Each summer the Basecamp team provides aspiring entrepreneurs with grant funding and support to maximise their potential. You can benefit from funding of up to £1,000 to support your work during 8 weeks of the summer, as well as a business mentor and hot desking space. Applications are open between 5 and 26 April 2019. (more…)
I have an idea but is it really possible to turn it into a business?
Many of you may have ideas of how to solve problems, make money or change the world for the better – but knowing how to turn those ideas into action can be the biggest barrier for many students. Rest assured it is possible and we are here to support you along the way.
So how can the Careers Service help? (more…)
By Jojo Dance and Hazel Welsh
The Object Challenge was run at the Engineering&IT fair by the Basecamp team who help students improve their enterprise and entrepreneurial skills. Students were given one week to come up with a creative idea to add value to a split pin (traditionally used to hold paper together) and upload a 90 second video of their idea to YouTube.
Trying to come up with an idea that would give value to a split pin was a challenge. All our initial ideas were very obvious and weren’t creative enough to stand out. We struggled for some time trying to come up with a way to use/manipulate the item and then potentially ‘sell’ the item in the short video. But we found these ideas very limiting. So, we decided to try and think outside of the box to come up with a winning idea. After some thought, we realised that the presentation would be taking place on Halloween, so we decided to go with a Halloween themed object. This way we could have some fun with the concept, whilst also giving the split pin some added spiritual value.
June 4th sees the launch of Before You Go Week, an intensive week of events, talks and individual appointments to help you make the most of the summer months – whether you are graduating, or coming back to the University in September.
We’d love to support as many of you as possible. Take our quiz to find out if you could benefit from coming in to see us before you go!
Value Penguin, a price comparison website, approached the Enterprise team to find a great student representative of enterprise activity at UoB to do a Q&A interview with them. Joshua Greenidge, president of the Bristol Entrepreneurs’ Society (BES) seemed like the perfect person for the job and this featured article does him enormous credit.
Joshua Greenidge is studying Anthropology with Innovation and expects to graduate in 2020. Joshua first entered the University of Bristol in 2016 through the Foundation Year in the Arts & Humanities, a one-year program that is designed to enable a diverse group of students to enter university who may not have a traditional student profile.
Learn about Bristol graduate, Euan Mann; a soft commodities expert and business owner:
So you graduated from Bristol; what happened next?
In my final year I went through the selection process for a few graduate schemes and I realised that they didn’t feel quite right. I decided to apply for a Tropical Commodities Analyst role at a commodities trading house and was successful. The pay was lower than a typical grad scheme but the role sounded a lot more interesting. I was drawn to the prospect of regular travel and working in a smaller team with good one-to-one mentoring.
After a couple of years, I underwent intensive management training which involved working in New York, Brazil, Liverpool, London and Zurich for a year. I then relocated to work for a new trading division of the company based in New York before eventually moving back to London to head up a London office for the division.
What advice would you give your younger self at graduation?
Don’t worry too much and just give things a try. Nobody knows the perfect career path and any experience is beneficial. Don’t follow the money at graduation, developing yourself over the first two to three years is more important. Also, stay in touch with people from university; they will go on to succeed in amazing ways and can be an important network.
What advice can you give to newcomers to your industry?
Just try it. There are so many different roles within the commodities industry. There’s no formal course for soft commodities so you only learn by doing.
What does your current role involve?
In 2010 I set up my own business providing independent analysis in the cocoa and coffee markets. We supply major chocolate manufacturers and coffee roasters, as well as trading houses and commodity hedge funds.
At the moment we are a team of three – myself and two junior analysts. Around 60% of my time is spent on analysis of export figures, rainfall, temperature, exchange rates, corporate forecasts and trends, and communicating our analysis to our clients. Roughly 20% is managing my two colleagues, whilst 20% is managing our clients, marketing our services, as well as running the admin and accounts. I continue to travel regularly to West Africa, South America and SE Asia.
What do you most enjoy about your work?
I find soft commodities fascinating and I enjoy dealing with tangible products – everyone eats chocolate and drinks coffee. I also enjoy gathering and analysing information; it’s like a jigsaw puzzle and there are always surprises.
How did you make the decision to start your own business?
As a student I always wanted to be my own boss. I was drawn to the challenge of building something of my own and I enjoy being responsible for my own results. I work as a means to enjoy life and I appreciate the flexibility of being self-employed. I work hard but efficiently; focussed work rather than long hours – which is great as I now have a young baby and have been able to spend a lot of time with her and my partner over the last nine months.
What would you like to be doing in five years from now?
The same thing I’m doing now. I’m very happy.
We are currently looking to expand the team in order to provide an even better service to our clients. If you are interested in an opportunity as a Junior Soft Commodity Analyst, please apply either through CAS or at http://www.commodity-solutions.com/contact-us.html
Get more advice from Bristol alumni! Visit the Careers Network.