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Shalina Popat

Solutions Design Manager at Ernst & Young

Class of 2012

Shalina is a 'Melbournian', the name we give to those who are at Sheffield Girls' from Reception through to Year 13. While at school Shalina excelled academically, achieving straight A-A*s in both her GCSE's and A Levels. She was involved in many areas of school life as a Year 7 Prefect, Managing Director of Young Enterprise, part of the netball team since Year 5 and a School Council Rep.

She knows how hard it can be not knowing what you want to do and figuring out all the different options available, she now works as a Business Psychologist for Ernst and Young, which is a broad role that in a nutshell is about how to improve people's working lives. Shalina has previously worked for The Compassion Flower, and is passionate about humanitarian work and making an impact. In 2018 she provided medical support to Vietnamese villages still recovering from the aftermath of the war and provided critical skills training to survivors of sex trafficking rings.

We spoke to Shalina to find out more about her career and for her words of advice for current Sixth Formers:

Why did you decide to take the career path you did? What are you doing now?

Mrs Jackson who was my sixth form Psychology teacher made me fall in love with the subject. We covered a range of topics, and usually with a subject there is usually a few things I don’t enjoy, but with Psychology I loved every aspect of it and wanted to know more. I have always been so fascinated with people and what makes us who we are, in addition to wanting to help people and psychology allowed me to do both of those. It just felt like a natural next step for me to study this full time.

What advice would you give your younger self (when you were at school)?

DON’T stress as much, it will all work out. Just keep believing in yourself and surround yourself with those who help instill that belief in you when you struggle to do so.

What advice would you give sixth form pupils at Sheffield Girls’ today?

Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do as a career! Most of us take a portfolio career nowadays and try lots of different things until we find the one we love. Also there are so many careers out there that I never knew existed (and am still learning) so don’t be afraid of not knowing, just get out there and try something.

Networking is your best friend. If you nail this skill, the world really is your oyster!

If you had to summarise in a sentence or two, what would you say that Sheffield Girls’ did for you personally?

Sheffield Girls' gave me friends for life and the foundation I needed to really accelerate my career!

Shalina Popat

A Levels: Psychology, Geography and Business

University: Psychology (BSc) at the University of Leeds,

                   MSc Organisational Psychology with Distinction 


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