Postgraduate Researchers: How the Bristol PLUS Award can work for you

‘As a Postgraduate Researcher, it can be easy to focus so intently on your research and forget how much university life still has to offer. The Bristol PLUS Award has encouraged me to seek out these experiences, and meet a wider range of students and staff, which I am incredibly grateful for.’

(19 – 20 PGR PLUS Award achiever)

Broaden your Horizons

A photo of volunteers outside in an allotment, standing together and smiling
Volunteers on the City Challenges programme

The Bristol PLUS Award is the university’s employability Award, giving you the opportunity to gain formal recognition for commitments you take on outside of your research.

Getting involved outside of your research is a great way to build connections and community. The PLUS Award recognises a broad range of activities, and for Postgraduate Researchers, lots of these are things you may well already be taking part in.

That could be teaching support, marking, or submitting a paper to a journal. Or experiences outside of the university such as part time work or volunteering. For more ideas, you can check out our list of common PGR options for the Bristol PLUS Award.

Articulate your value, consolidate your skills

‘Overall, the Bristol PLUS Award has helped me develop valuable, transferable skills and allowed me to reflect on how I can use these skills to become more employable.’

22-23 PGR PLUS Achiever

Whether you are interested in a career in academia or industry, or are still exploring your options, the Bristol PLUS Award gives you a framework to reflect on your skills and experiences and equips you to communicate the value of your research to a broad audience.
You’ll gain expert support through workshops, courses and reflection, and be formally recognised by the university for going above and beyond in your commitments outside of your research.

Mayra’s PLUS story – Postgraduate Researcher and PLUS Award Achiever

‘I realised that I am a competent researcher, I am resilient and I know how to work in different circumstances. I felt extremely satisfied with my work and learnt a lot about myself. All this experience taught me that sometimes things do not go according to your plan, but with an open mind, all your effort and love, good results can be achieved’

Mayra Yadira Rivera Lopez
A photo of Mayra, smiling
Mayra, Outstanding PLUS Award winner 21-22

Alongside her Aerospace Engineering PhD, Mayra got involved in various roles and opportunities, all of which could be used towards her Bristol PLUS Award. These were:

After achieving her Bristol PLUS Award, Mayra went on to also win the Outstanding PLUS Award in the Resilience category, by articulating the resilience she showed in pursuing her PLUS Award. You can read more about Mayra’s Outstanding PLUS Award win in our blog post.

Want the PLUS to work for you too?


Graduate stories: Yasmin Gledhill, Frontline Graduate Intern

Frontline is an organisation that is creating social change for children who do not have safe or stable homes, by developing excellent social work practice and leadership.

We recently caught up with History graduate, Yasmin, to hear about her experience taking part in the Frontline Graduate Internship.

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Graduate stories: Starting a creative career with my neuroscience degree

Anna graduated from Bristol in 2021 with a BSc in Neuroscience. Having leaned away from scientific research, she currently works in copywriting and content marketing. Read her post to find out why she pivoted to a creative career, how she got relevant experience and her advice for those who decide against pursuing a career directly related to their degree.

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4 hidden ways the PLUS Award benefits you! – untold secrets of a PLUS Award achiever

Hello prospective PLUS Award achievers! I’m Avellina, a final year Biology student and 2021/22 PLUS Award achiever. 

Avellina smiling.

Many students understand that the Bristol PLUS Award is an employability award that rewards you for going above and beyond your degree. We know that it boosts our CV and makes us stand out to future employers… but there are also secret, unknown benefits that you’ll only uncover upon starting the Award process! 

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Joseph Battle: working at TLT as a Bristol graduate

Joseph Battle graduated from Bristol with a law degree and is now a first seat trainee in TLT’s London office.

We recently caught up with Joseph to hear about his journey so far at TLT and his advice for students considering a career in law.

Hi I’m Joseph, 

While studying I tried to get as much exposure to the legal industry as possible to confirm that I wanted to start a career in law and to work out which area of law suited me best. This included work experience with a barristers’ chambers, a boutique private practice, larger full-service corporate firms and a firm operating in a different jurisdiction. These experiences were invaluable for me to gain an awareness of the different disciplines within the industry and to figure out what clicked for me.

I was appreciative of the opportunities to attend numerous networking evenings and law fairs whilst at Bristol. I found these to be a brilliant way to informally chat to representatives from a whole host of firms and to quickly get a feel for whether I would be a good fit for the firm and whether the firm would be a good fit for me. (more…)

Why Attend the Faculty of Arts Careers Series?

Are you interested to hear from alumni from all over the world who have built interesting and fulfilling careers after graduating from Bristol? Would you like to hear from Faculty of Arts alumni who now work in  diverse roles, ranging from being a brand manager for the Royal Mint, to a history teacher in Seychelles, or a reporter for the Wall Street journal?

February is a special month for those studying in the Faculty of Arts, as the Careers Service and Faculty collaborate to host the annual Faculty of Arts Careers Series, spanning four weeks from 1 to 28 February 2023. 

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The Growth Support Programme: a springboard to success

The New Enterprise Competition’s (NEC) award-winning Growth Support Programme (GSP) is open for applications.

The NEC is a year-long programme that offers you the chance to build your dream business, taking it from an idea scrawled onto a pub napkin, all the way up to a sustainable, successful, and profitable business.

What does it all mean?

After the initial Ideas and subsequent Development Stage, the final Growth Stage begins. It’s the highest point of the competition, where you will be competing for up to £20,000 in funding for your business.

Logo: The word "Growth" in green letters
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How to get into corporate governance and risk management.

In November 2022, the Faculty of Social Sciences & Law hosted the ”How to get into Corporate Governance and Risk Management” panel event with three University of Bristol alumni. 

via GIPHY

Henrietta Skareng, 3rd year BSc Politics and International Relations student and Career Peer Support Assistant, attended the event and here are her top takeaways:

What is corporate governance and risk management?

Corporate governance refers to the way that firms are directed and controlled. Working with corporate governance means ensuring that practices and procedures are efficient in achieving company objectives and that the interests of all stakeholders are balanced. You can read more about corporate governance on the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland website.

Risk management within the financial sector, much as it sounds, is all about assessing risks within the industry and constructing strategies to avoid or minimise the impact of them. In the context of multiple global challenges, companies are increasingly exposed to risk.  In the financial sector in particular there are opportunities available across a range of employers, such as banks, insurance and property firms, as well as in the public sector. You can read more about risk management and control in our myCareer guide.

The diversity of experiences among the event panellists highlights the spectrum of opportunities within corporate governance and risk management. Read on for further details and their top suggestions for entering the field of corporate governance and risk management.

Who were the panelists?

Image of three speakers Celine, Sam and Helen

  • Celine Okoroma – Head of Governance and Compliance at Paraclete Legal Consulting
  • Sam Haynes – Head of Risk Analytics at Verisk Maplecroft
  • Helen Hodge – Enterprise Risk Management Specialist at Deloitte

Click their names to explore their profiles on LinkedIn!

Top tips from the panel:

  1. Do a self-assessment – Assess your strengths and capabilities to figure out what your skills and passions are. A self-assessment could help you discover whether you are suited for a career in the industry and what skills you might need to build on. Try the mycareer strengths assessment.
  1. Build your skills over time – If you know what role or company you want to work for, research their requirements and find opportunities and experiences that will build skills that align with what the employer is looking for. Often, employers are looking for candidates with strong analytical and quantitative analysis skills, so consider finding experience that could help strengthen your skill-base in those areas. You may find this Competency Framework from CGI
  1. Utilise LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great source of inspiration and allows you to connect with other students, alumni, potential employers and professionals working in this area. A simple search for the role or area you are looking to pursue lets you explore what qualifications, experiences, and professional certifications other people working in the sector have.
  1. Stay up to date on the industry – Visit the websites of professional regulatory organisations, and subscribe to their newsletters to stay up to date with the industry. For example, the Chartered Governance Institute, the Global Risk Report from the World Economic Forum, and the annual risk reports of specific companies you might be interested in. This is a good idea to do before the interview stage to demonstrate your interest in the company and industry overall!
  1. Get a certificate in corporate governance from the Chartered Governance Institute of the UK and Ireland. If you wish to pursue a role in corporate governance, the speakers recommended that you consider getting a certificate in corporate governance to increase your competency.

Find out more:

Blog written by Henrietta Skareng, a 3rd year BSc Politics and International Relations student, Student Engagement Team Worker and Career Peer Support Assistant

How to get a career in media and journalism

Journalism and the media play a crucial role within society – observing and reporting on current events, facts, and ideas to inform people about the world and how it operates.

On 1 November 2022, three professional alumni speakers, Aasmah Mir, Mel Rodrigues and David Afikuyomi, shared their experiences at our ‘How to get into Media and Journalism Event’ for Social Science and Law students.

With varied backgrounds in TV production, presenting, and academic article distribution, they offered valuable insights on how to utilise your passions and be successful in this competitive and evolving industry.

Here are 8 of our top takeaways from the event:

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Graduate stories: Deferring my biology Master’s to stay in Bristol.

An image of a girl smiling into the camera whilst wearing her graduation gown.

Lucy graduated from Bristol in 2022 with a degree in biology. Despite planning to go straight into further study, Lucy decided to defer her Master’s in London and stay in Bristol. She currently works as a healthcare scientific support worker in a Virology lab at Southmead hospital. Keep reading to see why she made this decision, the career and personal benefits, and her advice for other students and graduates.

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