Who are the Faculty Employability Team?

Last week (12 June 2019) the Faculty Employability Team at the Careers Service won the ‘Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award’ at the Bristol Teaching Awards. To celebrate this fantastic achievement we thought it was about time we introduced the team and explained a little more about what they do.

The Faculty Employability Team (Back row L to R: Peter, Ellen, Eilidh, Tim, Gareth. Front row L to R: Holly, Natalia, Hannah, and Jo.)

Jo Cooksley

Who do you work with? I work with students in the Law School.

What’s your top employability tip? Explore as much as you can, be open to avenues you may not have thought of, and believe in yourself. Take positive steps such as, structuring your research, it’s very easy to spend a lot of time thinking about what you should be doing rather than actually doing it – this is stressful and unproductive – get some help to get a plan in place and get excited.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Make the choices you make for your own reasons not anyone else’s! The best advice I was given and also the toughest!

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? The students I work with are engaged and engaging and keep me on my toes. I am hugely excited about their potential and love helping them identify new opportunities/make the most of their very impressive skills.

Holly Delafield

Who do you work with? I provide careers and employability support to students in the Faculty of Engineering.

What’s your top employability tip? Make the most of every networking opportunity that comes your way. A large proportion of the jobs out there aren’t advertised, and you would be amazed how many people land a job because they just happened to speak to the right person, or be in the right place, at the right time. So if you know anyone (family, friends, friends of friends…) working in an area which interests you, make the most of that connection and ask them about it! Or if you go to a talk by an employer and you like the sound of the organisation or what they do, make the effort to speak to them after the event. Use LinkedIn wherever you can – it’s fantastic for following up with connections and keeping in touch. You never know, that person you met at the careers fair might be able to help you out with some advice, or perhaps even a job in the future.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? The best career advice I’ve been given is not to worry if your first job after graduating isn’t ‘The One’. It can be really tricky working out what you want to do, so instead of agonising over the decision sometimes it’s best to just go for something you think you might enjoy and see how you find it once you’re there. It may be that it’s not until your second, third or even fourth job (speaking from personal experience…) that you find something which ticks all the boxes. As you get more work experience you will work out what you want out of a job and what’s important to you – and also worth remembering that personal priorities may well change as you progress through your career.

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? Bristol, as a city, is an amazing place to be. I’m lucky because I also love my job, and one of the main reasons for that is the Engineering and Computer Science students I work with – frequently inspiring me with their intelligence, drive, and innovative spirit.

Dr Peter Evans (maternity cover for Dr Bryony Enright)

Who do you work with? I (we) work with PGRs across the whole University.

What’s your top employability tip? Proactively seek jobs rather than just relying on those which are advertised. Provided you target the right opportunities, this will show a level of initiative and enthusiasm which employers really look out for, and employers usually actually prefer this as a method of recruitment. This is because it’s cheaper, easier, and those who do it have engaged in a form of self-selection. Thirdly, for a wide range of reasons many jobs available in the market at any given time aren’t openly advertised! This method therefore gives you a chance to access them.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Speak to both the hiring manager and current role holder of a role you’re thinking of applying for beforehand if you can. This allows you to properly judge whether you’re really interested in applying and to tailor your application if you do.

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? I enjoy the variety of my job, the large degree of autonomy in working to help students negotiate what can be quite a difficult transition in finding a career either inside or outside of academia.

Tim Ellis

Who do you work with? Faculty of Arts.

What’s your top employability tip? Get involved in university life and do things that you enjoy, whether that’s joining societies and sports teams, volunteering, running for positions of responsibility or getting extra involved in your academic discipline. All of these activities help you to build your skills and experience, and can help you decide what you want to do after graduation.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? You will always have to make compromises for your career but working out what you are prepared to compromise on and what is non-negotiable can help you make those all important career decisions. This might be salary, location, type of work, the industry, or even simply doing a job that allows you to pursue a passion in your free time.

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? I love working with Bristol students as they are particularly creative and inspiring, as well as being very politically and socially conscious (especially in the Faculty of Arts!).

Ellen Grace

Who do you work with? I work with the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law.

What’s your top employability tip? Have confidence in yourself and your future career prospects – there are lots of exciting opportunities for bright, creative graduates like you so have every confidence that you have a fantastic future ahead of you.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I’ve been given is to see every career decision as a step on a journey and opportunity to develop my skills and passions. As someone who is prone to over-thinking, I’ve been helpfully encouraged to not get so hung up on making the ‘right’ move that I fail to do anything!

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? I love working at Bristol because here in the Careers Service we have such a committed, dynamic and supportive team which makes coming to work a real pleasure! I am also energised by working with our students who are so passionate and inspiring – I love seeing and hearing about the huge variety of different things they get involved in when I run workshops or review applications.

Gareth Hughes

Who do you work with? I work with the Faculty of Life Science.

What’s your top employability tip? My top tip would be to make sure you look for opportunities with small and medium sized businesses. Most people restrict their job searching to graduate schemes with the big household names because they’re the easiest opportunities to find, but they’re far from the only jobs out there. Putting in some time to search for small companies can really pay off as you’ll find thousands of really interesting, and much less competitive, opportunities. Taking this approach is particularly important if you want to work in an industry where there aren’t as many big employers.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? The best piece of career advice I’ve been given is to just give something a go, you might discover that you really enjoy a career that you’ve never considered.

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? One of the best things about working in Bristol is that it’s such a vibrant city, there’s always loads to get involved with.

Natalia Mudd

Who do you work with? I work with the Faculty of Health Sciences as well as the School of Modern Languages.

What’s your top employability tip? Make the most of university life – get involved in events, societies, sports – anything that takes your fancy! All these activities will help you decide what you want to do when you graduate.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? When preparing a job application, don’t just consider your strengths. Instead, imagine yourself doing the job – what will your day look like? What will take priority and how you are going to go about completing tasks? Flipping the perspective from focusing on yourself to focusing on the job will really help you understand what sort of person the employer is after and whether this is the right job for you.

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? I love the variety which my role offers. I work in a supportive team, who are always happy to bounce ideas around and have a few laughs as well. I also work with staff in faculties, and it is inspiring to see how committed they are to see their students succeed. Helping students identify where success lies for them and then getting there is what makes the job so worthwhile.

Hannah Pearce

Who do you work with? I manage the team and oversee the activities taking place in all the schools and faculties.

What’s your top employability tip? My top tip is to get involved with some of the wonderful activities on offer at the university, whether that’s some of the events we run, the Bristol PLUS Award, a club or society, or something else. Find something you enjoy and take the time to think about why it is you enjoy it – your reflections may give you an insight into what you want to explore in terms of your career.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? The best piece of career advice I’ve ever received was from my good friend Jo Hutchings, who also happens to be our Information, Advice and Guidance Manager here at the Careers Service! The advice was to seize opportunities when you identify them (because you’ve identified them for a reason), and not be worried about what others may be doing. Sage advice!

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? Bristol is a great place to work, and my role here gives me so much pleasure as we as a team, and the whole Careers Service, are able to help students get to where they want to be when they graduate.

Eilidh Sligo

Who do you work with? I work with the Faculty of Science.

What’s your top employability tip? My top employability tip is to take advantage of opportunities that arise. Whether this is joining a club, doing some volunteering, or agreeing to do something different at work. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about your skills, what you enjoy doing and what is important to you.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? Not to avoid making decisions, through fear of making a mistake. As a student it is unlikely that you will know exactly what your lifelong career path will involve; don’t be worried about choosing the ‘wrong’ first job after graduation. Once you start a job, you will learn so much more about yourself and the opportunities available in that company, or in a role that you haven’t even heard of or considered before!

What’s the best thing about working at the University of Bristol? One of the best things about working at Bristol is learning about the diverse range of experiences that students from the Faculty of Science have and the variety of opportunities available to them.