Alumni roles models help our students realise their potential

25 June 2021

Alumni roles models help our students realise their potential

Terry Sahathaven (Class of 1985) has over 30 years professional experience and is currently a Director with Deliotte. He recently hosted an online mentoring session for eight finance and accounting students. The session gave students the chance to discuss potential career options in financial services in areas such as regulation, banking and within the accountancy profession. Following the session, Terry is now mentoring some of the students on a one-to-one basis and is supporting them with general career development as well as CV reviews and interview preparation.

It’s important, especially in the current employment market for students to understand the areas where they may wish to search for jobs following graduation. Working with Terry, who is a highly respected financial professional, allows students to tap into his knowledge and seek answers to ask questions in a safe, confidential space, for instance where they're not trying to impress a potential employer.

Here, Terry shares his experience of reconnecting with Sheffield Hallam as an alumni mentor.

What do you get out of your volunteering?

An opportunity to engage with a new generation of academics and potential future colleagues (or customers) whose expectations of careers and the working environment will shape the future of the workplace and the financial services industry. It’s a chance to hear about students’ experiences and expectations and to share my own with them.

What motivates you to volunteer?

I have always felt that I owe a lot to my experience at SHU. I believe that the links between academia and industry are extremely important - academia’s contribution being not only the future workforce but also the ideas to drive future working and commercial practices.  Likewise, industry benefits academia by sponsoring research and by ensuring students are prepared for life after university.  Ultimately, I believe that fostering these networks is to my benefit (and hopefully to the students as well)!

Would you encourage other alumni to get involved?

Yes!  It has been interesting, challenging and satisfying. It is a way of delivering tangible benefits to a future generation as well as personal benefits through engaging with a diverse group of people who are considering their future careers.

Do you enjoy working with Sheffield Hallam students?

Yes.  I’m impressed by their intelligence, diligence and enthusiasm.  It is encouraging that SHU’s future is being determined by their efforts. The support from the alumni office and lecturers has also been exceptional.

Did you learn anything from the experience?

That I should have done this sooner!  Each student has brought different perspectives to their future careers and work. This, in turn, requires some flexibility in my approach to them. 

Jack Hamnett, a second-year finance and investment student attended a mentoring session with Terry and now feels more confident as a result:

"I attended the session with Terry to gain insight to the industry from someone who has had extended experience. I was unsure as to how I wanted to progress in my career but with Terry’s help I now feel more relaxed. I’m continuing my hunt for a placement or work experience with a new perspective.

"Terry seems like he wants the best for us and has given us so much insight which I will keep with me going forward. I have nothing but thanks and the highest admiration."

Alumni like Terry are role models for our students and provide the motivation to believe this could be them in the future. Thank you to Terry and all our alumni volunteers!

To join our community of volunteers please email us.