Who is the Bristol PLUS Award for?

It’s a common misconception that the Careers Service is only for those students who already know exactly what they want to do. Similarly, when it comes to the Bristol PLUS Award you might guess that it’s only for very high-achieving students, or those who are applying for grad schemes and internships.

If you’ve completed the PLUS Award, you’ll know that this isn’t true of the Careers Service, and certainly isn’t true of the Award itself.

Student priorities when registering for the Bristol PLUS Award

 

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What animal are you?

The run up to Christmas can be a whirlwind of activity – presents, parties, travel plans, revision for exams. After Christmas Day itself though, as the New Year approaches, our minds often turn to what we’d like to do differently in the year ahead. So often these resolutions can be about “fixing” something we’re not happy with: our fitness, terrible French, suboptimal study habits, excessive Netflix viewing….

This year why not think about building on the positive, instead of focusing on what’s not right.  Leading management thinkers are now arguing that our greatest potential for development lies in enhancing our strengths, rather than following the traditional management approach of tackling our weaknesses.

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Confused about your career?

‘I’m feeling lost’, ‘I’m worried that I don’t have a clear plan’, ‘all my housemates are sorted with a graduate scheme except me’.

Is this you?  Here at the Careers Service we hear these phrases a lot and helping students to navigate through what can seem to be an overwhelming time is a significant part of our work.

The first thing to remember is that finding clarity and a career direction takes time and effort. Except for a lucky few, it is rarely a lightbulb moment.

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How to write a winning personal statement for postgraduate study

application_-_pen1A personal statement is your chance to make a great first impression when applying for a postgraduate course. It provides a space for you to convince the admissions tutor(s) that you have the motivation, relevant knowledge and academic capability to successfully complete the course, and reflect well on the institution.

When writing your statement, always check whether the admissions team has written instructions on what to include and how much to write – and if they have then make sure you follow them! Often, however, you will be largely left to fill in the blank space yourself – and in that case we recommend you write about 500 words, which equates to approximately 1 A4 page.

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Help! I don’t have any relevant work experience for my PLUS Award

We often get asked if the 50 hours work experience for the Bristol PLUS Award has to be relevant to your subject, or future career plans. The answer is no!

Student volunteers helping out at the University’s open day

One of the great things about the PLUS Award is that it helps you identify the value of the transferable skills you have gained from jobs or volunteer roles that you might have been dismissive of, because you can’t see how they directly relate to your future. When you complete your reflective report and final review – the final parts of the PLUS Award – you will gain a good understanding of how these skills are valuable to employers, even if the context in which you gained them seems irrelevant. (more…)

How to be resilient while job hunting

Being at university can be exciting, fun and life-expanding – however for most people there are also a lot of challenges to be overcome and demands to balance.

These are some frequently heard concerns from students when starting their job or work experience search:

  • How can I make sure that I do well in my studies but also get extra-curricular experiences like volunteering, and work experience?
  • How do I get the confidence to even apply for opportunities that are so competitive? I don’t want to fail.
  • How can I deal positively with rejections from applications and interviews – so I learn from them and move on?

To move forward with any of the above, and to cope with other challenges in life that might come your way – we must develop resilience.

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My SME Internship with LettUs Grow

I graduated last summer with a degree in Biology. When I finished I hadn’t got a large amount planned, all I knew was that I wanted to remain in Bristol. I was open to all jobs to start off with but my overall aim was to head down a biological route. 

In November I had an opportunity to have a meeting with a member of staff from the UoB Careers Service, this was really helpful in clarifying the types of jobs I could see myself doing and what steps I should take next. She also told me about internship schemes Bristol University offer with local SMEs. (more…)

Winning the Object Challenge- creative use of a split pin

By Jojo Dance and Hazel Welsh  

The Object Challenge was run at the Engineering&IT fair by the Basecamp team who help students improve their enterprise and entrepreneurial skills. Students were given one week to come up with a creative idea to add value to a split pin (traditionally used to hold paper together) and upload a 90 second video of their idea to YouTube.  

 Trying to come up with an idea that would give value to a split pin was a challenge. All our initial ideas were very obvious and weren’t creative enough to stand out. We struggled for some time trying to come up with a way to use/manipulate the item and then potentially ‘sell’ the item in the short video. But we found these ideas very limiting. So, we decided to try and think outside of the box to come up with a winning idea. After some thought, we realised that the presentation would be taking place on Halloween, so we decided to go with a Halloween themed object. This way we could have some fun with the concept, whilst also giving the split pin some added spiritual value. 

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My Internship Experience at HSBC

Joe Baldwin, a Chemistry student at Bristol, shares his experience as a Commercial Banking Summer Intern at HSBC.

My time as an HSBC  Intern started as I expect it does for many, concerned about possibility of not having a job to go to after graduation. My search for an internship wasn’t about finding the perfect internship, as I didn’t know what this would be. I wanted to get a flavour of the jobs available to chemists – one that doesn’t involve lab coats and safety goggles. (more…)