The inspiring people who make up our global alumni community
BA Journalism Studies 2011
Producer/Director at Chelsea Football Club
After studying Journalism, Sam Moir presented eight shows on BBC Radio 1Xtra alongside working in social media for Ministry of Sound. He went on to interview some of the biggest names in music and sport, including Kendrick Lamar and Anthony Joshua. Now, he’s at Chelsea Football Club as a producer, a role he’s held since 2018. During his time there he worked on the documentary series Frank Lampard: Coming Home, which won the Sports Pro best original content award.
After college, I knew I wanted to work in media but wasn’t sure in what industry. It was really important to me to go to a university with a good reputation but also offering practical experience across different fields.
“Sheffield’s got a fantastic course and I had a great experience. There’s a good Students’ Union and brilliant student media facilities; it was a perfect fit.
“I was involved with the University’s radio station, Forge. They gave me creative freedom and I was able to improve my broadcasting skills – it’s a great breeding ground for experience.
“I presented a late-night, two-hour specialist music show. A lot of time went into it and I was able to make lots of contacts with leading radio industry professionals.
“Within a year of graduating, I had moved to London to work at Ministry of Sound, working on social media for DJ MistaJam’s new label, Speakerbox.
“I continued to present radio on community stations and Ministry of Sound Radio, building towards eight slots on BBC 1Xtra as part of Xtra Talent, a scheme where up-and-coming broadcasters are given radio airtime.
“Next, I joined an agency to work on producing for a start-up lifestyle website, Turnstyle. I was there for nearly four years, working up to senior producer for the last six months. My time there was interesting and I even interviewed Kendrick Lamar once. In terms of my career highlights, talking to one of the biggest rappers in the world is up there.
“I also worked with JD Sports to produce video content with boxer Anthony Joshua. It was reactive content so we had to shoot, edit and deliver in the same day. It shows the variation in skill sets you require to work in video production, and at Sheffield the course gives that variation well.
“In 2018, I started as a Producer/Director at Chelsea FC. It’s much more than just matchday football content – we work on big, creative projects. One day I’ll be working with the team on a one-minute promo video and the next we’re producing a longer-form documentary.
“Our six-part series Frank Lampard: Coming Home won an award for best original content at the Sports Pro awards. That was an amazing achievement, especially considering the series was produced remotely during the pandemic. I’m also proud to have played a role in developing and making our series Life on Loan, where we follow the stories of young players developing through the leagues.
“I’m currently spending a lot of my time developing new series concepts, so that’s working on a lot of pitches, proposals and treatments. Learning how to write well is so important, even in roles where you’re producing video. It’s about presenting information in the most simple and easy-to-understand way. That’s something Sheffield taught brilliantly.
“My roles also have over-arching skills that go back to my Journalism degree in terms of networking and communication.
“Looking to the future, I want to continue to develop my skill set and experience.”
MEng Chemical Engineering 2019
Founder of Young Stripes, a STEM outreach and leadership development initiative
Throughout her time at the University, Hemanshi placed an emphasis on volunteering and outreach alongside her academic success. After graduation, she returned to Kenya to give back to her community by empowering young Kenyans through her Young Stripes initiative. Her dedication to education, youth empowerment, STEM championing and community contributions has been recognised through several awards including featuring in the global ‘25 Under 25 Young Achiever’ list in 2018, Student Employee of the Year in 2019 and a national ‘Best Academic Society’ award during her Presidential year with Women in Engineering.
In my four years at the University, I think I did virtually everything that I could do on and off campus in Sheffield. I was in many societies, including the Indian and East African societies. I held several ambassador roles, including being a Science and Engineering Champion and an International Engineering Ambassador. I also worked as a concierge at the Western Bank library, was an enterprise intern and a teaching assistant in my final year. These experiences have shaped my career and developed both my academic and personal growth.
“I was not the biggest fan of chemical engineering in the beginning, but I began to realise how versatile engineering is and how I could venture into different industries. It became something that I wanted to know more about and do more with.
“Studying at the University allowed me to gain plenty of friendships and experience different cultures. I had friends spanning South East Asia to Eastern Europe and I’m pretty sure that from the hundreds of friends I made on campus, no three were from the same country.
“Being part of initiatives like Women in Engineering helped me realise that I had a passion for STEM outreach. The Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA) made me a better leader and led me to empower more young people. I also learnt that I’m really passionate about education development. When I graduated, all these experiences just clicked together and that’s how I came to start Young Stripes.
“Young Stripes is an outreach and leadership development initiative that puts practical learning at the centre of the learning experience. We work with students in Kenya to educate, empower and incubate them to their full potential through practical learning, leadership development and mentoring. Despite the disruption of the pandemic, we did virtual boot camps and published a catalogue of education resources on our website where everyone, including parents, students and teachers, could access them for free.
“I think the greatest thing about the University is the mentors I have gained from the Faculty of Engineering and across campus. Even after graduating, I still received a lot of mentoring and even life coaching from them. I have stayed a part of the Women in Engineering society too. I think it’s really beautiful that even though I have left Sheffield, Sheffield has never left me.”
BA Psychology 1992
Co-Founder and CEO of musicMagpie PLC
Steve Oliver worked in accounting after graduating from the University of Sheffield in 1992. He later co-founded musicMagpie and saw the refurbished-tech company rise from a garage in Stockport to an international heavyweight, including becoming the UK’s biggest mobile phone recycler. It now has an annual turnover of more than £150 million and is the biggest third-party seller in the world on both eBay and Amazon Marketplace’s platforms.
Sheffield is just the friendliest place. It’s got a superbly set up university, there’s a strong sense of community and everyone is really welcoming. That struck me and to this day Sheffield is still a second home to us as a family, and one of my daughters is currently in her first year there.
“I did a Psychology degree as, whilst I thought I wanted to be an accountant, I was advised to do a degree that interested me. I’ve always been fascinated by learning about people and what makes us all tick and how we all interact in the world around us.
“After graduating, I wanted to stay in Sheffield so I got a job at Hawsons Chartered Accountants in Broomhill, where I spent two more happy years. There, I learned the devil is always in the detail with numbers in business.
“I then moved back to Stockport and joined a small firm of accountants. But I realised I wanted to work in a wider commercial role within industry, so my next job was for a local manufacturing business as Financial Controller. Within six months, I was buying all the company’s plywood. An accountant would never normally do this, but my fascination with commercial negotiations and wider business drove me to this diversification.
“It made me realise I wanted a more centrally positioned role. So in 2000, I joined entertainment retailer Music Zone as Finance Director, and became Managing Director after 18 months. Eventually, our margins were squeezed and it became very challenging in the face of VAT-free websites and supermarkets, but we realised the huge potential in the sales of ‘used’ stock.
“So I got together with my IT and Ops Director from Music Zone, Walter, and we formed musicMagpie in 2007. We started trading from my converted garage and found people were both happy to declutter and sell to us, and equally happy to buy refurbished products.
“We had a big breakthrough in 2009 when moneysavingexpert.com’s Martin Lewis went on Lorraine Kelly’s TV show and gave us a fantastic shout-out. We went from buying 500 units a day to over 17,000 and would have bought more if the servers hadn’t blown up!
“We then started to sell on Amazon and eBay, where we became both of their biggest sellers globally. It took our inventory to the eyeballs of the world, but now we make over 80 per cent of our online sales on our own musicMagpie store.
“We’re constantly striving to make our offer even easier, even more trusted and even more compelling. As an example, we’re now providing a rental service for our refurbished phones that gives an even more flexible and accessible offer.
“Sustainability is also at the heart of our business, and we operate very much under the mantra of our business being ‘smart for you, smart for the planet’.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve built, and there’s further potential for the business in the future that we are very excited about.”
Mary-Ann Suan Kim Ooi (Kim)
LLB Law 2006
Principal of O S Kim & Associates
After studying law at the University, Kim was called to the Bar of England & Wales by The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, before qualifying as Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in Malaysia. A woman of many hats, Kim founded O S Kim & Associates in 2008 and Builders Biomass in 2010 – an environmentally friendly business which aims to alleviate global warming by incorporating protection strategies into business models and providing renewable sources of energy. Her achievements in innovative green technology and sustainable development have gained her both regional and international recognition. Most notably, Kim has been honoured in the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards for the Entrepreneurial category in 2017, Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia by HRH Queen of Malaysia and the Prime Minister’s Innovation Award in Green Technology in 2014.
I had one of the most enjoyable periods of my life reading law at the University of Sheffield. The combination of interweaving the preservation of tradition with innovative new teaching concepts, taught by world-class academics, made for an unparalleled studying experience. This has been integral to my career path as a lawyer and entrepreneur.
“In addition to my studies, I was exposed to climate issues. When I returned to Malaysia, I founded Builders Biomass, an integrated bioenergy solutions provider specialising in the production of biomass solid biofuel pellets, a completely novel and new industry in Malaysia and in the Asian region. Having read law and having been called to the English Bar as a Barrister, I founded O S Kim & Associates in 2008 to advise clients in all areas of law.
“It’s a nice feeling that the success and awards I have attained in my career can be traced back to the good foundation I had in my alma mater. I am immensely grateful for the different cultural events and amazing people I met during my time in the University. The experience I gained as a student translated to my work and prepared me for my next chapter. I blended in with ease when I was dealing with international businesses, vendors and clients.
“It was very surreal and humbling when I joined the School of Law Advisory Board at the University in 2017. It’s a great feeling to be able to lend my experience to current students, especially during this pandemic when the legal profession is changing drastically. By offering more opportunities to law students and giving feedback to the syllabus, we are able to ensure that there is still a seamless experience in the law school. I am privileged to be able to fulfil this role and give back to the University.”