I’m pretty sure this article won’t be very interesting and I know it’s not very Christmas-sy but, around this time of year, I like to think back over the year and recognise things I’ve done and achieved, and think about some things I’d like to achieve next year. I’m sure many people do this around New Year what with New Year’s Resolutions etc. but some might forget to remember what they’ve achieved this year, before looking to the future.
Submitted my dissertation
As part of my final year at University, I had to complete a dissertation or final project back in April of this year. I chose to write an analysis of archetypes and tropes of female characters in the Game of Thrones series. In all I found it very interesting to research this area and rewarding to complete the project. Plus I got to watch a shit tonne of Game of Thrones – purely for academic purposes of course!
Finished my degree
Back in April, once my dissertation was completed, I had two more assignments to finish and then that was that. Three years of seminars, lectures, presentations, workshops, essays and other assignments, all finished. I have to say I was quite sad to finish my course, and I definitely would have been sadder if I’d been leaving University, Hallam and Sheffield completely but, thankfully, I’d applied for my Masters course and was planning on sticking around!
Graduated from my degree
I know I could probably have just merged this point with the previous one but, I think the distinction between finishing a degree and graduating from it is important. Things don’t really feel finished and tied off until you’ve actually had the graduation ceremony. Even though you’ve finished everything and collected your actual degree certificate and have probably moved onto another course or into a job, it’s still a fantastic milestone in life to attend graduation.
Started Masters course
So in September this year I started on my Masters course at Sheffield Hallam University. I originally joined the MA Arts and Cultural Managements course, however, at the end of October I decided it wasn’t for me and, I thought perhaps I would settle into it but, in the end I decided to change to the MA Journalism course instead. And I’m much happier for it! When I was putting this list together I realised I’ve probably been taking it for granted that I’m studying a Masters degree, when actually, it’s a big deal and, certainly something I should be chuffed about!
For those who may not know, the Hallam Insiders team is something that’s been created by the marketing team at Sheffield Hallam. It’s a small, specially selected group of students who promote Sheffield and life at Sheffield Hallam University, from a student’s perspective. This is to communicate with and relate to current students and also reach out to potential students who might be thinking of studying here.
This year is my second year of being involved in Hallam Insiders and it’s involved doing various things I’ve been excited about and very proud of being asked to do. I was asked to be a part of Clearing at Sheffield Hallam back in August, supporting the marketing and recruitment teams in communicating with those coming through the clearing programme and applying to Sheffield Hallam. I also wrote an academic article about my dissertation and research into Game of Thrones as part of my dissertation, which was shared in the run-up to Season 7 of the show airing. I also did an Instagram take-over in August, touring the City and University and highlighting their best features from a student’s point of view, this was a lot of fun as me and my sister spent the day exploring our favourite parts of Sheffield.
As always, I’ve been keeping up with the essence of the Hallam Insiders ethos which is blogging and sharing on social media about life in Sheffield and what it’s like to be a student at Sheffield Hallam, this year I’ve done a range of articles from commuting to mental health at University. I’m looking forward to planning out some more articles and social media content for the coming months!
Higher Education Academy Conference
The HEA is a High Education Conference that takes place every July. Each year it has a different overarching theme and is based in a different city. This year it took place in Manchester and the theme was Generation TEF: Teaching in the Spotlight. One of my lecturers mentioned this to me earlier in the year and asked whether I’d be up for supporting her workshop session at the conference. After that I’d forgotten about it until a couple of weeks before the conference when she emailed to ask if I’d still be up for it. Her session focused on chasing student engagement through social media and featured interesting discussions on the use of social media for interacting with students and how this affects academic studies.
It was interesting to go along to a conference since I hadn’t really been to one before – although I was only able to go to that specific session it certainly whet my appetite for that sort of thing!
Intern at Sheffield International Documentary Festival (Doc/Fest)
Back in May/June, I become the 2017 Events Runner with Sheffield Doc/Fest. This mainly involved assisting the events team with planning and running the events at the festival. Aside from the documentary and film screenings at the festival, there’s a huge range of parties, drinks receptions and more that enable visitors to socialise, communicate and unwind during the festival. I did a lot of work on outreach, social media and even ran a number of events as a coordinator which was hugely gratifying – especially when running a session for somebody who had recently become a festival sponsor. In all I learnt a huge amount about the sector and events management and had a blast doing it!
Languages and Film School at Sheffield Hallam University
The Sheffield Hallam schools partnership team and a number of Sheffield high schools work together with freelancers and Sheffield Hallam teaching staff to bring this film school to Sheffield Hallam each summer. It’s a three day crash course in film-making, for high school students in Sheffield who speak English as their second language. As a Student Ambassador for ACES based in the Media and Communications department, I was asked to support the students in writing their scripts, filming their projects and editing the clips together, all in just three days! This all came together and was a fantastic project to be a part of. In September when everybody started back we held a film premier evening at Sheffield Hallam to present all the films in front of the student guests and those who had assisted in the project, we even had an awards ceremony for the best films, best directors, best scripts etc.!
Social Media Coordinator Off the Shelf Festival of Words
Off the Shelf is a literary festival held in Sheffield each October. It usually lasts around 3-4 weeks and is held in various locations across the city. It’s the only festival of its kind to be curated in partnership with two universities – the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, as well as a core festival team. As Sheffield Hallam came on board in a managerial capacity with the festival this year, they wanted somebody on the team who could manage social media in the run up to the festival, as well as covering and promoting some of the key events during the festival. It was fantastic to gain some more experience in using social media for business and marketing purposes and I had a lovely time being part of the amazing marketing team at Sheffield Hallam, I didn’t want to leave!
Social Media in Higher Education Conference
So, shortly after the HEA conference, the same lecturer told me of a conference at Sheffield Hallam which is in its third year this year. It focused on the use of social media in higher education and after the conference in July and many discussions with people into how social media is affecting teaching and assessment in higher education, I decided to put together a proposal for a session which was discuss using alternative assessment methods and the use of social media as an employability skill.
This conference was actually today! And gave me the idea for writing this article, looking back at what I’ve achieved this year. It was my first time presenting at a conference and I managed to look at a few other sessions which was very interesting and sparked lots of ideas and discussions both for me and around me which is pleasant to see and to be a part of you.
So there you go, that’s my 2017. Obviously I’ve done other things as well but, in terms of my professional life, I wanted to look back and see the progress I’ve made before I get cracking on furthering that progress in 2018!