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.
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
Many students embark on a year abroad as part of their degree. We all have different reasons for choosing to do it: for some, it’s the excitement of a new culture and country, while others are keen to learn at a different institution or use the year to work or to improve their language skills.
Whatever your reason for doing a year abroad, it can be a great opportunity to gain valuable skills and work experience, making yourself stand out when applying for jobs in the future.
My Volunteering Experience
As part of my Politics and International Relations BSc I studied for a year in the USA, at the University of Maryland. I had the flexibility to study a broad range of topics, ranging from art to climate change, and loved the freedom I had to learn in a new environment.
But for me, my year in the US was about a lot more than just studying. I wanted to make friends, travel, and take advantage of new opportunities. (more…)
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…)
I remember handing in my dissertation in third year, and feeling amazingly relieved… and then the panic set in. What do I do now??
Before going to university, I had dreams of becoming a video editor. But after three years of developing that skillset and getting practical experience, I wasn’t sure if it was what I wanted anymore. I didn’t know what to do. (more…)
Student Volunteering Week is a national event, with Higher and Further Education Institutions across the country using the week to celebrate existing student volunteers and to encourage more students to start volunteering. Your Careers Service is using the week (8-14 February 2021) to celebrate your achievements in volunteering over the past year. However, we are also keen to remind you of the employability benefits to be gained!
Will volunteering really make me stand out to employers?
Absolutely! But don’t take our word for it – in this blog some of our Bristol PLUS Award endorsing employers explain exactly how they perceive volunteer work from their applicants, and just why volunteering is so beneficial for both you and the organisation you go on to work for.
My name is Maisie, I’m an ecology graduate. After months of writing up my thesis and being entirely screen-based during lockdown, I was feeling square-eyed, fatigued and longing to get out of the house. I especially wanted to be more involved in community and people-based projects happening around the city in response to COVID-19, so I happily took a COVID-19 SME Internship working for Bristol Food Union (BFU).
Read about the experiences of some of these students below.
Carlos Shanka Boissy Diaz – volunteering for the Green Impact Scheme from the Canary Islands
I am really passionate about sustainability so I applied to be an auditor with Green Impact in March. However, the lockdown came, and departments had to close their doors, which meant that I would not be able to audit in-person.
Luckily, The Green Impact staff team managed to transfer all our work online and it was extremely successful. I was able to interview the staff in the departments and review the work that they had done throughout the year virtually. It was really fun to have a chat with all of them.
I believe that now more than ever, other students should get involved in these sorts of opportunities. We are in a self-isolation bubble, where our minds are in more need of social interaction and our brains need different stimuli. Also, I feel it’ll be great for my employability, so, if possible, I advise others to stay active with volunteering from home!