Ways to develop your skills and employability from home

In recent weeks the situation in the UK has been changing almost daily with the most recent advice being that we stay at home. Many of you would have been due to start internships and work experience opportunities over the Easter and summer breaks, which now might have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19. While this is really disappointing for you, the good news is, there are loads of online opportunities to get involved with and develop your skills!

The Engagement Opportunities Team have pulled together some remote and online-based opportunities that you can still get involved with. (more…)

Bristol Mentors 2020: Now open for applications

Bristol Mentors pairs successful student candidates with an alumni mentor who will provide careers support and guidance throughout the academic year. The programme is now open for applications for our 2020/21 cohort.
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#10YearsOfPLUS: ‘Execution thinking’ and work experience with BDO

As the Bristol PLUS Award continues to grow in student numbers and in recognition from the University and employers, we are also able to grow the opportunities we offer our PLUS achievers. To celebrate #10YearsOfPLUS we have collaborated with our endorsing employers to provide more of these opportunities than ever before. Our employers are consistently impressed at the standard of our motivated PLUS achievers!

Last year we were pleased and excited to be able to offer two students a two-day work experience placement in the Bristol offices of a major professional services firm – and Bristol PLUS endorsing employer – BDO! Student feedback on the PLUS always emphasises the value of engaging with employers, so we spoke to Kiara van Dinter to find out what she gained from her experience working with BDO last June.

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Help! What are my strengths?

Ask someone what their strengths are and it’s likely they’ll give you a fair imitation of a rabbit caught in headlights. Although we know ourselves better than anyone, it’s not always easy to identify exactly what makes us special.  Employers will often ask you about your strengths at interview. To avoid responding with a glassy-eyed stare, you need to first get clear about what yours are, and then understand how best to articulate them.

So, what ARE my strengths?
A common interview question is, “how would a good friend describe you in three words?” Prepare for this by asking a friend ahead of time! (You can always return the favour). We ran an exercise a bit like this recently at the Careers Service. We all drew a representation of ourselves on a piece of A4 paper (it quickly emerged that most of us couldn’t list artistic talent amongst our finer qualities). Then we moved around adding words to the pictures. Where we agreed with a word someone had already written, we put a big tick against it.

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Is freelancing for you?

If you don’t think of freelancing as a graduate job, you may be missing a trick.

Being self-employed can be hugely rewarding and graduates shouldn’t dismiss it as either a short-term or more permanent option. To some it may sound like a precarious path with no certainty and little direction, whilst others see it as an exciting world of possibilities. It all depends on your mindset and skills. (more…)

Why would an SME hire me for an internship?

If you’re looking for an internship, sourcing your own can be a great way to find an opportunity with an organisation that you’re really interested in. 

For our SME Internship Scheme, we can offer funding to a small and medium enterprise (SME) to help them take you on for a paid internship. 

When you’re approaching SMEs to ask for an internship opportunity, it can feel like you’re asking for something which only you benefit from. However, it’s important to remember that an internship can be mutually beneficial, and SMEs in particular can reap big rewards from taking on a University of Bristol intern. 

Here’s four reasons why recruiting aintern can be good for a small business:  (more…)

It’s the start of Student Volunteering Week today!

Student Volunteering Week is a national event, with Higher and Further Education Institutions across the country using the week to celebrate existing student volunteers and to encourage more students to start volunteering.

This is the 19th year that Student Volunteering Week is taking place, but student volunteering has a long and rich history dating back to university missions in the 19th century and support for the unemployed in the interwar period.  If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of student volunteering, check out this video

Student Volunteering – a short history from adifferentdrumproductions on Vimeo.

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Volunteering and the Bristol PLUS Award proves a powerful combination

There are so many reasons for volunteering and when you pair it with the Bristol PLUS Award the value gained can really pack a punch!

To help us prepare for Student Volunteering Week we caught up with Bristol PLUS Award completer, Joshua Ang, to hear more about how he paired his volunteering and the Bristol PLUS Award.

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We love Start-up Drinks

Calling all Bristol’s budding entrepreneurs! On Tuesday 11 February we welcome the first Start-up drinks of the decade!

Start-up drinks is an event run on the second Tuesday of every month in collaboration between The University of Bristol’s Basecamp Enterprise Team and The University of the West of England (UWE).

Whether you have an entrepreneurial idea, an established and growing business or you are simply interested in entrepreneurship and growing your networks, this is the place to be. But don’t just take our word for it! We spoke to local businesses and students about what they heart most about Start-up Drinks…

Teck, 4th year student in Aerospace Engineering

Why did you attend Start-up Drinks?

I found out about the event while looking through the Careers Service page last year and decided to attend for a variety of reasons. I wanted to learn more about being an entrepreneur and to find out what’s going on in the local start-up community. I wanted to meet other people who might be helpful in making my start-up a reality like co founders and investors as well as customers.

What can other students expect?

Start-up Drinks is a friendly environment for students who want to get started with entrepreneurship. It is where you can meet other supportive and likeminded people. It may be just what you need to take that first step into turning your business idea into reality.

Do you have any networking top tips for budding entrepreneurs?

Always know why you are there. Have a friendly smile, be yourself and listen! (more…)