Why did you choose to study Sociology?
There are many reasons which drove me towards studying sociology, my love and enjoyment of the subject started from studying sociology at A-Level. The subject gives you the ability to gain a deeper insight into our evolving social world, with an appreciation of the diversity that exists in human behaviour, social organisation, culture and social change. The capacity to look at the social world that surrounds me more objectively, was exciting, propelling me towards the decision to study sociology at university.
What attracted you to the University of Sheffield?
I clearly remember looking around the University of Sheffield on an open day back in summer 2015. There were many factors which enticed me, not only was the city itself beautiful and green, but the University campus felt like a busy and vibrant hub of life. The University’s amazing student union made me eager for student life, as well as the amazing student accommodation. In particular, the Department of Sociological Studies at Sheffield was what stood out the most. The staff and student ambassadors on the open days were so friendly and helpful. The course seemed so diverse, unlike other university courses I looked at, offering me so many opportunities to study a broad variety of topics and issues so fundamental to the social world.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
To me, there are so many things I enjoyed about my course. To list a few, the extensive selection of module choices, ranging from gender and sexuality to crime and deviance, all the way to whiteness, power and privilege. As well as this, one thing that made a huge impact on my university and course experience was the inspiring staff who taught me. Their engaging and approachable teaching styles made me confident that they were supporting me to get the most out of my degree.
What did you enjoy doing outside of your studies?
Outside of studying sociology, I took part in a number of activities. In first year I joined SocSoc - Sheffield’s Sociology Society - and with them, I played intra mural netball and also went on trips abroad to Budapest, Prague and Krakow. Since joining, I sat on the committee as Women’s Sports Officer and I was President in my final year. As well as this, I joined SingSoc and I was also a Sabercat cheerleader for Sport Sheffield, which I loved.
Can you tell me more about SocSoc and the types of activities it organises?
SocSoc is the University of Sheffield’s Sociology Society. It is student-led and organises a number of events, social and academic, which help support students throughout their degree, within the department. SocSoc is an AMAZING way to meet people on your course, I met most of my friends, some of which I lived with, through going on the socials and other events the society put on. SocSoc strives to offer members as many inclusive opportunities as possible, to get involved in other aspects of university life. These range from bar crawls down West Street, to trips abroad to Europe. Some events which have taken place in the past are ice-skating trips, charity quizzes, exam prep seminars, netball and football matches and a charity rounders match. I would encourage any new students joining the department to get involved.
What extra-curricular opportunities have you undertaken during your studies and what did you enjoy most about the experience?
During my studies, I also took up some extra responsibilities around the university. In second year I volunteered as a student mentor, where I met with an international student and offered friendly advice and support for their university life. As well as this, in third year I volunteered as an academic rep, where I sit on the student staff committee and help convey student voice on behalf of other students in the department. Both these roles enabled me to gain confidence in my ability to take on responsibilities and work as both a leader and as part of a wider team. The University of Sheffield provided a lot of support and guidance for both these roles, making sure I got all the training I needed.
What is Sheffield like to live in?
Before coming to look at the university I had never been to Sheffield before. However, since coming to university, I LOVE it. The city is so vibrant and green, it’s big enough to have all the amazing opportunities and features cities have to offer, whilst small enough to know your way around and feel comfortable enough to call it home. The university is so close to the city centre, which offers a wide range of shops and cool food places, as well as easy transport links to other cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham. I plan to stay living around Sheffield after I graduate because of all the exciting things it has to offer.
What are your plans for the future?
In the future, I plan to spend a couple of years teaching English abroad and travelling the world. Sociology has opened my eyes to the diversity which exists among different cultures and people around the world, which I am extremely keen to explore. After, I hope to return to university for further study, whether this is down the route of social research or journalism. Studying sociology at the University of Sheffield has provided me with the skills and opportunities to develop not only as a human being but also in the world of work, which I feel confident to take on. My choices are endless, and studying sociology as a degree has provided me with the foundations to take hold of a variety of pathways which are of interest to me.
What advice would you give to students thinking about studying Sociology at Sheffield?
The main piece of advice I can give to any students thinking about doing Sociology at Sheffield is to take time looking through the department’s website and SocSoc’s Facebook page, to see the type of things you can expect from being a student here. Come on an open day, or two, and speak to student ambassadors about their experiences; they’ve been in your position. Explore the city and campus, this will really give you a feel as to whether you can see yourself here.
As a former student ambassador, can you tell prospective students what they can expect from a Sociological Studies Departmental Open Day?
Open days are the BEST way to find out what it will really be like living and studying at the University of Sheffield. In the morning there will be a broad talk about what you can expect from choosing to study here, including an introduction to the modules on offer and staff. You will also hear from the student ambassadors about their individual experiences and some things about SocSoc. Afterwards, there is a taster seminar, here you will take part in a seminar based on different topics in Sociology. In the past, we’ve had ones on the sociology of evil, selfies and the London riots. This is a great chance to see one of the formats of teaching in the department and meet other prospective students. Finally, there will be an informal coffee meeting where you are free to speak to staff and students about any questions you have. Outside of the department you can go on campus and accommodation tours, make sure to check out our amazing student union.
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