Helping young people to shape their own futures
Daniel Rhodes graduated from Sheffield Hallam in 2019 and is currently an Associate Experience Designer at Codemasters – a leading video game developer and publisher in the UK recently acquired by Electronic Arts. Daniel volunteered to speak with a group of young people at a school event organised by the Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP). HEPP is jointly funded by Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield and works across the Sheffield City Region to encourage more children, young people and adults to consider higher education opportunities.
This was the first time Daniel had participated in alumni guest speaking so we caught up with him to find out how it went.
Did you enjoy speaking at the HEPP event?
“This was something I hadn’t done before, putting me outside of my comfort zone. So it was a learning experience for me, but it was also rewarding because I was able to inspire these young people by sharing my experience of higher education & getting a job in the video games industry. I was nervous but I enjoyed taking part – it was a very worthwhile event”
Why do you think it’s important for alumni to share their experiences, particularly with young people and students from communities that are under-represented in higher education?
“I think it’s really important for alumni to get involved because these young people haven’t gone through university yet and they might not know what to expect. I think sharing my experience will help them, even if they don’t remember now, it might pop up later in their life and hopefully I’ve made things easier for them.”
Would you encourage other alumni to volunteer?
“Yes. Definitely. Even if you’re like me and you’ve never joined an event like this before; I think it can really make a difference.
“When I was in my third year of university, I had the opportunity to work with a career mentor. I chose three mentors, and I was matched with a user interface artist. It was not something I was looking into at that time, but during that time working with my mentor it became something that I wanted to pursue.”
Daniel has recently joined the Sheffield Hallam mentoring scheme as a mentor and has been matched with a student who wants to explore opportunities in the games industry.
What career advice would you give to our new graduates?
“There’s a famous quote about choosing a job you love and never working a day in your life. I think I really took this to heart and believe that you should follow your passion. If you love your work, it feels a lot less like work”
At Sheffield Hallam we’re educating more students from under-represented backgrounds than any other UK university. Our outreach work with schools, colleges and in community settings is supporting young people and their families to understand higher education and develop skills and knowledge that support progression.
Sheffield Hallam alumni who volunteer their time are helping our students and young people to shape their own futures.
If you would like to join our alumni volunteer community, please register to your interest at: firstname.lastname@example.org