"I love that I’ve been given opportunities to use knowledge from my studies to put my own mark on the business."
Why did you decide to do a Masters degree at the University of Sheffield?
I studied Sociology at undergraduate level at the University of Sheffield and I absolutely loved it; Sheffield became a home away from home to me. It’s a really close-knit department who are all so supportive. I got to know the staff really well at undergraduate and I knew the transition to postgraduate would be seamless.
I was also fortunate enough to have been awarded a scholarship to study a masters at the University of Sheffield so doing the Masters was a no brainer for me. I loved the breadth of Sociology as a discipline and I wanted to explore this more in depth.
Can you tell us about your job now and what it involves?
I’m on a HR graduate scheme at Three UK. I work in a cross-geography role across the UK and Ireland so it’s brilliant to have an impact across the two businesses. I rotate around the HR function so I get a lot of exposure to help me decide what I would like to do long term. I’ve worked on some policies to help us be more market leading and I’ve led a session about intersectionality to help improve our diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy. I’m currently working on some menopause guidance for our employees so it’s been amazing to bring in my knowledge of gender and queer theory to be inclusive with this. I love that I’ve been given opportunities to use knowledge from my studies to put my own mark on the business.
How do you think your Masters has helped you in your career?
Doing a Masters in Sociology has massively helped me. During my group interview, I was the only candidate not to have studied HR but it turned out to be one of the reasons they hired me. Critical thinking and considering other viewpoints is essential in any role but I’ve found it particularly useful in an environment that is so fast paced. I studied a module called Current Sociology, this has really allowed me to adopt a more holistic approach to improving our HR strategies. The dissertation process has really helped me with tasks where I’m required to research, form a proposal and ‘pitch’ it to our senior leadership team. Having written two sociology dissertations at the University of Sheffield, I feel equipped to manage my own time effectively and break down a project into smaller tasks.
What advice would you give to someone considering a Masters degree?
Don’t become fixated on what career your Masters degree will lead you to. Focus on what you enjoy and the rest will follow from there. Sociology is such an accessible discipline and I loved having people on the Masters course that had studied different subjects at undergraduate, as it provided fresh perspectives so don’t be put off if you’ve not studied sociology before. If you find yourself asking questions and wanting to learn more, then a Masters gives you the perfect opportunity to further that. I still find myself going back to reading lists to find books I never had the chance to read, just to learn more!
What’s been your biggest achievement and biggest highlight during your time here as a postgraduate student?
I would have initially said my biggest achievement is the final grade I achieved but actually on reflection, I think it was just completing the Masters. Doing a Masters is a massive achievement, let alone during a pandemic. I think everyone who completes a Masters should be really proud of that resilience, irrespective of the final grade.
My biggest highlight is all the memories I made through the Sociology Society. I held 3 committee positions in my 4 years at Sheffield and I loved every minute of it. There are so many opportunities to volunteer, join societies and sports teams at Sheffield so do take the time to see what’s on offer!
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