SHU Pathways 2018

The Sheffield Hallam Pathways day is an annual event which takes place each March in the Cantor Building at Hallam. Although focused on students within the creative media industry, it’s open to students from all disciplines who are interested in working within the industry or those considering a postgraduate course.

This year, Pathways took place on March 7th from 11am until 5pm. Hopefully you caught my Snapchat takeover on the Sheffield Hallam official Snapchat and maybe you went to the event as well, either way, here’s my little round-up of the event and why it’s such a great thing to be a part of/attend.

Pathways is organised by Philo Holland, a senior lecturer within the Media and Communications department here at Hallam, he brings together media, journalism, PR, film and production students and more to coordinate, organise and manage the event from the website, to social media, flyers and interviewing the guests on the day.

The event features a range of activities  such as talks from industry professionals, Q+A sessions, as well as exhibiting employers to engage with. There’s a wide range of disciplines catered to, with talks on getting into broadcast journalism, pitching articles to magazines, being a photographer, getting into a job in animation, freelancing on a public relations consultant and much more.

This year I went along to a number of the talks and spoke to a wide range of people, some I already knew and some I didn’t, just to see what opportunities are out there and how people have got to where they are. We kicked off with a quick introduction by Philo Holland and the Sheffield Hallam Vice Chancellor Chris Husbands, followed by a presentation and Q+A session with Debbie Howard, Writer/Director at Big Buddha Films, Nick Crossland, Creative Director of Joi Polloi and William Connolly, SHU graduate and Commissioning Editor of Gay Times. Each panelist talked through their relevant career paths, as well as giving a range of helpful tips and advice on making it on your chosen career path.

After this first talk I went for a browse around the main exhibition space in the Cantor building atrium. Here there were a range of stalls with employers ready to give some information on internships,summer placements, work experience, graduate schemes etc. As well as a Sheffield Hallam stall dedicated to postgraduate study within the creative media industries.

I ran into one of my lecturers for a quick chat, before catching up with the ladies at the Sheffield Doc/Fest stall where I worked last summer, they’re looking for volunteers for this years 25th anniversary festival. I also had a chat with and exchanged email addresses with Oli from BBC Radio Sheffield whom I met at the Grad Talks event last month, we spoke about my journalism course and about placements that are available at the radio station and within the BBC. I then wandered around a spoke to a few more stalls such as people from Beyond PR, the Children’s Media Conference and more to see what opportunities they had. Some of them took my email address and have since contacted me about work experience etc. which is great.

I had a quick chat to some of the undergraduate media students who were taking audio clips from people for their programmes on SHU Radio and caught up with some of the students I knew. During the course of the afternoon I went to a few of the talks that I had my eye on, including Calum MacDonald who was giving a talk on journalism and Rosie Sobieraj whom I also met at the Grad Talks was talking about her public relations career.

The highlight of the event for me had to be the Q+A session with Journalist and BBC Presenter Dan Walker. In an hour long quick fire question session, he spoke about his journey into journalism, being denied as a PGCE student due to his bright socks, establishing the ‘egg club’ on Twitter, working for the BBC, working at Hallam FM, studying journalism at University of Sheffield and much more. Even though I don’t watch and have never really watched BBC Breakfast, I’ve been following Dan Walker on Twitter for quite a while, and enjoy seeing what he gets up to, especially when he visits or talks about Sheffield and either of its Universities.

As I mentioned above, the Pathways event is an annual thing so, if you missed it this year, keep an eye out for some information about next years event. Also bear in mind that although it’s aimed at students in the creative media industries, it’s open to students from all backgrounds and research groups, so long as you have an interest in working in creative media. If you’re considering studying a postgraduate in Journalism or Photography for example, even if it’s not at Hallam, it’s a great opportunity to see what career options are open to you beyond that.

It’s also worth keeping an eye out for other events like Pathways across the campus, for example Stack was a few weeks before Pathways, a similar event which caters for computing students.

These events are all organised by Hallam staff who put their heart and soul into ensuring students have the knowledge and advice they need from people who are doing/have done what we’ve done. They use their industry connections and friendships to get remarkable people to or back to Hallam to speak about what they’re doing and how they they got there!