International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Joining A Society/Sports Team

By Usman Sami Khan

One of the best things on offer at The University of Sheffield is the most prized Student’s Union, which has been voted number 1 in the UK on numerous occasions. The University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union is home to well over 300 societies and committees, so I hope that you’re able to find one (or a few!) that suit the way you want to spend your free time. Societies are groups of students who enjoy a common interest. Most Sheffield students are involved in societies or sports teams because they’re the best way to make friends, try new things (or carry on your passions) and guarantee a worthwhile experience. You can join societies or sports teams at any time throughout the year, so all you need to do is get in touch with the concerned authorities and get on board!

There is also a chance to start a new society if something which interests you is not on offer at the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union has excellent support and facilities to help students see their ideas come alive and be as successful as possible! There is also a chance to join a committee of your interest and get involved in actually running a society. Committee members are the core team of people who run a society or working/representative committee. You lead, you decide, you publicise, you stress (occasionally), you have fun (always), and of course you make Sheffield Students’ Union ‘number one’ in the UK! As a committee member you may also be able to get your role recognized in the extra-curricular section of your HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). Such experiences give you a good chance to write something about in your CV, and also show to prospective employers when applying for graduate jobs and summer internships that you have actually managed a group of people and decided upon things whilst being part of an executive committee.

I have personally been involved as a Secretary for Pakistan Society at The University of Sheffield last year. This experience was very worthwhile and taught me how to effectively deal with a group of people whilst maintaining consideration of the culture and beliefs of the society, catering to different interests that the society members may have. I was also involved with constantly updating the members of the society’s events via newsletters, ensuring that they stay interested in the society. I was also a part of Enactus Sheffield where I was working as an engineer for the Local Youth Project. This project aimed at providing transferable skills to the Somalian community present here at Sheffield by making wool-based products. I, along with my team, designed a storm drain that incorporates woollen insulation to capture water pollutants before heading to streams and rivers. This idea was passed on to Sheffield City Council.

Such experiences with societies and sports teams provide you with a chance to not just work on real-life things, but also make new friends and meet new people from around the world in the process. I think societies and sports teams are definitely one of the most fun things I’ve been involved with since coming to Sheffield, and I would highly encourage you to do so as well if you do decide to come to Sheffield!

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