Your Flying Start newsletter: championing social mobility, empowering you in your journey

Do you receive Flying Start newsletters from the Careers Service? Read on to learn more about what Flying Start is and meet the team behind its creation.

What is Flying Start?

Flying Start is a Careers Service term-time newsletter that promotes equality, diversity and inclusion. It aims to support your career planning and increase your confidence. It features:

  • Top tips: including resources and introductory sessions on careers topics
  • Build your network: advice and opportunities to meet and gain insights from employers or other professionals.
  • Develop your skills: activities to build your skills, including training, workshops or experiences.  
  • Paid opportunities: paid opportunities for students to apply for, including internships and graduate roles. 
  • Part-time jobs: part-time jobs on campus and beyond. 

Anna secured a targeted internship she spotted in Flying Start. Learn more about her experience and why she is “incredibly grateful” that she applied on our blog.

Why Flying Start?

We know some students can face additional challenges when thinking about career plans and next steps. We want to support you in working towards your aspirations (even if you don’t know what they are yet), no matter what your background or circumstances.

For example, you might not know anyone who works in traditional graduate roles. If so, you may feel at a disadvantage to peers who have these connections.

You may feel you don’t have time to think about your career alongside studies and other commitments. For example, if you are working part-time, there may be less time to get other work experience. Flying Start aims to help by highlighting a range of manageable things you can do to help you prepare for your future.

Flying Start also promotes targeted opportunities from sectors where certain groups are under-represented. Enhancing social mobility is becoming more important to employers. As well as being the right thing to do, diverse workforces are more effective (source: McKinsey & Company).

Who receives Flying Start?

You will receive it if you are a home-based undergraduate who meets one or more of these criteria:

  • you are disabled or neurodivergent and registered with Disability Services at the University of Bristol;
  • you are from an ethnic group that is under-represented at the University of Bristol;
  • you are a mature student (aged 21 or over when you started your first undergraduate course);
  • you receive a University of Bristol bursary/scholarship or you are from a lower socioeconomic background.
  • your postcode is listed as a ‘1’ or ‘2’ in the POLAR4 column on the POLAR checking tool;
  • you attended an aspiring school or college.”

See Support for students from under-represented groups for more information. 

Meet the team behind Flying Start

Clare Matthews, Careers Adviser

I was a first-generation and not-yet-diagnosed neurodivergent student. It was sometimes hard to know how to fit careers exploration in alongside everything else. University, work, and other commitments already kept me so busy! I started the Flying Start newsletter to provide regular opportunities for diverse students to find ways that work for them. Supporting equality, diversity and inclusion is a key part of what I love about working in Careers.

Robbie Fox, Alumini Mentoring Coordinator

Academic life didn’t come naturally to me at all, and I found university study very demanding. Although I didn’t spend a huge amount of thought planning my ‘what next’ after university, I did take advantage of as many opportunities as I could to try new things. Looking back, it is the set of skills that those experiences highlighted to me which helped me figure out what I wanted in a job.

Laura Frude, Bristol Futures Coordinator

I was the first in my family to attend university and found that it gave me opportunities I never knew existed. Being inquisitive, asking questions, and reaching out for support are some of the best things you can do, both academically and with your career.

Cait Murphy, Careers and Employability Assistant (Student Inclusion)

I attended an aspiring school and college in Bristol and although I did not go down the university route, I did an apprenticeship which gave me the opportunity to kickstart my career with industry-recognised qualifications and benefit from support systems and learning aids. I really enjoy working with students on their career path as it is rewarding to help support their future.

Amy Whiting , Careers Consultant

I was a first-generation student. I didn’t have professional contacts and had very little knowledge of graduate careers. In Flying Start, we share opportunities to meet employers and other professionals which is a great way to build knowledge of what you could do with your degree. These valuable insights could help you to make informed decisions about your future.

Interested in learning more about our targeted support?

Explore the pathway on mycareer. It is full of resources, advice and links you can work through in your own time.