Chambers of Commerce: the successful job hunter’s best kept secret

What are Chambers of Commerce?

Chambers of Commerce are membership organisations which businesses can join to access services to help them grow and play a part in their local business community. They exist around the world at the local, regional and national level. Bristol Chamber of Commerce is run by Business West. You can easily find Chambers for your nearest home town or city, or home country, by searching online. For example, “[name of city] Chamber of Commerce.”

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Sport and employability: the perfect team

Are you a Student Leader, volunteer or coach in one of Bristol SU’s Sporting groups and societies? 

According to Public Health England, students “with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically” So not only does being part of a sporting group or society increase those endorphins, connect you with people and develop valuable skills, it can help you succeed! This topic is brilliantly explored in the recent Wonkhe blog: “Demonstrating the link between sports and student success 

via GIPHY

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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.

“Bristol Mentors was a really unique experience, primarily because of the attention to detail that had gone into its organisation and planning. It was clear that a lot of thought and effort had gone into ensuring that my peers and I were paired with someone who could really support us in our career aspirations.

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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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