Posted in Intern advice, student life, Written by Katie

Grad Scheme Applications

If you are in your final year, I bet you are stressed out right now about getting a job after you graduate. Maybe you are swamped in grad scheme applications or maybe you have been rejected from all your favourite schemes but fear not. Here are my top tips for dealing with it:

Plan your time

Be proactive in planning your time and set specific times aside to work on your applications. If you set aside 1 hour a day, you should start speeding through them. It is also important to be flexible as often you get just 3 days to complete the next stage.

Think outside the box

So you have your heart set on a specific job? How do you know you won’t enjoy something else. I went to the careers service and found several career paths linked to my degree that I had not previously considered but that sound really interesting. Try something new.


Look at smaller companies

Okay, so the pay may not be as good but the training will probably be better as the team will likely be smaller so your manager can focus more on you.

Visit the careers service

They know so much about everything! You go in with a simple question and come out with a bag full of leaflets. Don’t let that put you off, they are super useful.


Get feedback

Know what you did wrong so you won’t do it again.

Don’t get disheartened

Rejection can be tough but it’s a part of life and it gives you an answer for the next interview when you are asked ‘Give an example of when you have been resilient’. Use it as a learning curve for the next job.


Posted in Intern advice, Written by Sophie

Finding your house for next year: Don’t stress!

It’s that time of year when landlords and agencies start to advertise their properties for the next academic year. giphy.gif

This is often a stressful time for students, and it certainly was for me in my first and second year, when I didn’t have much knowledge about renting houses. Here are some tips for finding houses, and try not to stress too much as there are always options for living in Sheffield!giphy 1

  • Be certain about who you want to live with.

This is my most important point, and that’s deciding who you would like to live with. It might seem that the people you are currently living with in halls are great, but sometimes arguments can occur later down the line, and you might have already signed for a house with them. Even if the house you end up going for is not as nice as the houses earlier on in the year, at least you would be living with people that you enjoy being around! Think about people on your course, societies, work, etc. and ask what their current plans are. Even if you don’t intend on signing for a house soon, it’s often good to get an early start when it comes to knowing who you want to live with. Remember that hanging out with your friends may be different to living with them, so really think about it.

  • Find a reputable landlord.

There are many reputable landlords in Sheffield, but sometimes you can come across less reputable ones. A big tip from me would be to go to propertywithUS in the Students’ Union to discuss the options for the area you would like to live in. Check the landlord/agencies’ reviews online too – even though an agency might appear reputable, the reviews may tell a different story. Also, check through their systems for deposits and admin fees. Usually, the deposit will be put into a protection scheme, which handles potential disputes towards the end of the tenancy and keeps your money safe. It’s often good to pay a deposit to cover you for damages, and sometimes there may be hidden admin fees (check the small print!).

  • House hunting events are fab!

The University often puts on events for those who are still looking for houses. There is always one early on in the year, but this is mainly for agencies and landlords to advertise their properties. After this event, often houses get signed for quickly. Do not worry about this – there are always properties, especially for groups of four and five. Most properties are also in walking distance or a bus journey from uni, so there will be something, somewhere. If you are looking for housemates, there are often events advertised even later in the year, for groups that are looking for individuals or individuals that are looking for groups. Check the Sheffield uni Facebook groups too – a lot of students advertise properties on there, but make sure to meet up with them with a friend. It could be unsafe to go on your own!

  • Check everything in the house.

When you are arranging viewings for houses, be sure to check every room in the house, and look for things that may need repairing (such as broken furniture, facilities, mould, general fittings, etc.). Ask the current tenants about any problems that may have occurred there – don’t be embarrassed to say this in front of the estate agent. They’re human too, and even though they’re trying to sell you the house, they wouldn’t mind if you asked lots of questions! Don’t be pressured by pushy landlords too. Only sign if you are happy with everything (or if there are solutions to any problems that have arisen), which leads onto my next point!

  • And finally… only sign when you’re completely happy.

After making sure you know who you want to live with; checking the landlord/agency; and going through every aspect of the house, you can go ahead and sign. Ensure you read through all of the contract (as it is legally binding!) and ask the landlord if you are unsure on any of it. Also make sure that they have a repairs and maintenance team in place, and ask about insurance for the building and your contents. You often have to buy your own contents’ insurance, but it’s often good to ask about it.

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Happy House Hunting! And don’t worry about it – there are always places to live and people to live with. It’s just about finding the right ones.

Posted in Extracurricular, Written by Katie

Summer Abroad

So you may be super organised and trying to figure out what to do with your summer or maybe you just want to develop your skills. This summer I went to Ghana with ICS and here is why you should do it too.


Leave your comfort zone!

Surprisingly, being in the middle of a foreign country and not knowing where you are going is probably going to be taking you out of your comfort zone. It isn’t the easiest experience but you learn how to deal with difficult situations (which is fab for your CV).

comfort zone

Get a free holiday (sort of)

You do have to work and there are some fundraising events you will need to do but essentially the government pay most of it. It’s not all work and no play though; I saw crocodiles, learned about the slave trade, learned African dance skills and spent some time relaxing on the beach.


Create some really cool events

Fundraising sounds difficult but the majority of people only need to raise £800 as it is funded by the governments Department for International Development. You can create really fun events for your community. I fundraised on my year abroad and took St Patricks Day, Pancake Day and pub quizzes to Slovenia. You can meet new people and have lots of fun.


Do something new

International Citizenship Service (ICS) partners with a range of charities working in a range of countries on a range of projects. You can do almost anything. I did Business Consulting with Challenges Worldwide but you can raise awareness of AIDS and HIV in South Africa, improve access to water in Nicaragua or improve gender education in India.


Develop cross-cultural working skills

You will be working with an ICV (In Country Volunteer) and they may have very different views to you on the role of women, homosexuality, race and religion. This can be a challenge but you can use it as a chance to develop your skills. This was the first time I had ever worked with someone who openly had very Conservative views but I learnt to deal with that. Inevitably, there were conflicts (especially when my ICV said he hates white people, women, the British and  that people without a religion shouldn’t have a life (he knew each of those applies to me)) but I developed conflict resolution strategies.


It will be the best experience of your life

You will be there with plenty of other volunteers who you will meet at pre-departure training. They will become your best friends and be there for you when times get tough. You will laugh, dance and play games with them. The memories are unforgettable!


You will be helping one of the poorest countries in the world

The best reward is knowing you made a difference! More info on ICS is here:

Posted in Written by Sophie

Finding support when you need it! Part 2

Happy Monday everyone! 🙂 Here is the second part of my blog post on finding support across the University, as promised! Hopefully some of these services will be of use to you, if you’re having concerns about any aspect of University life. Check back to last week’s post if any of these services do not relate to your current situation.

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Disability and Dyslexia Support Service (DDSS)

DDSS assist students with any kind of impairment or condition which makes it difficult to study or undertake assignments. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism spectrum condition, physical impairment (not an exhaustive list), then speak to someone at DDSS who will be able to help you. There are a number of different ways they can help you, and it is all based around your needs, such as 1:1 support, copies of lecture notes, extra time in exams, etc. DDSS are located in the Alfred Denny Building near the university concourse.

English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC)

There are a number of English language courses and services available with ELTC for students who may be wanting to improve their English. The facilities consist of modern classrooms, well-equipped computer suites and audio-visual equipment and learning resources. All of the staff are experienced in teaching international students both in the UK and overseas too. ELTC are located at 78 Hoyle Street if you have any English Language-related queries.

Personal Tutor

Your Personal Tutor is someone you can talk to about any academic worries, or any personal circumstances that could be affecting your academic study. They may have expertise in the subject area that you are concerned about, or can give general advice related to essay feedback and structure, exam revision and managing your workload. You will have some dedicated time to have a general meeting with them (and potentially with other students too), but you can schedule as many meetings as you wish with your Personal Tutor, as and when you need to. There may be a specific way of setting up these meetings, whether that be through Doodle Poll or through their Google Calendar, or I am sure you can send them a quick email.

Careers Service

The Careers Service is now located in Edgar Allen House at 241 Glossop Road (as of recently!) and is dedicated to careers information such as graduate jobs, part-time jobs while you study, developing your CV/applications, and much more. They are helpful for any year of study, and can also help you once you graduate. They hold a number of different events that you can attend, whether that be Careers Fairs, talks, and networking opportunities. You can schedule one-to-one appointments too, to go over anything you may be concerned about, such as personal statements, CVs and applications. There are online courses too, called Career MOOCs, which help you to succeed when writing applications and attending interviews. There are so many resources available at the Careers Service, so check the website out:

That concludes my (non-exhaustive) list of services that could help you across the University! If you are still not sure where to go, SSiD are excellent at signposting and can point you in the right direction, especially if there is something you need help with and is not mentioned here.

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Posted in Written by Sophie

Finding support when you need it! Part 1

Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to go if you’re in need of support. There’s so many support services available on campus and it can be overwhelming when you’re not sure what each one specialises in. In this blog post I have listed a number of services that may be beneficial to you, no matter what your problem is. Hopefully I have covered most grounds here!giphy (8)SSiD

SSiD are here to answer the majority of your questions about all aspects of university life. If they cannot answer the question for you, they can direct you to appropriate services that will be able to. During your time at university, problems may arise where you’re not sure which service would be best, so SSiD can help. They’re also there to print new UCards, results, certificates of student status, and are able to confirm your student status too. SSiD are on Level 3 of the Students’ Union.

Central Welfare and Guidance (CWaG)

Central Welfare and Guidance support students who are experiencing personal difficulties that may be impacting study or their university experience in general. They have direct links to external agencies depending on your situation, such as: Rape Crisis, SY Police, Domestic Abuse and Community Mental Health. Some situations that CWaG include, but are not limited to: serious ill health, bereavement, bullying and harassment, mental health problems and domestic/sexual violence. They’re your number one service for anything welfare related, so pop in to see them on Level 6 of the Students’ Union.

University Counselling Service (UCS)

As well as the University Health Service (UHS), the University Counselling Service are available for anything Mental Health related. Not only are there appointments available for all students, but there are many online resources and sessions running. There are Mindfulness Stress Reduction sessions, Group Therapy and Individual Counselling sessions, and various workshops. You can access Self-help resources here: If you think you’re having any mental health problem, the UCS can help you at 36 Wilkinson Street. To book your first appointment, you can register with Student Access to Mental Health Support (SAMHS) for triage appointments:


There are sometimes evenings when you just need to talk to someone about something that has been troubling you. Nightline, a volunteer-led association run by Sheffield students, is an excellent service who will listen to you, and not lecture. No problem is too big or too small, and all of the students are trained to keep things non-directive, confidential and anonymous. They operate between 8pm and 8am any night during term-time, on the number 0114 222 8787. You can also call 0114 222 8788 for information. They also have a listening service via email if you don’t mind waiting longer, on

301 & Maths & Statistics Help (MASH)

The place to be for anything academic skills-related. Whether that be wanting to beat procrastination, brush up on your writing skills, or deciding which statistical test to use in your research, 301 and Maths and Statistics Help can help. You don’t have to be an undergraduate either, postgraduates are also more than welcome and you can be from any degree background. We have workshops, one-to-one sessions and online tutorials, so however you would like to work we have it available for you.

On top of all of these great services, there are SU officers that can help with any of your concerns and complaints, and can make change happen. There are also societies within the SU, such as LGBT+, Black and Ethnic Minorities students committee, and more that you could get specialised support from and meet like-minded people. This is not an exhaustive list – there is plenty of information on SSiD’s page via the university website too!

Check back next week for Part 2! 🙂 giphy (9)