Employers: Venture matrix seeks projects for students

English student works on editing project with theatre producer

English student works on editing project with theatre producer

Now that this academic year is drawing to an end, it’s a great time to reflect and focus on developments for the forthcoming year ahead. The Venture Matrix team are hard at work, looking for clients who require assistance on projects, which they may not have the time and/or resources to undertake, for Sheffield Hallam students to work on.

Venture Matrix is a unique work-based learning scheme. It develops students’ employability and enterprise skills through real life work related projects that are accredited as part of their degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

Whether you are a university tutor, run an organisation or have colleagues or friends who may benefit from working with Sheffield Hallam University students, you can get involved in the Venture Matrix and benefit from the diversity of skills and knowledge available.

The scheme is open to organisations, businesses and schools within the local region. Opportunities are varied and wide ranging and could involve criminology, eco-tourism, humanities, information management, bioscience, nutrition, health and lifestyle, psychology and market research.

Through the Venture Matrix, the university, local organisations and our students can build and strengthen relationships with each other, enabling more effective collaboration in the future.

If you’d like to find out more information about Venture Matrix please visit:www.shu.ac.uk/venturematrix

Jess- The Story of a Graduate Intern

My role as Communications and Information Officer in the Technology Enhanced Learning Team within Quality Enhancement, Student and Learning Services (SLS) over the past ten months has allowed me to be involved in a range of great projects which have helped me to understand and demonstrate my skills and attributes. I am leaving today to start a new and permanent role in Sheffield Business School as a Business and Research Assistant Administrator so I would like to share with you some of the work I have been involved in relating to Employability.

My work has meant that I have been heavily involved in Employability as I worked closely with Paul Helm and Michelle Boughton. I have had responsibility for regularly updating The Employability blog and I have written and edited posts as well as promoting them on Twitter.

I have created a web presence for myself through Twitter (@jessicag_shu) which has allowed me to promote the work I have done, provide information to student and graduate followers and I have even been retweeted by NASES UK on National Student Employment week 2013 and quoted in their storify and by the HEA in relation to events about the Global Graduate Seminar held at Sheffield Hallam earlier in the year. I am especially proud of this; I have increased my network of contacts and gained work helping others to use social media within their teams.

I have also been involved in the creation of a timeline which maps out a student’s employability over the course of their Undergraduate degree. This has led me to use programmes I had no experience of including Visio and Project. I also had the opportunity to work with colleagues in the Careers Service to produce some of the content and a student on the design aspects who came to the project through Venture matrix. I was also required to present this work and update senior management regularly so they could see the progress I was making with this project.

My Employability was something I did not think about until my final year of University and after doing a number of things, such as joining societies and sports teams to enhance this I feel that this internship has been invaluable in enhancing my own employability as a recent graduate and this is something that really puts me in a great position and is a good grounding for my future career. The skills I have gained will no doubt help me in my new role in Sheffield Business School and will be transferable but also the challenges I have overcome give me confidence that I will be able to do the same elsewhere.

Unfortunately I am unable to demonstrate all the work I have done and all the skills I have acquired as there are many but I have really gained so much from my time here and have had a large number of people who have supported me in my role and encouraged me in the work I have done so to those colleagues I would like to say thank you.

If you would like to read more about the other projects I have been involved in you can find details in SLS News.

Sheffield Hallam Open Day 15th June

The University open day took place on 15 June, and was attended by about 3000 people.  Careers and Employment always have a presence at the open days, but this time Paul Helm did a support talk called “Preparing you for your career.”  Paul commented that, ‘…more people signed up for the talk than I expected, and think it was definitely something worth doing. The main points that I made were about the massive range of opportunities on offer for students to enhance their employability, and the support that is there for them from day one’.

Sheila Quairney from the Research and Innovation Office then talked about the support on offer for self employment and how Sheffield Hallam supports students in developing enterprise skills. Sheila also described the work of the Venture Matrix.

Also, three of the students who feature in the Tomorrow’s You campaign – Henna, Tom, and Laurie spoke about different aspects of the support they had in preparing for their career. You can watch their videos here.

A great year for Venture Matrix!

As the 2013/2014 academic calendar draws to a close, the Venture Matrix team reflect upon another fruitful year. The significant increase to enterprise projects with local Sheffield schools, especially through the city-wide enterprise initiative – The BiG challenge, resulted in over 200 students working and mentoring over 1,700 high school pupils through 150 projects.  It is also noteworthy that 70% of the pupils, who were shortlisted for a Big Challenge award, had been supported by Venture Matrix students.  A number of these students have now successfully been accepted on to PGCE courses, using their Venture Matrix experience as a key feature of their application form.

Additionally, the Venture Matrix team are currently receiving extremely positive feedback from external clients, who have been providing over 180 projects for Venture Matrix students from across the University, many providing personal references and testimonials for the student groups they have worked with. The external clients, from all three sectors, are often organisations that have previously not had any business relationship with the University.  However, a pattern is now emerging whereby these organisations are now building their relationship with SHU outside of the Venture Matrix scheme by offering placement, internships, guest lectures and research projects. 

Venture Matrix students have also raised over £3,000 for local charities as a result of their external projects. It has also been significant through feedback from external examiners, in particular Graphic Design, Business and ICT and Early Childhood Studies, that the Venture Matrix scheme is recognised for adding innovative value to the curriculum, in addition to developing student’s skills.

Learn more about Venture Matrix here


International Students who want good jobs choose Alliance Universities

A research report from the University Alliance shows that universities like Sheffield Hallam, part of the University Alliance group, are the destination of choice for international students whose priority is getting a good job.

Alliance universities are 24 of the UK’s most innovative and enterprising universities, and their report has found that 87% of international students studying at Alliance are studying because they want to get a good job. This is compared to an average of 83% at UK Universities overall, and in higher education globally.

The report, ‘Growing Global Graduates’ brings together 24 best-practice examples, including a case study about Sheffield Hallam University’s Venture Matrix programme, which demonstrate why Alliance Universities are so effective at equipping students for long-term employability and why students are choosing to study at them.

Libby Hackett, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said:

“Graduate careers are under the spotlight like never before. Students want to ensure their degree and time at university will help set them up for a rewarding and fulfilling career in a rapidly changing world. Students recognise the value of higher education in improving their employability and the data suggest that Alliance universities attract students particularly focused on their future careers.”