Being at university is not just about getting a degree. It’s also about the opportunities alongside your degree to explore interests and develop yourself.
It can be about pushing outside your comfort zone or proving to yourself that you can do something. You may want to make a difference in a community or make your mark. Or you may want to dedicate time to an interest or a cause that intrigues or inspires you.
For our latest City Challenge, we teamed up with local Bristol charity BristolHub, an organisation that supports University of Bristol students to tackle social challenges, learn about issues and connect with each other.
So what is a City Challenge? and why should you take part?
We caught up with Hannah (BA Politics and International Relations) and Apoorva (MA Economics and Finance) who attended the most recent City Challenge, along with Will Westgarth of Bristol Hub, to hear all about the programme and why they recommend you take part in a future one. Here are their five top reasons :
1. You can make a real difference to a local charity
During a City Challenge, you help a Bristol non-profit tackle an issue they are facing. You learn about a local cause, help improve them and have a positive impact on the local community. Our most recent challenge was with Bristol Hub. Hannah, who’s in her second year, said, “I aspire to work in the non-profit sector so insight into a small charity and the way it works was really helpful for me.”
The charity gets a lot too.
Will of Bristol Hub said, “The Challenge helped Bristol Hub further understand students’ desires when it comes to opportunities and how we can best reach out and connect with students. They came up with incredibly detailed and well thought-out presentations, with suggestions which we will take on board for the next academic year.”
‘As a Postgraduate Researcher, it can be easy to focus so intently on your research and forget how much university life still has to offer. The Bristol PLUS Award has encouraged me to seek out these experiences, and meet a wider range of students and staff, which I am incredibly grateful for.’
(19 – 20 PGR PLUS Award achiever)
Broaden your Horizons
The Bristol PLUS Award is the university’s employability Award, giving you the opportunity to gain formal recognition for commitments you take on outside of your research.
Getting involved outside of your research is a great way to build connections and community. The PLUS Award recognises a broad range of activities, and for Postgraduate Researchers, lots of these are things you may well already be taking part in.
That could be teaching support, marking, or submitting a paper to a journal. Or experiences outside of the university such as part time work or volunteering. For more ideas, you can check out our list of common PGR options for the Bristol PLUS Award.
Hello prospective PLUS Award achievers! I’m Avellina, a final year Biology student and 2021/22 PLUS Award achiever.
Many students understand that the Bristol PLUS Award is an employability award that rewards you for going above and beyond your degree. We know that it boosts our CV and makes us stand out to future employers… but there are also secret, unknown benefits that you’ll only uncover upon starting the Award process!
Towards the end of term, as many of us were beginning to wind down for the winter break, the Careers Service, in collaboration with the SU Volunteering Team, were busy organising a Winter Tea Party for some of Bristol’s elderly residents.
This initiative, one of the Service’s community engagement activities, saw them take over the Richmond Building’s Carpenter Room and share some festive cheer in the form of food, chat, and entertainment.
The Winter Tea Party welcomed fifty members of the community from Parkway Methodist Church, Brunelcare, and St. Monica’s Trust; together with a number of student volunteers and society representatives who supported the guests and helped ensure they had an enjoyable afternoon.
Want to find out more about the Outstanding PLUS Awards? Let’s get all your questions answered.
What are the Outstanding PLUS Awards?
Launched last academic year, the Outstanding PLUS Awards (OPA) reward Bristol PLUS Award achievers who have gone above and beyond in their PLUS Award activity. The OPA is so sought after because there are just eight winners every year – one winner per category.
The Bristol PLUS Award rewards students for participating in extracurricular activities alongside their studies, and provides a framework to articulate their skills and experiences to employers.
Last year we launched the Outstanding PLUS Awards (OPA), to reward students who went the extra mile in their PLUS Award activity. In this final edition of our four-part OPA blog series, we will be breaking down the Resilience and Wellbeing Champion categories to show the spectrum of activities that can be used towards both categories.
This category is all about demonstrating how you persevered or adapted to challenges whilst in pursuit of your PLUS Award.
A personal challenge is a broad concept and can encompass many situations. The highest scoring nominations reflected on how they responded to challenges, and how those challenges impacted their PLUS Award journey: (more…)