Meet the Dean's List Winners - Class of 2020

— 06.01.21

by Jody Dalton

Congratulations to our Dean's List Winners! Every year this award recognises outstanding academic, employability and social responsibility-related achievements of our graduates at Sheffield University Management School (SUMS). As well as being rewarded for their excellence in these areas, our recent winners have also overcome the extra challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating more than ever resilience and the ability to adapt in a changing world. Find out more about some of our winners below.

Meet our postgraduate winners whose awards were celebrated at the January 2021 online prizegiving event

Photo below l-r: Samuel McNish, Callum Van Dyk, Lewis Hayes, Haijuan Li, Alexandar Sheppard

Samuel McNish
MSc in International Management and Marketing

A standout characteristic of Samuel’s application was his entrepreneurial drive, as well as his dedication to helping his community. He gained work experience in marketing with a food manufacturer, undertook an internship in strategic marketing consultancy, and supported his father in setting up new security systems for vulnerable people. He delivered talks at his previous college and local schools about his university experience, was an Academic Representative, mentored a fellow student, joined the Investment Society and became Vice President of the Marketing Society. He also began his own marketing consultancy, even providing work experience to an AS Level student. On completing his degree Samuel secured a graduate role at Accenture in Strategy and Consulting.

Callum van Dyk
MSc in Occupational Psychology

Callum’s passion for his chosen career was clear from his application to the Dean’s List. After gaining a place on the Psychological Consultancy Limited (PCL) Student Sponsorship Programme, he passed several British Psychological Society (BPS) Qualifications in Test Use and stewarded at the Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) 2020 Conference. As an Academic Representative, Callum produced online feedback questionnaires, designed and hosted webinars, Q&As and one-to-one sessions for current and prospective students. During the first lockdown, Callum volunteered with his local community group, the Hatton Helpers, completing over 550 deliveries of prescriptions and shopping to vulnerable people.

If you haven't joined your SUMS Alumni group already, you can connect with Callum and start building your own alumni network.

Lewis Hayes
MSc in International Management

Lewis was honoured the Dean's List award for his ability to adapt well, commitment to improving his employability and dedication to helping his community. He created a new dissertation proposal when his company project was cancelled and worked as a Tutor to an A Level student during lockdown. He helped run a socially distanced summer camp for children in Italy, leading to the offer of a graduate job. As Chair of the Bummit Society he hitchhiked to Glasgow to raise funds, volunteered at the Helping Hands homelessness charity, and undertook the roles of Student Ambassador and Academic Representative.

Haijuan Li
MSc in Information Systems Management

Haijuan demonstrated her initiative and enthusiasm for giving back to her community as part of her Dean’s List application. Having previously been a recipient of support from the Wispring Education Development Foundation, Haijuan decided to donate both her money and her time, volunteering and writing blogs for the Foundation. She was selected as part of a small group to participate in Montreal’s International Graduate Conference (IGC), taking the lead on sustainable development. Haijuan also gained work experience in customer service at the Panda Store, and as a Student Ambassador for SUMS.

Why not meet Haijuan over on your Join SUMS Alumni group?

Alexander Sheppard
MSc in Management

Alexander’s place on the Dean’s List rewarded his fantastic levels of engagement with his peers, employability activities, and his personal successes. He hosted dinner parties for multicultural colleagues, participated in workshops and careers initiatives with the Employability Hub, taught himself coding and computer software programmes, and made use of the University Student Scheme with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. An impressive achievement is Alexander’s sporting success representing the University at the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) Cycling Hill Climb Championships, and as part of a group he helped to raise £1,400 for charity by completing a whopping 400km cycle from Sheffield to Glasgow.

Meet our undergraduate winners whose honours were awarded during our August 2020 online prizegiving event

Photo below top row l-r: Nkechi Adeboye, Kornelia Drotarovska, Shahd Sabhka, Kathryn Roworth, Megan Wood. Bottom row l-r: Sophie Ruston, Aidan Corkett-Beirne, Stephanie Taviner, Ciara Murray, William Szabo.

Nkechi Adeboye
BA in Business Management and Economics

Nkechi’s remarkable input into society committee roles and commitment to personal development helped her to gain a place on the Dean’s List. Whilst studying she was the BME Representative of the Feminist Society, a committee member of the Alternative Economics Society and Friends of Irise Society, and Vice President of the African Affairs Network. She also held volunteering positions with South Yorkshire Housing Association and became a trustee of Manchester-based charity Women Working Worldwide. Nkechi took part in the careers mentor scheme, BAME student leadership coaching facilitated by the Student’s Union and completed two Code First Girls evening courses in computer programming that led to her graduate role as a software engineer.

As a member of your Join SUMS Alumni Group, Nkechi is happy to connect with you. Why not join her?

Kornélia Drotarovská
BA in Business Management and Economics

Kornélia's Dean's List award recognises her passion for creating a more sustainable world and her ambition to gaining an international perspective. She received an international summer school scholarship to study in Barcelona, completed extra modules in Spanish and Academic English, gained work experience at Novotel Sheffield and completed an internship at the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, Department for Business Environment and Innovation. Kornélia was a member of ENACTUS, volunteered at the Don Catchment Rivers Trust and was part of the SUMS ‘Lunchtime Litter Pick’ group. She was Vice President and Treasurer of Women in Business Society, and as a Student Mentor and Academic Representative she was praised by her mentee as being ‘the best mentor I could have asked for.’ Kornelia is continuing her studies with a masters in Economics.

Meet Kornelia through your Join SUMS Alumni Group and begin building your own professional network.

Shahd Sabkha
BA in Accounting and Financial Management

Shahd’s place on the Dean's List was awarded for her encouraging approach to ‘go the extra mile’ and outstanding professional achievements. Flourishing in her roles of Student and Global Campus Ambassadors, she was nominated for Student Employee of the Year. Shahd was an ICAEW Campus Ambassador, held Sales Assistant and Customer Service roles, and was an Oracy and Debating Mentor at ESU. She worked on the Student Services Information Desk and held a position as Event Assistant at UCAS. Mentoring younger students in her community and volunteering with the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service, Shahd secured a role as an Audit Associate at KPMG after completing her degree.

Shahd is happy to connect with fellow alumni over on your Join SUMS Alumni Group - head over and join her!

Kathryn Roworth
BA in Management and Economics with Employment Experience

Kathryn was awarded for her commitment to improving accessibility to opportunities for disadvantaged communities, and her impressive employability development. As a Clubbing Crew Volunteer Kathryn supervised individuals with learning difficulties to have nights out in the Students’ Union, volunteered with the Helping Hands Programme, was a Level 2 Swimming Teacher and a Student Ambassador. A significant part of Kathryn’s student life was being an active member of the university’s netball club for 4 years. During that time, she took part in charitable activities including a 13 mile overnight ‘Spider Walk,’ coached netball in underprivileged schools, and gained the voluntary role of Campus League Ambassador. After thriving on her Aldi Management placement, she was offered a place on their Graduate Scheme.

You can find out more about Kathryn’s wealth of experience and how she could help you by connecting with her on your Join SUMS Alumni group.

Megan Wood
BA in Business Management with Employment Experience

One of Megan’s standout qualities of her application was her dedication to gaining professional experience. She completed a placement year in Dunelm’s Social Media and PR team, managed social media for a local beautician business, held a part-time job and completed work experience at Specsavers’ Head Office. Megan was a Futures First Ambassador and Social Secretary of the Management Society. Using her personal journey to inspire others, Megan volunteered with the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) to help year 6 students transition to secondary school by sharing her story. After her degree, Megan joined a Graduate Scheme with National Express.

Sophie Ruston
BA Business Management with Employment Experience

Sophie’s award applauds her contribution to the student community and her fantastic professional achievements. She won the ENACTUS competition ‘The Intern,’ gaining a sought-after internship at ASDA Head Office. Sophie was the Lead Student Ambassador for the University’s Student Services, held the Committee roles of Publicity Officer and then President of the Management Society, and contributed to the Discover Social Sciences Programme. Sophie completed a summer school course at the University of Amsterdam, and after a successful placement year with L’Oreal she was offered a place on their Graduate Scheme.

Connect with Sophie through your Join SUMS Alumni group, she may be able to help you!

Aidan Corkett-Beirne
BA in Business Management

In his application for the Dean’s List, Aidan demonstrated his natural aptitude for teaching and inspiring others. Achieving a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification, he became an English tutor to a Chinese schoolchild, tutored a fellow student through the TEFL Course, and became a Team Leader for the National Citizen Service. He was a member of the University’s DJ Society and Resident DJ as well as Social Media and Events Manager at In The Deep. Completing a summer placement at the Construction and Property Department at Hays Recruitment Agency, Aidan began launching his new venture, TEFL recruitment agency ‘LUNA English’.

Stephanie Taviner
BA in International Business Management with Study Abroad and Employment Experience

Stephanie’s place on the Dean’s List celebrates her unbelievably strong work ethic and passion for a career in CSR and sustainability. During her placement year at SAP as UK Corporate Social Responsibility Lead, Stephanie was honoured with their 'Purpose' Award. She continued her role part-time during her final year of University. She also completed an internship in Beijing at the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC), learnt Mandarin, volunteered in Uganda for a summer, studied abroad in Hong Kong during her second year, and volunteered for Sheffield-based charity Flourish supporting adults with brain injuries. After completing her degree, Stephanie secured a role as a Sustainability Analyst in a consultancy firm whilst undertaking a masters in Sustainability and Management.

Find out more about Stephanie’s early career experience at an international level by connecting with her on your Join SUMS Alumni Group.

Ciara Murray
BA in Business Management with Employment Experience

Ciara’s fantastic approach to social responsibility and impressive professional experience gained her the Dean’s List honour. Her charitable work led her to be nominated for Chair of the Year and Most Improved Committee in the Sheffield University Activities awards and she represented the University at the National RAG conference in Southampton. She was the Charities and Inclusions Officer of the Management Society and completed two ‘Baby Bummit’ hitchhikes to fundraise for charities Roundabout, Snowdrop and Zest. Ciara completed a placement year as Buying Assistant for Boots UK, during which she climbed Mount Snowdon to fundraise for their Benevolent Fund and became a Boots UK Year in Industry Ambassador.

Connect with Ciara on your Join SUMS Alumni group and begin building your own professional network.

William Anthony Szabo
BA in Business Management

Clearly from his Dean’s List application, William is already excelling in the professional world. With 82,000 Instagram followers of his successful new business ‘We Vintage’, he won a scholarship to study Fashion Management in Antwerp and Paris and participated in a crowdfunding scheme for Sheffield entrepreneurial projects. Also dedicated to being an active member of his student community, William was Treasurer of the Management Society, a Student Mentor and Ambassador, and praised for his skills in communicating with people from diverse backgrounds.

You can find more information about this prestigious award at the Dean’s List website or by email at

“Congratulations to all our Dean’s List winners!”


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