10 October 2017 - 2:42 pm How I raised £10K for a student-led project

This is a story about how I raised funding for my student-led project and how YOU can help me do it again.

Last year, I co-founded and led a team of students to enter the MATE ROV, an international competition to design and build a remotely operated underwater robot. The aim of the competition is to get students into marine technical fields and to give them a chance to learn more about enterprise in an engineering context.

Each year, the competition is based on a new theme, which relates to the location where its held. The teams are presented with a set of real-life problems given by a “client,” given in the form of a brief. The teams have to then act as a company and design & build a “product” in response to the client’s need. In addition to engineering their robots, the students are required to prepare technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges. This allows teams to experience a very realistic simulation of a real-life engineering project. Continue reading “How I raised £10K for a student-led project” »

2:35 pm Making the most out of your #shefunilife experience

With semester now in full swing, I’ve started getting my head down to complete the final push of my academia left. You’ve probably heard from other students, time at University flies by, I remember my first day in my first year like it was just yesterday!

Even though I was a confused fresher in 2014, I do recall after one lecture in Biomedical Sciences, I didn’t want to just dedicate my time solely to my studies as I had done in my previous time in education. With this in mind, I attended my first activities fair and part-time job and volunteering fair where I remember quite clearly signing up to every Give-it-a-Go (GIAG) session there was and joining a row of societies.

Realistically, I couldn’t possibly do them all but be attending those GIAG sessions did allow me to realise this and focus on what I want to get involved in. Throughout my first and second year, I learnt how to balance.

Here are some of the top things I got involved in (that you can get involved in too!) to make the most out of your University experience so that by the time you graduate you’re equipped with all the skills and experience necessary for the “real world” – whether that’s working for a company or running your own!

1) I got a part-time job

Working part-time allowed me to:

  • Practice how to balance studies and work. I had to be more strategic in my approach to organisation, time-management and prioritisation.
  • Enhance skills, particularly verbal communication, teamwork, taking an innovative, working under pressure, and leadership which are essential for professional jobs.
  • Have a taste of what it’s like to work and earn money!

Don’t take working in retail, at a bar or coffee shop for granted – it actually is great as a stepping stone to develop yourself both professionally and personally! I worked in retail for 2+ years throughout my first and second year, near the end of my second retail job, I gained so much experience from it that I was given more responsibility and ran a training session for new staff.

Note: During term time, it isn’t recommended that students work more than 16 hours per week.

2) I didn’t shrug off employability-enhancing support that the University has on offer

I made use of them. This ranges from the Careers Service one-to-one application appointments to attending useful workshops, sessions and networking events throughout the year that helped me expand my professional connections and knowledge on topics such as making an impactful LinkedIn profile.

Taking the support from the Careers Service to my advantage, I managed to secure a placement year!

Other support I recommend include:

3) I got actively involved in student groups and other initiatives of which I am strongly passionate about

Joining societies is a great way to have fun doing things you enjoy with other people! But as I mentioned before, you don’t have time for all of them (a big mistake I made when I was that fresher joining all the societies I could possibly get involved in)

Being selective is important – you can focus more of your energy and time into something that you really enjoy and feel passionate about. That might be cheerleading, being part of the gaming society or playing and creating music with drums, flute or other wonderful instruments!

For me, it’s technology. Learning more e.g. coding languages and best practices I wasn’t aware of before. And sharing the excitement of this valuable skill (to me at least) with others.

And that’s why I got involved with Code First: Girls (CFG) in 2015. One main thing I recommend is finding a student society that you really enjoy and taking an active role in it – like being in the committee or leading it. I went from being a CFG participant to now taking a leading role in the organisation and delivery. It’s been a great way for me to:

  • Build up connections in the industry (which I’m interested in working in in the future)
  • Build a more inclusive, diverse and comfortable community in Sheffield for female students (which I am very passionate about!)
  • Enhance my skills in public speaking, delivering presentations and teaching.

If you’re interested in finding out more and/or joining Code First: Girls, click here.

Other things I got involved in:

  • My department’s Student Staff Committee where I fed back my ideas and comments to the Department on improving learning and teaching initiatives. Currently, I’m a the Digital Rep for BMS.
  • Representing open days
  • ScienceBrainwaves as Head of Website – tailored to my interests in website development and online communication through blogging.

Here’s a list of all the wonderful student societies at University!

TL:DR – be active in the right student groups and initiatives that are valuable to you. Go out there and explore what’s available and really make the most out of your #shefunilife.

31 August 2017 - 12:46 pm Meet the winners of our Evolve Business Competition

Every year, University of Sheffield Enterprise runs a competition to celebrate the growing startup stars supported by its Evolve Programme. This competition is an opportunity for entrants to increase awareness and exposure for their startup (FAME) and get a cash injection to help grow their business (FORTUNE).  Continue reading “Meet the winners of our Evolve Business Competition” »

22 August 2017 - 4:18 pm What is the impact of enterprise capability development in your degree?

My experience

The Organ Donation Project was a project that made up a small part of my ‘Introduction to Human Anatomy’ module in my second year of my Biomedical Sciences degree. I was put into a group with others in my course, where I then took the role of team leader for the project. My role was to delegate tasks to other team members and think of creative, ‘out-of-the-box’ ideas to engage young students to sign up for the organ donation register, using our anatomical knowledge. Continue reading “What is the impact of enterprise capability development in your degree?” »

4:07 pm Me and My Interest in Enterprise

I am the new summer intern at the University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE). Currently a 3rd year chemical engineering student at the University with a desire to potentially start a business of my own.

My interest in enterprise was slowly developed because of my friends and family. Apparently, they saw something that made them think that I had the potential to start and run a business of my own. I want to learn as much as I can in preparation for owning a business someday and I have the perfect opportunity to do that as a USE intern this summer. My interest in enterprise has been further strengthened by learning that it is a useful skill which employers now look for in applicants.

Continue reading “Me and My Interest in Enterprise” »

27 July 2017 - 11:02 am Bright Toys wins £855 to get more kids into STEM

“My name is Kisha Bradley and 20 years ago, I had my mind blown.”

This was the opening to Kisha’s pitch at Sheffield SOUP last night that would win her an £855 grant to buy tools and equipment to run interactive workshops designed to get more kids interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Continue reading “Bright Toys wins £855 to get more kids into STEM” »

7 July 2017 - 4:44 pm Final Thoughts (Work Experience – Day 5)

I will find it hard when I return to school next week, because I know that nothing I will do at school will compare to how incredible this week has been. Thanks to everybody that works at the USE and Corporate Communications, I have had a taste of what a job will be like, and there has not been any part of this experience that I won’t take around me wherever I go. I have excellent supervisors to guide me through anything I struggled with, but they also gave me a lot of independence, which is arguably more important than guidance. No matter where I go or what I do, I will show any future employers my two fantastic reports and be proud. Continue reading “Final Thoughts (Work Experience – Day 5)” »

6 July 2017 - 11:37 am The Infinity School Podcast

As  a Year 10 student with a keen interest in becoming an entrepreneur, I look far and wide for any advice and tips to stand out. Good advice is often very hard to come by, especially when it is presented in an interesting way that really introduces you into into world of great business ideas whilst remain understandable and relevant. With such a long list of criteria, it is unlikely that all of these criteria will be ticked off, but to my surprise the University of Sheffield created a podcast that has all of that and more! Continue reading “The Infinity School Podcast” »

5 July 2017 - 4:30 pm Corporate Communications and Digital Engagement (Work Experience Day 3)

On my third day of work I was set a different challenge. I had previously been focusing on writing internet blogs for the USE blog feed about my experiences of being in and around a workplace, but now I had a task which I would be much more familiar with. Continue reading “Corporate Communications and Digital Engagement (Work Experience Day 3)” »

4 July 2017 - 2:22 pm Interviews and Afterviews (Work Experience Day 2)

Upon arriving on my second day I was again greeted with several warm greetings, which came to me as no surprise. Like yesterday several members of the office were absent, which was a terrible shame as I was planning to interview them, discussing everything from development of the internet to how they first got started. However due to the professionalism and brilliance showed by the team here, it was arranged that I would speak to two experienced members of the team. Continue reading “Interviews and Afterviews (Work Experience Day 2)” »