Monday, 7 November 2016

Placement Opportunity - Bioengineering at Sheffield

Saylee Jangam, a third year Bioengineering student at the University of Sheffield, has just started her Year in Industry placement at RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) in Kingston upon Hull, UK. Originally from Pune, Saylee first started her course in September of 2014. Her placement at RB will count towards her Bioengineering degree, acting as a sandwich course, at the end of which she will receive a ‘BEng with a Year in Industry’. When asked why she chose to do a placement, she said “Work experience is an invaluable asset to have on your CV and this is something I have always had at the back of my mind. As Bioengineering is a research-oriented subject at the University of Sheffield, I was keen on finding a placement within R&D that also fit in well with my future career plans.”

Last summer, Saylee pursued the Vivesvaraya Fellowship Programme for Engineering Students and Young Engineers at Venture Centre, a bio-incubator at the NCL Innovation Park in Pune.  “My summer fellowship at Venture Centre gave me an insight into the culture of research and further convinced me of applying for a Year in Industry placement at University,” she says.

Currently at RB, Saylee works in Health, Maintenance and Expansion for their personal care products. Being the only Bioengineering student there, she considers this to be an advantage because of the interdisciplinary nature of the degree. She gets to learn a broad range of subjects ranging from biomaterials science and tissue engineering to control systems and electronics.

Saylee first began applying for a placement in her second year and while managing her time between applications and University work was difficult, she managed to secure a placement earlier this year with the Healthcare and Hygiene Company, Reckitt Benckiser, now known as RB. “You probably use RB products without realizing it – Dettol, Vanish, Airwick and Strepsils are all RB products.”

For most placements, the initial application process is quite straight forward. You make an online application and are progressed onto a telephone or video interview, followed by an assessment day if you are successful in qualifying for this. Standing out in the applicant pool isn’t always easy and is something that students need to work on from the start of University by joining societies and committees, taking up part-time work, travelling and volunteering and taking part in academic projects. At University, Saylee is an International Office Ambassador for India and has been on the International Students’ Committee as the Events Officer. She is also taking part in iGEM this year, an international synthetic biology competition, representing the University at a global scale as part of a team of undergraduate students from Sheffield.

Year in Industry placements are a great way to put theory to practice and a lot of students apply for a limited number of places, making them competitive. Saylee’s advice on being successful in obtaining a placement is to keep applying and not get disheartened by initial rejections. “I would highly recommend doing a placement for engineering and non-engineering students alike,” she says, “I’m only two months through my placement and I already have a much clearer understanding of how the business works and of the healthcare industry”.

What she enjoys most about her placement at RB is the independence at work. You are allowed to plan your own timetable and work around training to finish tasks. This allows you to become more efficient and disciplined at work, improving your organization skills. Another aspect that is polished at work is your soft skill set which is improves by communicating with people working at different levels in the business.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Varsity Ice Hockey 2016

Varsity is an awesome culture in itself. A week long event of sports that brings people together and promotes healthy competition between 'rivalling' Universities. The biggest and baddest event of this week is Ice Hockey. University chants all around you with a thrilling and fast paced game right in front of your eyes. Traditionally, it's an event that every Sheffield student must go to at least once before they graduate. This year, I had the opportunity to view this amazing game and had another accomplishment on my Sheffield bucket list.

Held at the Sheffield Arena, this year's Ice Hockey finals was attended by over 7000 students. For the second year running, the final event beat the record of highest attendance at a Varsity Ice Hockey match outside North America!

The easiest way to get there was to take a tram from the city centre and this journey proved an amazing trip in itself. As soon as we boarded the tram, a huge number of Hallam students stepped in, all dressed in Red and White. Us being a small number of uni-of students, dressed in Black and Gold, were a bit intimated at first but filled with pride from the overall Varsity win already in the bag, we sat upright beaming with confidence. The best part was when the chants began. Imagine 200 Hallam students chanting compared to 20 uni-of students shouting their hearts out. This is the best part of the varsity culture, a healthy rivalry between the 2 universities which ends with varsity and everyone goes back to being friends.

As we arrived in the Arena, me and my friends seated ourselves among the Black and Gold crowd and lucky us, we found some blow up sticks and posters. The game started off with the whistle and the first quarter was very tense with both the teams competing eagerly, however, Hallam scored the first goal within 3 minutes into the game. As the second period came in, the score was equalised to 3-3 by the efforts of both sides, however, Hallam scored their final goal in the final period, crushing our hopes. They reclaimed their title of 'Undefeated Varsity Ice Hockey Champions', once again.

At the end of the game, our sports officer was presented with the coveted Varsity trophy and we were all elated with joy. The match proved to be one of my best experiences in Sheffield and although we lost the Ice Hockey finals, we won Varsity!

- Abhinav Kongari
International Office Ambassador for India

Monday, 10 October 2016

A short notice trip to Peak District (contains directions to Stanage Edge)

What do you do when you're stressed out with exams? What do you do when you need some fresh air? What do you do when its sunny outside? What do you do when its your flatmate's birthday? You go to Peak district!

Sheffield is amazing in a number of ways and the best part is that it is located right at the vicinity of Peak District which is the oldest national park in the United Kingdom. All you need is about 6 hours of your day, a packed lunch and a brave heart to walk around 12 miles (probably directions as well!).

Its funny how the journeys planned on a short notice turn out to be one of the best ever. It was a nice sunny Thursday afternoon after 2 continuous days of rain. Reading week was going on and I was chilling in the living room (not recommended during exam period). Suddenly my flatmate comes in and he wants to go to Peak District. Since its his birthday, I decide to go along with the plan (deep inside I'm really happy). Off we go on a journey!

Let's go on a journey!

We took the 120 bus to the last stop on the Fulwood road (Beware! do not take the 120 that goes to Ranmoor) and the hike started from there. We walked on and on and on along quiet lane and then the clough lane till we reached the Mayfield Alpacas farm (yay alpacas!)

Alpacas <3

After chilling out with the Alpacas (careful, they spit) and horses, we went further down the Ringinglow road, saw a house with loads of jumping dogs and chased cattle along the fields, till we finally reached the Stanage edge. There were a couple of people walking around and quite a few keen rock climbers were also seen. We basked out in the sun and jumped from one rock to the other for about an hour and then it was time we headed back home.

Have these stone wheels been there since stone age?

Me being the adventurous trip leader, decide to take a different route back home and so we turned right at the end of the Stanage edge and headed off towards the Redmires reservoir. After a long and arduous journey, one of the most beautiful sights ever was right infront of our eyes (maybe we were just hallucinating as we were so tired). We kept on following the Redmires road and finally reached the Manchester road, from where we took the 51 bus and soon, we were back in Endcliffe.

Ahoy! Redmires in view!

If you ever decide to go to the Peak district, you can follow the instructions laid out in bold. I would also recommend consulting Google Maps so that you do not get lost. Finally, do go to Peak District as long as you're here because a legend says 'You never really graduate from The University of Sheffield unless you've been to the Peak District'!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Applying to the University of Sheffield from Russia and the CIS Countries

Hey everyone! So today I wanted to talk about a very requested topic.

I get a lot of questions asking me how exactly to come and study at The University of Sheffield. Today I will give you the information mainly about applying for the Undergraduate Courses today, but overall the process is not that much more different for the Postgrad students!

The first thing that is worth mentioning is that before coming to the University in England I did a program called International Baccalaureate (IB) in college in Oxford. I left my school in Russia after the 9th grade, did a year of preparation in St. Clare's Oxford - my college and then went on studying IB at the same place. This was an equivalent of the high-school for me and allowed me to apply to the University through the same system that all of the British school-leavers do, without passing any specific English exams.

Even though this made my admission to this university a tiny bit easier (in sense of documentation only), this doesn't mean that you cannot apply straight after finishing school in Russia!

Step 1: Research

The first thing that you should know is what course do you want to study. Therefore the first thing you should do is research, research and some more research! You can find Undergraduate courses you are interested in through this link, Taught Postgraduate courses - here. You should have a good idea about what exactly do you want to study - this is because the entry requirements might vary for different courses.

Make sure you choose a course you are interested in!
Step 2: UCAS

The second thing to know is that the University applications in England must be made through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service or UCAS. This means that to apply to study at the university in England you will need to apply through this website. Important thing to know before applying is that you will be asked to write a Personal Statement - a 4,000 character letter explaining your University what makes you a great student and why should they accept you. You can find more advice about the personal statements through this link

Useful tip: UCAS allows you to apply to 5 universities and most of the time your personal statement must be universal for all of them.

UCAS Application Form
Step 3: Exams

The last thing that you need to know are the IELTS requirements for the course you chose.  IELTS is the test that proves your English language abilities and it contains 4 parts : Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading. Your IELTS requirements might vary with the course you decide to study. IMPORTANT!  Since the regulations changed in 2014 to apply for the British Visa you need to pass IELTS for UKVI in the special centers, and not just a general IELTS. So take this into consideration when choosing your exam. You can find more information about IELTS here.

Overall, those are the main facts you need to know about and consider while applying to the University of Sheffield! Another option you have when applying is to complete a one year course at the International College before coming to study at the University to improve your English and get used to a new education system. I will tell you more about the International Office in the next post!

I hope that this information was useful :)

Take care, 
Polina International Office Ambassador Russia

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Peak Cave visit, Castleton

                                                The Peak Cave visit, Castleton

The closest adventurous place near Sheffield has always been the Peak District. It’s an amazing place for trekking amidst dense woodlands along the prominent porter valley river and riverine river as it is in the country side but I never knew there is this amazing show cave to discover that was used by the lead miners once. It is also known as the devil’s arse because of the noise of Peakshole water moving in and out of the cave after flooding. It has an interesting layer of rock formation of stalactites of limestone which was naturally formed and thought provoking historical background stories to hear. Though it is a guided tour, it really felt scary to go inside deeper as it was totally pitch black dark.

There are buses that leave from Sheffield to the Peak district Castleton, Derbyshire. It roughly takes an hour to reach. They have tours every hour, and the fees are very nominal. Very close to this mysterious cave lies another underground river cave, called the Speed Well. Tickets, when visiting both are given concessions and costs around £15. This journey particularly thrills you more as you got to sail on a boat into the cave tunnel. All you can see is water and few dim lights suggesting a direction. There is no way out once you have boarded and have started your journey and is one-mile-long tunnel with just sufficient head height after you are seated. But definitely safety is considered first and everyone is instructed by the guides to wear the hard hat to protect themselves from injuries against the rocks. The guides are really cool and entertaining as they have a lot of stories to share of the old times and some of them are haunted. They also give you a live demo of how ropes were made in those days to hang and go deep into the earth. The best part is when you go inside you feel a bit colder, as the inside temperature is 10 degrees naturally and when you return back you suddenly feel the mist inside the cave. It gives you a total different weather feeling because of the natural wind flow inside the tunnel. But having visited other caves, this is totally worth a visit as it lies amidst the picturesque Peak district and the lovely topographical changes just takes you amazed.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Fest Hub: Sheffield City of Festivals

"Fest hub" a phrase i coined following my recent experience in Sheffield from one even to the next Sheffield seems to have the energy and vibe to pull it off. May be this can be attributed to the community that want to see Sheffield remain a vibrant and interactive city that attracts the world to itself.
Shef Doc Fest 
If you are a lover of documentaries Sheffield host the grandest of them all drawing over 1000 documentary producers and hosting numerous events. Well, i recently got an opportunity to have a pick of it and attended two of the many events; Rwanda and Romeo, and the interview with Michael Moore. Sad though i never got the full experience due to other assignments, but glad all the same to have taken a piece of the "pie".

The summer season booms with life and festival from barbecues in the park, house parties to street carnivals that are a marvel. If you are a lover of street rock dance and party. Sheffield takes it to another level. The tramlines an inner city music festive makes partying part of a day to day living, a good thing if you ask me. As life is made up of music. With DJs mixing and dancing happening in the middle of the city streets life can not be so filling if you don't have a part of this experience. Well, I just had to say it Sheffield draws all to the city.
For the time I have been here I have not seen such a lively city that has no cultural boundaries and everyone feels at home in the streets, at home and in every social life. It true Sheffield is not only the Greenest City in Europe but if you asked me I would add "It is the City that defines Life and Living in Full".

Sheffield Food Festival
Writing about this still makes my mouth salivate. Will I never took photos to capture the moment the month of May ushered a great festival and those of us who love trying new cuisines from Asian, African, American and British Iconic cuisines you have food party at your disposal. Its said the way to a mans heart is through the stomach, but this misses the point and I dare add the way to a happy lady heart too is through a satisfying and well presented meal. From its restaurants to its food carnival Sheffield to me touches my soul this as the heart of unity can only be expressed when we share and enjoy food together. 

While there are many events that you could attend in Sheffield that would make your time in the city an adventure of a life time. The three events have made me discover the beauty of Sheffield as multicultural, diverse community, that has made me feel home away from home. From its landscape, the hills and its people, as a student you desire nothing short of a fulfilled experience, and Sheffield University and city crowns it.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Emily’s Mini European Tour

This May I was fortunate to have 2 friends make the trip across the pond to visit me in Sheffield.  Wanting to take advantage of the time they had in Europe, I organized 3 mini trips over 2 weeks.  Using airbnb and hostelworld for accommodation and Ryanair and EasyJet for travel, we managed to keep the trip affordable for 3 recent graduates. 

Starting off in London, I met my friends at Kings Cross Station after they arrived.  Getting straight into the must do tourist activities, we headed for platform 9 ¾ for a quick photo op. Over the next two days we managed to visit all of the top sites on our list including: Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, The London Eye, The Globe Theatre, Camden Market, and Piccadilly Circus among others.

Society Ball with great friends

After a wonderful few days in London, my friends and I traveled to Sheffield to attend the Public Health Society Ball.  Although jet lag was definitely hitting hard by this time, the three-course meal and live music definitely gave us an extra boost. 

Copenhagen- the city of bikes!

The morning after the ball, we departed for Copenhagen, Denmark for a weekend of bike riding and exploration of the colorful city.  From the Little Mermaid to Tivoli to the colorful canals, Copenhagen definitely makes it to the top of my list of must-sees. 

Chatsworth House

Leaving Copenhagen, with a newfound desire to become Danish, we returned to Sheffield.  Over the next two days we visited some of my favorite restaurants, including the Prince of Wales, and traveled to the Peak District to visit the quaint village of Bakewell, as well as Chatsworth House. 
Greeted by Guinness in Ireland!

The final leg of our journey led us to the popular city of Dublin, Ireland.  With 2 nights left on the whirlwind trip, we managed to visit the Guinness Museum, Temple Bar, St. Stephen’s Green, and several other attractions. 

Exhausted after 13 days of travel and fun, and I was sad to say goodbye, but happy to be returning to Sheffield, the city I now call home!