Case Study: Find out about Andreea’s journey with IKEEP!

The Intrapreneurial Knowledge Exchange Enterprise Pathway (IKEEP) begins with fully funded training to equip you with the skills to drive innovation and bring fresh thinking to businesses. 

Once you’ve completed your intrapreneurial training, you can apply for a project placement and get the opportunity to take your new skills and help a business solve an innovative challenge. 


Andreea Patrunjel, MSc in Computer Science

Andreea Patrunjel, a postgraduate student, studying an MSc in Computer Science at the University of Bristol, took part in the IKEEP programme. She completed IKEEP’s online Intrapreneurial training and went on to apply for and take part in the 4-week project placement. She was matched with a Bristol start-up, Groundwaves, a company which have pioneered some of the most powerful haptic technology, and applied it in a footwear product, fusing the worlds of fashion and technology. 

We caught up with Andreea to hear more about her experience with IKEEP… 


What attracted you to participate in the IKEEP Programme?   

The IKEEP Programme appealed to me through its structure. The amazing opportunity to first complete the training aspect and gain intrapreneurial skills, such as business plan development and management skills and then use that knowledge to solve a real-life challenge within the project placement made me want to take part in this programme.   


What did you learn from the Intrapreneurial training? 

 The Intrapreneurial training provided me with invaluable knowledge. It was tailored in such a way that new concepts were explained very well, where you could practice what you learnt at every stage of the training.  

The interactive IKEEP video training session at the end was a nice way to go over the material we learnt from the training chapters and use breakout rooms to discuss our thoughts. It really put emphasis on how important teamwork is. The material recommended at the end of each training chapter provided numerous resources which we could access in order to enhance a particular notion.   


What did you learn from the business that you were matched with during the project placement?   

I have learnt how important it is to lead with passion, the power to pivot and how these can make a huge difference when you stumble upon challenges. It also gave me a good overview on how you build a start-up. It showed me how extraordinary it is to have the right people in a team to be dynamic; and the steps undertaken to turn your idea into action.  

During my team’s project placement, we worked closely with the founders of Groundwaves to tackle the future costumer base for their innovative product. The support we received from them and their openmindedness to our ideas was truly encouraging.   


Would you recommend this programme to other students at the University of Bristol? 

I would definitely recommend the IKEEP programme to other students and I would encourage them to apply for the project placement as well as the intrapreneurial training because together they are a very effective and interactive learning process. The IKEEP Programme would also benefit students who have an entrepreneurial mindset but feel like they would want to work within an established company first in order to learn how to navigate becoming an entrepreneur within a company (an intrapreneur) to generate value and allow their ideas to be seen.   


Want to get involved?

Release your inner Intrapreneur and set your CV apart from the crowd! Register your interest with us today!

More information about the IKEEP Programme can be found on the Careers Service website.

Any queries, just drop us an




Case Study: Senmag Robotics’s experience with IKEEP

What is IKEEP? 

The IKEEP Programme consists of high-quality knowledge exchange opportunities, providing fresh perspectives and skills to enable regional businesses to grow while honing the talent of future graduates. 

Students involved will have participated in online training in a range of business areas such as managing innovation, business model development and project management. Student teams are ready to be placed within a company to develop business model solutions, improve market awareness and more! 

Senmag Robotics’s Experience with IKEEP 

Senmag Robotics took part in the IKEEP Programme this year. The student team, matched to this business, carried out market research to evaluate the most suitable markets and potential customers/early adopters for their product. They were also involved in the company’s website design, implementing improvements using HTML and CSS. 

Spyros Lavetiz, the CEO and Co-founder of Senmag Robotics

Senmag Robotics is a Bristol-based start-up and New Enterprise Competition finalist producing affordable haptic feedback technology, which allows a user to physically interact with computer simulations, making environments and objects in AR/VR feel solid. 

Spyros Lavetiz is the CEO and Co-founder of Senmag Robotics and has recently completed his final year of a master’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol. 

We spoke to Spyros to find out more about his experience with IKEEP…  


Why did you apply to the IKEEP Programme?  

Considering we are an early start up, Senmag Robotics did not have access to funding to employ interns or staff. The IKEEP Programme provided the funding required to make this project happen. As a business, we believe this programme provided essential help, and the team of students were very eager to work hard and produce top results. 

What did the student team learn during this project placement? 

The students learnt how an early start-up functions, how to carry out market research and how to cooperate in a small team of engineers to get the best possible outcome.  

How did the project benefit your business?  

The market research has provided useful insights into the markets and the companies that Senmag Robotics should target. More importantly, the website work was excellent. It was a big improvement from the previous version.  


Want to get involved? 

Students, if you are interested in becoming business advisors, placed within regional businesses, Sign up for our free Intrapreneurial training and start your journey with IKEEP! 

Participating businesses, Register your interest with us now, and provide your project brief with clear deliverables. 

Feel free to contact the University of Bristol IKEEP team with any questions you might have: 


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. 

Could you sum up your IKEEP experience?  

The IKEEP program was a very enriching and eye-opening experience. It provided me with the valuable knowledge required to enhance my intrepreneurial skills in the workplace.  

What did you learn from the IKEEP training and industry placement?  

The training exposed me to new business ideas, covering various aspects of intrapreneurship. It also taught me how to implement different business models appropriately. I learned that listening to other people is key to effective communication and that every business problem has a solution.

During my placement, I was able to learn the true meaning and significance of teamwork. I learned how listening can help turn differences into strengths in order to keep going forward with our tasks. I was able to develop my research, communication and marketing skills and have a taste of how businesses and organisations operate.  

What attracted you to the IKEEP programme?   

As a Bristol PLUS Award holder, I received an email invitation to join the pilot program. Due to my interest in entrepreneurship and start-ups, I believed that this would be an invaluable opportunity to undertake a short-term placement within a local start-up and learn more about how start-ups operate.  

How does the IKEEP experience contribute towards your career planning?  

IKEEP has connected me to accomplished entrepreneurs and exposed me to the resources which will pave the way for me to launch my own business in the future.   

Would you recommend this programme to other students?   

I would definitely recommend IKEEP to any student who is curious about start-ups or seeking to learn more about them!  It also counts towards the Bristol PLUS Award.


Visit our Enterprise pages, to find out more about the IKEEP Programme.  

Register your interest now for one of the upcoming online intrapreneurial training sessions.  (It’s free!)


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:


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…)

Equality and Diversity Careers Week is coming!

Equality and Diversity Careers Week 27-31 January

Employers are waking up to the importance of equality and diversity in their graduate recruitment.  According to the Institute of Student Employers, 76% of employers now consider social mobility to be a priority.  

But what does equality and diversity in careers really mean? And how do these values affect you? 

For the week of 27-31 January, the Careers Service and Bristol Students’ Union are putting on fifteen events to explore and celebrate diversity as a workplace strength. 


Bristol Mentors – Helping shape my future

We caught up with Lucy Downer, Final Year English BA Undergraduate, about her experiences of having a mentor with the Bristol Mentors programme.

Starting out as a third-year student I felt incredibly daunted by the prospect of life post-graduation. Being part of the Bristol Mentors programme this year has given me invaluable experience within an industry I am considering entering after graduation. (more…)

Mature students – settling in and planning ahead


As both a careers adviser and lecturer in academic skills, I am lucky enough to work with mature students in two crucial ways throughout the academic year: introducing you to how to study when you arrive, and helping you to find the work that’s right for you as you progress through your degree and get ready to leave.

One of the main issues that comes up in my discussions with mature students is confidence.  If you had a negative experience in your earlier years in education, then this can throw a bit of spanner in the works when it comes to approaching university life with confidence.  Alternatively, it may be the case that you have made a significant change to your lifestyle and are wondering why you have left your job to be a student again, and whether or not someone will think you are employable at the end of it all.  Whatever your concern, here is some guidance that I hope will help to allay your fears and concentrate on getting the best out of your degree experience.

You are not alone!

I help with our mature student induction programme and it’s great to see so many of you all in the same room at the same time, talking to each other and making contacts.  When you are going through the process of getting into university, especially if you have come in through an Access course, you may be worried that you will be the only mature student in your class, or that you won’t be able to cope with the step up to degree-level study.  Please take advantage of what is on offer to you.  It doesn’t matter if you meet other mature students who are not studying on the same course; you could still arrange to meet in a local café once a week to talk about what it’s like coming back to study and discuss any issues that come up.  Make sure that you attend any induction events or social opportunities on offer to mature students, if you can; this will help you to feel less alone and more able to access the University’s Support Services which are here to help you if you run into difficulty.

Planning your next move

You may not be thinking about your career in great detail in your first year with us but, if taking a degree is a means to you moving onwards and upwards, then there is a lot on offer if you simply want to explore your options.  If you have the time, attending employer presentations and Careers In events during the autumn term can give you a taste of what it’s like to work in certain sectors, learn more about them and meet company representatives, all of which will help you to make career decisions later on.

If you are about to return for your second or third year, then come along to our Welcome Back Day.  We are offering some short talks about how to use your coming year to be best placed to get the job you want, as well as informal opportunities to talk to Careers Service staff and enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake!  If you are further along in your degree and considering the transition back into employment, we also have a range of workshops and skills sessions throughout the term that can help you to develop your employability and get a feel for what awaits you after graduation.  Many of these events are run by employers, so it’s a great opportunity to find out how they regard more mature applicants and what they would like to see on your CV.

Applying for graduate jobs as a mature candidate – some myths and worries busted!

Recruiters want to see applications from candidates of all backgrounds.  What is crucial is how you sell what you have to offer to that employer as positively as possible.

  •  Employers only want to hire 21 year olds

Not true!  They want the best person for the job, and the best person may be one who has already enjoyed substantial experience in the workplace and can be regarded as ‘a safe pair of hands’, rather than someone who has itchy feet because they didn’t take a gap year.

  • But I still don’t want to be competing with people going for graduate schemes

Fair enough.  A lot of younger graduates don’t take this route either.  You can look at company websites for vacancies for ‘Experienced Hires’, and start using your contacts to find out if they have any opportunities when you finish studying.  We have a Careers Network of Bristol graduates who can offer you advice, and you can also make speculative applications to companies that interest you.  You can find advice on updating your CV on our website, too.

  • I’ve only been a housewife/carer up until now!

In that case, you will have been running a household, managing a budget and juggling responsibilities for several years, all of which are valuable transferable skills in the workplace.  I hosted a talk last year by an experienced barrister who explained how some mature students had successfully launched legal careers relatively late in the day and without relevant previous experience.  It’s about making the most of your opportunities while you study and showing your enthusiasm for your choice of new career.

  • My CV is hopelessly out of date

No problem! Come into the Careers Service for advice and guidance on how to update your CV and make the most of your skills and experience.  We can also help with those tricky application forms that employers seem to love these days, as well as with preparing for interviews if you feel out of practice.

We see mature students on a regular basis at Careers for a wide range of queries, so please come in, whatever your question, and we’ll do our best to help.  Enjoy making the most of the autumn term and we hope to see you soon!

 Dr Tracy Johnson, Careers Adviser