Graduate stories: My experience in a Big Four grad scheme

A picture of a man and a woman in graduation gowns, outside of University.

Katie is an engineering mathematics graduate, currently enrolled in an audit grad scheme in one of the Big Four companies. Read her blog post to learn how she got there, how she’s finding it, her plans for the future, and advice for anyone considering a grad scheme.

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Pam McGee: from Bristol graduate to External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women.

Pam McGee is a 2005 Bristol University graduate who studied English Literature BA.

Pam is now the External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women. She has kindly written this blog to tell us about her experiences at University and working for STEM Women.

A picture of Pam smiling

“I can’t tell you a motivational story about how I always wanted to work in PR and communications, because I never knew I wanted to – it just happened. But I can give you one key piece of advice which is to engage with your university Careers Service – something which, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t do during my time at Bristol.

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Engaging in the Bristol community: Our Winter Tea Party

Towards the end of term, as many of us were beginning to wind down for the winter break, the Careers Service, in collaboration with the SU Volunteering Team, were busy organising a Winter Tea Party for some of Bristol’s elderly residents.

This initiative, one of the Service’s community engagement activities, saw them take over the Richmond Building’s Carpenter Room and share some festive cheer in the form of food, chat, and entertainment.

A picture of elderly residents and volunteers enjoying the table top activities

The Winter Tea Party welcomed fifty members of the community from Parkway Methodist Church, Brunelcare, and St. Monica’s Trust; together with a number of student volunteers and society representatives who supported the guests and helped ensure they had an enjoyable afternoon.

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Ellen Brennan: from a Bristol graduate to Pupil Barrister with the Crown Prosecution Service

Hi, I’m Ellen. I studied LLB Law from 2015 to 2018 at Bristol, where I developed a real interest in criminal justice.

A picture of Ellen, the author, smiling,

Modules such as Rich Law, Poor Law and Jurisprudence encouraged me to think about the practical implications of law and the (in)justice these perpetuate for everyday people

As a student leader in the Human Rights Law Clinic, I gained experience working alongside lawyers on a project to encourage compliance with the UN OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture) on behalf of the African Commission. This developed my interest in using law to achieve positive societal change.

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My SME Internship: Ozten – Taught by Humans

A photo of Ozten, smiling.

Hi, I’m Ozten, I study Philosophy and Economics, and I started my internship at Taught by Humans in February, where I worked as a ‘Research and Partnerships Intern’.

As this was a remote internship, my first day started in my room, at my desk, on a video call with Laura (founder of Taught by Humans), where I got to know about all my tasks and projects for the upcoming weeks. Laura is a fun and reassuring person, who always made me feel welcomed in the workplace. She valued my opinions and listened to what I wanted to get out of the experience.

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Are you considering a PhD?

With most PhDs spanning 3 to 4 years, it is not a decision to take lightly.

For some students, their passion for research and a specific academic discipline is such that a PhD is an obvious choice as part of their career planning, however, for others it is just one possible option, prompting further questions.

Having an insight into what life is like as a post-graduate researcher is a crucial first step. Without any doubt, you will need to love learning, have a hunger for research, and be a self-starter happy to work for long periods independently. Advice from vitae.ac.uk is to be ‘really clear on your motivations for doing a doctorate, and that it [will be] a positive career step.’

Kayleigh Crouch is a Career Peer Support Adviser with the Careers Service, currently a PGR at the University of Bristol, and has shared her insights on what it’s like to be a doctoral researcher here:

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Five reasons why I would recommend the Change 100 internship scheme: Helena

Hi, I’m Helena, I am a third-year Psychology student and I also work at the Careers Service as your Bristol Mentors Student Associate Intern.

This summer I took part in Change 100, a programme run by disability charity Leonard Cheshire. It supports students and recent graduates with disabilities to complete an internship. Students apply to the programme and, if successful, are paired with a partner organisation to complete a three-month summer internship.

A picture of the author, Helena, smiling with a cup of coffee

I was paired with IHG Hotels & Resorts in their Corporate Responsibility team.

I was new to the world of Corporate Responsibility and learnt a lot. However, I learnt just as much from taking part in the Change 100 process itself.

My experience of applying to the scheme, and being supported by the team there, was the most accessible I am yet to see in the workplace. They demonstrated how disability inclusivity can – and should – be done:

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Everything you need to know about the Outstanding PLUS Awards  

Text that says "Outstanding PLUS Awards" on a purple background

Want to find out more about the Outstanding PLUS Awards? Let’s get all your questions answered.  

What are the Outstanding PLUS Awards?  

Launched last academic year, the Outstanding PLUS Awards (OPA) reward Bristol PLUS Award achievers who have gone above and beyond in their PLUS Award activity. The OPA is so sought after because there are just eight winners every year – one winner per category.  

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