Hannah Sweeney (BA Management and the Human Resource 2018)

Hannah Sweeney

How did you hear about Leeds University Business School and why did you choose to study here?

I first heard about Leeds University Business School through UCAS, and my main reason for choosing Leeds was because the Management and the Human Resource course is CIPD accredited. This is especially important to me because I want to I go into a career in HR after university, and I know there are lots of opportunities for CIPD accredited candidates. Visiting the Open Day, I was very impressed with the facilities and staff at the Business School. Furthermore, the course leader was very approachable and passionately talked through the course content which cemented my decision to study at Leeds.

What is the best part of your studies? What are you enjoying the most?

My two favourite modules are Business and the Legal Environment and Employment Law, as they are centred around contemporary issues and laws. The modules are also very practical as you regularly apply your knowledge to real life situations.

I also thoroughly enjoyed writing my dissertation. I wrote an 8,000 word dissertation on the impact of life-stage on peoples’ experiences of zero-hour contracts. I enjoyed being able to investigate such a contemporary issue. Both the HRM Research Practice and Dissertation modules developed my knowledge to enable me to undertake my own research and write up the findings. I also had very helpful guidance from the staff within the HRM department and my personal tutor.

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain from your degree course will help you in your future career plans? In what way?

I aspire to develop my career in the HR sector. I am going to start my two year HR Graduate scheme at BT in September 2018, this scheme is rotational around different areas of HR enabling me to continue to extend my HR knowledge. During this scheme, I hope to gain my CIPD level 7 qualification. Following this I hope to become a HR business partner, supporting managers around the business to develop an HR agenda that closely supports the overall aims of the organisation. My highest aspiration is to become a HR manager or director of a business.

I believe my experience in my Year in Industry and my studies will help my massively when I begin my graduate scheme as I already have a good knowledge of how HR works within a business setting. I have the CIPD level 5 qualification as part of my degree which means I can now focus on studying for the highest level qualification. Finally, throughout my degree I have had the opportunity to develop my presentation skills and confidence and I believe this will be extremely helpful if I move onto a managerial position.

Have you taken up any of the extra opportunities available to you and what was your experience of these eg. PASS scheme, work placement, study abroad, being an ambassador, student societies etc.? Any highlights?

During my second year, I took part in the Nurturing Talent Mentor Scheme. I had a mentor from Asda who passed on her knowledge and experience to help me apply for my Year in Industry. My mentor is a Leeds graduate herself, when she was at Leeds she had also done a Year in Industry and secured a graduate job at the end of her degree, so she had lots of extremely relevant advice for me.

In particular, I am grateful to my mentor for her help when preparing for my interview for my Year in Industry at Lenovo. I strongly believe her help and guidance gave me the confidence to perform at the best of my ability in the interview and ultimately secure the placement.

As a result, in my third year, I spent 12 months at Lenovo Technology as a HR Associate, including leading the recruitment of the first Lenovo Graduate Scheme. It was my responsibility to screen applications, telephone interview applicants, make decisions on applicants’ progression and organise and run assessment days.

I benefited from this year, gaining experience in the sector which helped me academically and also boosted my position in the job market. The placement also allowed me to develop as a professional. As a result of my placement my confidence when networking grew, I learnt how to prioritise work and become efficient in the workplace. Undertaking a placement was the best decision I have made while being at university and I cannot recommend this opportunity enough to other students.

Aside from the advice from my mentor, I also attended the weekly Placement Hunt Club. This was an optional session outside of lecture hours that provided advice and guidance about applying for placements. The sessions were extremely useful in terms of receiving advice from employability experts and it also helped me maintain motivation through difficult rejections. I believe this club is a prime example of how Leeds University Business School goes above and beyond to support their students.

What is your impression/experience of the facilities, the staff, your peers, the student union, the City of Leeds and the Yorkshire region?

The staff at Leeds University Business School are exceptional. The tutors, lectures and employability staff have helped with all my achievements, due to their expert knowledge and care for students. Many of the staff have gone above and beyond to help with my studies or when applying for placements and graduate jobs. For example, one of the Employability Officers helped me throughout my placement search and even put me in contact with a Leeds University Business School graduate who works at BT, who I met up with before my final interview for the BT graduate scheme.

The City of Leeds is amazing for students, there is something for everyone here and Leeds is a buzzing city. While the University is in the heart of the city, the location is close to some of the greatest scenery in the UK. I could not think of a better city to study in and I thoroughly recommend the city to anyone.

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here?

I would definitely recommend the business school to other students. The staff truly care about their students, and this shows right from the first day at university. The opportunities given to Business School students are ever growing and cater to many needs.