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 students: how to maximise your chances of getting hired by a UK employer

The beauty of the Graduate route is that you can live and work in the UK even if you are not offered a Skilled Worker visa. As you probably know, securing sponsorship can be quite competitive. The Graduate route opens the door for international students to also consider less competitive opportunities, such as jobs in smaller organisations (called SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises), which in the UK account for over 99% of all businesses. Therefore, targeting SMEs to look for a job seems like a wise move. There are many benefits to working for smaller organisations – and you can find out more in our online guide “What is an SME? Why work for one?

How do I find a job with an SME?

Once you have narrowed down your search and feel you have some understanding of the market, focus on writing quality applications for a few of your preferred employers.

Stand in the hiring manager’s shoes and consider what will convince them to hire you.

Firstly, employers want someone that can DO THE JOB.

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Have you heard of Student Circus? Our time-saving jobs portal for international students

Are you an overseas student, looking for work in the UK, but short on time?

We know there are lots of competing demands on international students’ time. Often juggling both independent and group assignments, and this year, adjusting to doing this remotely online. In normal circumstances adapting to a new culture, city, and education system presents enough to be getting on with. On top of all this, is the task of finding graduate work. This can be time consuming as an international student. From getting to know the UK jobs market to understanding the graduate visas available. Not to mention choosing roles you have an interest in and feel you could contribute to.

International student job portal, Student Circus, advertises internships, placements and graduate jobs across a range of sectors and company sizes, from start-ups to large multinationals.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

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3 steps to making the most of the graduate route

It is an exciting time for international students! If you are graduating from this summer, you will be able to apply for the new graduate route, to stay in the UK and work or look for work for two years, or three years if you have a PhD.

The main benefit of this route over the skilled worker route is that you do not need an employer to sponsor you. We expect the government to publish full details on how to apply for the route very soon. In the meantime here are 3 steps you can take now to make the most of this opportunity.

Step One – Clarify your goals

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Shaping the international student experience

 

The #WeAreInternational student ambassador programme is an education policy and leadership development scheme for international students in the UK. With my growing interest in education policy and love for personal development, I thought it would be the perfect fit for me, and I was right!

From the very beginning, UKCISA staff have been nothing but kind and supportive. Even the recruitment process was insightful and enjoyable. It entailed a group activity and presentation, then a one-to-one interview. I remember all the candidates being so passionate, confident, and knowledgeable. We were informed of the decision a couple of days later, and fortunately, I was successful.

The induction training session, being before the pandemic, was an in person two-day event. It covered an introduction to UKCISA, essential policy knowledge and skills, and an individual session going through our personal development plan, tailoring it to our policy area of interest.

Being a #WeAreInternational student ambassador has been one of the best experiences of my university journey. I have been able to have a say in the international student experience! This has included: (more…)

8 reasons why you should do the Bristol PLUS Award!

As the new academic year starts, we are so excited to welcome you all back and *drumroll pleaseopen the Bristol PLUS Award for registration!  (more…)

Good reasons to contact your Careers Service

Picture of long straight woodland road with light at the end
Image from Pixabay

We are often greeted with surprise from both students and graduates visiting the Careers Service for the first time: “I never knew there was so much here!” and “I wish I had got in touch before now” are common reactions.

We also know that students are often reluctant to get in touch with us, feeling that they need to have a specific reason to talk to us – you don’t!

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How COVID-19 is impacting graduate recruitment around the world

You may have seen articles in the UK press about how coronavirus is affecting the UK graduate job market.  Broadly speaking it’s a mixed outlook, with some sectors like hospitality badly affected whereas others, like healthcare and social work, are more robust. You can read a useful summary on Prospects.

Photo by MOLPIX

At Bristol, one in four of you now are from overseas, so we’re actively using our relationships with global recruitment platforms and employers to collate information on job markets outside of the UK.

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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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