set tasks to ultimately “create” a book and pitch it at the end of the day. This wasn’t as scary as it may sound – see our very own student view of the day from first year SHU English student, Kate Whittle. The day was rounded off nicely with drinks, socialising and a chance to get CV advice, with quite a backdrop view from the rooftop terrace!

Some key (and sometimes surprising) points about the publishing industry

  • It is thriving and the book isn’t dead!
  • There is an exciting array of roles available that are open to graduates from any subject. Although editing is critical (and popular), think beyond this to lesser known roles such as Design, Production, Rights&Licensing, Sales, Marketing&Publicity, Distribution and Finance.
  • There can be chances to work internationally, particularly in Sales and Rights&Licensing.
  • Competing for the ‘leisure pound’ with giants such as Amazon has led the industry to speed up, with distribution working at a particularly high pace.
  • There is no set path into the publishing industry. You can certainly spot some patterns (see tips below), but many atypical paths exist. One example is an Animation graduate turned Digital Marketing Manager with a background mainly in music promotion. Another is the founder of a Dialogue Books, who got there via bookselling/being a Production Runner/studying Politics&Anthropology as a mature student and more!

Tips to get into publishing

  • Be persistent in trying to get some industry experience via formal work experience/intern schemes and approaching publishers speculatively. However, extended periods of unpaid work experience/shadowing is not expected.
  • Paid work that is particularly valued is book selling and office experience outside the publishing industry. Blogging, using Twitter well and reading industry press are also valued.
  • Have an open mind about which work experience opportunities and entry level roles to go for. The less glamorous sounding will attract less competition and still be very useful experience.
  • Commercial awareness, organisation, team work and communication/negotiation skills are valued for all
  • When applying for opportunities don’t waste too much space telling the publishing company how awesome they are; tell them how you can help them be even more awseome!

 

How to find out more

Start by getting a fuller view of the publishing industry and roles on TARGETjobs; the Publishers Association and Creative Skillset.

Join the Society of Young Publishers (not just for young professionals – student membership is £24/yr); they run great events, an online advice forum, a magazine, a jobs database and more. They have a Northern branch that runs fantastic and reachable events.

Get some industry experience. Hachette UK run a work experience scheme and also Fresh Chapters internships. For other opportunities, follow publishers on Facebook/Twitter (the ‘Publishing’ list on @SHUCareersHums is a good place to start). Try a speculative approach with smaller publishers, including those outside London. For help with finding free accommodation for one week in London, visit the Spare Room Project. There is also help from the Book Trade Charity on offer for people looking to get into the industry.

REMEMBER, you can book an appointment with an Employability Adviser for practical support with job search and applications.

Students wowing employers amongst other visitors at the Sheffield Hallam Nutrition Fair

by Karen Allan, Careers and Employability Service

The Nutrition Fair organised by Sheffield Business School’s Nutrition course leader Anna Hall is in its 13th year and was held last month at the university. The creativity and knowledge on show from the students this year was outstanding and more than kept up the reputation from previous years. The fair is a regular feature in the calendar of visitors from Totley Primary school and now it is becoming a fixture for employers keen to attract these talented students.

Karen Allan, Employability Adviser at Sheffield Hallam contributes to the list of companies invited to the event. Students who are keen to speak with employers are asked to submit their contact details to Karen beforehand.

She said: “I then supply the companies with a list of potential candidates and their stall number. This resulted in a number of conversations and offers of follow up meetings. Fairs like this are much more interesting for employers who are looking for people with specific knowledge and skills. They get the chance to see students in action, such as advising the public about nutrition issues, explaining health benefits and explaining the ideas behind their product development.”

Leading from the front and an eager attendee on the day was Sheffield Hallam University Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Husbands who commented on how the content of the day had made all attendees reflect on diet and nutrition.

He said: “The Nutrition Fair was great fun – engaging, informative and revealing, whatever your previous knowledge about foods and nutrition. It made me think hard, and it made the pupils from local schools who had been invited think hard about diet and nutrition. It covered so many bases: challenging established wisdom, inventive and imaginative and reaching out to diverse audiences.”

Sheffield Hallam Vice Chancellor, Chris Husbands

Sheffield Hallam Vice Chancellor, Chris Husbands attended the Nutrition Fair

Tom Balchin of Barker Ross Food attended the Nutrition Fair and said: “Myself and my colleague Harley attended the Nutrition Fair 2017 at Sheffield Hallam University recently and left feeling more than impressed. We made our way around each project, enticed by the amazing products they had put together and the thought process behind it.

Tom Balchin

Tom Balchin

“It was clear all students had taken a real insight into current market trends and thought about what consumers want. All students were approachable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I learnt things from each project with a vast array of handouts for me to take home (including some great recipe cards!)

“A fantastic selection of students with bright futures ahead, great to meet the next generation of professionals within the industry and we will 100% be back next year!”

Thomas Tucker Ltd. will be holding a graduate recruitment event based on the presentations at the event. Gary Durant, Finance & HR Manager added: “This was a true insight in to the calibre of up and coming talented food professionals and we are looking forward to working with the university and its students later in the year.”

Here are some pictures of the fabulous projects on show

Elise Ollerenshaw advising the public

Elise Ollerenshaw advising the public

Pupils from Totley Primary School, Sheffield

Pupils from Totley Primary School, Sheffield

 

 

 

 

 

 

Esther Smith, Freya Harrop, Hannah Van Hest Callender. "Don't Berry your Head" won the prize for most innovative stall sponsored by food ingredient specialists Ulrick and Short.

Esther Smith, Freya Harrop, Hannah Van Hest Callender. “Don’t Berry your Head” won the prize for most innovative stall sponsored by food ingredient specialists Ulrick and Short.

Kamila Bashir and Shumila Hassan

Kamila Bashir and Shumila Hassan

For more information about the Nutrition Fair, please email: k.allan@shu.ac.uk

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.