Northern City Connections

Northern City Connections is an Arts and Humanities initiative providing you with an opportunity to meet alumni working in Northern-based organisations and develop your own network of professional contacts.

A Sheffield alum converses with students at a City Connections event

What is Northern City Connections?

Northern City Connections is an event designed to support students from under-represented backgrounds to develop their networking skills and commercial awareness, enhancing their career prospects. 

The project provides students with the opportunity to build connections with alumni of the University of Sheffield who have reached senior positions in major organisations, and who generously give their time to support the project. Students taking part gain an insight into a wide range of career sectors and hear first-hand from alumni how they have got to where they are today.

What do previous participants feel about Northern City Connections?

  • 100% felt motivated to do well academically and to take advantage of extra-curricular activities.
  • 100% enjoyed the event and would recommend it to others.

Northern City Connections is one of the most rewarding and insightful careers experiences that I have taken part in.

I developed a lot of personal skills and I realised the type of career I wish to pursue in the future.

Beth Watson

Archaeology student

The networking skills and values I learned from you and the alumni have been so invaluable - I actually managed to find my dream job through networking!

Becky Jackson

English Language and Literature Student

What does Northern City Connections involve?

1. Northern City Connections pre-event workshop, on campus

Receive advice and information to prepare you for the business workshops and networking event and meet the other students and staff taking part.

We’ll cover commercial awareness, networking, logistics and tell you about the alumni and businesses we’ll be hearing from. We’ll also support you in setting up or improving your own LinkedIn profile.

2. Northern City Connections business visits and networking event in Sheffield

Sheffield-based businesses will host face-to-face sessions during the day. University of Sheffield alumni from each business will talk about their career journey as well as providing insight into their professions and opportunities for graduates. 

The workshops are followed by a networking event, where you will have the chance to speak in small groups to a range of alumni working in the Northern region.

3. Northern City Connections post-event workshop, on campus

Reunion time. We’ll get back together to share experiences of the day and explore how you can use these in your development. You’ll also receive advice for following up contacts and signposts to other University opportunities.

A Sheffield alum converses with two students at a City Connections event

I had an amazing time and would certainly recommend the project to anyone who was in a similar position to me.

The experiences I gained have provided me with confidence and a new-found motivation towards my studies.

Jack Hickey

History student

Who can apply for City Connections?

The event is open to all Arts and Humanities students at Level 2 or above from widening participation backgrounds. You must meet at least one of the following criteria to be eligible to take part:

  • Be the first in your family to go to University
  • Have a home address in a neighbourhood with low rates of participation in Higher Education
  • Identify as belonging to a Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME) community
  • Be a 'first generation' student (your parents didn't attend university before they turned 21)
  • You are a carer for someone
  • You have been in care at some point
  • You have a disability or specific learning difficulty
  • You are a mature student 
  • You are in receipt of a UOS financial bursary

We will email eligible students to invite them to apply for a place.

I now feel much more confident and able to apply for a variety of graduate roles within the marketing sector.

They helped me to see the positives and relevance in the things I have already done.

Mica Aspinwall

French and Linguistics student

Susan Fitzmaurice and Nicola Talbot talk to a guest at City Connections event

Meet past alumni hosts

During the day, we will attend workshops with three different businesses based in Sheffield. Meet alumni who have hosted previous sessions at our events.

Sheffield Museums:

  • Ruth Bean, Volunteering Manager, (BsC Natural Environmental Science, Geology and Ecology, 1993)

  • Anita Hamlin, Learning Officer, (Social History, 1994)


  • Matt Naylor, Senior Change Lead / Business Transformation (BA, Social and Political Studies, 1995)

  • Emilie Kofler, Wholesale Strategic Summer Intern and current student & previous NCC participant (BA Business Management with Modern Languages and Cultures, 2023)

  • Binta Samateh, GRaduate Recruitment, HSBC

The Crucible Theatre:

  • Dr Kay Graham, Deputy Director, Further Education Workforce, Department for Education (BA Geography, 1992 and PhD Geography, 1997)

In addition to our fantastic alumni hosting business visits, you will have the opportunity to meet and network with up to 20 other alumni working in a range of sectors at the networking event.  Further information on our alumni will be shared at the Pre-Event Workshop.

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.