How to survive exam period

By Eloise Howard, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

When starting university, exam period can seem daunting, as it may be different to what you have experienced previously at school or college. However, there is a lot of support and guidance at the University and if you are organised and work hard you will succeed!

A few important things to bear in mind that you may not have considered include:

  • If your exam requires a calculator you need to get your calculator approvedat the Students’ Services Information Desk (SSiD) in the Students’ Union beforehand
  • There are multiple different exam venues but there is a helpful guide on the University website to help you with directions!
  • You must bring your UCard to any exam as proof of ID
  • A draft and final exam timetable are released so make sure to check the final version as changes can be made to the date or venue of the exam

In terms of revision, my main piece of advice would be to manage your time in the best way possible. Give yourself plenty of time to do your revision – personally, I found that revising 4-6 weeks before an exam was the best method for me! This may seem like a lot of time but often you need to balance revision with writing coursework, other activities and part-time work so I’ve found it’s best to have lots of time and not leave anything to the last minute! What’s great about Sheffield University is that there are so many resources available and the Information Commons (one of the main libraries) is open 24/7. This means that you can find a routine that works best for you – some people may prefer to do a 9-5pm day whilst others work better very early or very late. Writing your own revision timetable can also help you to manage your time. However, don’t forget to factor in some downtime with friends and family, as it’s important to have a break and take time out too!

In addition, it is really important to ensure you stay healthy during exams. It can be tempting to live off library snacks all day but try to eat nutritious food to ensure you have energy! Also, exercise is a great stress relief and fitting in the gym or a jog can help you to clear your mind after a day of revision – it’s great too if you’ve been sat at the same desk all day! Finally, sleep is essential during exam period, I would recommend getting your normal hours of sleep as revision can be tiring and you need to be refreshed!

Follow this link for any additional information regarding exams, timetables, venues and general advice https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/exams/notes

Tips for finding accommodation in second and third year

By James Dylag, BA Business Management

When you’re in first year, you will live in University owned halls, which makes moving a lot simpler. However, in both your second and third years it is up to you to find your own accommodation. which sounds like a daunting task! Follow this guide to make the process as easy as possible!

Firstly, you need to decide who you’re living with. I lived in Endcliffe in my first year along with nine others. As a flat, we decided to split into a group of six and four – as finding a house large enough for everyone was quite the task (it is possible to find ten bed houses, but you have to be quick!). The ideal time to start thinking about this is late October/early November. This seems really early, but it allows time for changes if anyone decides they want to live with another group, or you end up recruiting a new housemate.

Once you’ve split into your groups, the next thing to do is to start looking. The majority of people live in an area called Crookesmoor (Crookes), which is a short walk away from Broomhill and conveniently located 10-15 minutes away from Uni. Crookes is scattered with shops, cafes and pubs – most notably Alyssum, a green grocer, and the Dam House – all of which help to make Crookes a perfect area for students. There are other areas to consider such as: Broomhall, City Centre, and along Ecclesall Road – however Crookes is the most popular.

Now you’ve decided on an area, it’s time to start viewing houses! You can start doing this as early as November, or after the Christmas break. However, the best houses tend to go first, and after the Christmas break you also have revision to contend with. In my opinion, its best to do this sooner rather than later. Sheffield has loads of estate agents which offer properties specifically tailored to students. The University has an agent inside of the Students Union called Smart Move. This is a good place to start your search. However, there are several other agents – for example: Fit Property, Home Accommodation and Broomhill Property Shop. All of these agents will have a variety of options for students and specialise in this area.

When you start viewing houses there are some key things you might want to think about asking the estate agent/tenants, it’s worth noting these down as a group beforehand so you don’t forget anything. For me, the key question is – are the neighbours’ students? Having another group of students next door is the ideal situation, because both you and them should (hopefully) be quite relaxed about noise to a certain extent. You might find that neighbours who are not students will be less tolerant of noise, which is understandable.

Hopefully this has been a useful blog, and you’re armed with some tips to go and find your perfect student house! Happy hunting!

Balancing university and part-time work

By Eloise Howard, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

Where do I work?

In the summer before I started at the University of Sheffield, I applied for a part-time role at the Students’ Union and was lucky enough to get the role! My role included working in Pearls Bubble Tea and Coffee Revolution in the SU. My experience of working in the SU could not have been better – I wouldrecommend it to anyone, as it means that you meet loads of other students and I made loads of friends in first year this way. It’s also really flexible and they understand that students have other commitments – by having a zero hours contract, you’re able to put in your availability for each week. For example, if you have exams coming up you may only work 6 hours a week, but at a quieter time in the year you could be working up to 16 hours a week.

How do I balance work with my studies?

Doing part-time work at the Students’ Union has definitely taught me how to manage my time effectively. One of the key things you learn is how to prioritise your tasks and understand when your studies need to take priority or when you can be more flexible with your time. Although I sometimes found this hard, I understand now that it is much better to sacrifice a week’s wages during exam period and have enough time to properly do my work, rather than try to squeeze everything in! Having said that, there is a maximum of 16 hours a week that students can work at the Union, so most of the time this isn’t too demanding and fits quite nicely around my work. Also, my hours are typically Monday to Friday so I always have the weekend to catch up on work if I need to and it is only term time so I still get all the same holidays as everyone else!

How does working benefit me?

One of the obvious benefits is that I am getting some extra income whilst being a student, which is always helpful! For me, I really like being independent and paying my own way – it also means I have enough money to enjoy myself the whole year and not have the worry of all my student finance running out after a month! However, there are many other positives to working, such as the experience it has given me. It looks excellent on your CV and I believe it truly helped me to get my placement year at GSK, because I had lots of examples and skills to talk about in my interview.

How to make the most of freshers’ week!

By James Dylag, BA Business Management

Freshers’ week is one of the most ‘hyped-up’ events in every student’s calendar. There are so many things going on it can be overwhelming; this post is all about making your week as fun as possible.

In Intro Week and the first week of term, the Students’ Union hosts loads of events, like the freshers’ fair. This is an event held on campus and is massively popular with all students. At the fair, you’ll find stands occupied by loads of different companies (Domino’s, Nandos, and ASOS are regulars), who will be giving out loads of freebies and hosting different games to take part in (often with prizes). Freshers’ fair is ideal for a day out with your new flatmates, and maybe even a way to get your  hands on some store cupboard essentials! The freshers’ fair is usually held in the Octagon Centre, right next door to the Students Union. You can find out what events are being held this year by clicking here.

Another thing you can do during freshers’ week is get to know your university clubs and societies, and you can do this by attending the club and society fair during freshers’ week. Joining societies is a great way to get involved in extra-curricular activities and expand your group of friends. Societies usually have a small fee to join (mostly they’re around £5), but after joining you’ll be invited to all events hosted by the society. Find a list of societies at Sheffield here.

During freshers’ week, it is inevitable that you’re going to end up on a few nights out. Moving to a new city, you might not be massively clued up on where to go. A safe bet is to look towards your new Students Union. At Sheffield, we’re lucky enough to have an SU that puts on loads of club nights during freshers’ week (and all year round) – these are a great place to meet fellow freshers, get to know campus and the safe bet to have a good night. If a night out isn’t your thing, there’s still loads to do – the SU has its own cinema, and this year is hosting its own street food market!

I hope this post has been useful and answered some questions you might have had about freshers’ week, but most importantly… remember to enjoy it!

Preparing for my year abroad

By Alice Lando, BA International Business Management

I have always been interested in exploring new cultures and expanding my horizons. This is one of the reasons why I chose Sheffield and the International Business Management programme, as it seemed like it would bring some great opportunities for me. Coming from Italy, I loved the idea of studying in England and overseas, and it taking three years instead of four.

Deciding the destination

Before starting my first year I wanted to go to Australia or Hong Kong, but thankfully the Global Opportunities team (who help students organise their year abroad) and the Management School insisted on making sure I had done my research before submitting my preferences. After hours spent on YouTube, university websites and chatting with people that had already done this experience, I changed my mind. When planning your year abroad it is fundamental that you choose destinations where you can really imagine yourself living for 10 months.

In the end, I knew I’d that my first choice would still be Hong Kong, but I decided I wasn’t so keen on Australia after all. Instead, my second choice was going to be Singapore.

Finding out the destination and getting excited

I will always remember the moment I found out that I was going to spend my second year at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. I had just finished an exam in January and received the email. Even better news, Elly, one of my closest friends, got allocated to the same university.  It was a great feeling to be able to get excited with someone else, and we both made sure that we gave everything that we had in every module during the second semester so that we would meet the grade requirement.

Despite the pressure of getting the grades I needed and the stress of completing the application for the host uni, I was literally counting the days till the departure. I was looking forward to living in a big and developed city, with a completely different culture and in a location that would allow me to travel all around Asia.

Getting ready

Moving was not so scary at first, as I had already moved to Sheffield from Italy, however as time passed I started to realise that the change would  probably be harder than the first one. In order to prepare, I watched lots of videos on YouTube about Singapore’s culture and lifestyle, and I talked to the Global Opportunities ambassadors for tips and information. I tried to open my mind as much as I could, setting no boundaries, expectations or limits.

Second thoughts

I have never had second thoughts about starting this new chapter of my life, however, thinking that I was not going to be in Sheffield for my second year made me much sadder than I expected. Despite the excitement of leaving for Singapore, I found it really hard to say bye to all my friends and volleyball teammates, but I am sure the distance will only make the relationship stronger.

I have just started my year abroad here in Singapore and I would definitely recommend this life-changing experience. It allows you to grow as a person, meet people from all around the world and create amazing memories.

My favourite module

By James Dylag, BA Business Management

One great thing about studying at university level is the freedom you get when choosing your modules – gone are the days where you follow a specific curriculum! Instead, you get to direct your own learning and choose to study subjects which specifically interest you. In this post I’m going to talk about my favourite module I took in third year.

Firstly, I’ll give you a quick overview of what it actually means to pick your own modules. Every year at university you have to pick modules which equate to 120 credits – In first year, modules are usually 10 credits for those that last one semester, and 20 for those that last the entire duration of the academic year. In second and third year, modules are worth 20 credits and usually only run for one semester (meaning you do six modules per year). At times, there may be compulsory modules however, as you move through your degree you get an increased amount of freedom – in the Business Management programme, I only had one compulsory module in third year, I was able to pick five myself.

I did a range of modules in third year, but my personal favourite was Socially Responsible Marketing and Consumption which was taught by Dr. Madeline Powell. The module comprised of a group assessment and individual report, which was a nice balance and meant that the work didn’t all hit you at once – one of the reasons why I enjoyed the module so much! The module looks at the changing nature of marketing, in a world that is becoming increasingly globalised with issues such as corporate responsibility, climate change, and ethics taking centre stage. Taught over ten lectures, the module gave a real insight into the practises adopted by some businesses when tackling this issue, whilst giving us the chance to use our analytical skills to apply the module’s content to real businesses and therefore understand the practical implications of the module content. I found this to be a useful quality as it allowed me to critically evaluate real business scenarios.

Another reason that I enjoyed the module so much was the freedom we had with our assessments. For the group assessment, we were able to choose our own groups with the only restriction being that the company we analyse must be a fashion company. Similarly, the only restriction given for our individual assessment was that we were not allowed to choose a fashion company. This meant that we could focus our assessments on companies we actually were interested in, which I genuinely believe made me more engaged in the module. Having this freedom almost made the assessment feel easier. I think this because I was researching companies and issues that I was personally interested in which made the process much less strenuous!

Third year may be a long way away, but definitely consider this module if you’re interested in the social standards that we should/do hold businesses accountable to, and how businesses respond to these!

Finding a graduate job

By Eloise Howard, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

It’s that time of year when graduates are desperately trying to land their dream job – but where do you start? If you’re in this situation, read on – hopefully this information will be useful to you!

Where to find graduate jobs

There is a huge amount of various graduate jobs for you to explore. If you are interested in graduate schemes, I would recommend beginning your job hunt in September/October of your final year at University, as this is when many of the big companies release their applications. However, if you are considering a direct entry role, the recruitment process often doesn’t begin until around Easter of your final year if you want to start working straight after you graduate. My top tip for finding the right graduate scheme for you would be to search online. There are lots of great websites out there such as Target Jobs, Milkround and even LinkedIn, where you can filter your search to a particular location, an industry, or the job itself. Another method for job searching could be to think of companies you are really interested in and check their websites for updates or just send your CV if they accept them! In addition to this, the University holds graduate fairs which give you the opportunity to speak with people from different companies and learn more about the vacancies they have.

Applying for graduate jobs

Whilst on my placement with GSK!

There is typically a long recruitment process for graduate schemes, but this does vary depending on the company. Often, it includes an online application, online tests, a video/telephone interview and an assessment centre. A key piece advice here would be to not feel disheartened if you get rejections – graduate jobs, in particular graduate schemes, are extremely competitive and it can take a few rejections before you get the right one, so try to stay positive and persevere! One of the most important things you can do whilst applying is research the company, what they are looking for in the job specification, and what they are like as employers. A good place to start is their website, but I have found Glassdoor helpful too to get a better feeling of the company culture. I would recommend building your CV throughout your time at university by getting involved in volunteering, societies, or even part time work as these extra-curricular activities really help you to stand out from other graduates. Furthermore, if you have the opportunity to, I cannot recommend doing a placement year enough as you gain so many invaluable skills and experiences that make answering interview questions much easier!

Finally, don’t forget that the University is there to help you! The Management School has it’s own Employability Hub that is dedicated to helping students find work, which hosts helpful workshops where you can do practice interviews and assessment centres or go through your CV one to one with a careers adviser. Even if you’ve graduated, you can get support up to three years after you leave uni!

The lessons I learned at university

By James Dylag, BA Business Management

When you’re a student you won’t only learn about your chosen subject, but you’ll also plenty of life lessons – here’s my top three takeaways from my time as a student.

Something I learned very quickly was the importance of being organised. This applies to several aspects of student life – from organising lecture notes right the way down to organising your meals for the week. University is unlike sixth form/college where you are given continual guidance from a teacher, instead you have to do a fair bit of independent study. To ensure this is productive and you stay on top of what you have to do, you should always set aside some time every week to organise your lecture notes in a way that suits you and prepare for the upcoming week. Having done this, and soon to be embarking on my own career, it’s a practise I want (and need) to keep up!

Starting university is a nerve-wracking thing, however it is really important to just get stuck in. This brings me to my second lesson – don’t be worried to get involved! When you first start, all the people you meet will be nervous themselves and will sometimes be looking for someone to break the ice… if you follow this lesson – this can be you! Being an active member is important in both a university and workplace setting. I completed a summer internship in my second year, and we were continually required to work alongside colleagues on group projects and presentations. In my first year of university, I tried all sorts of activities which built my confidence in a group setting and allowed me to transition into the working environment with ease.

My final, and arguably most important lesson learned from being a student was the ability to discipline myself. Living away from home, with your friends and in a city is great, but the main reason why you are there is to gain a degree – and to do this you must remain disciplined throughout your studies. Setting time aside to study instead of doing social activities is not always easy, but it is nearly always worth it. In my first year, I took a relaxed approach to my studying, however, during second and third year I really got my head down and prioritised my studies, which is reflected in the grades I achieved. Luckily the university has several libraries where you’ll usually find at least one of your friends. This means that revision breaks can be spent socialising which really does break up the long days in the library! Being disciplined is a trait that can be transferred into the workplace when meeting tight deadlines and completing your designated tasks – and a lesson that helped me achieve the grades that I wanted.

Everyone’s time at university is different, and you’ll learn lots about life, your subject, and yourself along the way. It is important to recognise all of these little lessons and incorporate them into your everyday life, which will equip you with the right skills to continue to progress!

What I’ll miss the most about Sheffield

By Eloise Howard, BA Business Management with Employment Experience

It’s sadly come to that time, after four incredible years at Sheffield University, where I have to say goodbye! Here are some of the things that I will miss the most about lovely Sheffield!

  1. The people!

As soon as I came to look around on my open day, I knew Sheffield was the place for me as everyone at the university was so warm and welcoming. Over the past four years I’ve met my best friends, who I’ve been lucky enough to be able to live with each year. University is the perfect place to meet loads of people from all different backgrounds and walks of life, and it’s so easy to find people that have similar interests, as you can make friends with coursemates but also meet people through societies or volunteering.

Not only have I made friends for life in Sheffield, I’ve had many inspiring lecturers that have opened my eyes and taught me about the real world of business and how everything we learn can be applied to the real world. They have also introduced me to exciting new spaces in business management, such as organisational psychology.

  1. The city

Sheffield is a beautiful city that has many perks for students. The nightlife is very fun and cheap, and there’s a night that suits everyone, whether you’re into indie, pop, dance or rock music. There are so many hidden gems around the city waiting to be found, with little independent coffee shops, boutique vintage stores and quirky bars dotted around the backstreets of the city. Kelham Island is one of my favourite areas in Sheffield, previously known as a manufacturing site, which has now evolved into a fun area with lots of alternative new bars, night markets and shops.

Despite the multiple hills that take a toll on your legs, you can also see some incredible views – I would definitely recommend taking a trip to Bole Hill to watch the sunset! Not only this, the Peak District is right on your doorstep, offering some stunning scenery when you want to escape the city.

  1. University

I couldn’t have asked for a better experience at University. Throughout my time here, I have received excellent support from my tutors and have had the opportunity to study exciting new topics in my area of study that have been engaging and challenged the way I view the world. In first year I was a dual student studying French and Business Management, however I knew that this wasn’t the right choice for me. With my personal tutor’s help, I was able to make that tough decision and change my course to single honours Business Management, and I’m so happy that I had that support.

There is so much around the university to get involved with, with endless societies for everything you can think of, from hockey to gin tasting! Finally, the Students’ Union has been a great hub – it really does meet the needs of every student, and is full of great food places, the Sheffield Store, the Student Helpdesk and some amazing nights out every week!

Why you shouldn’t be worried coming to Sheffield as an overseas student

By May Than Thar Cho, BA Accounting and Financial Management

Coming to university and starting afresh can be extremely daunting, especially when you are half a world away from home. Most times, your mind will wander and you’ll eventually start worrying about things. Here’s a list of some of the things that I worried about before I began, how I overcame them and why they should be the least of your concerns!

Making friends

The question on everyone’s minds. Will I like the people I meet? Will they like me? Will I make new friends? I kid you not – you’ll be making new friends before you even realise it. There are so many people coming in from all over the UK and all over the world. You’re in a position where you know nobody and nothing about the city. But everyone is in the same position too! Even if initiating conversations with people is out of your comfort zone, don’t hide away when someone approaches you (someone definitely will!) and you’ll find making new friends is as easy as ABC.

The university also runs an Orientation Week before term starts and I personally think it’s an amazing way to get settled in and meet new people (I’m still very good friends with so many people I met over Orientation Week). You can follow this link to find out more!

Being homesick

I’ll be honest, it’s easy to fall into homesickness. While calling your family and friends from home offers you comfort, you should also try finding other ways to help ease it. What I have found helpful is surrounding myself with new people. Spend a lot of time with your new friends, join societies and participate in the different activities arranged by the university. Soon, you’ll really start appreciating a new part of your life here and you’ll feel at home in no time!

Communication

When you are not from an English-speaking country, you may find it hard to fully express yourself or perhaps, you may even be feeling shy to talk to people. But don’t use this as an excuse to not speak English. Don’t be afraid to try! If anything, people will help you if you struggle and this way, it makes it a lot easier for you to pick up the language. ELTC at the university also offers English Language Support for users of all proficiencies you can follow this link to check it out!

Missing food

It’s very common to start missing your traditional food but worry not, Sheffield has a huge selection of international cuisines: from all types of Asian, European and Middle Eastern, so you’re bound to find something that satisfies your taste buds! Our Shop in the Students’ Union also has a wide selection of international products and there is also a load of supermarkets selling international products around the city so you can always try cooking your traditional meal by yourself!

Fitting in

You’re being thrown into a country with a completely different culture. It’s not surprising you are wondering how you would fit in the picture. But don’t let this hold you back from trying to socialise with people from different backgrounds. Instead, take this as an opportunity to explore cultures you otherwise would not have experienced. Just be yourself, share your culture, and learn theirs! Despite the cultural differences, another thing I have found is sharing similar hobbies or interests makes conversations more effortless and helps you blend in quicker!