The Talent Foundry charity organised three events with different schools throughout the Bristol area to encourage year 7 and 8 pupils to consider university as an option for their future. Their mission is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take that first step into the world of work.
Each day session included a question and answer session with University of Bristol students about their experience before the students were invited to be judges of the pupil’s innovation challenge. Talent Foundry invited students from the University of Bristol to create a personal and friendly relationship between the pupils and students, allowing the pupils to ask questions about the university experience.
Kieran Proctor, of the Talent Foundry charity, who helped organise these sessions with the pupils and students in conjunction with the Careers Service said of the students who helped:
‘It has been a pleasure to partner with University of Bristol over the last few months to deliver our Dell Powering Transformation programme to Year 7 and 8 students in schools across the Bristol area and beyond. A number of wonderful University of Bristol ambassadors spoke to students about their university life, such as joining a society and potentially studying abroad. They also answered students questions which was massively beneficial as for many of the young people this workshop would have been the first time they were learning about university. Feedback from teachers and students has been massively positive, and many have said they look forward to arranging a trip to University of Bristol when time permits! We look forward to working with University of Bristol on this exciting project with more schools in the future!’
We caught up with the students from the University of Bristol who took part.
Megan Jones, who studies MSci Palaeontology and Evolution, said: ‘I had an excellent time working with the pupils of both schools we visited. I was particularly impressed with the wide variety of issues their inventions and ideas tackled, from pollution and climate change to mental health issues.’
Abigail Wright, who studies MSci Pharmacology, said: ‘I loved talking to the students as it gave me an opportunity to practice my public speaking skills and to share my experiences with younger students.’
Erik Tihelka, who studies MSci Palaeontology and Evolution, said: ‘I found it very inspiring how the whole experience was geared towards making the students think ambitiously about their own capacities and future.‘
This fantastic opportunity allowed the students to develop their ability to present, answer questions spontaneously and interact with a new audience under pressure.