“I wouldn’t have a job in the Criminal Justice Sector without volunteering!”

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Olivia, Criminology & Psychology graduate, is now a Case Worker at Remedi, where she initially volunteered as a student. For more information about Remedi, and their work in restorative justice, visit  www.remediuk.org/

Hi Olivia, how did you get involved with Remedi?

I had a meeting with Sheryl, my Employability Adviser, and after talking about my interests she suggested that I contact Remedi to enquire about volunteering. The Derbyshire team offered me three sessions a week working on the Victim Support Programme.  I was responsible for making telephone contact with victims of all different types of crime and offering them help and support.

After about 5 or 6 months Remedi offered me some paid work on a temporary basis and then in June 2017 I was offered a permanent job on the Restorative Justice project!

Tell me a little bit about your current role

There are two strands to my job; one with young offenders and the other with adults. In my work with young offenders, I deal with people who have been referred from the Youth Justice Panels.  We have one-to-one sessions based around their conviction and we might do things like sending a letter of apology to the victim.  I also get to sit on Youth Justice Panels, which means I get to be part of the decision making process about what happens to an offender.

On the adult side my referrals come from Witness Care; if a victim shows an interest in restorative justice they are passed onto me and I make contact with both parties. Initially, I meet with the victim and the offender separately and then we decide what happens from there.

How did your degree prepare you for this role?

When I first started there was a lot of training based around theories of psychology and I was already familiar with most of it. Also, my degree gave me prior knowledge of community sentencing and the terminology used in Youth Justice Panels

What is the best part of your job?

I really like working with young people, and if I’d not volunteered I don’t think I would have considered it as a career option

What do you see yourself doing next?

More work with young people, maybe Case Management with young offenders

What advice would you give to new students starting at Hallam this semester?

Start volunteering in your first year! I left it until my final year and it was really difficult to fit around my academic study.

Thanks Olivia!

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. 

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.

The best advice I could give students is to volunteer

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Psychology graduate Dani, shares about her current role as an Assistant Psychologist and highlights the value of gaining experience, both in demonstrating your skills to future employers and also in deciding on a career path.

Dani Mounfield at Graduation

Dani Mounfield at Graduation in 2015

“Since graduating, in 2015, I worked for a few months at a residential facility for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Learning Disabilities before getting my current role.

I currently work for Chrysalis Associates (www.chrysalisassociates.org), a private company who offer therapy for children with attachment and trauma difficulties. As an Assistant Psychologist I complete assessments of the children, both pre and post therapy, looking into their attachment and trauma symptoms, as well as their behavioural difficulties and receptive vocabulary. Additionally I oversee childcare sessions, which requires me to ensure the children are as calm and regulated as possible; this can range from just one child to multiple at one time.

During University I took the Work Placement Module, where I worked for South Yorkshire Fire Departments Youth Service. I also completed a two day Mental Health First Aid Training course, which I would highly recommend, and training at Doncaster Prison, with the charity Catch 22. However most importantly I volunteered for around two years with my current employer, Chrysalis Associates, where my role was solely data entry. Arguably this volunteering was the most important factor in gaining my current job. Without my previous contact with Chrysalis Associates they wouldn’t have contacted me again to offer me an interview, which ultimately got me the job. Before the interview I read through all the reflection notes I had made whilst volunteering, this consisted of all the tasks I had completed and my thoughts and considerations of my time there. I also went through any notes and lecture slides I had from University that were relevant to the job role; additional to this I researched online, looking at what current literature was revealing about children with attachment and trauma difficulties.

In my job I use lots of skills that I learnt in University every single day, from my confidence and people skills to those more specific to psychology; report writing and data analysis. When thinking about my future I am hoping to get one of the very competitive places on a Clinical Psychology Doctorate. However until I can secure one of these places I am trying to build up my CV, with both paid and volunteer work.

The best advice I could give to current students is to volunteer; these days’ employers want you to not only finish university with a good grade, but also show that you are committed to your career path. Employers want to see that you have made efforts during university to go out into the working world and start to build up your practical skills. However, volunteering is also beneficial for yourself, it helps you to figure out what you’d like to specialise in. For example; throughout my first and second year I was confident that my main focus was forensic psychology, however after volunteering at Chrysalis Associates and having done training in Doncaster Prison, I realised that I was more interested and passionate about a clinical psychology career path.”

Braving the Snow to Volunteer!

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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 http://hallamunion.org/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 www.sheffield.gov.uk/escal

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!  www.libdems.org.uk/volunteer

Sheffield Labour Party www.laboursheffield.org.uk/

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.  www.silentcities.org.uk

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

www.rotherhamhospice.org.uk

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. http://timebuilders.wordpress.com/

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.

www.roundabouthomeless.org

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. www.assistsheffield.org.uk

 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.  www.sycf.org.uk

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 www.inovaconsult.com

 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 www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk

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. http://hallamunion.org/volunteering/

vol fair 2

Find out your professional interests…

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English Literature graduate Kayleigh describes for us her approach to exploring her career ideas while studying for her degree.

Kayleigh’s current role: Graduate Management Development Programme at Sheffield Hallam University

A two-year programme to train people as managers in Higher Education, whilst developing their understanding of different areas of the University.

Previous role: Careers and Employment Graduate Intern at Sheffield Hallam University

An 11 month internship supporting employability programme, events, workshops and assisting with other tasks as required.

 

As an English literature student I spent a lot of my degree worrying about what I would do at the end: what job did I want, would my degree get me there, did I have enough experience?

Subsequently I gathered work experience in a variety of areas, exploring options such as journalism, teaching and the voluntary sector whilst complementing this with help from the Careers and Employment service. It’s fair to say that I took a scattered approach to work experience, finding roles in many areas of work that I thought I might pursue (to see some of the work I undertook at university view my LinkedIn profile).

As a result, I did find a career path that I wanted to follow in the remarkably quick time of two years at university: I realised that I wanted to go into management, preferably in Higher Education (universities).

All of my work experience provided benefits in one way or another during my graduate job search. I developed specific skills, such as writing for charities, mentoring and teaching alongside softer skills, like public speaking, engaging different audiences and initiative at work. None of these have been irrelevant despite the fact that they weren’t obviously in a management context, however they all developed skills that are valuable in the workplace, beneficial regardless of what career you choose.

In fact, when reflecting on small pieces of work that I have done I can now see how it links into my current role on the Graduate Management Development Programme.

For instance, when I was in my final year at university I was participating in the Career Impact Scheme (a programme of employability skills sessions designed by the Careers and Employment team to aid students with their graduate job search). On this programme we had a social media talk which particularly interested me and led to some voluntary social media work that I took on outside of my degree; this in turn supported my recruitment process for my internship (which preferred candidates to have some social media experience) and the internship subsequently strongly reinforced my application for the Graduate Management Development Programme.

The reason for all this? To encourage you to find out your professional interests whilst you have access to the opportunities around the city, the support from the Careers and Employment team and the luxury of not needing a job immediately.

University is undoubtedly a busy time but you can get some flexible work experiences volunteering since the majority of organisations will work around your assignments and exams, which will put you steps ahead of other graduates when it comes around to applying for jobs.

It is possible to balance both university life and improving your employability so have a go- if you need a kick start then why not book an appointment with a Careers Adviser to talk through what possible careers options you have, or with an Employment Adviser to look for opportunities suitable for you?

 

“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!!

Capture2

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!

Volunteering Fair Success

by Caroline Hanson, Employment Adviser

Recently, SHU Careers and Employability Service worked with D&S academic departments, the D & S placement team and Hallam Union to host a targetted volunteering fair. Over 350 students studying Psychology, Sociology, Politics, Law and Criminology came along to investigate opportunities open to them and network with local organisations.

The team designed the fair to encourage these students to learn about  and get involved in,  the broad range of volunteering opportunities available that are relevant to their degree subject and could ultimately enhance their career prospects.

We’d arranged for 20 external organisations to be there –  including South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield Children’s Hospital Trust, Caudwell Children, Making Space, Catch 22 and local political parties.  Our students found out about voluntary opportunities in areas such as campaigning, mental health support, advice work, youth work, research, helplines, tutoring and mentoring. We also provided information about the additional opportunities offered by Hallam Union Volunteering, and shared about placement opportunities and support available from the Careers and Employment Service.

Around 50% of those who attended were in their first year of study. It was good to see that students are now thinking about gaining experience early on in their course. 90% of those who completed the feedback questionnaire stated that the fair was useful in helping them find voluntary work, with 70% of respondents having signed up to a voluntary opportunity that day.

The event also helped to build stronger relationships with local organisations and discuss opportunities to work together in the future. The feedback was generally very positive; Catch 22 representatives commented, “Students seemed very willing and enthusiastic about the opportunities on offer,” whilst Sue Butler from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue stated,  “This event was ideal for a new role we are currently recruiting for – which is particularly for students.”

From our perspective in the Careers and Employment team, working with colleagues in faculties always proves beneficial – we can create a highly focussed event for our students, utilise a wider network of contacts and promote it more effectively to the students. We hope to build on the success, to repeat and expand the event in future years.

 

Stage set for work experience

One of the ways our students can increase their employability is to do some voluntary work. We recently met up with Emily, Grace and Richard who are three of our performance students, and heard about their experiences helping out with Sheffield based youth theatre company, Easy Street. Founded by one of our Alumni, Sallianne Foster-Major, who graduated from Hallam in 1994, the youth theatre has performed Les Miserables, Barnum, and Cats in recent years, and was so popular that Sallianne set up a Junior Academy – which is where our students come in.

Sallianne told us, “Easy Street is committed to the training of young people who are studying performing arts at degree level, to equip them with the extra skills and experience that will help boost their employability.”

Richard Granger

Richard, a final year degree student, has trained and performed with Easy Street seniors since he was a teenager, and became involved in running the new Junior section when it started in February this year. As the class grew, and more help was needed Easy Street contacted the University’s Senior Lecturer in Performance, James McNicholas, to ask if he had any students who wanted to get involved. James put the call out and Emily and Grace jumped at the chance.  Emily is in her second year, Grace in her first – and both were eager to gain some experience in youth theatre as they’re both interested in exploring careers teaching drama or working in community theatre.

Grace McDonough

So every Wednesday night for a couple of hours, you’ll find Grace, Emily and Richard working with 25-30 junior school children, putting them through their paces with warm ups, improvisation, and – more recently – putting on two performances of Bugsy Malone!  For many of the children, it was their first ever show, and the crew not only had to help with rehearsals, nerves and tears, but a last minute change of venue due to a hole in a roof.

 

Emily Rawlinson

Emily said “It was hard work but worth it, and the evening performance showed we’d ironed out any snags during the matinee.”  Grace agreed “I’m really glad I’m getting this experience, I’m learning all the time”. Richard’s an old hand at this but he had to admit ‘It’s a great feeling when the hard work of both the children and adults produces a brilliant show that is enjoyed by all’.Now the show is over, they’re busy taking on more responsibility and strengthening their skills in running a theatre company, in addition to devising new activities and starting work on a summer showcase for the children.

Sheffield Hallam tutor James commented: “It is always great to see our students involved in work experience beyond the University. Our students working with Easy Street Theatre Company’s juniors (aged 6 – 11) are gaining some very worthwhile skills towards employability including teaching skills, understanding and experiencing various production roles and responsibilities, and the general demands of producing live performances for public audiences. If the students continue to work with the company over the course of their degree, they may also be able to write about their experiences as part of their coursework. Most of all however, these experiences will enable them to begin building that edge of experience, increasing their chances of successful progression into postgraduate study or a more direct into employment in the industry.”