Challenges of tomorrow – festivals and events

Glastonbury festival at night

Events are a major element of the UK economy, with an estimated £3.3 billion revenue in 2023.

We ran the “Challenges of tomorrow – festivals & events” panel to give students an insight into how to get into this exciting sector, with expert input from Pauline Bourdon, Stevie Lee-Bennett and Charlie Wall.

Here is a quick introduction to our panellists, their backgrounds, and current roles:

Pauline Bourdon

Pauline Bourdon is a Director at Soliphilia (a green touring & sustainability consultancy), a lecturer in event sustainability at BIMM Bristol, a sustainability consultant with UNSW Cardiff, and the Head of Sustainability & Social Cohesion at Team Love – an event production company producing 6 festivals a year including Love Saves the Day in Bristol, Silver Hayes at Glastonbury Festival and Waterworks, London.

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How sustainability is shaping the future of work

“It’s everyone’s job to get sustainability right within a business.”

As sustainability is becoming increasingly important across the world, businesses are constantly evolving for the benefit of organisations and customers alike.

In January, four Bristol alumni joined the panel for the Bristol Connects Live: Sustainability in Business webinar.

A hand holding a plant

Hosted by Jack Middleton, Sustainability Champion for the Business School, the panel shared their insights into how their employers are addressing business sustainability as well how sustainability is shaping the future of work and gave tips on getting into the sector.

The panel:

  • Peter Ireson – (BSc 2015): Economist at Deloitte
  • Joanna Leigh – (MSci 2015): Sustainability Consultant at Think Beyond
  • Sean Polden – (MEng 2017): Sustainability Manager at Dyson
  • James Chow – (MSc 2013): Assistant Director at EY
Left to right: Peter, Joanna, Sean, James
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Disability and Neurodivergence careers panel – employer and alumni insights

Last term, PwC’s Kim Whippy, Change 100’s Ursula Green, and University of Bristol MEng Aerospace Engineering alumnus, Syirah Ami, joined us at our ‘Disability and neurodivergence career panel’.

They shared their insights into the range of support available for students and graduates:


Workplace adjustments

Reasonable adjustments within the workplace maximise inclusivity, accessibility, and support for employees.

Applicants are encouraged to disclose requests or requirements whenever is most comfortable for them.

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My SME Internship: Audrey – Pointer Consultancy Group

Hello! My name is Audrey and in my first year studying Economics and Maths, I completed an internship at Pointer Consultancy Group.

Pointer is a small but growing consulting company based in Bristol. It focuses mainly on project, bid, and change management but has begun offering sustainability consulting to help companies achieve their environmental, social and governance goals.

I worked at Pointer part-time during term time from February until June, completing 10-12 hours per week, mostly virtually from home but also coming into the office for a few hours each week.  

A photo of Audrey, smiling.

My role

I was given the task of creating a tool in Excel to help guide clients through the Business Impact Assessment, which is the first step towards becoming a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp). I worked mostly with one person, Ben, during the internship but frequently would present what I had done to other employees and directors at Pointer. 

Challenges and skills I gained

Time management: The greatest challenge of this internship was learning to manage my time effectively, especially since I was working during term time. Pointer was very supportive and flexible, being happy to let me do more or less each week depending on the intensity of assignments I had due, as well as letting me take a few weeks’ break to complete my exams.

Analytical skills: Another challenge I had was learning to analyse a problem I was facing in the development of the tool and decide which questions were the most important to ask. Everybody at Pointer was always happy to help guide me but were often very busy, so it was important for me to ask precise questions and learn to take initiative.  

This experience taught me to be more organised, solve problems efficiently and communicate well with my colleagues. Not to mention my skills in Microsoft Excel, which I greatly improved.  

Real-world experience: I also learned a lot about consulting and how a small company operates. I had the chance to attend the Bristol Sustainable Business Festival which showed me the importance of networking and making personal connections to create opportunities for work and growth.  

I had a great time during my internship. I loved working with everyone at Pointer and learned so much about the company, industry, and myself. This experience made me more certain of my desire to enter the field of sustainability.  

Advice

I would advise anyone looking to take on an intern role with an SME to take the time to first read the job description in detail and the SME Internship Scheme Guide and to tailor your cover letter and your CV to include relevant information for the job.

Take the time to read around the company and industry so you can enter an interview with confidence, already have some knowledge of the job, and can ask interesting questions.

During an internship, always communicate with the company any worries you might have about the workload or responsibilities while you are working there, and they will be happy to listen and help. 

I wish you all the best in applying for internships and hope you have a great time! 


Want to be an SME Intern? 

The SME Internship Scheme is open and we are advertising internships that you can apply for, or you can arrange your own internship, find out more here

SME Internship Scheme logo

Check out our “My SME Internship” blog series to hear more student stories. 

So you’ve found an opportunity you’d like to apply for: 

Securing paid internships can feel challenging, but there is plenty of support to help you make the most of the SME Internship Scheme. 

Here are some resources to support your application: 

If you have any questions about the scheme, writing your application, or anything else relating to careers you can speak to us on live chat, or pop into 5 Tyndall Avenue from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4.30 pm during term time. 

SME Internship Scheme: Finding an SME Internship at a careers fair – Windō

Last academic year, final year Engineering Mathematics student Patrick approached Windō at the Get Hired careers fair, and as a result was able to secure an SME Internship with them. 

We caught up with Oli, founder and CEO of Windō, and Patrick to hear about how a chat at a careers fair led to a connection…and an internship!

Windō 

Windō is a free platform for students to easily access, digest and compare the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) progress and plans that companies are making to drive positive change across sustainability, diversity, equality and inclusion, and employee wellbeing.

A photo of Oli talking to a student at the Get Hired fair.

“Hi, I’m Oli, CEO at Windō.

We were invited as a Sustainability Partner to have a stall at Get Hired in the Spring. It’s always a great opportunity to demonstrate our platform to students and meet the very people we built Windō for.

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How to get into corporate governance and risk management.

In November 2022, the Faculty of Social Sciences & Law hosted the ”How to get into Corporate Governance and Risk Management” panel event with three University of Bristol alumni. 

via GIPHY

Henrietta Skareng, 3rd year BSc Politics and International Relations student and Career Peer Support Assistant, attended the event and here are her top takeaways:

What is corporate governance and risk management?

Corporate governance refers to the way that firms are directed and controlled. Working with corporate governance means ensuring that practices and procedures are efficient in achieving company objectives and that the interests of all stakeholders are balanced. You can read more about corporate governance on the Chartered Governance Institute UK & Ireland website.

Risk management within the financial sector, much as it sounds, is all about assessing risks within the industry and constructing strategies to avoid or minimise the impact of them. In the context of multiple global challenges, companies are increasingly exposed to risk.  In the financial sector in particular there are opportunities available across a range of employers, such as banks, insurance and property firms, as well as in the public sector. You can read more about risk management and control in our myCareer guide.

The diversity of experiences among the event panellists highlights the spectrum of opportunities within corporate governance and risk management. Read on for further details and their top suggestions for entering the field of corporate governance and risk management.

Who were the panelists?

Image of three speakers Celine, Sam and Helen

  • Celine Okoroma – Head of Governance and Compliance at Paraclete Legal Consulting
  • Sam Haynes – Head of Risk Analytics at Verisk Maplecroft
  • Helen Hodge – Enterprise Risk Management Specialist at Deloitte

Click their names to explore their profiles on LinkedIn!

Top tips from the panel:

  1. Do a self-assessment – Assess your strengths and capabilities to figure out what your skills and passions are. A self-assessment could help you discover whether you are suited for a career in the industry and what skills you might need to build on. Try the mycareer strengths assessment.
  1. Build your skills over time – If you know what role or company you want to work for, research their requirements and find opportunities and experiences that will build skills that align with what the employer is looking for. Often, employers are looking for candidates with strong analytical and quantitative analysis skills, so consider finding experience that could help strengthen your skill-base in those areas. You may find this Competency Framework from CGI
  1. Utilise LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great source of inspiration and allows you to connect with other students, alumni, potential employers and professionals working in this area. A simple search for the role or area you are looking to pursue lets you explore what qualifications, experiences, and professional certifications other people working in the sector have.
  1. Stay up to date on the industry – Visit the websites of professional regulatory organisations, and subscribe to their newsletters to stay up to date with the industry. For example, the Chartered Governance Institute, the Global Risk Report from the World Economic Forum, and the annual risk reports of specific companies you might be interested in. This is a good idea to do before the interview stage to demonstrate your interest in the company and industry overall!
  1. Get a certificate in corporate governance from the Chartered Governance Institute of the UK and Ireland. If you wish to pursue a role in corporate governance, the speakers recommended that you consider getting a certificate in corporate governance to increase your competency.

Find out more:

Blog written by Henrietta Skareng, a 3rd year BSc Politics and International Relations student, Student Engagement Team Worker and Career Peer Support Assistant

You don’t need a STEM degree for a career in sustainability

 

On 22 April your Careers Service joined with others to mark Earth Day calling on business, government and citizens to invest in our planet. This year the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, issued its ‘bleakest warning yet’ on the impacts of climate breakdown. Like us, you may feel hungry to find out how we can play a role in mitigating this, and address some of  the anxiety about the enormity of the problem.

The good news is that the choices you make in your career are likely to make the greatest contribution overall. There are many ways to do this in a professional sector that is growing  all the time. You don’t need to have studied a science or environment-related subject, either.

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City Challenge: Student volunteers help to launch Hartcliffe City Farm cut flower farm.

A group of smiling students outdoors at Hartcliffe cut flower farm
The student volunteers and Careers Service Community Engagement Team

For the most recent City Challenge, University of Bristol students helped local organisation Heart of BS13 to come up with ideas to promote the opening of a new cut flower farm, focusing on sustainable growth, soil health, and biodiversity. 

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How to get into the emerging field of supply chain management and logistics: Top Tips

Supply chain and logistics is a key part of the UK economy.  With factors such as the use of cutting-edge technologies in many areas, & the importance organisations place on creating robust supply chains, it’s an increasingly popular career path open to all graduates. Read on to explore whether it’s a career path for you and pick up tips on how to get into the sector.

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Green Careers Week 2019

It’s mid-February, and you may have noticed that the first daffodils are with us. You may not be aware however that alongside these early green shoots each year also comes our Careers Service Green Careers Week, from 18 to 24 February 2019.

This series of events is designed to help you find out about opportunities in “green” careers such as conservation and sustainability, get advice, and network with a number of different employers.
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