In 2015 the Student Jobshop are celebrating 10 years in the Students' Union, providing help to UoS students who want to find a part-time job.
As part of our anniversary activities, we contacted a number of our graduates who worked with us as Student Assistants in the Jobshop, to find out what they have been doing since they left University and we thought you might like to hear about their experiences of working whilst they studied and how that helped them to find employment after graduation.
This week we interviewed Ellie Clark, who studied Politics and Sociology and worked as our Student Jobshop Assistant from October 2011-June 2014
Jobshop: Please briefly describe your role in the Jobshop:
Ellie: My role at the Student Jobshop largely consisted of me uploading work experience opportunities onto the myVacancies database, ensuring that as much accurate information was provided as possible. This would also involve me liaising with employers externally and members of staff internally on a daily basis. I was also on hand to provide assistance to students who would enter the Jobshop to look for job opportunities and to offer guidance and support to those requiring additional information, and at times, directing them to others most able to help with their queries. I was also involved in the preparation of the annual Part-time work and Volunteering fair and other careers fairs, whilst also helping company reps on the day, dealing with student queries and promoting the Student Jobshop during such events.
Jobshop: What did you gain from working in the Jobshop?
Ellie: Some of the key things I gained from working in the Jobshop were: - my ability to communicate with a diverse range of people of all ages and nationalities, and to do so confidently - my confidence to deal with queries that I may not know the best answer to, and knowing when and who best to help in such situations - working within a small team - the opportunity to promote the importance of work experience and/or voluntary work to students across the campus, in order to enhance their career opportunities and to develop their skills - plenty of helpful tips & advice
Jobshop: Did you undertake any other work experience/part-time work whilst you studied at Sheffield?
Ellie: Before starting at Sheffield, I had worked part-time at Waitrose for 2 years within the Customer Services section. Fortunately I was able to return to work at Waitrose on a temporary basis during holiday periods throughout my 3 years of study. At the end of my first year, I also worked in a store at Westfield Stratford during the London 2012 Olympic Games, alongside working at Waitrose. In my second year, I also undertook an OnCampus Placement funded by the Careers Service with a member of staff from the Journalism department.
Jobshop What have you been doing since graduation?
Ellie: Following my graduation I took time off to enjoy my summer and to apply for jobs. In September I joined a team of 30 Student Finance Tour Presenters, to deliver presentations to school & college students detailing the facts and figures of the loans, grants and additional support available through Student Finance, on behalf of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. This was an ideal job for me as I had had a very positive University experience, and this role allowed me to share this with students who were not quite sure whether they would go to University, with many questioning whether it would be worth the investment. We were each placed in a different region and as I live so close to London, I visited a large number of schools across the city and had to navigate my way around the streets of London in a small white van (thankfully provided with a Sat Nav!!) This role was a temporary role for a 3 month period (as the Student Finance Tour only runs for this time on an annual basis), so I also worked weekends back at Waitrose to bring in extra income and to ensure I had work over the Christmas period following the end of my presenting job. I continued to work weekends at Waitrose until April this year even after starting a new job in February.
Jobshop: What are you up to now?
Ellie: I am now an Account Associate for a company called Procurement Leaders, a business intelligence network working with over 700 corporations, and over 22,000 senior professionals. My role sits within our Customer Value Team (Account Management) and largely requires me to schedule calls and meetings with our members, to answer member queries as efficiently as possible, to produce reports and to work collaboratively with other teams across the company.
Jobshop If you could offer one piece of advice to current students about working whilst studying...............
Ellie: Just do it! Having a part-time job whilst studying enabled me to meet new people on a daily basis. It gave me greater responsibility, helped me to develop my skill-set, provided some routine, not to mention an income to help me to fund my living costs whilst at university.
Jobshop Any other information you wish to share with us or with students:
Ellie: I absolutely loved working at the Student Jobshop from the start, to the finish of my studies, largely due to the amazing and friendly team that I was very lucky to work with! I was also fortunate enough to meet and help so many different people over the course of 2 and a half years, and I will always really miss working in one of the country's best Students' Unions!