“Can you hear me at the back?”: giving your first paper

There are certain things your encouraged to do during doctoral study to help your professional development and prepare for life after your research – as alien and far-off as that may sound to those in the midst of wrestling with their theses presently. These things can include publishing a review of a book or article in your chosen discipline, teaching practice or, as in this case, delivering a paper at a seminar or conference. Continue reading

City of Sanctuary

Sometimes the most effective way of bringing social change is through a spreadsheet. I hate admin. The idea of spending forty hours a week cemented to an office chair is my idea of soul destruction. And yet, I felt incredibly privileged to spend a few hours each week typing out customer reference numbers and tapping in personal details for some of society’s most vulnerable people: asylum seekers. It is so easy to sigh at a ceaseless stream of statistics until you stop and look up at the person in front of you. They have already lost their home and history in their country of origin. Whilst trying to make a new life for themselves in the UK, suddenly they have tripped on one of the innumerable snares that entrammels every aspect of the web-like asylum process. One mistake; one wrong move and the jaws of a system designed to reject them clamps around their ankles, and their claim for asylum crumbles to dust. One wrong turn of phrase; one scarcely validated clause and they can be told that they are in fact Egyptian and not Syrian; heterosexual and not homosexual, and the country that has been baying for their blood in reality holds open welcoming arms.

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My great experience working with Press Association news agency

We all rely on the media to keep up to date with the society and the world. With a plethora of every day information flooding towards us, how do traditional news media continue to act as ‘information gatekeepers’ to provide us with accurate, instant and topical issues for discussions and decision-making?

One way mainstream media outlets like the BBC and the Guardian will get their stories from Newswire agencies. They provide multimedia contents and services to agencies to tell stories. Some of the more recognisable agencies include Reuters and AFP.

As for the UK, the leading national news provider is Press Association (PA). The agency provides content ranging from national news, parliament, crime, sport, entertainment to feature. The agency also has local newsrooms across the UK to produce local contents.

As part of my work placement, I spent one week with PA News in London and unveiled the excitement of working in a newsroom. Continue reading

“That’s a big mountain!”: Your first year as a PhD student

I thought I’d put a bit of a twist on all the useful “first-year” advice floating around at the moment and offer a few tips for those starting out on their journey into doctoral study. It can be an intimidating time, especially if you’re starting out at a new University in a new city. Hopefully, I can offer a few pearls of wisdom for those taking their first steps. Continue reading

Combat the stress of final year with a ‘Sheffield Bucket List’

Third year – or whichever year your final year happens to be – is a year full of stress and anxiety, but also an exciting year.

The stress of this final year comes from the always underlying panic of deadlines and exams, ones which are now double weighted and will affect your degree classification. There’s also the stress of what to do after uni is over – do you leave or stay? Do you do a masters or get a job? What if none of these things work out? All of these thoughts will race through every final year student’s mind at some point, even if they think they are the only one stressing. Continue reading

A new start’s always difficult – but everything’s going to be alright

September. The New Year that people often forget. It’s never marked on the calendar, hasn’t got the cultural significance of Chinese New Year, but lo and behold, September always signals the start of a brand-new year for many.

This time last year it was the same for me, as I started my MA in Print Journalism, and made my way from where I was living in Salford to Sheffield, a place I’d only visited before once. I was racked with nerves, and the uncertainty that a brand-new start like that brings. Continue reading

Tips for Intro Week and beyond

First things first: The 120 Bus takes you from Endcliffe/Ranmoor to uni

It continues into the town centre too if you need to pick up some household things. You need to hail busses in Sheffield (something I learnt the hard way) and they come roughly every 10 min so missing one isn’t the catastrophe it once was if you’re used to living in the countryside like me. Student tickets are £1 with First Bus and £1.20 with Stagecoach. Continue reading

Top 10 things to do during Orientation Week

As the summer draws to an end and the new academic year gets closer, one of my favourite events of the year is nearly here! This year, Orientation Week is going to take place from the 11th to the 15th September and is a great opportunity for new international and some home students to find their way around Sheffield, meet new people and settle into University life in a relaxed and supportive environment before the busier Intro Week.

Writing from the experience of being both a student participant and an Orientation Ambassador, here are just a few of my tips for things that you shouldn’t miss during this week!

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Freshers’ Week: the details nobody thinks of

Coming up to starting University, your older brother will probably scare you with stories of his wild Freshers antics, your mother will probably scare you with her excessive fussing, and everyone else will probably scare you with a wild array of contradicting advice. The only thing that you need to remember is this: just be yourself.

Aside from the emotional advice, I have compiled a practical list of all the details that would have made starting University so much easier had I known about them beforehand: Continue reading