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 email:uob-ikeep@bristol.ac.uk

 

 

 

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: uob-ikeep@bristol.ac.uk 

 

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!)

 

Completing your Masters application? Let us help!

Having explored whether postgraduate study is an option for you, and weighed up the pros and cons, you’re now ready to submit your application… but where do you start?!

We often meet students and graduates that find making a start to this process overwhelming. This blog gives you a checklist to inspire you to make a start and provide you with resources that can help you to complete your application.  (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…)

How to write a winning personal statement for postgraduate study

application_-_pen1A personal statement is your chance to make a great first impression when applying for a postgraduate course. It provides a space for you to convince the admissions tutor(s) that you have the motivation, relevant knowledge and academic capability to successfully complete the course, and reflect well on the institution.

When writing your statement, always check whether the admissions team has written instructions on what to include and how much to write – and if they have then make sure you follow them! Often, however, you will be largely left to fill in the blank space yourself – and in that case we recommend you write about 500 words, which equates to approximately 1 A4 page.

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Converting to Law

The University’s MA in Law programme offers a wide choice of career paths – both inside and outside the legal sector. William Bartoli-Edwards, a Bristol Music graduate has posted a blog about this innovative postgraduate programme.

Why the MA in Law?

As a first year Law MA student who also completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol, the MA course has lived up to my hopes and expectations. My initial decision to enrol on the course was taken because I felt that, despite having taken steps forward in my academic development during my BA, I had not quite satisfied my academic curiosity and development. Therefore, looking for a course that gave me more academic challenges, but also complemented my initial degree, was a focus which quickly led to the Law MA as the ideal outcome.

When comparing the course to the GDL the Law MA seemed to suit my needs better; the GDL was more of a practical solution to being able to practise law, rather than an academic endeavour. Similarly, Bristol stood out in comparison to those other universities offering an accelerated LLB course. The MA provides a basis to support many more opportunities for further study and professional development outside the field of law, as well as offering the opportunity to preview an LLM, with the optional module in the second year being chosen from either the LLM options or a Master’s level research project.

Diverse range of options

For me, personally, because my undergraduate degree was in Music, Bristol, being a media and creative centre, lent itself well to support my continuing professional development, leading to a University Internship Scheme with Aardman Animations. This is also an example of how diverse law is as a subject. Not only does it enhance all of the sought after skills, such as critical analysis, but it is likely to complement most interests or sectors since specialist knowledge as well as practical knowledge often go hand in hand. Therefore, for example, a specialism in contentious music litigation is now a possibility for me.

Alternatives to Law careers

Nevertheless, a non-law focused career is equally possible. For me, with a passion for music and the music industry, there are a variety of jobs and possibilities which the transferable skills from law complement in the commercial music environment. In an industry such as music, ‘career paths’ are less common, or at least less clear, compared to many other professional areas. This is where the skills of the MA will be increasingly valuable. The critical thinking and the ability to analyse any situation you are dealing with means carving out your own, specialist, career path becomes much less worrisome.

Finally, the department itself is one full of enthusiasm and energy. The professors are extremely willing to help whenever and with whatever you need. From my experiences of other courses, within and outside of the University of Bristol, this course offers a great deal of personal development that is hard to find elsewhere.

Thanks William!

To find out more about a career in the Legal sector check out the Careers Service website – http://www.bristol.ac.uk/careers/be-inspired/career-sectors/legal-services/

I think I’m on the wrong degree course!

change course

The Careers Service sees many students in this particular situation every term, and an appointment with one of our careers advisers can help you to think about your career options with a change of subject, as well as the potential consequences of leaving your degree programme altogether.  Here is some advice for three of the most common dilemmas we help with related to this area.

I like this university but I want to change my degree subject

This is potentially trickier than you might think.  Being admitted onto one programme of study doesn’t mean that you can simply swap to another.  Each school or department carries out its own recruitment and has different numbers of places available on each course.  There may not be a place available for you to switch from Chemistry to Biology, for example, just because you are already a student in a particular university.

To clarify your options, find out who the admissions tutor is for the course to which you want to transfer; this information is usually found on the website for each school or department.  Ask if they have any available places and if they are willing to consider your case based on your existing academic performance and career plans.  Do bear in mind that if you are performing poorly in your academic work in your current subject, it may be a challenge to convince another department that you should be admitted to their programme.

If you want to make a radical subject change, such as moving from Mathematics to History of Art, a careers adviser will be able to help you consider your career options and any long-term implications. Do be aware that about two thirds of graduate recruiters don’t mind which subject your degree is in (unless you want to be something like an engineer or doctor!) as long as you have the right transferable skills and some work experience to offer.

I want to do the same subject but I don’t like it here!

As above, you need to contact the admissions tutor for the course in which you are interested at the university you want to move to and see which options are available to you.  Will you be able to transfer credits or will you have to repeat a year and maybe take some additional units?  Remember that degree courses in the same subject can be structured and taught very differently between institutions, so take the time to check and make sure that you are making the right choice this time.

If you need to repeat a year and this involves taking time out from study, then obtaining work experience could be a valuable addition to your CV and potentially make you more employable than if you hadn’t spent some time in the workplace.

I don’t know if I want to be at university at all

It could also be the case that being at university right now just isn’t working for you.   It’s perfectly okay to change your mind if you feel that you have made the wrong decision to start a degree.  You could go out and work for a while and then return to education later, if you like, although your funding opportunities may be affected by how long you suspend your studies. We have copies of the AGCAS publication Changing or Leaving Your Course at the Careers Service, for advice on these practicalities.  A careers adviser can help you to decide which route is best for you at the present time.  You will also need to speak to your Faculty Office and Student Funding about how to withdraw from your programme and what implications there are for your fees and loans.

Bear in mind too, that many people have successful careers without being graduates.  A lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners are self-starters who are good at marketing their skills and services.  Some of the larger corporations involved in graduate recruitment also now offer training schemes post A-Level for those who don’t want to go on to university for whatever reason, so it’s really worth looking for alternative routes into a career you would love.  The path may not be straightforward and progress may be slower, but your career will ultimately be based on how well you do a particular job and not on a degree classification, so you will eventually be on a level playing field with graduates in the same industry.

Whatever your dilemma, it won’t be anything we haven’t heard before, so do come into the Careers Service and ask if you can talk to someone about your options or start by looking at the advice on the University website about changing or leaving your course.

Dr Tracy Johnson, Careers Adviser

Image:http://www.itworld.com

Finding hidden sources of funding for your postgraduate study

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So, you’re thinking about doing postgraduate study. You’ve researched all your options, chosen the subject you want to specialise in, found the institution you want to go to. Your dream of further study is almost within your grasp, but that nagging question remains: how exactly are you going to pay for it?

Or perhaps you’ve already started your postgraduate course and you’re looking for some extra funding to attend a conference, do some further research, or top up your dwindling maintenance allowance.

Whatever your situation, you’ll know that obtaining funding from more mainstream sources, such as funding councils and scholarships, is becoming increasingly difficult as budgets go down and competition for the remaining money goes up. What you might not know is that there is another significant source of postgraduate funding which could potentially help you: the voluntary sector.

There are a large number of charities and trusts which are prepared to give small but significant amounts to postgraduate students. The downside is that these funding opportunities are all advertised separately in various different places (if at all) and it can take a huge amount of time and perseverance to find them. However, the University of Bristol Careers Service has a subscription to a resource which can make looking for this funding a whole lot easier.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding pulls together information about over 600 charities which provide awards to postgraduate students into a single searchable database. The database includes brief details about each body and the funding it offers, with web links or contact details so you can find out more information. The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding also includes advice about how to make a successful funding application. And because the guide is not exhaustive, it also includes tips and strategies to help you search for other sources of funding which might not be listed in the guide itself.

You can access the guide in three different formats:

Web resource: This version has a searchable database, video clips giving helpful advice, and some handy tools to help you in your search for funding, including a ‘Personal grants manager’ and a ‘Personal statement assistant’. Go to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding gateway page and set up a free personal account, or log on directly if you’re using a PC on campus.

PDF document: The guide is also available as an electronic document via the Careers Service website. Go to our ‘Browse electronic resources‘ section and search for ‘Alternative Guide’.

Print copy: We also have a print copy of the current guide, along with copies from previous years, in the red folder at shelf location 4b in the Careers Service.

The guide is available to all current University of Bristol students and to registered graduates.

And, remember, if you need further help looking for postgraduate funding, the Careers Service Information Team will be delighted to help you. You can contact us by phone or email:

Tel: 0117 9288237

Email: careers-resources@bristol.ac.uk

Alternatively, you can drop in to the Careers Service and chat to us in person. See the Careers Service website for details of our current opening hours.

Best of luck finding your funding!

Tim Riley, Information Specialist

How to write a winning statement for postgraduate study

application_-_pen1

This post is intended to help you get that all-important personal statement right when applying for Masters programmes and other postgraduate courses.  To make sure you get the appropriate tone and content, you need to think about your application from the perspective of the admissions tutor.  I see a lot of statements written in the style of academic essays, offering lengthy thoughts on key concepts in the field, but this isn’t what is required.  The tone and points you make should resemble a job application more than academic arguments.  Here are my tips for keeping your statement in the ‘yes’ pile.

  • First, I’m assuming that you have done your homework and thoroughly researched the course.  Does the teaching style suit you?  What jobs do graduates of the programme go on to do? Have you talked to potential future employers to find out if you need to do the course, or are you satisfied that you want to do it for your own development? Can you fund the course and your maintenance costs throughout?  If you haven’t thought these questions through, then visit our Postgraduate Study pages for advice.  It is also a good idea to telephone or email the course admissions tutor if you have any questions before applying.
  • Now, structure your statement around the following points to make sure you’re including what the admissions tutor wants to see:
  • An introduction that gets straight to the point

Be clear and direct at the beginning of the statement, and don’t waste time discussing the ins and outs of academic debates within the subject of the course.  Go straight in with why you are applying for the programme and get their attention.  It’s ok to personalise this as genuine motivations will really stand out over those applications where people are applying for courses without having thought it through, or just can’t think of what else to do.  Mentioning an inspirational person you met or a life experience that got you interested in this area can grab the reader’s attention straight away.  For graduate medicine, for example, many students have experienced life-changing events that led them to choose to become a doctor.

  • Do you have the academic capability to complete the course successfully?

You need to provide specific evidence here of the skills and knowledge you have gained during your undergraduate studies that will provide a good foundation for a postgraduate programme.  Provide clear examples of when you developed specific skills, such as managing your dissertation, learning about team work in a group project, or improving your problem solving abilities, using the STAR framework to capture what you learned.  Highlight units that you studied that are relevant to this new programme and how they will provide you with useful foundations.  If you are applying for a programme that is quite different from your undergraduate subject, then you will need to spell out how your skills and learning are transferable to this new discipline.  Don’t assume that the tutor knows what you have to offer; they need to see that you can articulate this clearly to them, rather like making a sales pitch.

  • Why have you chosen this particular programme at this particular place?

Just as if you were applying for a job, you must show that you have researched both the institution and the department offering the course and be clear about why you have chosen them.  Are there particular specialists you are looking forward to working with?  Why does the teaching style appeal to you?  Are there individual units that attract you?  If you are applying for a course at your current undergraduate institution, you still have to do this!  Be clear about why you want to stay, as it is by no means given that you will get a place on a Masters just because you’re already studying in the same place, especially if it’s a popular programme.

  • What are your future plans? What will this course lead to?

The admissions tutor will want to see clear evidence that this course is going to help you get further towards the career you have in mind, as this means you are more likely to be motivated during your studies and complete the course.  It’s ok to have more than one job option in mind when you apply and it’s also perfectly fine to change your mind later, but it helps if you can demonstrate a goal towards which you will be working by completing this programme of study.

  • What else do you do that could have given you relevant skills?

It’s important to leave space for a paragraph that talks about your co-curricular interests and activities, as many of these can provide valuable skills and experience you can bring to a postgraduate programme.  Any client-facing experience from shop, café or event work can provide the essential people skills needed for teaching, social work or legal training, for example, so it’s important that you explain specific occasions when you enhanced these skills, again using the STAR framework.

So, when completing a postgraduate statement, it’s important to keep in mind the perspective of the admissions tutor and their requirements.  That way, you’ll hit the right target and stand a better chance of getting that place.  If you need some more inspiration, you can:

Good luck!

Dr Tracy Johnson, Careers Adviser

(Image: http://www.postgrad.com)