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Our alumni

Alumni from the Information School have entered a wide range of professional fields across the world and are from a variety of countries. Read on to hear about what some of our alumni have been up to since they left us.

Data Science MSc Graduates

Syeda Gulnoor Zahra, 2019-20
PhD student in Artificial Intelligence, University of Bath

What was your favourite thing about studying at the Information School?

My favourite things about studying at the Information School are the quality of education and the support from the academic staff. Given the unfortunate conditions due to the pandemic, all the staff were very considerate and accommodating.

How did studying at the Information School help your career?

Studying the MSc Data Science course at the Information School equipped me with the right skills and knowledge which is proving very beneficial in my current role as a PhD student in Artificial Intelligence.

What is a typical day in your role?

A typical day in my role includes attending relevant seminars, lectures, meetings and working with my supervisor on my research topic which focuses on Algorithmic Auditing.

If you could give one tip to somebody coming to study at the Information School, what would that be?

My biggest tip for anyone coming to study at the Information School would be to make the best out of the resources available at the department. Do not hesitate to ask questions from your lecturers, tutors etc, no matter how trivial the question may seem.

Jahad Al Wahsi, 2015-2016

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield Information School?

The University of Sheffield was one of the top recommended universities in my country. Regarding my own criteria in selecting this particular school, it was due to the below reasons:

  • The ranking and global reputation of the University
  • Recommendations from my friend who had already graduated from this School
  • The variety of the modules
  • The procedure for getting the offer letter was easy and flexible

Why did you choose to study the Data Science MSc course?

I selected this course due to the relationship between my current job roles and the overall contents of this program. During my selection phase, I found that MSc Data Science at the University of Sheffield is really different from other comparable courses in term of the modules and learning facilities. However, the key driver to select this particular programme was to improve my analytical skills in mining big data for making effective decisions.

What are the facilities and teaching staff like at the Information School?

Studying at the Information School is more than learning. Facilities are provided to promote both learning and other related skills. One of the most important facilities, perhaps, is the continuous support of the academic staff during the whole programme. Furthermore, the Student Staff Committee is a plus point for students that allows them to share their views and suggestions on the running of the School in an effective manner. Moreover, the online Student Handbook is a very useful learning tool that gives clear instructions and guidelines for students.

Would you recommend the Data Science MSc course to others and if so why?

Of course, yes. This is due to the fact that the Information School is one of the top research schools in UK. Also, studying the MSc Data Science at the University of Sheffield is a really amazing adventure.

Alberto Medina Rodarte. 2015-2016. 
Vertica developer, AmDocs

Why did you choose to do a Postgraduate degree?

I wanted to be better prepared to face the challenges of the real world, and since data science is a subject that is growing really fast, and with high demand, what better choice to make than getting a degree in it.

Why did you choose the Information School, University of Sheffield as your place to study?

I chose the University of Sheffield because of its reputation and the city. I did thorough research about both the university and the city, and all I found was great things.

What did you like about studying your course at Sheffield?

I loved the fact that I was being taught by experts on their fields. Each one of the professors has so much experience and knowledge that you instantly know they have been working in their fields for quite some time. Now that I have finished my course and have come back home, I miss living in Sheffield because it is such a friendly place, no matter your nationality.

What advice would you give to current students about their studies?

Try to learn as much as you can, take advantage of the opportunity you’ve been given of being at that place. Make as many friends as you can, because those friends can bring you possibilities in the future, and it’ll make your time at the university better.

What does your current job involve?

My job consists of moving data from one place to another. My role is called ETL developer, and ETL stands for “Extract Transform Load”. Basically, the main purpose of this role is to extract information from different sources, like databases, flat files, online data; clean it and transform it as needed; and then load it into the final destination (database), in my case Vertica, which is a big data database.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like the fact that it is not a repetitive job, it changes all the time because you have to adapt to the business needs. That is good because you don’t get bored of doing the same task over and over again. Also, it is challenging, because you have to think of how to solve the daily issues that you can face.

How has your Postgraduate degree helped you in your job? Or, when do you use skills you learned during your degree in your work?

It helped me to get this job because the degree helps to stand out from the crowd, and it also helps to get a better salary. The degree helped me to communicate better, and to develop analytical skills. These skills are needed to find answers within the huge volumes of data I have to handle, and it is easier to communicate my findings with the rest of the team or with the managers.

Digital Library Management MSc Graduates

Dianita Asni. 2015-2016.
Librarian, JYIS School, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield Information School?

I chose to study here for the following reasons:

  • The courses are accredited by CILIP
  • There was a Digital Library Management course available
  • The Diamond Library. The opening of the library was in the September I started and I hoped that I could get a part-time job there
  • The University of Sheffield is a high-ranking institution
  • Sheffield is a beautiful place in an ideal location

Why did you choose to study this particular course?

The MSc Digital Library Management course is still considered a rare subject. I have not found many courses on Digital Libraries. I specifically chose this course as I already have a degree in Librarianship Science. This is an upgrade to my librarianship skills. I also love anything to do with digital technology.

What was your favourite module/part of the course and why?

Designing Usable Websites, because of the practical sessions and the way the lectures explained things was very clear.

What are the facilities and teaching staff like at the Information School?

The facilities at the Information School are great. I usually have classes in the Tom Wilson Laboratory and room 204. I love the coffee machine in front of the class; it is very convenient. There are computers in the lab and also in the iSpace where I can print. Group rooms are also very usable and comfortable. The sofas in the iSpace overlooking the courtyard of the building is just beautiful. I don’t have to worry about water, as two water dispensers are available. I have also used the Usability Lab which was very advanced.

What is the city of Sheffield like to live in and study in?

Sheffield is a very beautiful city; peaceful and green. I have discovered for myself that Sheffield is the greenest city in Europe, with a great deal of fresh oxygen as well as being very close to the Peak District. I love to take bus from one side to another to discover more. My favorite place is Damflask Reservoir, Bradfield. I also cycle to university; it’s a bit hilly and a bit high when I go to the University, but I enjoy gliding down in the way back. Sheffield is an ideal place to study, with friendly people, many student discounts, cheap transportation and many part-time work and volunteer opportunities.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about studying your course?

This course is going to help a lot if you want to be a Digital Librarian. I personally think this course is excellent, as long as you are willing to put in the time to read around topics and not just rely on lecture notes. One year is a relatively short period, but the course is packed with content, which I like. I would recommend using the facilities to read great articles and books using university library portal.

Where did spend your internship and what was your role there?

I worked at the Tinder Foundation as Research Intern. I helped the research coordinator in the Libraries Digital Inclusion Fund Project. The project is to fund 16 libraries to run innovative pilots as part of an action research project to support people to improve their digital skills.
My duties when I was there included transcribing interviews, writing up case studies, attending team meetings, taking notes from webinars and writing a book summary. I also travelled to London to attend TeachMeet and be a facilitator and travelled to Nottingham and Newcastle to take notes for the interviews

Do you think that the modules you studied have helped with your internship and vice versa?

Definitely. The subjects that I learned have helped me to understand how to work in my internship through skills such as project management, digital libraries, public libraries and website design. Also, the experience I have got from the organisation enriched my study, especially when I was working on my dissertation.

How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process?

I contacted my personal tutor, then the head of department, then lecturers about the organisations that I could apply for. I also searched the MyVacancies website. I contacted my local library and searched the Internet too. Then I was pointed to Tinder Foundation by the Information School’s Careers Advisor. It was just the second year of PAS program. I contacted Tinder Foundation on October 13th. I got a reply on October 21st.

On October 26th, I had a meeting with the Head of Research, and she said she would like me to meet the previous PAS intern on November 3rd. I applied for the bursary on October 27th. On November 3rd, I came to Tinder Foundation and had a nice meeting, and I got a clearer idea on what would be doing. I would say that working at the Tinder Foundation and studying Digital Library Management are very related and I was very happy to undertake the internship.

Thomas Bello. 2013-2014.
Assistant Librarian, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi

What I liked most about my degree was its uniqueness and relevance in the digital age! The programme tackled contemporary issues in information science such as information retrieval, research data management, knowledge management, management and strategy for digital libraries and research methods among others. I have gained skills, knowledge and competencies of the modern day information practitioner.

Working at an academic institution where visibility of local research outputs and support for evidence-informed practice are highly prized, my degree has made me an asset to my institution, country and region. In my job I am teaching information literacy and ICT, have co-facilitated a workshop for systems librarians in Malawi, conducted demonstrations of digital tools that enhance collaboration and research and am connecting many students, academics and researchers with their needed information to improve their research experience. I use the management and strategy for digital libraries, digital multimedia libraries and designing usable websites in my working life and I hope to make use of the others.

I have also lined up several papers that I would like to write based on the knowledge management module that I took. If you are looking for a place to study information science with supportive lecturers and staff, if you want to stay in a city conducive to student life, then the University of Sheffied is the place for you. The facilities – libraries, ispace, classrooms, computers - have all been put up purposely to enrich the student’s learning experience.

Despina Tsilimagou. 2012-2013.
Digital Learning Environment Advocate, University of Plymouth

Considering the need of library viability, the importance of digitalization and data processing in the digital world, I applied for the MSc Digital Library Management at the University of Sheffield. The structure of the degree and the variety of the courses were the initial reasons why I chose to study at the Information School. The Information School deserves to have a good reputation and is undoubtedly one of the best in Europe.

As an international student at the Information School, I received excellent support from the academic staff. They helped me to improve my confidence and become part of the community. Plus, interaction and collaboration with other students helped me to develop my communication and team working skills. By participating in this postgraduate course, I gained all the required qualifications to support and promote not only a properly designed information source, but also a modern digital way of learning.

The core courses covered all the main concepts and the theories that are related to Digital Library Management, while the wide range of elective courses gave me the chance to adapt the degree to my interests. All the knowledge that I gained by studying this degree programme is the main reason why I managed to find my current job. There is no doubt, that this degree was the foundation for my professional development.

Health Informatics MSc Graduates

Yaser Abuhajjaj.

Health Informatics Expert, Ministry Of Health & Prevention, United Arab Emirates

Why did you choose to do a Postgraduate degree?

To expand my knowledge in health informatics, professional development to help me advance in my career, and to acquire new skills especially in the research field.

Why did you choose the Information School, University of Sheffield as your place to study?

Because it is a highly prestigious school in a highly ranked university. Also, the flexibility of the Health Informatics program played an important role in my decision; as a full time employee working in a government sector I was looking for a distance learning program in health informatics and I found exactly what I needed at the Information School at the University of Sheffield.

What did you like about studying your course at Sheffield?

Although my course was distance learning, I felt like I was really on campus. I would like to extend my thanks to all my teachers who guided me during my study. They did their best to help me to achieve my goal. The accessibility of the resources was very easy and smooth and the University staff are very helpful and supportive. My first visit to the University of Sheffield was to attend the induction course and even now I still have very nice memories from the course.

What advice would you give to current students about their studies?

The University of Sheffield is staffed by a highly knowledgeable professors and lecturers, so do not miss the opportunity to learn the most you can from them and do not hesitate to seek their guidance and advice. Enjoy your life at Sheffield to the maximum because once you leave it you will always remember it and feel nostalgic about it.

What does your current job involve?

My responsibility is to assess and test clinical systems and submit detailed, professional reports to the management. Managing different projects’ implementations and assuring that the implementation is going smoothly and overcoming any obstacles may delay the project. For example, one project I worked on was the implementation of ICD 10 CM classification hospitals affiliated to the ministry of health and prevention.

I follow up on the new advances in healthcare technologies that will improve the quality of care provided to our patients, and recommend any new technology to the management.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Giving the right advice at the right time and managing health data and transforming it to knowledge.

How has your Postgraduate degree helped you in your job? Or, when do you use skills you learned during your degree in your work?

It makes my work more organised and scientific. The research skills that I learned helped me when I am writing my reports and I learned how to organize and initiate my projects using the correct methodology, based on science and facts.

What advice would you give to students regards what they can be doing whilst on their degree to enhance their employability options?

Keep yourself up-to-date in your field and the new advances technology in the market. Don’t limit your learning to the research environment only - try to do an internship in a highly reputed organisation which will strengthen your resume. Try to participate in conferences as a speaker to share the knowledge that you have gained.

Paul Herbert. 2011-2012. Health Information Scientist, Health Improvement Scotland.

I moved to my present post at Healthcare Improvement Scotland in June 2012 and I am convinced my degree was an important factor in helping me pass the interview.

My dissertation on the NHS Lanarkshire intranet from a knowledge management perspective was used by the organisation in the design of the new intranet site so it was good to do a piece of work which was then able to be used to make a positive change.

I was able to get my dissertation published as an article which I am very proud of. It has also been selected to appear in the virtual issue of the Health Information and Libraries Journal to mark this year’s Health Libraries Group conference in Oxford. I presented on this topic at Health Libraries Group 2012 in Glasgow and I feel these experiences have raised my profile and have been really worthwhile in terms of connecting me to others in my profession.

Dr Ravi Sachdev. 2013-2016. Consultant Family Physician & Deputy Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

Why did you choose to study at the University of Sheffield Information School?

I had heard from others who had attended the University that they had found it rewarding and enjoyable.

Why did you choose to study the Health Informatics MSc course?

I was looking for a programme to help formalize my Informatics role at the hospital, while providing me with opportunities to fill the gaps in my knowledge. A master's degree seemed a good choice, and Sheffield's curriculum looked appealing.

What has been your experience of being a distance learning student at the Information School?

There have been some great moments, especially when interacting with the lecturers and fellow students live on Blackboard. Overall, the material provided has been useful and interesting.

Would you recommend the Health Informatics MSc course to others, and if so why?

Absolutely, I have learnt a lot through this programme, and, despite the hard work and long hours, found it quite rewarding. I have, in fact, already recommended this course to several of my colleagues in the field.

Information Management MSc Graduates 

Roberto Bernal Chavez. 2014-2015. Business Intelligence Consultant, HITSS

Why did you choose to do a Postgraduate degree?

In order to continue with my education, to gain a more professional insight into the field and to increase my abilities.

Why did you choose the Information School, University of Sheffield as your place to study?

After looking through several universities and programmes, I found that the University of Sheffield had a programme that really suited my profile and the subjects I was interested in. Furthermore, it is the number one information school in the UK.

What did you like about studying your course at Sheffield?

My teachers were doing research and had professional experience doing what I was interested in and so I had many insightful talks with them, even outside teaching, which really fulfilled the course expectations I had.

What advice would you give to current students about their studies?

Gain as much as you can from your teachers; they are always available to talk to you but you have to take the first step because at the same time they are very busy. Also, I would recommend that you focus on a topic you like and try to develop it during your course. Read as much as you can, including all the material the teachers suggest. Finally, be open and friendly to international students because they will give you a different perspective on the same topic or idea.

What does your current job involve?

Working with large amounts of data, designing and building new databases, reports, etc. I also lead projects and document project related processes.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I like handling data and thinking about how to organize it to best suit the needs of my client.

How has your postgraduate degree helped you in your job? Or, when do you use skills you learned during your degree in your work?

I have worked in areas where the knowledge of the field and how it should work has really helped to improve not only the quality of the data but also the administrative processes that come with it. These are topics that I reviewed for the first time during my degree.

What advice would you give to students regards what they can be doing whilst on their degree to enhance their employability options?

Read as much as you can about the topics of interest for you and for the industry which you want to get into. Write essays and even articles, if you can, about something important related to the industry you want to get into or the specific job type you want. Employers really value when you know what you are saying and even have an opinion on how to improve it.

Lorraine Fiander-Hill. 2000-2001. Compliance Training and Policy Manager, Ogier

Following a major life change, I went back into education as a mature student and undertook a BSc. I then came to Sheffield to study for an MSc in Information Management in 2001 and was an even more mature student at 36.

I had helped colleagues out with IT, while I was an undergraduate, and had discovered I had a passion for information and its technologies. Towards the end of my year, I successfully applied for a lecturing position in the college I had previously attended in Jersey, and went on to train as a lecturer and complete my PGCE.

In the space of 8 years: I gained 2 degrees; became a qualified lecturer and computer engineer; presented a paper at an international conference and gained professional memberships to teaching and IT institutions and won several awards for my studies.

I decided to move into the finance industry and now, two years on, am half way through the qualifying scheme for Chartered Secretaries and am working for a fantastic company, an offshore, multi-jurisdictional, law and financial services firm, as their global Compliance Training and Policy Manager. I work partly in the knowledge management field and regularly use a lot of what I learnt at Sheffield. I'm considering the possibility of a PhD, but who knows what the next ten years will bring?

Chen Yue. 2005-2006. Presale Support Manager, China United Network Communication Corporation

Doing my research was my best experience in the Information School. This required me to interview different managers in six organisations, this was really a challenge to invite them to join my research. But this is still the most memorable part of my time in Sheffield.

After finishing my studies at Sheffield, I came back to Chengdu, China, and started to work in a large state-owned telecom corporation called China Netcom.

I did telephone core network maintenance for 3 years from 2007 to 2010.

China Netcom merged with China Unicom in 2009, and I worked in its network maintenance department, focused on organising network maintenance for important clients, for 2 years from 2010 to 2012.

Now I am in the group clients department, doing presale technical support for our group clients, such as governments, medium and big companies and banks. We are doing many things on smart city projects.

There are many parts of my degree that I use in my working life, such as knowledge management, e-commerce and research methodologies.

Information Systems MSc Graduates

Aryan Fraidoon Abdulqader. 2011-2012. Assistant Lecturer, Soran University, Iraq

Why did you choose to do a Postgraduate degree?

I was awarded a scholarship from the Kurdistan Regional Government and I wanted to further improve my academic and technical skills especially in the Information Systems field.

Why did you choose the Information School, University of Sheffield as your place to study?

I chose the Information School at the University of Sheffield as it is one of the leading schools in the UK and the world in Information Science studies.

What did you like about studying your course at Sheffield?

I have to say I liked everything about my course at Sheffield. My studies in Sheffield gave me the skills, motivation, courage and knowledge which enabled me to compete in the market, get job opportunities much easier and taught me how to further improve myself.

What advice would you give to current students about their studies?

I advise them to take every single learning opportunity at Sheffield University by working hard and make the most out of their time there. It is a life time experience and one has to appreciate it.

What does your current job involve?

I am currently working as a lecturer at the Department of Computer Science at Soran University which is one of the top ranked public universities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. I am teaching different modules such as Systems Analysis and Design, e-Government, Linux Operating System and Distributed Systems.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I very much enjoy my job as I love to give the knowledge and experience I have to others. Now I am transferring the knowledge I gained during my postgraduate studies at Sheffield to my students to enable then find good jobs in the labor market here in the Kurdistan Region after their graduation.

How has your Postgraduate degree helped you in your job? Or, when do you use skills you learned during your degree in your work?

My postgraduate degree helped in finding many job opportunities after I returned to my home country. I received many offers from private sector companies for different positions. I am using the skills I learned during my degree every single day especially in my current job as a university lecturer.

What advice would you give to students regarding what they can be doing whilst on their degree to enhance their employability options?

I would advise them to work hard, be innovative and benefit from all the learning resources available at the iSchool and the University. Nowadays the labor market is very competitive all around the world so one has to invest most of their time learning whilst studying in order to find good jobs after graduation.

Emma Catterall. 2013-2014. Senior Analyst - Customer Analytics, HSBC

Why did you choose to do a Postgraduate degree?

I chose to do a Postgraduate degree so that I could further my skills and knowledge in this area and improve my employability. I think that doing a Postgraduate degree set me apart and gave me an edge when applying for jobs.

Why did you choose the Information School, University of Sheffield as your place to study?

Emma Catterall
Having done my undergraduate degree at Sheffield, I already knew that the University was a great place to study and live, so it was one of the first places I looked at for my Masters. The Information School has a great reputation and world leading research groups and Sheffield is a Russell Group University, so it has a great reputation.

What did you like about studying your course at Sheffield?

I think the support from all the lecturers was great; they all had time for me if I needed any extra guidance or support. The facilities are brilliant & the University of Sheffield is just an amazing place to be. They have an award-winning Students’ Union & the student experience is just amazing there.

What advice would you give to current students about their studies?

I would just say to choose modules that you think are relevant to you and modules that you enjoy. Make sure you are organised; there are a lot of assignments that all need to be handed in around the same time, so keep on top of your work from the start. And just enjoy it – the time will soon fly by and you’ll be graduating before you know it!

What does your current job involve?

I currently work at HSBC as a Senior Analyst within Customer Analytics. This involves working with large datasets looking at customer behaviours & customer activity. I analyse the effectiveness of campaigns, suggest improvements & help to create new propositions for our customers. I also provide analysis to help improve customer journeys and to provide greater levels of support for our customers.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love that I can provide analysis to help to improve our services to make our customers better off. I love that I work with a large group of stakeholders and can provide analysis to support their needs. I work with a lot of great people and every day brings something different. I have the opportunity to work across the department, and get involved in organising conferences etc.

How has your Postgraduate degree helped you in your job? Or, when do you use skills you learned during your degree in your work?

I think that my Postgraduate degree gave me a skillset that was really valuable in the workplace. It definitely helped me get my job by enhancing my skillset and helping me stand out. I work with large amounts of data, and code in SQL and SAS, so understanding basic coding through my MSc has really helped me.

What advice would you give to students regards what they can be doing whilst on their degree to enhance their employability options?

I think the best piece of advice I can give, degree-wise, is to look at jobs you want to apply for, and to choose your modules based on that, so that the skills you learn align with the type of job you want. I think it’s also important to do things outside of our degree, whether that be sports/societies or volunteering - something to enhance your CV and make you stand out.

Hang Dong. 2014-2015. PhD candidate, University of Liverpool

Why did you choose to do a Postgraduate degree?

It is a common choice in China if you want to have better job and it is nice to come to the UK.

Hang Dong
Why did you choose the Information School, University of Sheffield as your place to study?

I chose the Information School because of a recommendation from a previous teacher in Wuhan University and because of the Wuhan’s collaboration with Sheffield. The Information School is also high ranking in research in the Information Science domain.

What did you like about studying your course at Sheffield?

I enjoyed the lecturers and teaching as well as the environment (the weather as well as the research environment!).

What advice would you give to current students about their studies?

Go to the school and the library more often and enjoy your time in Sheffield.

What does your current job involve?

I am involved in research in Machine Learning, Information Organisation, the Semantic Web etc. I teach some computer labs. My work is conducted mainly in English with some Chinese.

What do you enjoy about your job?

It is fun doing research.

How has your Postgraduate degree helped you in your job? Or, when do you use skills you learned during your degree in your work?

Without this degree, I could not get involved in this PhD programme.

My research skills (writing, thinking and some other knowledge about what a good research/researcher is) were developed in Sheffield, as was my confidence to communicate with others.

What advice would you give to students regards what they can be doing whilst on their degree to enhance their employability options?

Take some MOOC courses in FutureLearn and Coursera. Communicate with the teachers in the iSchool often; make appointments with them if you want to discuss research.

Hachimi Maiga. 2008-2009. Executive (Consultant), Ernst & Young

I chose to study at the Information School because I was looking for a degree that combines computer science and information studies. Also, the fact that the Information School was ranked top in the UK in the field of information science was an important factor. It’s a good research led School where some very advanced research is carried out.

There are some interesting programmes to choose from and as I understand there is a Data Science degree, which is a very hot topic and skills to have nowadays in the business world.

After studying at the Information School I first joined the Investment Banking division of Standard Bank in London, as an IT graduate analyst. At Standard Bank I experienced a few roles including Developer, Business Analyst and Project Manager. Then I went to Cambridge University to do an MBA. I’m now joining the Transaction Advisory Services (IT) team at Ernst and Young as a Consultant (Executive).

I have used almost everything from my degree in my working life. Since I was a Developer at first I used the technical/computer science elements (such as Networking, Object Oriented Programming, Database Design). As a Business Analyst and Project Manager I used the skills I gained from different modules including Project Management, Information Systems Modelling and Human Computer Interaction. Also, working on group assignments in teams of students from different countries and backgrounds is pretty much the same as what one will experience when working for global companies.

Information Systems Management MSc Graduates

Haijuan Li. 2019-2020. Product Operation Engineer, AISHU Information Technology Co., Ltd

I was working in banking as a software test engineer before my postgraduate course in Sheffield. I decided to study a master's programme mainly because I would like to change position. I also thought a new learning programme would give me new skills for my future career. I was being interested in improving productivity for organisations via computer technologies since starting my first career. Also, I wanted to gain some knowledge of general management. So, I decided to study the MSc Information Systems Management at the University of Sheffield.

Now, I am employed by the AISHU IT corporate in Shanghai as a product operation engineer. The product I operate is a kind of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform/service. Being this role, I need to know as much as possible about the functionality and value of the product, as well as the key technologies it uses. This is related to what I learned in the Information Systems in Organisations module.

Moreover, the Business Intelligence module and Strategy Management module have both given me commercial awareness when I am working on market analysis. For example, in order to highlight the competitive advantages of our product, we need to collect information about our competitors from China or overseas and compare our product with them. The clients or organisations we serve are generally from different sectors, including governments, banking, new energy, and so on. We are supposed to provide specific solutions based on their business and our product characteristics. This is called Proof of Concept. Fortunately, the Information Systems Modelling module has given me the important skills to map organisations’ processes and analysis their requirements. Based on my working and studying experience, I could adapt to this new job better than I expected.

Besides, to improve our product features, we have opportunities to communicate with the Gartner team regularly, which requires us with good English communication skills. I have to say, learning in the UK helped me to develop my language skills significantly.

Getting a degree from a university at the end of 2020 is difficult but really impressive. I believe the knowledge, experiences, and friendships I gained as a postgraduate student in Sheffield will stay with me forever.

Bhavin Malkan. 2011-2012. Functional Business Consultant, Columbus Global.

I had studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of Sheffield and loved my time at the University. It made sense to come back, especially as the Information School is the number one in Europe.

Since I graduated I immediately found a job and I have been working for a global company implementing an ERP solution (Microsoft Dynamics AX) and working on functional areas of a project lifecycle. I have been involved with large name clients and have been involved in project sizes of just myself leading a project to a group of multinational colleagues.

I use a lot of my aspects from my degree in my job. As I am a finance functional consultant I use my Accounting and Finance undergraduate knowledge of accounting concepts and combine it with modules from the Information School such as Information Systems Modelling to gather requirements for business, and document and map processes. The Information Systems Project Management module has given me the commercial awareness I need when I am working on projects in terms of time management as well as liaising with different stakeholders of a project.

I would say my degree is crucial in the job that I am doing and is why I was able to make an entry into this field quite late in my career changing from accounting to consultancy – even though I had no experience companies took me on because I had the knowledge developed from my degree.

Librarianship MA graduates

Christine Fyfe. 1975-1976. Pro-Vice Chancellor (Students), University of Leicester

In addition to equipping me with practical skills, the degree was invaluable in helping to provide a broad context to the work I was asked to undertake. Starting a first professional role is always daunting and demanding and I felt very well prepared by the programme. Most situations or challenges encountered in my early working life had been touched on in some way, or I knew where to look for inspiration.

Students at the Information School graduate with an advanced and broad-based understanding of their field that will stand them in a good stead in their future careers. It will also be great fun!

My first job was as an Assistant Librarian at Keele University where my duties included cataloguing, classification and acting as a subject librarian. Over the next two decades years at Keele I progressed through various roles, including Head of Technical Services, to become Associate Librarian. In 1996 I was appointed Deputy Librarian at the University of Warwick and went on to become University Librarian at the University of Leicester in 2002. After overseeing a major project to extend and remodel the Library building, I was appointed in 2007 to a Pro-Vice-Chancellor role with responsibility for the student experience, combining this with the role of University Librarian until 2013. I have continued as a full-time Pro-Vice-Chancellor up to my retirement in July 2014.

I was appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for my contribution to academic librarianship. To have the work that I have found wholly fulfilling and rewarding recognised in this way was thrilling and a great surprise. I view the award as recognition for the information profession as a whole.

Ian Gardner. 2005-2006. Formerly Manager (Global Advisory Learning and Development), KPMG International

Whilst putting the finishing touches to my dissertation I moved to London to start work in a Further Education college. I worked there for a while before my interest in eLearning led to a move into that area for a postgraduate college. That role evolved over time to have more of a teaching and learning angle, with less focus on the content management and technology sides.

To recognize my skills in the eLearning area I completed a further postgraduate course (MSc, E-Learning: Interactive Teaching Technologies) online with the University of Ulster as well as attaining certified member status of ALT (Association for Learning Technology) and chartered status with CILIP. The Ulster course bolstered my instructional design credentials and, combined with the Sheffield course and work experience has allowed for me to move into internal learning and development.

The biggest influence on my working life is probably from the Educational Informatics module at Sheffield that spurred on my interest in the interplay between information, technology and education. There are a lot of information/library professionals in learning technology circles highlighting the transferability and importance of information skills and experience, beyond physical library spaces. The use of learning management systems during that module ultimately helped me move into that area, which in turn is now part of my more general L&D role. I would argue that ‘information’, in general terms, is now more important than ever to every organization. Therefore, the skills from the Sheffield course are hugely transferable.

Emma Hadfield. 2007-2008. Learning Resources Manager, Thomas Rotherham College

I graduated from the Information School in 2008 gaining the MA Librarianship qualification. On leaving the Information School, I chose to pursue a career in the academic library sector and was able to secure my first professional post as a Senior Assistant Librarian at the University of Huddersfield.

I worked alongside my MA dissertation supervisor to generate a conference paper based on my MA dissertation, which I later presented at an international conference. When my contract ended I secured a managerial role as the Learning Resources Manager at Thomas Rotherham College, a sixth form college for students aged 16-19.

The MA programme was integral for this position as it widened my professional knowledge and provided a firm grounding in management. As part of my current role I encourage, motivate and teach students to develop their research skills and their ability to use technology and prepare them for today's information society. I also manage a budget and develop printed and electronic collections. Alongside this I line manage a team, which includes seeking and creating opportunities for their continuing professional development.

During my career progression I have worked on a portfolio of evidence of my professional development which has enabled me to successfully qualify as a Chartered Member of CILIP.

Dan Marshall. 2005-2006. Collections and Audience Development Officer: Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information, Sheffield City Council

I have held several management roles within Sheffield Libraries since completing my degree from the Information School.

The degree gave me a wider knowledge and the confidence to bring professional standards to a wide range of scenarios, from collections management to developing social inclusive services. The Information School is a highly respected department, and Sheffield is a great place to live. I enjoyed studying with a close knit and supportive group.

I left energised and having become so much more socially aware.

Maria Mawson. 1982-1983. Faculty Librarian, the University of Sheffield

What I enjoyed most about my degree was the dissertation - having the opportunity to carry out some practical research. Studying at the Information School will give you a qualification that is respected internationally, and many opportunities to develop your skills in a friendly city.

Since completing my degree I’ve worked in a public library service, an FE College Library, and I’m now in a University Library. I’ve also been active in BIALL (British & Irish Association of Law Librarians) and have written several articles for professional publications. I graduated some time ago, so the profession has changed considerably, but my time in the Information School instilled in me the need for continuous professional development, and this has served me well over the years.

Chris Rhodes. 2006-2007. Economic Specialist, Economic Policy and Statistics section, House of Commons Library

I graduated from the Department for Information Studies in 2007 with an MA Librarianship. A month after handing in my dissertation I started work in the House of Commons Library. I worked in the Indexing and Data Management Section, ensuring that Hansard (the daily record of everything said in the Chamber) was organised in a searchable format by applying metadata from the Parliamentary Thesaurus.

In 2011, I was promoted and I am now an economic specialist in the Economic Policy and Statistics Section of the Library. My specialist subjects are unemployment, and skills and training policy. My job involves answering detailed enquires from MPs impartially, accurately and in a short period of time. I also produce longer Research Papers which provide comprehensive overviews of various subjects.

The challenge of representing an institution with a such a formidable reputation for accuracy and impartiality is rewarding. The skills and abilities constantly called on in this job (attention to detail, formal respect for sources, accurate use of language, rigorous argument backed up by comprehensive research) are ones emphasised on the MA Librarianship course. The introduction to research and the world of work given by the department are constantly of value.

Laura Williams. 2010-2011. Media Manager, BBC

I enjoyed the range of topics covered by the course. Modules incorporated visits and guest speakers which was an aspect I liked as it provided insight into the diverse opportunities available in the profession. The Information School and the University of Sheffield have an excellent reputation for high quality research and teaching which were important factors. Crucially it was the flexibility of module options with this course I wanted to be able to pursue my interests whilst gaining a solid foundation of core knowledge. A one size fits all type programme would not have suited me.


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