Find Yourself a Mentor – Introducing Bristol Connects

Are you enjoying your subject and wondering how that passion could translate to your future career? Perhaps your head is swimming with ideas about what you think you’d be good at and what would be rewarding work? Do you want to understand what might give you the edge in application and selection processes?

University alumni can be a great source of support. Not only are they familiar with Bristol, but they can also be a ‘real life voice’ that will provide realistic and honest advice.

A photo of the backs of three Bristol graduates in their graduation gowns.

Bristol Connects is a free platform for all current students to interact and network with University of Bristol alumni. We spoke with two Bristol alumni that have been interacting and supporting students via the platform to find out more about what they’d been getting out of using the system.

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How to get into Social Policy

Last month the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law hosted a panel event on How to get into Social Policy, as part of the ‘How to get into’ event series. 

Here we bring you an overview of the sector and the panellists’ top tips for getting into social policy.

What is social policy?

Social policy is all about addressing human needs for security, social justice and welfare, and it considers how states and societies deal with such issues.

There are many different routes into policy work and a wide range of roles to pursue if you’re interested in this area – both in the private and public spheres.

A common entry route into the sector is as a research associate for independent think tanks. You could also work in project delivery or as a policy adviser in a government department. If you’re interested in more local issues, you might consider applying for the National Graduate Development Programme which is run through local governments.

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Mentoring matters – why apply for Bristol Mentors?

The Bristol Mentors scheme matches successful applicants with an alumni mentor who will help you explore ideas, share advice and give you an edge to break into the job sector that interests you.

To celebrate Bristol Mentors now being open for applications for the class of 2023/24, we caught up with Lucy (BA English Literature, 2019) and Grace (MA Law, 2019) to hear about their experiences as student mentees on the programme.

Both former mentees have since taken the role of mentor for two current students. From mentee to mentor, and student to graduate, they are full of valuable experiences worth sharing!

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Looking to find an employer that shares your values?

According to Paul Polman’s 2023 Net Positive Employee Barometer, half of UK Gen Z employees report having previously resigned from a job because their company’s values didn’t align with their own.

Indeed, it’s widely reported that young people today want to make a difference in their job, favouring companies with sustainability plans and policies.

As a university, we understand the importance of sustainability when it comes to our students researching their career options. We also appreciate that reviewing a potential employer’s website and reports for information about their mission, purpose, and social and environmental impact is time-consuming and that each company presents their data in varying formats.

That’s why we’re delighted to be able to point you towards Windō, a great free resource for students to easily access, digest and compare the sustainability plans and progress that employers are making.

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Overcoming career anxiety

If you are feeling anxious about career planning or future job prospects, we’re here to help.

At the Careers Service, we understand the importance of seeking support.

We’re here to help you navigate a sometimes daunting path, and help you build confidence in your own decision-making. We know that everyone is different.

Sometimes just talking through your worries can help but we can also recommend some practical tips, and suggestions and set some next steps which can make all the difference.

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Graduate stories: Yasmin Gledhill, Frontline Graduate Intern

Frontline is an organisation that is creating social change for children who do not have safe or stable homes, by developing excellent social work practice and leadership.

We recently caught up with History graduate, Yasmin, to hear about her experience taking part in the Frontline Graduate Internship.

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Graduate stories: working at TLT as a Bristol graduate

Joseph Battle graduated from Bristol with a law degree and is now a first seat trainee in TLT’s London office.

We recently caught up with Joseph to hear about his journey so far at TLT and his advice for students considering a career in law.

Hi I’m Joseph, 

While studying I tried to get as much exposure to the legal industry as possible to confirm that I wanted to start a career in law and to work out which area of law suited me best. This included work experience with a barristers’ chambers, a boutique private practice, larger full-service corporate firms and a firm operating in a different jurisdiction. These experiences were invaluable for me to gain an awareness of the different disciplines within the industry and to figure out what clicked for me.

I was appreciative of the opportunities to attend numerous networking evenings and law fairs whilst at Bristol. I found these to be a brilliant way to informally chat to representatives from a whole host of firms and to quickly get a feel for whether I would be a good fit for the firm and whether the firm would be a good fit for me. (more…)

Why Attend the Faculty of Arts Careers Series?

Are you interested to hear from alumni from all over the world who have built interesting and fulfilling careers after graduating from Bristol? Would you like to hear from Faculty of Arts alumni who now work in  diverse roles, ranging from being a brand manager for the Royal Mint, to a history teacher in Seychelles, or a reporter for the Wall Street journal?

February is a special month for those studying in the Faculty of Arts, as the Careers Service and Faculty collaborate to host the annual Faculty of Arts Careers Series, spanning four weeks from 1 to 28 February 2023. 

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How to get a career in media and journalism

Journalism and the media play a crucial role within society – observing and reporting on current events, facts, and ideas to inform people about the world and how it operates.

On 1 November 2022, three professional alumni speakers, Aasmah Mir, Mel Rodrigues and David Afikuyomi, shared their experiences at our ‘How to get into Media and Journalism Event’ for Social Science and Law students.

With varied backgrounds in TV production, presenting, and academic article distribution, they offered valuable insights on how to utilise your passions and be successful in this competitive and evolving industry.

Here are 8 of our top takeaways from the event:

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Graduate stories: from Bristol graduate to External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women.

Pam McGee is a 2005 Bristol University graduate who studied English Literature BA.

Pam is now the External Communications and Relationships Manager at STEM Women. She has kindly written this blog to tell us about her experiences at University and working for STEM Women.

A picture of Pam smiling

“I can’t tell you a motivational story about how I always wanted to work in PR and communications, because I never knew I wanted to – it just happened. But I can give you one key piece of advice which is to engage with your university Careers Service – something which, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t do during my time at Bristol.

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