Ten tips to make the most of your winter vacation!

Now that the holiday season is upon us, have you considered how you might spend the break from University? If you want to make the most of the time, this can be a good opportunity to continue your careers and employability journey. 

Have a look at our top 10 tips to help you maximise the break from University: 

A festive dog.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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Get involved in local community outreach!

Students have been engaging with older community groups in Bristol by running a series of showcases and activities at Parkway Methodist Church in St Werberghs on Monday afternoons. Not only are these experiences a great way to give back to the local community, but they also develop planning and presentation skills, and it looks great on a CV!

We caught up with Kayleigh, Katie, Lillian, and Darya to hear about their sessions: (more…)

City Challenges: Students Provide Solutions to Real-life Problems

 

The City Challenges are an exclusive programme of events which provides you with the opportunity to engage with Bristol’s charity sector, gain informal work experience, and develop your skills through working on real life challenges posed by local community organisations. 

The first City Challenge involved piloting a problem-solving session focusing on reducing HIV stigma within the medical community, which was supported by the Brigstowe charity and the Careers Service Community Engagement team. 

A total of 10 students took part, developing their teamwork, communication, and decision-making skills to create presentations in which they gave details of how Brigstowe could approach raising awareness in the medical community of unfair and untrue beliefs around people living with HIV.  

This City Challenge allowed students to explore their interest in community outreach as well as learn about how they can be aware of and actively combat their own biases around their attitudes to people who are living with HIV. They explored issues such as how General Practitioners and students can destigmatise their work when dealing with people living with HIV. Brigstowe will now be able to use these ideas for possible future funding bids, marketing campaigns and training sessions. 

The next City Challenge will be based ask the question ‘How can we encourage male university students to talk about their mental health?’ and students will be working with Talk Club and the Community Engagement team. This challenge will be eligible for the Bristol PLUS Award and held on Wednesday 27 October from 11.30am to 5pm and you can sign up on myopportunities. 

6 Top Reasons to do the Bristol PLUS Award…according to PLUS achievers!

1. Get involved with extra-curricular opportunities 

Maximise your time at university by gaining skills and experience alongside your studies. The Bristol PLUS Award recognises your commitment and personal development in extra-curricular activities such as part time work, internships, student leadership roles and society committees. 

At the start of my postgraduate degree in Bristol, I was keen on engaging in as many extracurricular activities as possible and honing my employability skills. The Bristol Plus Award provided just the right motivation for me to do that.’  – Babatunde Osho, Climate Change Science and Policy MSc 

2.  Stand out to employers  

You’ll make your CV stand out from crowd with the Bristol PLUS Award. Less than 5% of the student population achieve the award each year and it is endorsed by employers, who you can read about on our website! 

3. Make progress with planning your future 

The Bristol PLUS Award can help you kick-start your future plans. Evidence shows that PLUS achievers are more likely to make positive progress in their career planning than students who do not take part: 37% of PLUS achievers record a positive change in their career planning progress compared to 27% of non-award students. 

‘It has been a fulfilling and positive experience, which has given me a much deeper awareness of my future.’ – Katie Ingram King, Sociology BSc 

 

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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…  

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Bristol PLUS Award – Get rewarded for your extra-curricular activities

The Bristol PLUS Award

 

The Bristol PLUS Award rewards you for going above and beyond alongside your studies

Maybe you have a part-time job, are running your own small business, or are thinking of doing some volunteering or an internship. If so, you could already be partway there to achieving the Award! As long as your experience takes place during your time as a student, you could get recognition for it.

 

Third-year Music student Honey Wyatt achieved the Bristol PLUS Award after working in a café during the holidays, and also set up and ran her own podcast.

A photo of Honey smiling
Honey Wyatt, Music Student and Bristol PLUS Award Achiever                                                                                      

‘Through working as front of house at a restaurant and café, I developed my communication, teamwork, and resilience. You need to be able to handle high pressure situations, such as if there is a rude or impatient customer or you have to manage several tasks at once (and we were understaffed, so this happened often).

Along with that I learnt an element of independence, as I had to figure out how to deal with a situation if there is nobody there to ask for help.

Running my podcast has been a completely different experience, although I have also developed my teamwork, independence and communication skills, as well as my reliability and how to run a business. There are two aspects of the podcast: the creative side, and the business side, both of which I have had to develop different skills for.’

Honey used both of these experiences to achieve the Award, as well as completing a variety of workshops in employability skills:

‘I have learnt the importance of developing a variety of different skills no matter what I am doing, as these could be useful in applying for jobs in future.’

To get started with the Bristol PLUS Award, sign up now for an introductory talk. Enterprise, entrepreneurship and start-up support can be found at the Basecamp Enterprise Team .

 

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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…)

There are still many ways to Achieve!

With restrictions still imposed upon much of society, some of you may be wondering just how achievable the Bristol PLUS Award will be for you this year 

Well, fear notThere are still loads of opportunities out there for you to develop skills and experience to use towards your Award (and your future!) 

Restructured format to support you 

In September 2020, in response to Covid-19 and the new blended student experience, the Bristol PLUS Award was restructured. Meaning we now recognise a wide range of online and virtual experiences – making gaining evidence for your Award totally achievable! (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…)