Dive in and take all and any opportunities that are offered to you... Just take the chance because you never know where it could take you

Laura Billings Video Thumbnail
Laura Billings
Resourcing Coordinator - ITV
BA History
Laura Billings talks about her current role at ITV as a Resourcing Coordinator. Laura also highlights how her a year abroad in Australia, helped her step outside of her comfort zone and feel more confident.

A transcript of the video:

Hi. My name is Laura and I studied a BA history with year abroad degree at the University of Sheffield graduating in 2020. There's lots of reasons why I wanted to study my history degree in Sheffield. Firstly, they had really great study abroad opportunities. I always knew that was something that I wanted to do as part of my degree. So that was really exciting. Um, they had a massive variety of courses on offer covering all kinds of time periods and topics and types of history. And so I thought that would give really great variety within my study. Um and lastly, because Sheffield is a great city, I love the Peak District. I love the nightlife. I just thought would be a great place to be a student. 

So I studied my year abroad at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. It was an additional year to my degree, so I was abroad in my third year. Um, I spent the year studying, travelling, partying, making lifelong friendships and memories that I will cherish forever. Um, academically, I think it really, really benefited me. Um, I got to study things I wouldn't have been able to in Sheffield, including Aboriginal history and Australian Colonial history. Um, and also some European history, but from an Australian perspective which can differ to how we learn in the UK So that was really fascinating. And personally, I think it was so beneficial to me. Um, it increased my confidence so much, and it pushed me so far out of my comfort zone. It proved that I was more capable and confident than I ever, ever thought I would be. Um, it definitely made me a better historian, Um, and the person I am today. 

I graduated in 2020 into the pandemic, which was a really rough recruitment market for graduates. I knew that I wanted to go into HR but I didn't really know how to get started. So one of the first things I did was when I finished uni, I started studying an additional qualification online, which was the CIPD level three. I can't say that it was easy, but it was definitely worth it, and it helped me get my first role. And prior to finishing uni, I got a lot of work experience as an ambassador, both in Sheffield and in Canberra, Um, and then in my final year, worked at the University of Sheffield Career Service, which really, really helped me pick up lots of lots of skills and experience. Um, that helped me with my career. 

Currently I worked in the resourcing department at ITV, which I absolutely love. Um, I mostly help with the recruitment for the data department, which will eventually drive by ITV's Digital transformation. Um, so day to day, I organise interviews. I raise contracts and offers. Um, I support the grad scheme. Recruitment, Um, basically act as a comprehensive support function to the resourcing team. 

Studying my history degree has helped him professionally in so many different ways. Um, it's made me an incredibly independent and proactive learner, and I am now very, very organised with workload and time. Which is obviously really important in a professional environment. Um, a piece of feedback that I often get is that I'm quite good at writing and succinctly and persuasively. Um, I know that is something that I've got from my history degree, um, and all those strict word counts and also being able to research and analyse large volumes of text and information. Um, in a real world example, I often have to report back to stakeholders, um, and kind of pull bits of information from from all over and present that back. So, yeah, it's really helped me in a lot of different ways. In the professional context. 

There's lots of things I love about working in my role at ITV. ITV has an incredibly relaxed and informal company culture and the people I work with are just the loveliest team of people. Um, I love going to the office, and not just because it's so cool, but because I genuinely just love getting to see and work with the people that I that I do. So that's great. People are always really keen to not only help you if you have a problem, um, but help you develop as well, and somebody will, always jump on to call a with you if you need anything or if you want to learn a new skill or anything like that. And ITV, are incredibly good at making you feel valued and like your hard work is really contributing to the big picture. 

The biggest challenges I've had is that obviously recruitment, especially in tech is quite difficult at the moment, so it can be quite tough to meet strict targets and that kind of thing. And also when we're working from home, obviously that can be quite difficult for everyone. And we definitely miss being able to collaborate in person. 

So the advice I give to prospective or current students studying history at Sheffield would be to dive in and take all and any opportunities that are offered to you, whether that be study abroad or work experience or social events or trips. Just do it. Just take the chance because you never know where it could take you. Um, also to get as much work experience as as possible whilst at uni whether that's kind of part time casual work, work within the department, um, an internship over the summer because it really, really helps you not only figure out what you want to do in the future, but also grow your soft skills and confidence, which is so helpful when you're applying for jobs later on. And when you graduate. Um, and also to study the topics and the courses that you are really, really passionate about. Uni is so much easier when you study things that you genuinely love. Um and if you do, then the things that you learn will stay with you a long time after you graduate.

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