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!)

 

TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards – Hello Finalists!

We are excited to announce that this year, six University of Bristol students have been chosen as finalists for the TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards!   

The TARGETjobs Undergraduate of the Year Awards is an annual competition to celebrate the best undergraduates in the UK. Each award is partnered with a graduate recruiter who offers an amazing prize for the winner, including a paid internship, trips abroad, and other exclusive opportunities.  

via GIPHY

To become finalists, students first had to complete an application, including essay-style questions and online tests. Once passing that stage, students were either invited to a telephone interview or to take part in an assessment centre.

We caught up with our six nominees to hear more about their journeys to becoming finalists.

Catherine Davies for The Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2021

Management (BSc) Year 2 – PLUS Award achiever and SME Internship Scheme intern 

Catherine Davies

 

“My time in the University has aided my success in the award as throughout my degree I have been able to gain multiple skills and experiences. I have been able to develop my leadership and communication skills, through group work projects, wider learning through completing a sustainable future course as part of the Bristol PLUS Award, and also my employability skills by completing an internship last summer as part of the SME Internship Scheme. 

 

Jessica Slater for The Undergraduate of the Year Award for Sustainable Thinking 2021

Geography (BSc) Year 2 and Covid 19 Internship Scheme intern 

Jessica Slater

 

I’m currently working with Sustainabubbles CIC on a paid internship which I found through the Careers Service. I have some invaluable experience working here and learnt so much about sustainability and how a Community Interest Company operates, and this has definitely helped me receive this nomination.”

 

Jude D’Alesio for The First Generation Undergraduate of the Year 2021

Honours Law (LLB) Year 2 and PLUS Award achiever  

Jude D’Alesio

 

The PLUS Award, and the wider Careers Service, have been enormously helpful in allowing me to reach the finals of the award. It has never been in doubt that Bristol University breeds employable graduates, and with the myriad of opportunities on offer ranging from webinars to mock interviews, I now know why.”  

 

Megan Jenkins for The First Generation Undergraduate of the Year 2021

Geography (BSc) Year 2 and PLUS Award achiever 

Megan Jenkins

 

I applied to the First Generation Award as it is something myself and my family are very proud of and the application process seemed most interesting to me. The skills I’ve gained through partaking in the Careers Service talks and workshops helped me immensely throughout the application process. In particular, I did a workshop on online interview skills that was very useful. 

 

Simran Bassi, for The Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2021

International Business Management and German (BA) Year 2

Simran Bassi

 

As a management student, I felt that this award would help me take the first steps into my career, whilst also having the chance to network and meet other students. Overall, the whole experience has given me great insight into the management field and I can’t wait to use my new skills throughout my degree and further develop them in the industry after graduating. 

 

Zachary Levenson for The First Generation Undergraduate of the Year 2021

Aerospace Engineering (MEng) Year 3 and PLUS Award achiever 

Zachary Levenson

 

I saw the award as a great opportunity to be able to share my experience as a first-generation university student. Coming from a family where my parents didn’t have the same opportunities as I did, I aim to encourage prospective students from a similar background to reap the benefits of higher education. 

 

 

 


The final is usually held in person in London, with only the student finalists and employer partners invited to attend. This year, the final will be held virtually with Rachel Riley as the host. So, if you want to watch our students in action, you can register here and join in the ceremony on Friday 30th April at 1 pm. 

We want to congratulate these amazing students for their great achievement of becoming a finalist and wish them immense luck at the finals on Friday 30 April. 

We have our fingers and toes crossed for you! 

 

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…)

‘The Careers Service always felt like a safe space to talk’ – with Kofo Ajala

A photograph of Kofo Ajala at a Careers Fair smiling and talking to someone who is facing away from the camera
Kofo Ajala at Get Hired! 2019

We know that coming to the Careers Service can be a game-changing moment, even if it might feel a bit daunting at first. You may not even be sure what support we can offer to you.  

We also know that the best people to tell you (and us!) about the benefits of using the Careers Service are students who have been in the same position. We caught up with Kofo, BA History graduate 2020, to find out what she had to say about her experience with Careers during her degree.    (more…)

How are PLUS students engaging with the Bristol Futures open online courses?

Bristol Futures open online courses are now an essential element of the Bristol PLUS Award. With their broad range of topics and interactive learning style, it’s hardly surprising that they are receiving great reviews – but who is doing what, and which might you do?

(more…)

Calling all finalists – it’s time to put your future first!

I have some simple questions for you.

Are you ready for life after university?   

Do you know what work you want to do?

Are you ready to compete for those jobs?         

Did you answer “no” to one or more of these

questions?

If so, it’s your last chance to prepare for the workplace over the coming months with help and support from the Careers Service.

We are open throughout the summer months, so you can speak with our experts and get information and advice on what might be the right path for you.

Plus we are running an exclusive finalist workshop in June to help you understand what might be the right career for you, and the steps you need to take to get to it! Spaces are limited for these, so reserve a spot today through mycareer.

If you already have a good idea about what you want to do, then we are currently advertising hundreds of immediate start vacancies on our website, posted by organisations hoping to recruit a Bristol graduate.

If you think you need a bit of extra help competing for the jobs you are going to be applying for, you can come and get feedback on your job applications and ask us about how to answer those tricky interview questions.

The Careers Service is your vital link to life after university, so don’t put it off any longer – come and see us to find out how we can help you today!

Planning your year abroad

Spain

When asked about the reasons for choosing their course, most modern language students would mention the opportunity to spend a year outside the cold and dreary UK. After a few minutes of hearing how lucky they are to have the chance to spend 6 months in sunny Barcelona or chic Paris (insert regional stereotypes here) the modern languages student will inevitably be asked the dreaded question: ‘So, what are you planning to do in your time abroad?’ Panic!

As much as the average linguist romanticises and boasts about their year abroad, many of us do not have any concrete plans for our time abroad until about a third of the way through second-year. By that point we are only a few weeks away from filling in forms whereby we commit ourselves to work or study in Europe or further afield. Compulsory attendance at the Year Abroad Meeting in mid-June is not (just) to stop us enjoying our summer (or rather the UK’s woeful attempt at summer); the main reason for it is to get us thinking about what we want to do on our year abroad.

Where to go – Financial implications

The first important step is to decide where you want to live. If you choose to work in Europe, either through a British Council Teaching Assistantship or an individually sourced placement; or to study at a partner institution in Europe, you will be eligible for an Erasmus grant and will receive a fee waiver.

For those venturing outside Europe or to a non-partner institution within Europe, you will not receive any of these benefits. Whilst partial funding may still be available, for example through the Abbey-Santander Scholarship for Latin America, this reduced financial support is an important factor to consider when making your decision. The year abroad is an invaluable experience and, for many, one that will not be repeated. However, it will not be your only chance to go abroad.

Some places are far more expensive to live in than others, so you need to decide if you are willing to take on this financial burden. As much as you might want to spend the year in Paris or Rio, this might not be the most financially suitable option at this time. Yes, you have your normal student finance entitlements, but not everyone is willing to take out a loan for a fourth year. Furthermore, depending on where and how you choose to spend your year, you could end up with a decent amount of savings by the time you return for your final year.

What to do – Study or work?

The next important decision to make is whether you want to work or study. I cannot stress enough how vital this decision is in determining how your year plays out.

The main advantages of studying are the support you get from the host institution in settling in and finding accommodation etc., the opportunity to live and study with other young people, and the fact that the exams you take (normally) don’t count towards your degree. When choosing where to study, you should bear in mind the differences in the higher education system as the levels of support provided to students can vary. Similarly, course choice is important. You should choose a course that interests you, but you should also think of which course would be most beneficial to your language learning. Depending on your learning style, you might benefit more from smaller class sizes (more interaction with other students) or classes which require regular essays or written work submission. On the other hand, being a student often requires more effort on your part to fully immerse yourself in the culture of your destination as it is easy to fall into the trap of just socialising with other Anglophones or non-native speakers.

This leads me to the main advantage of working. You will most likely spend 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, working and speaking in Russian, Portuguese, Italian etc. This is the best way to ensure that your language skills improve, which is, after all, the main purpose of the year abroad. At the same time, working abroad requires a lot of independent research and you are solely responsible for finding and securing your placements. If you are able to do this successfully, this evidence of maturity and self-sufficiency is very attractive for future employers.

Don’t panic!

Whilst making these decisions might seem a daunting task, they have to be made, so try to keep a cool head when doing so. Think ahead. Talk to careers advisers, personal tutors and students who have already been on their year abroad. The better prepared you are, the more you will get out of this fantastic year which, for many of you, will be the best year of your life.

Rosemary Amadi, BA French & Portuguese

Image: © Tim Riley 2014

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