Posted in Intern advice, Written by Sophie

Dealing with rejection (it’s not as bad as it sounds!)

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Recently I had to deal with the fact that I will not be going on to work for a £22k graduate job after interviewing (*sob*), but I’ve learnt that it’s totally fine. The feeling when you find out is, admittedly, difficult at first, and it’s hard not to think that all of the preparation was for nothing. After a bit of self-reflection, I’ve learnt that (1) it’s okay to not be okay about something, and (2) whatever the outcome of something, you can grow from it.

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Emma Blakey at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (Twitter: @EmBlakey), who is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology here at Sheffield. She reminded me that rejection is a common part of life, and it’s completely normal to experience it throughout your student life and career. To prove it, she asked us to google ‘CV of failures’ – a professor at Princeton, Johannes Haushofer, had started a movement by uploading a CV documenting his failures throughout his academic career. It’s actually incredibly inspiring to see a successful professor list failures and be proud of them, because otherwise, you wouldn’t be where you are today. An excellent quote can be taken from Johanne’s document: “Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible”.

When everyone else around you seems to be getting on so well with their lives, completing milestone after milestone, it’s difficult to see the underlying failures that we’ve all been through. The failures often outweigh the successes, but it’s only the successes that shine through. However, it’s important to be proud of what you’ve been through, and to acknowledge what you’ve gained from failing, or being rejected.

I left the interview knowing I wasn’t going to get it. Perhaps in my head I had prepared for the blow, but either way, rejection does not have to set you back. What did I learn? I learnt that working with children is probably not the right path for me, and I learnt that (maybe) performing a role-play isn’t a great representation of what I can actually do. I learnt that interviews are not good on the hottest day of the year so far and I learnt that it doesn’t matter if your hand is clammy when shaking the interviewers hand. I also learnt that applying for jobs in the midst of completing a Masters course and having two part-time jobs is probably not the best thing for me right now – I will have time to do it eventually!

Rejection is hard, but everyone goes through it in all walks of life. All we can do is reflect on it (no matter how trivial the reflection may be, as above!), and be kind to everyone!

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Posted in Extracurricular, Written by Valerie

Extra-Curricular Activities.

A great way to gain valuable work experience, increase your skills and improve your general well being, is to get involved in activities outside of your course.

There are numerous activities you can do and if you are looking to gain specific job-related skills you can tailor the activity, so that you are getting the experience you need. There are lots of opportunities at the university to help you get the most out of your time here. which will also help you gain the experience you will need for your future career. You could join a society or club, sit on a committee, become a mentor or ambassador, or volunteer. These are all ways to enrich your CV, get valuable work experience – and provide you with a reference!

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Societies and Committees.

Joining a society or committee can be an enjoyable experience that will help you meet new people and learn new skills. If you take a position on a committee you will receive training, gain experience of managing projects, working as part of a team and get recognition on your HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report).

Mentoring.

There are various mentoring programmes within the university that you could get involved in. You could be a mentor within your department or you could be mentor in one of the schools that the university works with. Working on these programmes enables you to develop transferable skills whilst contributing positively to the lives of local pupils. Mentoring is also HEAR accredited.

You can volunteer to be a mentor or you could apply to be a part time paid mentor, more information here: Programme website for more information

Volunteering.

There are lots of volunteering opportunities in Sheffield and the Students Union has an office that deals specifically with volunteering opportunities. You can volunteer to help on projects within the university or the wider Sheffield community. Whether you’re looking to gain experience to help you with your future career or you just want to get involved, there will be something for you! Find out more here: www.sheffieldvolunteering.com

Twice a year the Students Union run “Give It A Go” activities. These sessions offer a taster of volunteering and a chance to benefit the local community. This is a great opportunity to try different things out and find the right one for you. They are brilliant for your physical and mental health, a great chance to meet new people and offer something exciting to boost your CV! 

You can find more information on “Give it a Go” on the Students Union website, here: https://su.sheffield.ac.uk/

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Posted in student life, Written by Katie

Uni ‘Bucket List’

Uni is now coming to an end for myself and many other students in their final year and this comes with many regrets. I spent my time at university focused on my degree, part-time work and extra-curricular stuff that related to my course. This means I missed out on some of the most popular things to do in Sheffield but I am going to put that right. This is my university ‘bucket list’ which will hopefully give you some inspiration to create your own. You don’t even need to be a final year student to do this!

Theatre

Sheffield has the Lyceum and Crucible which is the largest theatre complex outside of London. They do £5 student tickets and I have been wanting to go for a long time but my friends refused to see Legally Blonde with me last year. I’m intending to go and see the Cinderella ballet.

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Alpacas

I heard about the alpaca farm back in first year and never made the time to go. I’ve already scheduled a weekend in may when I will go to the alpaca farm.

Alpaca

Peak District

The peak district is so close to the university and I drive through it every time I go home yet I only ever stopped to take an Instagram. I’ll definitely spend some time taking a hike in the peak district and there are even some pubs and tea shops I’ve driven past to stop for lunch.

Peaks

Winter Gardens

I’ve walked through winter gardens but never spent any time in there. I want to spend some time looking through the shops and actually looking at the plants rather than walking through in a rush when I’ve agreed to meet friends. They have over 2500 plants from all over the world.

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Weston Park Museum

Like most of you reading this post, I walk past Weston Park every day. Sometimes I walk through it to get to Bartolome House. The first time I walked through in first year I saw the museum but I have never actually gone in. Their current exhibition is called ‘Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield’ which sounds interesting.

Museum

Steam Yard

I recently admitted to my housemates that I’ve never been to any of the cafes in Sheffield with the exception of Café Nero, Costa and Coffee Revolution. They insisted we all go for coffee and cake at Alyssum and I realised how much I’ve been missing out on. We have made a pact to go to a new café each week for the last half of this semester.

Steam Yard

Posted in All things 301, Written by Katie

British Conference of Undergraduate Research

You may have seen a lot of references to BCUR on our twitter page recently and this blog will explain why. This year, the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) is coming to Sheffield. I hadn’t heard of BCUR before this year but it is a fantastic scheme and I would encourage other students to take part. I’ve created this blog to answer the 5w’s in the hope that you will consider applying next year.

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Who can take part in BCUR?

Undergraduate students in any discipline taught in Higher Education can share their work in BCUR.

What is BCUR?

It is a conference to promote undergraduate research in all disciplines so no matter what you study, you can take part. Your course may have opportunities to develop your own research which you could use. Our 301 Intern Sophie submitted her undergraduate dissertation and you could do the same if you have a dissertation. This is also a slightly smaller commitment than the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme which takes place over the summer for penultimate year students. Therefore, BCUR is a better alternative if you have an internship planned over the summer.

Where is it and where can I find out more?

The conference takes place in a different university each year. This year is Sheffield University but next year it will be at the University of South Wales. BCUR have their own website with lots of information: http://www.bcur.org/

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When is it?

BCUR takes place in April each year. This week is BCUR here in Sheffield and next year it will be 15th and 16th April.

Why should I apply?

Undergraduate research is always an interesting thing to talk about in job interviews and looks impressive on your CV. It also means you can contribute to the research in your discipline whatever that may be. It is also an opportunity to share your work on a national scale and to interact with other students.