How the PLUS Award ignited my career journey: A humanities and arts student’s perspective

Are you a humanities or arts student without a clear idea of your career path?  

I was in this position 2 years ago. Although I still haven’t gotten it all figured out, the Bristol PLUS Award was a huge help in kick-starting my career.  

Let me talk you through how I went from not having a clue what I wanted to do, to having a great job in a sector I love – all thanks to the PLUS Award. 

Utilising the 70 hours’ experience 

The Experience section of the Award is a great way to propel yourself to earn some extra money while exploring potential career options.  

Using the opportunities page on mycareer, I found a voluntary video editing role for a charity. This enabled me to try something new within my subject and improve my skills.  

After a few weeks, I found out I really enjoyed video editing, which helped me discover a new career path while developing a new employability skill. All for only a few hours per week! 

Choosing the right workshops and courses 

The CV and interview preparation workshops really helped me to develop my job-hunting abilities, something I had never attempted to perfect before.  

I chose to do the Innovation and Enterprise Bristol Futures course. It gave me insight about creating a startup/being self-employed post-university, and what to consider to create that opportunity for yourself.

For only a couple of hours a week, it had a positive impact on my mindset, opening my mind up to the possibility of self-employment

Applying what I learnt over the summer 

The beauty of the PLUS Award is that you can continue to develop after you achieve the award.  

To learn more about potential career paths and increase my employability, I applied the skills learnt during the PLUS Award workshops and courses to obtain a Careers Peer Support Assistant role at the Careers Service.

This gave me part-time income for my following year, as well as the opportunity to continue exploring my career outside of my studies.  

By regularly engaging with the Careers Service, I began honing in on a potential career within the video production industry. The following summer, I utilised my video editing skills to apply for freelance editing jobs and was offered the role of video editor for a content creator. The business techniques learnt during my Bristol Futures course enabled me to negotiate my pay and set myself up as self-employed. 

But what does this mean for you? 

If you haven’t done the PLUS Award, I would encourage you to go for it! Not for the award itself (although it is nice on your CV), but for the fact that it propels you towards your career goals

The award helps you practise job searching, develop professional skills, and most importantly, it changed my perspective on my own future.

It taught me that career searching is not as scary as it seems: the earlier you start researching, practising, and trying new things, the quicker you become confident in the potential of your own future. 

Are you up for the challenge? 

Activities logged towards the PLUS Award must be extra-curricular. You can use experiences from any year of your studies, anywhere in the world.  

The Bristol PLUS Award logo

To achieve the PLUS Award in 2023-24, you must:

  • Attend an Introductory Talk and complete the registration form by 12 noon Monday 12 February 
  • Log your evidence and achieve by 12 noon Friday 7 June 

Find out more and register through the PLUS Award registration pathway

Written by:  

Adam Backhouse, Film and English (BA)  

2021/22 Bristol PLUS Award achiever 

Photo of Adam Backhouse smiling