Anna Fenwick

Sociological Studies students at graduation 2019
Anna Fenwick
Graduate
Sociology and Business Management BA
2019
"The lecturers have a wealth of knowledge and passion about what they teach and this really comes across. I often left my lectures feeling mindblown about what I'd just learnt."
Sociological Studies students at graduation 2019

Why did you choose to study Sociology and Business Management BA?

I had previously wanted to study history at university, however, I had a change of heart when I realised the parts of history I enjoyed were understanding the societal factors behind why events took place and how society is shaped by these today. Sociology is so current and relevant to all aspects of everyday life and I can apply everything that I learn about to the world around me, which is why I enjoyed it. I also feel that the theories and explanations provided by sociology can be applied to the business world, as if we understand why people do things and how norms are created we can then understand how to influence people and ultimately sell things to them. This is why I chose my particular course.

What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?

The range of modules on offer with the course attracted me. I wasn't sure of my specific interests or what I wanted to do after university when I started, but the range of modules and areas of expertise within the department meant that I could figure this out throughout my three years here.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I enjoy thinking about the world around me in ways that I have never considered before. On the course, we were constantly prompted to challenge the norms in society and break them down and I think this has hugely expanded my intellect over the past three years. The lecturers have a wealth of knowledge and passion about what they teach and this really comes across. I often left my lectures feeling mind-blown about what I'd just learnt. The lecturers are also always available to help you out and it really is a family atmosphere within the department, which makes assignments and exams much less daunting.

Did you take part in any additional opportunities during your studies? If so, what did you do and what did you enjoy most about the experience?

Through the university, I have volunteered for Guide Dogs UK. In September 2018 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania raising £3,000 for a charity called Dig Deep. This opportunity was presented to me through the university and making it to the top is my proudest achievement to date and something I would have never even considered prior to university.

Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro

What is Sheffield like to live in?

Sheffield really is a city that feels like a village. I always feel safe and secure here, yet it is big enough to explore and never get bored. I liked finding my way around the different areas and I liked how you could be in a fancy city centre restaurant one day and in the middle of nowhere in the peaks the next. The public transport links make it so easy to get around and see everything that Sheffield has to offer.

What are your plans for the future?

My ambitions for the future are to work in social media/digital marketing. The course has prepared me for this by giving me an understanding of how and why people operate in their day to day lives. I believe I now have a better basis for being able to influence people through marketing. The modules focused on social media and how modern technology has shaped society made me consider the importance of these in our everyday lives hence why I want to work on the digital side of marketing.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about doing Sociology at Sheffield?

Do it! I have no regrets because the quality of teaching is so great and the course content is generally interesting and at times even mind-blowing! The way the modules are structured allows you to first begin thinking like a sociologist then explore more specific areas using this lens through which to view and understand many aspects of society.

What has been the main highlight from your time studying here so far?

Aside from the teaching and feeling mind-blown by the lecturers, I have loved some of the events set up by the Sociology Society. For instance, the sports day in the Summer is always a great day where everyone from all three years comes together in the sun to enjoy a bit of healthy competition.

Fresher's Fair

Did you get involved with the Sociology Society?

Yes, in my first year I joined at the Freshers Fair and went on the first social. Following this, I met some girls and joined the Sociology Society Netball. This is where many of my best friends started from and was a great way to meet people in a more relaxed setting outside of the ‘hey what's your name?’ at the start of the lecture. Since then I went on to become social media officer and ball secretary in my final year. This, again, provided me with excellent opportunities to expand my skills and take on responsibilities that will look great on my CV. It will also be a great achievement to know that I have organised an event for 130 guests and an opportunity which would otherwise be rare at the age of 21. The trips abroad are also a major highlight for me - I have some great memories from those trips with my friends which I will look back on now I have left university.

How were you supported by academics and professional services staff within the department or within the university?

In my first year I was getting diagnosed with coeliac disease. This meant frequent illness, doctors trips and hospital appointments. Fran, the Student Experience Manager, supported me through this, letting my seminar leaders know of any absence and helping me catch up. They can't do enough to help if you’re suffering from physical illness as well as mental illness and they are really great at putting measures in place to help and support your learning.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your time studying in the Department of Sociological Studies?

I’ve loved it! I've made friends for life whilst getting an excellent education which will benefit me in whichever path I take next.

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