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

 

 

 

CPSA Case Study: Sourcing your own SME Internship

As a final year BSc Psychology student, I wanted to use this year to develop my skills and experience so that I would be in a strong position to apply for graduate jobs. After taking a course on drugs and addiction as part of my degree, I realized that I felt passionate about this subject.

Paula Mesia Guevara, Career Peer Support Assistant and Final Year BSc Psychology student

I decided that I wanted to look for an internship in a related role, to help me to decide if I would enjoy working in this field. However, I was not finding many advertised opportunities for the kinds of internships I was interested in.

Through the Careers Service website I learned that students could source their own internships through the university’s SME internship scheme. (more…)

Extra careers support for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds

 

Image by 政徳 吉田 from Pixabay

At the Careers Service we know students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds can face additional challenges to career thinking. This may include exploring career ideas when you don’t know what’s out there, or getting quality work experience with less developed networks.

To help level the playing field, we’ve compiled the best support and opportunities into one handy document over on mycareer.

We also send out live opportunities in our weekly Flying Start bulletin. Sign up to Flying Start now!

Here’s a taster of the support available… (more…)

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!)

 

5 Jobs Myths Busted for 2021

2021 has undoubtedly been a weird year for job-seeking. It might even feel like looking for work is an almost impossible task. But is this really true?  

Photo by kalhh on pixabay.

Myth 1: There are no jobs to apply for

Contrary to popular belief, there are still plenty of brilliant opportunities out there, and the number is growing rapidly. According to the latest labour market information, UK businesses are currently reporting the fastest growth in activity for more than 20 years!  

There’s good news internationally too, with strong signs of an increase in opportunities in China, India, and the rest of the world for 2021/22.  

 Vacancies are being added almost every day to the Careers Service website. 

Myth 2: Employers won’t take me seriously without in-person work experience  

Opportunities to get in-person work experience or internships have been limited this year.  

But remember everyone will be in the same position, and that employers will recognize that gaining this type of experience has been largely impossible. Instead, focus on making the most of any experiences you have managed to fit in. 

This might mean highlighting any volunteering you’ve done in your community, participation in online careers events, or online work experience you’ve managed to arrange. Opportunities like the Bright Network virtual internship, which is free and open to anyone over the age of 18, could be a great addition to your CV.  

Myth 3: Employers won’t value my degree if it’s not closely aligned with their work 

You may be worried that employers will only want to hire those who studied specific degree subjects. However, most graduate employers recruit graduates of any subject, and are more interested in what you can bring to the role than exactly what you studied.  

Our Career Options page lets you see you the variety of different roles which students studying your degree subject have ended up in.  

Myth 4: I won’t get a job in the sector I’m most interested in, because I can’t see any relevant vacancies advertised 

If you’re not seeing many jobs or internships advertised that you are interested in, there are two things you should consider: 

Firstly, graduate employers may be recruiting directly on their own websites, instead of through more generic job sites. You can bookmark the jobs websites of specific companies you are interested in and follow them on social media to have the best chance of seeing advertised jobs.  

Secondly, be proactive. Reach out directly to employers who are not actively advertising. It’s not easy to create your own opportunity, but the Careers Service has useful guides on both speculative applications and sourcing your own internship which can help you with this.  

Myth 5: There’s not much I can do over the summer to help make myself more employable 

You’ve worked hard this year, and it’s really important to take a break. However, this summer offers a great opportunity to catch up on anything you’ve missed out on over the last year, and help to build your CV ready for any job applications you have planned for the autumn. The Careers Service will continue to organise employer-led events, and offer information, advice, and guidance through appointments and the live chat service throughout the summer. 

 Although your plans may have changed this year, this means that new types of opportunity are available to you. Keep an open mind and remember that that your next job does not need to be your ‘perfect’ or ‘forever’ job – it’s just the next step in gaining valuable experience in the workplace, and gradually realising your career goals.  

 

CPSA case study: Taking a year out after your studies 

Sid Taylor-Jones is an MSc Education student and Career Peer Support Assistant (CPSA).

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…)

Bright Network Internship Experience UK: A First-Hand Account

The Bright Network Internship Experience is a free virtual internship which is open to everyone over the age of 18. 

Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash.

The scheme provides school leavers, current university students, and recent graduates with a valuable insight into one of 8 key sectors of the UK job market, giving participants the opportunity to connect with and learn from a range of leading employers. 

Handily, there are an unlimited number of online places available on each of the 8 different internship paths available, and since every experience is fully online, they can be completed from anywhere in the world. 

Whichever pathway you choose, your experience can be completed either as a three-day ‘live’ course, or in an ‘on demand’ format, which you can complete at your own pace. This means it’s really easy to fit the experience around your other commitments over the summer.  

(more…)

International students: how to maximise your chances of getting hired by a UK employer

The beauty of the Graduate route is that you can live and work in the UK even if you are not offered a Skilled Worker visa. As you probably know, securing sponsorship can be quite competitive. The Graduate route opens the door for international students to also consider less competitive opportunities, such as jobs in smaller organisations (called SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises), which in the UK account for over 99% of all businesses. Therefore, targeting SMEs to look for a job seems like a wise move. There are many benefits to working for smaller organisations – and you can find out more in our online guide “What is an SME? Why work for one?

How do I find a job with an SME?

Once you have narrowed down your search and feel you have some understanding of the market, focus on writing quality applications for a few of your preferred employers.

Stand in the hiring manager’s shoes and consider what will convince them to hire you.

Firstly, employers want someone that can DO THE JOB.

If you study a relevant degree, then you should be equipped with the right knowledge; you can include your relevant units and university projects in your CV to demonstrate this. If you have worked in a paid or unpaid role similar to the one you are applying for, detailing this experience is  key so that the employer can benchmark your abilities in the workplace. While in some countries employers focus primarily on academic results, UK employers are often more practically-minded and tend to favour experience in the workplace. We cannot stress enough how important it is to try to get as much practical experience so you can to provide evidence that you are a trusted professional.

Read through the listed skill requirements (which are usually clearly stated in the job description’s “person specification” section) and make sure you can provide varied and relevant examples of these skills.  Remember, when preparing these examples, follow the STAR structure.

You can prepare examples to demonstrate that you have commonly required skills in advance –use a spreadsheet to record your stories. Prospects’ job profile lists some of the typical skills asked for.

Compared with home students, you might have less UK experience and connections, so to counteract this consider your experience from your home country and do not forget your USPs (unique selling points) such as foreign language skills. If the organisation you are applying for runs projects in your home country or is preparing to expand to your home country, then you need to prepare yourself and confidently present your understanding of your home country market.

Secondly, employers want to know you will fit in

This is why most job listings include communication and team working skills as requirements.  If English isn’t your first language, it’s likely that your written English skills for academic purposes have been sharpened during your study at the University of Bristol, but you also need to familiarise yourself with the language professionals use and how they present themselves:

Your personality and values also matter. Connect with employees on LinkedIn and ask them about the work culture to assess whether the employer will be a good fit for you.

Thirdly, employers need to understand that hiring you is easy

SMEs may not be familiar with the recent immigration changes, or may be concerned that the Graduate route only allows them to hire you for a limited period. However, there is no guarantee that any recent graduate would stay longer term. Confidently present the value you can bring during the Graduate route period and make sure you know how to explain longer-term options like the Skilled Worker route: Watch our Intro: Get a graduate job in the UK – your visa options.

For more on getting work in the UK, including sponsored jobs, read our other blogs:

3 steps to making the most of the graduate route

Get a UK Job: A Timeline for International Students

Inline illustration by Mohamed Hassan on Pixabay

Author: Stella Wang, Careers Support Officer (International) 2021

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! 

 

My COVID-19 SME Internship: Ed – EcoStyle

Ed, a 4th year Engineering student worked for Ecostyle last Summer, a design and manufacture companyEcostyle create interactive educational models to promote renewable energy and water efficiency. Ed secured his role by sourcing his own internship after hearing about the COVID-19 Internship scheme. Here’s what he had to say about the experience. 

What was the aim of your internship? 

To develop resources and product development concepts which enable socially distanced hands-on learning of renewable technologies, in a classroom or at home. The resources should encourage sales of EcoStyle products whilst promoting an incredibly vital industry and renewable STEM career path.  (more…)