How to balance university work

By James Dylag, BA Business Management

Coming to university is a big jump from A-Levels! Not only are you now living independently, but you’re also in charge of your own learning. This blog post is all about how to balance university work, with all the other things you’ll know want to do as a student!

My first tip would be to start doing any work you have as soon as you get it. Whist it might seem like the deadline is ages away (and it might well be) time goes fast when you’re at uni! Even if you don’t start writing the essay, you can start doing your reading early and noting down any quotes that you think will be useful when actually writing your essay. If you do this, when you come to write the essay you’ll basically just be filling in the gaps and padding out what you already have. This makes the process so much quicker and easier!

One of the mistakes I made in first year was not using the gaps between lectures efficiently. There were days where I’d have two or three hours between my first and second lectures, and pretty much every time I would walk back to Endcliffe or go out for lunch. Two years later in third year, in each of these gaps you’ll find me in the library. It is a much better use of time, and it means when you do get home after uni you can just relax!

Doing work with friends is also something that really helps me, especially revision. I think it is really useful to be able to talk to others about what you’re doing and hear what they’re doing. This can take the pressure of all the revision and reading if you divide topics/readings up between your group of friends. Revision breaks are also much more of a break when you’re with you friends!

Timetabling has really helped me with my university work. If you set aside certain days, afternoons or mornings for specific modules it creates a structure for your work, which I find really useful. Just make sure you stick to this timetable!

I hope these tips have been useful, good luck with your studies!

Adjusting back to student life after a placement

By Juliet Norreys, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

Undertaking a placement year is an extremely formative period in your university life. Going into my year in industry I was quietly confident in my ability to work as a team, be proactive and manage my time well; all the buzzwords which surround employability and were used in my applications for jobs. Little did I know that my year would completely surpass all expectations of how much I could learn and the extent to which my knowledge was lacking initially in practical workplace skills. The processes that I had taken for granted, such as creating an email that is both appropriate and coherent whilst also being professional and eloquent, was something that I thought I had down to a tee. When arriving at work I quickly learnt how not to write an email and realised how steep of a learning curve it was going to be! With this said, my year was incredible, and the investment in my development was second to none – I learnt more than I ever thought possible and have come out of it with more confidence in my ability to succeed in my graduate role.

Just as I had adjusted to my working life, working 8-6 every day and enjoying the freedom that came with my weekend, it was time to return to Sheffield. Initially, I thought that I would slot seamlessly back into student life; I knew it well and had done it for the 2 years previous. I was faced with a weird feeling of uncertainty; Sheffield itself had stayed the same (apart from the concourse near the Students’ Union finally being finished!), and yet I didn’t feel prepared for switching my ‘academic brain’ back on.

Thankfully, it only took a few days to settle back into my old student life, and I quickly felt like I had never left. The biggest difference I found is the mind-set I have now means that I can’t help but pick apart my modules, reflecting on what I learned on my placement and taking a more analytical/practical stance towards my studies. I am also much more productive with my time; the pattern of working 9 hours a days has become habit, and therefore the days of long lie-ins has ended! With these extra few daylight hours it means that I have more time to give to extracurricular activities, so I have thrown myself back into sport and part-time work. The one piece of advice I would give anyone returning from a year in industry is to create bucket list of all the things you have wanted to experience in Sheffield that you haven’t got around to yet. If you want to try out for a sports team, learn a language, or take part in something fun like Bummit, now is the time to do it! The last year goes incredibly fast and therefore you need to make the most of the time that’s left to enjoy Sheffield and student life in general.

How to look after your money at university

By James Dylag, BA Business Management

Surviving on a student budget can at times be challenging, but there are ways to make living more manageable, without too much compromise. Here, you’ll find my top money saving tips.

One thing that has really helped me budget during my time at university was having two bank accounts. I had my primary bank account, which is where my loan etc. was paid into, and I then had a second account which I topped up weekly. I personally opted for a Monzo account as my secondary account. The Monzo app is really great – it shows you where you’re spending your money, how much your spending, and if you’re on track to have any money left over at the end of the week. Being able to closely monitor your money through the Monzo app really helped me be more conscious of my spending decisions. It’s free to open a Monzo account and is all done online extra ease!

Another tip which I genuinely believe has saved me hundreds of pounds is leaving my card at home for a night out. Instead, I decide how much I want to spend and take that amount of cash out with me – that way you’ll only have a poorly head, not a poorly bank account. Sheffield also has Uber, so if you do run out of money on your night out, fear not you’ll still be able to get home – just pay on the Uber app.

Being a student means that we get exclusive discounts at most retailers. To unlock this host of discounts, make sure you have a Unidays account. Unidays operates through an app, which gives you access to discounts from a multitude of shops – easing the cost of buying yourself the things that you need! You can sign up to Unidays as soon as you have your Sheffield email address!

One thing that still surprises me in my final year is the cost of university level text books. They can set you back up to £50 (don’t worry though, you don’t have to buy textbooks for every module). A way to save money on the cost of textbooks is to look out for society sales. This is where a given society will organise a book sale, where second and third year students can sell their textbooks on to first years or second years alike. For example, the management society, ManSoc, has a book sale every semester in the management school, where students sell on last year’s text books. Make sure you join the relevant society and look out for these sales!

Living on a student budget can be tough, but being thrifty and saving money where you can will really ease the pressure of money – and mean you can still have all the fun that you should be having at uni!

Accommodation at Sheffield

By Will Szabo, BA Business Management

In this blog post I will be telling you about the different accommodation you will have in your time as a student, offering first hand advice and tips.

In first year, most students stay in halls of residence, which we call ‘halls’. You can choose whether this is a catered flat, where you pay extra to get your meals provided in a food hall, or self-catered, where you are provided with a kitchen and left to cook for yourself. Then you choose between a single or double bed and en suite or shared bathroom. Sheffield’s accommodation has come in the top 5 in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey from 2012-2018, so you’re in safe hands whatever you choose – you just need to consider what will suit you best.

Student Halls

There are 3 different 1st year accommodation villages;

  • Endcliffe
  • Ranmoor
  • City

I stayed in Endcliffe village in the Curbar building. In Endcliffe and Ranmoor, all the buildings are named after famous places in Sheffield like Curbar, Derwent and Howden. Endcliffe and Ranmoor provide a family and ‘village’ experience, where you are surrounded by thousands of other students all in the same boat as you, starting university and looking to meet people. In freshers week you meet hundreds of different people including all the other flats in your building.

The Edge Bar

On both sites, you have access to the social hub The Edge located in Endcliffe. The Edge is a student bar selling food and drink with plenty of sofas and tv’s that show sports fixtures and big events! It’s a great place to meet people and an even better place to sit back and relax. It is also in the same building where catered students will eat.

Your room

The majority of rooms are single bed with en suite however you can opt for a double bed for more money or a shared bathroom for cheaper.

The first year accommodation is nice, but to make it feel like a home you have to make it your own – I recommend lights, pictures, posters – thingsthat make it special to you. In my room I put a clothing rail, a tv and a pull up bar in there. This is what the standard room will look like, with an en suite bathroom to the left.

As long as there is space, you can stay in student accommodation for your second year, however a lot of students choose to find a house with their friends.

Private housing

When I chose who to live with in second year, I ended up living with lads from the flat below me, who I met in freshers week and instantly clicked with. This was quite an easy choice as we all got on very well and were all on different courses, with all different day to day plans meaning no one would ever get sick of another.

Finding a house

In terms of actually looking for the house, there are so many student property shops that do everything for you. In Broomhill, the closest town to Endcliffe, there are over 8 different property shops!

When choosing where to live, you will be able to ask advice from older years, but the main places are Broomhill and Crookesmoor, with others choosing more Hallam mixed areas like Broomhall and Ecclesall Road. All areas are very good and highly dominated by students. Many focus their choice on where their course building is and the distance from the house.

Following years

You will have so much choice of who to live with, whether it’s your course mates, people you lived with in first year, or mates from sports/societies. After second year, many of your friends will take years out studying abroad or on placement, and you could even choose to do that yourself. You may also want to change your house, or the area that you’re living in. This all means that you’ll be changing your house for your last year, which many people I know are planning to do. Luckily, I love where I live and am planning to stay in my current house in my third year, but we have had to find three other people to live with us, due to three of my current housemates going to do placement years.

I hope that this has given you some insight into accommodation at Sheffield! If you want to see the accommodation in person, you can go on accommodation tours at any of our open days.

Opportunities for skills development at The University of Sheffield

By Clemvio Hodge, BA Business Management

Many students come to university unsure of what they would like to do after they graduate. I’m a little different, in that I came knowing what I would like to do and the skills I needed to acquire in order to accomplish my goals. However, many of the skills I have sought to obtain are essential, no matter where life takes you, so I thought I’d share exactly the opportunities for skills development I have found through university.

Workshops | Learn anything that interests you

Always keep an eye on your university email so that you do not miss some of the amazing workshops available – especially if they are HEAR accredited. HEAR is your Higher Education Achievement Record which keeps track of your skills development and will also be shown on your university transcript after you graduate.

One of the most impactful workshops that I attended was an 8-week media course with the Corporate Information and Computing Services (CICS) at through the university. There I learned about and developed a passion for videography and photography, and I have been able to loan equipment and use editing software for free at any time during my course. It also looks really good on my HEAR and resume! Another workshop that I attended, and would definitely recommend, was social media training. This was done through the Employability Hub in the Management School, and provided excellent tips on how to use social media to build a professional network.

Online Tutorials via Lynda.com | Develop skills in software and app usage

Your University of Sheffield log-in credentials give you access to Lynda.com (which you would have otherwise had to pay to access). Through short and easy to follow video tutorials, you can learn app development, use accounting software, or simply find out how to use Excel better – the possibilities are endless. It’s definitely worth signing in and seeing what you can learn whilst you have free membership through uni.

I utilised it to further my knowledge in using Premiere Pro for video editing, Photoshop for photos and graphics, Indesign for publication creation, and tutorials on developing a website.

Competitions and Networking Opportunities | Meet people and visit other places

I would advise any student to attempt the University Business Challenge through the University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE). The objective of the challenge is that a team of students would serve as directors for a simulated company and make relevant decisions over the course of several weeks. The success of the business in terms of profits and other metrics would then be compared among over 300 teams from various universities in the UK and, if you rank in the top 10, you get to travel to compete in the finals.

My team was able to make the top 10 and was afforded the opportunity to visit the IBM Client Centre in London. We got to network with other students, interns and managers at IBM and were able to tour the city.

Another great networking opportunity is City Connections. I was lucky enough to return to London and visited four of the top companies there – one being Ernest & Young. We also had the chance to network with UoS Alumni and gained valuable insight into the working world.

From the list of opportunities I have undertaken, I’m sure you can pinpoint my interests – media and business. You can go further and develop skills through sports clubs, employment skills sessions at the Employability Hub, in engineering via iForge… the list is endless!

My Placement Year at GSK!

By Eloise Howard, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

Why do a placement year?

One of the best decisions I made during my time at University has been to do a placement year. I decided at the beginning of second year that I really wanted to gain experience in a big global company and build my CV, as it is so important nowadays to have more than just a degree. Looking back, I had the best 12 months at GSK – I gained so many skills and I met lots of new friends who I’m still in touch with now. It was a challenging year and I truly developed on a professional as well as a personal level. Not only this, it was also so much fun as there was lots of opportunities to do extra things, such as volunteering.

Finding a Placement

My heart was set on finding a HR role as I enjoyed this module the most and it really stood out to me as something I could see myself doing. However, there are so many different companies to choose from all across the UK so it is a big decision! Luckily, I received tons of support from the University and I was able to speak to dedicated staff in the Employability Hub, who helped me to finalise my CV and provide really helpful advice in terms of where to look for placements and what I could expect from the recruitment process. Not only this, you can do workshops like practice assessment centres, which I would really recommend! My advice would also be to not be disheartened if you have some rejections… there were a few companies I never heard back from or didn’t get past the first or second stage, but eventually I found the perfect one and used all the help available  from the Hub to secure the job!

HR at GSK

GSK is a healthcare company with 3 global businesses: vaccines, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare. I worked in one of the specialised HR departments in the Head Office in London. This was really exciting moving to a new city, and GSK were great as they put you in contact with all the other placement students in a Facebook group so that you can find people to live with. My role varied as I did project work including Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP), mySkills (an application to assess employee skills) and Global Inclusion and Diversity. Typical day-to-day tasks were developing communication materials; writing emails andcreating help guides and articles. Plus, I had roles in Project Management and was a key point of contact for global colleagues in Inclusion and Diversity. One of my highlights would be presenting the team updates to the CEO of Consumer Healthcare! Overall, I gained so much varied experience and it helped me to work out that I definitely want to go into HR in my future career. This experience has also made me much more confident in securing a graduate job as I now have so many experiences to talk about in an interview!

Moving to Sheffield from another country

By Alice Lando, BA International Business Management

Are you thinking about coming to Sheffield but wondering what it would be like moving from another country? Don’t worry, it is probably going to be the best decision you have ever made!

I came to Sheffield from Italy over three months ago and I have not
regret it ever since. I chose The University of Sheffield because it offers the course I had always pictured in my mind; a degree in Business Management with the opportunity to study one year abroad.  Coming to Sheffield, I have found that the community created by the Students’ Union and the students themselves have strengthened my decision. Sheffield is truly an international city, filled with open-minded people from all around the world, which makes the experience a lot easier.

Even though I tried not to visualise how my life would be here in Sheffield before arriving, I can definitely say that my experience here has exceeded my expectations. I have made more friends than I thought I would, I have tried so many different activities and I have always felt supported in regards to both my studies and my social life. Lecturers are always available if you need them and there is a wide range of sports and activities that you can try. I joined the University volleyball team; this gave me the chance to go to different cities to play games, but more importantly I met a lot of new people from around the world with who I now spend time with on a daily basis.

As with every experience, I did face some challenges. Sometimes I felt like
there were too many new things I wanted to try, and balancing social life and study was a little bit hard. At the beginning language was another barrier since everyone has a different accent, but I got used to it fairly soon. In regards to how to prepare for such a change in your life, my advice would be to work on your mentality as it will be what is going to support you during this journey. You will have the greatest days, but it’s inevitable that you will also have some bad ones too. Be open to new things, new people, new traditions and you will overcome all cultural differences. Practically speaking, packing and bringing your stuff are probably the most stressful parts. My advice is to pack the essentials, all the things you can not buy in Sheffield or that you need for the first few weeks, especially if you will travel alone. Once you are here, you will have to sort out some things such as a bank account, a UK phone number and health insurance but the University can help you with all of that!

Final tips I would like to give you as I found them useful during these three
months:

  • Enjoy your last days in your home country, you are very likely to miss that feeling
  • Take photos that you can look through when you feel homesick, but also learn a ‘traditional activity’ to always feel at home. In my case, a part of Italy is with me when I cook.
  • Lastly, once you are in Sheffield, enjoy every single moment without letting cultural differences stop you or take you down.

I hope Sheffield will be a home far from home for you as it is for me!

A guide to Sheffield nightlife

By Aaron Probert, BA Business Management

Today’s blog is going to give you a tour of the best places to go out as a student in Sheffield. If nightlife is a big selling point for you, you won’t be disappointed in Sheffield – there really is something for everyone!

The Tuesday Club at the SU

Sheffield has the number 1 Students’ Union in the UK, and if you visit you’ll understand why. It has its own nightclub that runs the best student nights out! Every Saturday night at the SU is Poptarts, a night that always sells out. You can expect to get a huge dose of throwbacks and singalongs, from ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, to ‘A Thousand Miles’ by Vanessa Carlton. This is always a classic night, but if that’s not your thing there’s loads more happening, like Tuesday club, my favourite SU night! This features a variety of live artists every week, such as drum and bass with the likes of Royal T, Flava D and Andy C or you can dance the night away with Horse Meat Disco and SoulJam.

Even outside the SU there’s plenty of things to do. West Street is a road in Sheffield’s centre that has so many pubs, bars and clubs with loads of different music tastes – if you join a sports society, chances are you’ll be seeing a lot of it when you do bar crawls! There’s West Street Live which is open till 5am and has a range of weird and wonderful drinks that are easy on the bank account. Next door is Tiger Works, where you can get the famous ‘Five Pound Round’ and sing your heart out with your housemates on the karaoke. And best of all its all cheap!

Peddler Night Market

If drinking isn’t your scene, or you just need a break for a night, there are plenty of places to wind down with some amazing food. Peddler Night Market is always a great shout – this is a monthly event held in Kelham Island, a fashionable area not too far from student living areas. The Peddler Market has live music, great street food and lots of little pop-up shops. There’s so much to choose from you’ll never get bored of the food selection, and occasionally they do a vegetarian and vegan night where the food is so good, even carnivores will be converted.

With so much to do in Sheffield, it’s important to get the right balance of going out and studying. My advice is to draft a timetable allocating a set number of hours each week to be in the library or studying at home. That way, you’re always able to stay on top of assessments and up to date with the curriculum, preventing you falling behind or missing deadlines. If you get healthy habits started when you start in first year, it’s easier to carry them on throughout your degree. Plus, if you work hard in the day, that night out just feels even better!

Working alongside your studies

By Grace Wainman, BA Business Management

In this blog post I’m going to talk about how part-time work can benefit your university experience, and what The University of Sheffield offers for students.

Going to university is a big change and with added responsibilities comes increased independence, as well as increased expenditures! Therefore, many students consider part-time work alongside their studies to maximise their student budget. Another obvious benefit is enhancing your employability, to help when finding a job after you graduate. If you’re looking for work, the university recommends working no more than 16 hours per week to ensure you can still succeed in your studies to the best of your ability.

Luckily for us, Sheffield is considered one of the cheaper cities in terms of living expenses. Being a large city means there are many opportunities for part-time work, for example in cafes, bars, shops, etc. However, I want to tell you more about roles available to students within the University.

I currently work with the Management School as a Student Ambassador. You may have seen the Management School’s ambassadors at our open days, as we’re there to help visitors get a feel for the university by answering any questions. We also give tours of the Management School, give presentations about our university experience and write blog posts like this one.

Ambassadors can also take part in calling campaigns, where their responsibilities involve phoning offer holders to speak to them about Sheffield and give them information about their course. Additionally, the University employs students at the start of term to welcome new students and help them move into their accommodation.

These are just a few examples of the opportunities available to earn some extra cash at the University of Sheffield, not to mention jobs on campus at the Students’ Union shop, food outlets or bars. I would recommend Student Ambassador work to new students as a great way to meet new friends on your course and to get to know the staff in your department. You will also build key skills such as communication and confidence and be able to demonstrate your reliability and eagerness on your CV. All the while, having flexible hours and a generous rate of pay!

The Management School supports its students with employability in its own Employability Hub. Therefore, once arriving at Sheffield you can seek help with developing your CV, attend sessions to prepare for applications and interviews and have access to new vacancies for part-time work, placements, or graduate schemes. The Management School works to help you become employable by teaching you skills for the workplace, as well as your excellent grades!

Myself and another Student Ambassador at an open day!

 

 

Everything I’ve learnt about Sheffield over the years

By Rosalie Williams, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

Being in my final year of my course, I feel like I’ve learned quite a few things about Sheffield over the years that I wish I’d known when I’d started. Here they are!

Our SU is AWESOME
Before I arrived I had no idea how fabulous our Students’ Union (SU) is in comparison to other universities. Whenever I visited on open days, I struggled to understand what a university’s Students’ Union actually was, since each university was so different. But, after visiting my friends at universities across the country, I finally realised how lucky we are! Our SU has shops, cafés, restaurants, a cinema, various night-time events (which are definitely some of the best in all of Sheffield!), cash points, and various support and advice services which you can pop into. It’s no surprise it’s been voted the top SU in the country ten years in a row.

Amazing food and coffee at the Steam Yard!

There’s no need for Starbucks
There are so many cute, independent coffee shops in Sheffield. Whether you need a study break, or you want to go on day out with your friends, Sheffield has so many cafés and restaurants that you’ll never run out of new places to go! My personal favourite – and the one which my friends and I always visit – is the Steam Yard. It’s only around a 10-minute walk from the Students’ Union and serves the best coffee and doughnuts.

Compact = convenient
Sheffield can feel small compared to other UK cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester, but I see it as a positive as you’re never too far from anything. It’s an easy walk into town from your first year student accommodation, and the libraries, uni gym and supermarkets are so close by. Not that you need to go to the gym with Sheffield’s infamous seven hills… a short walk can sometimes feel like a hike!

Visiting the Peak District is easier than you think
Despite always wanting to go, it took me until my third year to actually visit the Peak District (which is something I’m totally embarrassed about!). The UK’s first national park, the Peak District, has a host of hiking trails and there are regular buses and trains from Sheffield. There’s so much to explore, and apart from your travel costs it’s a pretty cheap day out!

Enjoying the Peaks!