Work Experience Champion Award​ 2022

Awarded for significant contribution to promoting the benefits of work experience and/or volunteering to other students as part of their course.​

College of Business, Technology and Engineering
Ellie Toombs – BA Business Economics ​

What they did​
“The student is the Departmental Rep but has gone way beyond this role supporting with the Transforming Lives strategy. They attend the Employer Advisory Board (EAB) as a student representative, and usually on their own represents the student voice. The student liaises with Executives in Residence (EiR) from large and small businesses and is not phased by the profile of some of the board members. The EAB leads the way across the university as best practice and the student is fundamental in the EAB achieving this position. ​

The work the student has contributed to has helped formed an EiR Steering Group of EiRs, academics and students. The group, particularly with the students support have contributed to embedding applied learning further into the L4 L5 and L6 HSE modules, but also across other modules within the department. ​

The student was also fundamental to the success of the Recruitment and Employability Extravaganza Event in October where they organised and delivered a event specific to supporting placements and Graduate Employment across all 3 subject groups. The event attracted over 300 students and 50 EiRs/external companies to support with stands and lectures, and included international representation.”​

What was the impact?​
“The impact to students was significant as the student has involved students with EiRs, external partners and mentoring with academics. They have closed the gap between the 3 stakeholder groups. The impact to EiRs/externals is they are learning what is required from them to support applied learning, curriculum development and mentoring. The impact to the university is they represent a future SHU alumni and will be a great ambassador for the university upon leaving. The student will also have impact on future students as they have agreed to support with student projects as an alumni. The impact has a profound impact on the Transforming Lives Strategy by preparing students for the future. The student has delivered on working both locally and globally and so create knowledge through work on applied projects, and been an exemplar of a confident and resilient graduate.”​

How it inspired others​
“The student is a brilliant example of a student from SHU and will be a great ambassador for the university when graduating in the Summer. The involvement with external EiRs and partners has allowed other students to see the benefits of collaboration and how it improves employment opportunities. The student has achieved significant results in academic work, but also gone beyond and demonstrated to student colleagues how collaboration with academics and externals can have a positive result to real-world challenges. ​

I have no hesitation in recommending this student for this award.”

College of Social Sciences and Arts​
Georgia Howe – BA Hon Sports Journalism​

What they did​
“This student is the only placement rep for the MAC department this year (21/22) and has said ‘yes’ every time they have been asked to promote the benefits of a sandwich year placement to current L5 students. They took part in the introductory lecture, recorded a Zoom chat with the Employability Lead to be shown in lectures, provided quotes for open days and social media, and attended numerous lectures across the dept to talk to students on different courses. Despite the demands of their final year, this student has been tireless in their enthusiasm for promoting placements and has shared the positive experience they had on placement and the benefits it has brought for their final year and beyond. They have been cheerful and positive every time.”​

What was the impact?​
“They have given all students in MAC the chance to hear about the benefits of a placement from ‘the horse’s mouth’. This has been of huge benefit to the EL, the EA and other members of staff when promoting placements because it makes a big difference if the message comes from someone who has just done a placement and is of a similar age and experience as the student audience. Hearing about such a positive experience encourages students to consider a placement for themselves.”​

How it inspired others​
“The student’s enthusiastic and positive message about their sandwich year placement inspired L5 students to consider doing a placement next year and sign up to Handshake to look for opportunities. Students have told the EL that the placement rep has inspired them to do a placement. The rep also made themselves available to L5s by sharing their email address with students and chatting to them informally about what it’s like being on placement and the benefits it brings.”