Meet Lola Karpf: volunteer, advocate, and champion of LGBTQ+ friendly spaces

LGBTQ+ History Month aims to increase the visibility of LGBTQ+ people, their history and experiences.

It’s an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made for LGBTQ+ rights, whilst also recognising the barriers that still exist and the importance of continuing to fight for equality. 


We caught up with Lola Karpf, an Anthropology (MA) student who is currently completing the Bristol PLUS Award, to find out about the work she’s done to champion LGBTQ+ friendly spaces.

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How extracurricular activities helped me graduate into the music industry

David Simkins is a 2023 MA Music with Innovation graduate with a developing career in music and media.

Between working at a local record label alongside his studies, conducting student orchestras and scoring soundtracks for media projects, (including two feature films and a short film), being mentored by the Head of Marketing at Sony Music’s Columbia Records and interning at SoundCloud, David (pictured right) has been busy in the past 4 years!

Drawing on his experience with soundtracks, tech, and client management, David is pursuing a music career in creative sync and marketing while working to improve industry transparency, education, and inclusivity, especially for the LGBTQIA+ community.

We caught up with David about how his extracurricular activities throughout his degree helped him get to where he is:

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SPAIS students tackle food insecurity at Hackathon

On 23 and 24 January, students in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Relations came together to tackle food security issues in Bristol.  

Organised in partnership with the Transform Society, the annual SPAIS Hackathon brings together students, academics, and the local community to research a big issue facing our community. This year, the challenge focused on food security and how to involve Bristol students in solutions. 

Across the two-day event, students worked in small teams to research the issue, create a project outline, and present their project to a team of industry experts. The event also included talks from the Transform Society’s CEO James Darley about the public sector and working in public service; as well as the Careers Service, on how students could use their experience at the Hackathon in future job applications and interviews.  

Food market selling vegetables in wooden crates.

Teams had a £10 000 budget to create a feasible idea, with this year’s projects including: 

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Advice from a PhD turned uni hiring manager: Transitioning out of a PhD

Dr Chad McDonald completed his PhD in History at the University of Bristol in 2019. He’s now a Senior Academic and Study Skills Tutor at Manchester Metropolitan University. This role has seen him shortlist hundreds of applications and interview dozens of candidates. In this blog he reflects on his post-PhD career and offers advice for those looking to move into third-space roles in universities.

“As I was preparing to submit my thesis in the summer of 2019, I was also trying to plan for what would come next. This involved balancing my imminent thesis deadline against job hunting. Juggling these demands was tough!

One thing that made it easier, though, was that I’d planned for what I wanted to do next throughout my PhD. Here are some key points to consider during your PhD to support your job search (no matter how imminent it may be!)

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How to get into Financial Management: Top Tips

Image of skyscrapersIn October 2023, we ran a ‘How to get into Financial Management’ careers panel event about roles within the industry and top tips for applying for opportunities in this area.

Our panellists:

  • Charlotte Wheeler – Financial Planner and Coach at Evelyn Partners, ex-KPMG
  • Pawel Abramik – Head of Financial Services at North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Victor Flores – Financial Consultant at Hargreaves Lansdown
  • Vincent Pang – Senior Tax Manager for ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (Singapore)

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Finding work experience as a social scientist

Lots of social science students are looking for work experience but are struggling to find something that’s right for them. If you’re searching for valuable work experience to help you in your career plans, here are some ideas to help you in your search.

Top tips from the public sector

To find out more about work experience in the public sector, I spoke to James Darley from Transform Society. He was clear that there are often plenty of opportunities to get work experience in the public sector, it just requires some research to find them.

Councils can advertise opportunities for local students on their website, so it’s worth signing up to their jobs mailing lists. Bristol City, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are our local councils.

A view across Bristol harbourside, including houseboats and multi-coloured houses
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How I discovered my passion for the non-profit sector (and how you can do the same!)

I’m Amelia, a second-year International Social and Public Policy with Study Abroad (BSc) student and 2022/23 Bristol PLUS Award achiever.

Committing to the Bristol PLUS Award pushed me out of my comfort zone and exposed me to lots of different experiences.

It helped me to narrow down possible career avenues and even led to a part-time job.

Read on to find out how… 

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Why Attend the Faculty of Arts Careers Series?

Are you interested in hearing from alumni from all over the world who have built interesting and fulfilling careers after graduating from Bristol?

Graphic which a photo of some cloud overlaid by text reading 'Faculty of Arts Careers Series'

Would you like to hear from Faculty of Arts alumni who now work in diverse roles such as a communications manager for Women’s Aid, a podcast producer for the BBC, and an advisor working in the European Parliament?

If so, attend our Faculty of Arts Careers Series 2024, spanning four weeks from 6 to 29 February.

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Tips for applying for laboratory internships

Are you an undergraduate looking for laboratory internships?

Finding lab internships for the first time can be confusing, you may be unsure how to start and feel a little overwhelmed. We’ve taken the opportunity to break this down and share some insights from Carol Huang, a UoB MSci Plant Science student, who has successfully gained opportunities within the UK and Europe. 


When should I apply?

  • Peak time is November to January ready for a summer start (typically July – September) 
  • Some will be available later in the year (but usually only accessible via supervisors who have secured funding) 

Generally, there’s two routes to getting a lab internship for the summer

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Top Tips for international students pursuing careers in the UK

In November, we held an ‘International Alumni Careers’ panel for international students seeking to find graduate jobs and to pursue careers in the UK.

We caught up with our five panellists to hear their top tips:

Anukriti Panda, MSc Public Health

Anukriti came to study at the University of Bristol from India and is now a Senior Clinical Research Practitioner at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. Her advice to international students trying to find work in the UK is:

“Firstly, networking! Network with your friends, with your academic advisors, and most importantly with your alumni. We are all available on LinkedIn, just connect with us and then we can share our email addresses.”


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