My SME Internship: Yanan – Bristol Braille Technology

A photo of YananHi, my name is Yanan. 

It was my great honour to undertake a two-month internship at Bristol Braille Technology (BBT) under the SME Internship Scheme. My position at BBT was Braille and Employment Researcher Intern. My main duty was to conduct research on how braille promotes employment and improves the lives of the visually impaired. My work was mostly done remotely. 

Working for BBT, I learned workplace etiquette and gained lots of new skills, including working to a high standard. As a non-native English speaker, my English has improved tremendously during this internship. My colleagues and supervisors are all native English speakers, and, frankly, it was a little difficult for me to keep up with them when I first started my internship. I quickly got over this problem with a lot of English practice.

Bristol Braille Technology logo.
Bristol Braille Technology logo.

At the same time, the research skills I learned at university came in handy and my time management skills have also been enhanced. This valuable experience has laid a solid foundation for my future career. 

All in all, as a visually impaired person, I have benefited a lot from this internship, it really boosts my CV and I have become more confident. At work, I didn’t feel any discrimination and I wasn’t treated differently from anyone else. I sincerely hope that more of my peers will benefit from this scheme in the future.  (more…)

International Womens Day 2022 – 5 stories of women working hard to #breakthebias

“Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.” – tagline for International Women’s Day 2022

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! 

We LOVE hearing your stories, and get to hear so many of them through the various activities and programmes that we run here at the Careers Service; The Bristol PLUS Award, SME internship scheme, Bristol Mentors, New Enterprise Competition and much more.

Today, we are taking the opportunity to highlight and acknowledge a handful of brilliant female students and graduates who have helped to #breakthebias by exemplifying the missions of International Women’s Day through their various projects, start-ups, and volunteering activities. Prepare to be inspired!

IWD mission: To shine a spotlight on activity uplifting and inspiring women to pursue goals without bias or barrier

Arooba Hameed, Year 3 Cancer Biology and Immunology (BSc)

Picture of Arooba
Arooba

Arooba completely embodies this mission and recently won £1000 of funding in the Development Stage of the New Enterprise Competition for the non-profit community group she founded, Higher Education for Asylum Seekers & Refugees (HEAR). HEAR aims to support refugees and asylum seekers in accessing educational opportunities through guidance, training, mentoring & advocacy. (more…)

Last chance to apply for the Ideas stage of the New Enterprise Competition!

The Ideas stage for the New Enterprise Competition is open for applications for another week. For the opportunity to test out your idea by pitching to us and to win up to £200 in equity free funding, what have you got to lose? 

 

We caught up with Shabaj, who created the Success Program, a sports journaling app, which was awarded  funding from the Ideas stage of the Competition last year. 

 

In a nutshell, what is your start-up idea and where did the idea come from?

I’m working on a sports journaling app that allows individuals to track their weightlifting performance and provides customers with a quantitative measure of how their training programme is impacting their performance. Having our customers reflect on what they achieved on their last workout allows them to compete against themselves from one workout to the next.  

The aim of the game is progression, but how can you know if you are progressing if you aren’t tracking your results?

I’m not the strongest person in the gym, by far. Often, if I push myself more than I am physically capable of and I get an injury. I got tired of repeating the same mistake and started to record my workouts in a notebook. However, I got fed up with flicking through the pages to find what weights, reps and sets I should do. I also lost more pens in the gym than most students do in three years at university. So I decided to build an app to think and carry less in the gym.

 

Have you always been interested in entrepreneurship? What inspired you to get into it?

I let my curiosity direct where I put my attention- which has its own set of pros and cons! My journey into entrepreneurship is more self-centred than most. From the projects I worked on, I always had a personal connection with problem I was trying to solve. Since I couldn’t find a product or service that met my needs, I would find out how I can create my own solution. If I have that problem, someone else might too.

Picture of Shabaj who founded the Success Program
Shabaj, founder of The Success Program

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Extra careers support for LGBTQ+ students

At the Careers Service we know LGBTQ+ students can face additional challenges to career thinking. This may include facing discrimination in recruitment practices, and identifying inclusive and supportive workplaces.

To help level the playing field, we’ve compiled the best support and opportunities into one handy document over on mycareer.

We also send out live opportunities in our weekly Flying Start bulletin. Sign up to Flying Start now!

Here’s a taster of the support on offer…

Mentoring & Employability Events

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Become an INTRApreneur with IKEEP

Would you like to develop your Intrapreneurial skills and gain invaluable experience working with entrepreneurs?

The IKEEP programme includes free online training in a range of business areas such as managing innovation, business model canvas and leadership strategies.

After you’ve completed the training, you can apply for a short project placement (a commitment of 70 hours per student, spread flexibly over 4 weeks). You will work remotely for a regional business as part of an interdisciplinary team of 3 students. Upon completion of a project placement, you will receive a stipend of £450.

Mansour Alshamsi, Year 1, BSc Marketing

We spoke to Mansour, a student who participated in our IKEEP training and industry placement to find out how his experience was in the IKEEP programme.  (more…)

Talent Foundry Ambassadors

The Talent Foundry charity organised three events with different schools throughout the Bristol area to encourage year 7 and 8 pupils to consider university as an option for their future. Their mission is to increase social mobility by helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds discover what they are amazing at, develop valuable new employment skills and take that first step into the world of work. (more…)

“I am thankful that I started thinking about careers in first year. It gave me more time to explore different options”

 It can be tempting to put off thinking about what you want to do when you graduate, especially when you are busy with university work. Chloe Henshaw, (BA English), shares how she started thinking about careers in her first year, and went from having no idea what she wanted to do to securing a place on the Civil Service Fast Stream.  (more…)

The New Enterprise Competition round- up

The New Enterprise Competition (NEC) drew to a close last month at our online celebration event where Peequal were crowned the winners of the Growth stage winning £15,000 in funding.  

The UK’s first women’s urinal showcased their first prototype at Bristol Comedy Gardens at the beginning of the month and following the news of their win, have been making headlines across the UK, gaining 60 million views of their business since winning the competition: 

Co-founder Hazel McShane said: ‘’Winning the competition has given us the opportunity to follow our dream for pee-equality. I want to give a massive shout out to the New Enterprise Competition and Basecamp team who have shown us support and encouragement from day one. The funding and recognition has lit the fire beneath PEEQUAL and we are now so excited to get our PEEQUAL urinals out there to free the pee.” (more…)

Give yourself a Flying Start this spring

This Spring your Careers Service is offering an extra suite of support for widening participation students, which includes:

  • BAME students
  • Disabled students
  • Mature students
  • Students who attended an aspiring school
  • Students who grew up in a low income household.

We know widening participation students face additional barriers to career thinking. This may include exploring career ideas when you don’t know what’s out there, getting quality work experience with less developed networks, and facing discrimination in recruitment practices. That’s why we’ve put together a dedicated programme of support this Spring to get you career ready:

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